One of the many freedoms we enjoy is expressing our religious beliefs, or non-belief, as citizens from different perspectives engaging in self-government. As money flooding our political system challenges our self-government, people of faith must engage on two topics we too often avoid: money and power.
The Supreme Court's decisions in Citizens United (2010) and McCutcheon v FEC (2014) are about the power of money and how it is used to affect policymakers. But people have power outside money, and as people of faith we should grow in our understanding of how these powers are used.
In Affluence and Influence, political scientist Martin Gilens shows how public policy outcomes are biased toward the very wealthy. "The American government does respond to the public's preferences, but that responsiveness is strongly tilted toward the most affluent citizens," Gilens writes, documenting that, "The preferences of the vast majority of Americans appear to have essentially no impact on which policies the government does or does not adopt." more >>
Dear Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS),
Our leadership felt bad about all of the tough press you've been getting lately and – given our talent for ruining Gaza while enjoying endless love from the media – we thought we'd share some pointers with you.
We've been at this Islamist terrorism thing for decades now, so we can offer some helpful tips for your war to establish a Caliphate – a goal we LOVE. After all, if you overrun Jordan, we could even become allied forces in the West Bank, from which we can jointly conquer Israel. more >>
Recently I spent some time watching Shark Week on television. Being fascinated with large predatory fish, I've watched many shark programs throughout the years. And I've reached one conclusion: the "liberal" response one is accustomed to when the topic of Islam and Islamists come up—that they are misunderstood, that we need to respect their ways and be tolerant, that it's our fault we get attacked—has become so embedded in the Western psyche that it now colors our understanding of the animal world as well.
Almost every shark program follows the same pattern: the large predators are portrayed in all their grandeur, roaming the seas; then we hear of several anecdotes of shark attacks on humans, often with the survivors recounting their experience.
The prevalent theme is this: it's not the shark's fault that it attacked and maimed this or that surfer, swimmier, or kayaker. Rather, humans are responsible for entering the shark's domain, the ocean. If anything, then, it's the human's fault for getting attacked. Even great whites, so we are assured, only attack humans by mistake, never intentionally. Finally we get the speech about how sharks are in fact the one's being mistreated by humans, etc. more >>
I want to take advantage of the words of Rahm Emanuel when he said, "You never let a serious crisis go to waste," as we are enduring several crises here presently in the world today. It's like a buffet of blood, riots, and death leaving gluttonous journalists never hungry for negative content. However, rather than join in the glass is half empty crowd, I decided there has to be something good coming out of all the turmoil of today.
When Robin Williams died, friends and fans alike in Hollywood and the liberal left were quick to call for attention to mental health and mental disorders. Their posts were demanding for Congressional hearings and education initiatives to encourage people to recognize the warning signs of someone who is suffering from a variety of mental disorders.
Right now, protesters have been filling the streets for more than a week protesting the death of Michael Brown. Some protests have been peaceful. However, some have been violent and have involved the destruction of property. These more aggressive protest that have been contained by police serve as reminders of how quickly violent mobs can be motivated to rise and form. more >>
In today's culture we are constantly cajoled about the need to concern ourselves with "niche interests" and to demonstrate acceptance for those who choose to live "outside the norm." It is a mainstay of the politically correct that we must bend over backwards to embrace the self-determined "identity" of non-mainstream individuals. The mantra used to be to "be tolerant", but we are long past that. Now we are required celebrate their differences. Unless, that is, the different characteristic is Down syndrome.
You see, those with Down syndrome require the help of others, and requiring the help of others may be the second biggest sin in our culture (after being intolerant). The person with Down syndrome may prevent their family or friends from living a completely self-determined life, and that is unacceptable.
Tragically, the person with Down syndrome is seen as lacking some amount of humanness. Statistics back this up - the vast majority of pre-born babies (over 90%) diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted. That this is far greater than the abortion rate in non-Down pregnancies (roughly 21%). more >>
A judge will not be issuing an arrest warrant for Texas Governor Rick Perry, allowing for the 2016 Republican Presidential hopeful to travel outside the Lone Star State.
Judge Bert Richardson announced earlier this week that he will instead issue a summons for Perry to appear in court, according to the Associated Press.
"Richardson said Perry will receive a summons to appear which has not been issued yet. It won't be until Perry's defense attorney and the state set a date for him to appear in court," reported the AP. more >>