September 2, 2003
“By the middle of the twentieth century, the idea of separation between church and state had become an almost irresistible American dogma,” explains constitutional scholar Philip Hamburger. A law professor at the University of Chicago, Hamburger had traced the victory of church-state separationism over the founder’s intentions in the First Amendment.
August 29, 2003
The secularists now have their “trophy” win in Montgomery. The order handed down by Judge Myron Thomson of the Federal District Court has been carried out, and Alabama’s famed Ten Commandments monument no longer sits in the rotunda of the state’s Judicial Building. Chief Justice Roy Moore, who defied the federal court order, is now suspended and faces the likelihood of removal from office. Any way you look at it, the secularists won a big victory.
August 28, 2003
“I have a dream,” declared Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as he addressed a crowd of several hundred thousand gathered on the Mall around the Washington Monument. The date was August 28, 1963, and America was a cauldron of social unrest.
August 27, 2003
Judge Roy Moore, Alabama’s now-suspended Chief Justice, has at least two major weapons in his arsenal as he fights the Battle of Montgomery–a set of powerful arguments and all the right enemies. What began as a skirmish in the nation’s culture war has now expanded into a full-blown battle, with both sides seemingly prepared to dig trenches and fight to the finish.
August 26, 2003
“We have come to regard the Crown as the head of our morality,” explained Walter Bagehot, the most influential political journalist of the Victorian era. “We have come to