Maybe there’s a reason we are told not to talk about politics or religion. It seems that those two topics can result in more heat than light. The church is not immune to division and finger-pointing, especially when it comes to views on political issues. The Apostle Paul addressed a church that was polarizing over two issues; it can give us guidance on how to approach such topics.
ONE. People were judging each other’s spirituality by what foods they chose to eat. As people left the grocery store, these self-appointed food inspectors would glance into the people’s bags to determine if they were vegetarians or meat eaters. Then they’d be given a label to wear that told all bystanders if they were in the “strong faith” group or the “weak faith” one.
“Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” (Romans 14:1–4)
Notice that Paul put it in perspective. We are not to judge one another over “disputable matters.” The other person isn’t my servant; they don’t answer to me. They serve the Lord. People with a different view than mine don’t answer to me. We’d say that was so dumb, to fight over foods. We can think of far more serious issues to divide over, like the color of the carpet or the music in our worship services. One church split over the decision of where to place the coat rack. Important stuff! Continue reading
Our last study brought us to Romans 4:12. Today, we step back and consider the Greek word “logizomai” (G3049) in the fourth chapter of Romans and what it teaches. It occurs 41 times in the New Testament (NT). The King James (KJV) translates it with 13 different English words: 9 times as “think,” 8 “impute,” 6 “reckon,” 5 “count,” 4 “account,” twice as “suppose,” and once each as “reason,” “number,” “despise,” “conclude,” “esteem,” “think on” and “lay to (one’s) charge.” The Greek Lexicon defines it: “to occupy one’s self with reckonings or calculations. To reckon or count; to reckon anything to a person, to put it to his account, either in his favor or what he must be answerable for.” It’s found 19 times in Romans, which is the most frequent of any NT book and it stands out in the fourth chapter where it occurs 11 times, by far the most frequent of any chapter. In the 4th chapter it is translated “counted,” “reckoned,” “imputeth,” “impute” and “imputed,” which is significant and behooves us to carefully consider what the Holy Spirit is teaching with it.
Following, the English words translated from the Greek “logizomai” are highlighted in each verse in Romans chapter 4: Continue reading
Humanity needs to dream. It is an ability that separates us from lesser creatures. Sometimes, we don’t even realize we have a dream until we stand in the midst of it! I was quite young when I realized this. I was a seventh grader at Sabin Grade School in Portland, Oregon. My teacher was the very handsome Mr. Gilman. At a younger age, for a year or two, I had been exempt from P.E. due to heat rash. So, when the opportunity to play baseball opened up to me, I was bit behind.
I spent much of my baseball career in second field, out of touch and petting any stray dog that happened by. Sabin was surrounded by a neighborhood, so dogs ran rampant and leash laws had yet to be enforced. I still find the initials P.E. strange. I get it, physical education, however I still have a heard time with the education part. Maybe it has to do with learning to cooperate with others in a team sport. Anyway, I did not excel. Although always chosen last, I was anything but disheartened. All of this leads me to my unforgettable “shining hour.”
On a late Spring morning, the team captains chose their teams. Naturally, I was chosen last. We all took our places and the game commenced. I tried not to screw up and had long since given up ever catching a fly ball. I knew that winning the game was important to my team. I gave a dynamite imitation of sincerity as I jogged in from the field to the bench. My ability to choose a bat by feel was nonexistent, so I used the one handed to me. Best of all would be the games in which I would not even have to swing; the games where I would be back in the field before my heartbeat slowed down! Continue reading
T.K. Foss never existed. He was a figment of the imagination of generations of sailors at the Naval Academy Prep School at Bainbridge Naval Station Training Center near Baltimore, Maryland. The details of his origin are lost in antiquity–probably sometime in the mid-20th century.
At any rate, by 1961 he was established as one of the would-be midshipmen at the prep school, and somehow was found on every duty roster and attendance sheet at the beginning of each term.
Records would show that he stood a mid-watch somewhere, or an officer would call his name at roll call, and someone would call, “Present.” Eventually, staff would figure out there was no such person and strike his name from the roster, but he continued to be a ghostly presence, as pervasive as John Galt in “Atlas Shrugged.”
Paper trails indicated that Foss stood watches, was granted weekend liberty, filled out official requests for emergency equipment and specialized work tools, and was even cited for violating Navy regulations. Continue reading
We are getting prepared for the Senate to give President Trump advice and consent on his newest nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, who by all accounts is an outstanding choice. Philip Jauregui of the Judicial Action Group, who has been monitoring Supreme Court nominees for a long time, says Barrett is the best nominee he’s ever seen.
Perhaps the preeminent qualification Barrett brings to the bench is that she is an originalist, committed to interpreting and applying the actual text of the Constitution as the Founders intended it to be understood and applied. This column and the several to follow are about why having originalist justices on the bench is so important.
The two books I take into the studio every day
When I go on the set of my daily radio show, I always take two books with me: the Bible and the Constitution. The first is the authoritative guide for all of life. It holds ultimate authority even over the Constitution itself, should the two ever disagree, and over the Supreme Court should the two ever disagree. For instance, abortion is morally and ethically evil regardless of what the Court says, and marriage is between a man and a woman, no matter what the Court says.
The second book I take into the studio is the Constitution. It is the authoritative guide for our common and shared political life as Americans. It is the supreme law of the land. It holds authority over laws passed by Congress, should they conflict, and it holds authority over Supreme Court rulings should they ever conflict. Continue reading
Ignore the Climate Alarm, Clean Energy and Cancel Culture Industry con artists. See the movie.
Weekly, daily, even hourly, we are told that global temperatures are rising, ice caps are melting, and hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, floods and droughts are all getting more frequent, intense and destructive because of climate change. Not just climate change, of course, but manmade climate change, due to humanity’s use of fossil fuels – which provide 80% of all the energy that powers America and the world.
The claims assume Earth’s climate and weather were unchanged and unchanging until recent decades. That presumption is belied of course by multiple glacial and interglacial periods; the Roman and Medieval Warm Periods; the Little Ice Age; the Dust Bowl, Anasazi and Mayan droughts; the Galveston, Texas hurricane of 1900 and Great Labor Day Hurricane of 1935; the 1925 Tri-State Tornado; and countless other climate eras and extreme weather events throughout history. Continue reading
In the aftermath of the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, tensions on both sides of the aisle are high. With a hotly contested General Election just weeks away, some in the pundit/activist spheres, conditioned by the acceptance of civil unrest in our urban areas, are calling for acts of violence should President Trump nominate his pick to fill the vacancy on the bench. The problem with this, besides the obvious, is that Mr. Trump has no choice but to deliver his nomination to the Senate for confirmation unless he is to be irresponsible to the nation’s needs and the Constitution’s mandates.
In an array of tweets, several self-important personalities issued violent threats against the country should the President and the Senate actually do their constitutional duties:
- “If they even TRY to replace RBG we burn the entire f—–g thing down” and “Over our dead bodies. Literally,” tweeted Reza Aslan, an Iranian-born CNN host, born-again Islamist, and author.
- “F–k no. Burn it all down,” tweeted Aaron Gouveia, author of Raising Boys To Be Good Men: A Parent’s Guide to Bringing Up Happy Sons in a World Filled with Toxic Masculinity and Father who defended his 5-year old son’s right to wear fingernail polish.
- “We’re shutting this country down if Trump and McConnell try to ram through an appointment before the election,” tweeted Beau Willimon, a former aid to John Dean’s failed Senate bid and screenwriter who pilfered the idea for House of Cards from the British version.
- “Burn Congress down before letting Trump try to appoint anyone to SCOTUS,” tweeted Emmett Macfarlane, a Canadian professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.
If you are disturbed by the level of hatred, aggression, and complete disregard to the rule of law and the US Constitution then you haven’t been paying attention to what has been going on in the whole of America’s urban centers for the past six months. Continue reading
As voters in Clackamas, Washington and Multnomah counties are scheduled to decide on a payroll tax to pad Metro’s pockets, that agency is facing an elections complaint.
The complaint was recently filed by Tootie Smith, the incoming chair of the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners. In the May primary election, Smith defeated incumbent chair Jim Bernard, who has been found guilty of ethics violations for using his public office for personal gain.
Smith’s complaint with the Elections Division of the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office centers around a fundraiser that was held on September 11. Residents throughout Clackamas County were evacuating their homes at the time, as wildfires raged nearby and burned out of control.
That fundraiser was held for the Oregon League of Conservation Voters (OLCV) and its sponsors included Metro. It was reported to have raised more than $100,000 and included the endorsements of two Metro council candidates and that organization’s proposed $7 billion transportation tax.
Promotional materials for the virtual fundraising event are alleged to have included information that proceeds would go towards OLCV’s mission, part of which is electing candidates that group deems to be “pro-environment.” Some of the candidates who benefited from the fundraiser are running for partisan positions in the Oregon Legislature. Continue reading
Want to help a low-income individual prosper economically? Give them a car.
Multiple studies have shown that having access to private wheels is positively correlated with income levels and hours worked. Thus, giving someone a personal vehicle is a sure way to help them gain access to more job opportunities, and thus a greater potential for increases in personal wealth.
Metro is not ignorant of this data. In a recently released Regional Mobility Policy Report, Metro admitted that “[vehicle miles traveled] has been shown to increase directly with the growth of personal income.” However, Metro appears to have learned the wrong lesson from this information based on its conclusion that this signifies “that private vehicle ownership and the coinciding motor vehicle infrastructure benefits high-income populations most” and that “reducing VMT by supporting other modes of transportation is a more equitable approach to mobility.”
Metro would rather push residents onto transit, like the proposed $2.8 billion SW Corridor light rail line running from downtown Portland to a swanky outdoor mall in Tigard. However, doing so would do little to help the vast majority of low-income Portlanders efficiently get to work, school, day care, and medical Continue reading
On Monday, September 21, Cascade’s Vice Policy of Research provided testimony to the Oregon Senate, who was holding a hearing on “Equity in Education Policy Proposals.”
Cascade urges the legislature to flip its education funding model. Instead of funneling money through its dysfunctional public school system, the state should support students directly by providing each student their share of the State School Fund.
On average, Oregon school districts receive about $10,500 per student (ADMr) from the State School Fund. If students aren’t getting adequate instruction from their public schools, they should get that money back to receive instruction elsewhere. States like Oklahoma and South Carolina have already taken advantage of similar ideas by reallocating much of their federal stimulus dollars directly to families to help them adapt to this school year.
Think of it as a money-back guarantee. If the public school isn’t working for your kids or your family, you should have a right to take that money and spend it somewhere that does.
Direct funding of students reduces inequities in school systems because it allows all students to have access to education alternatives. Almost 60% of
If equity is the goal, school choice through direct funding of students is the surest and quickest path.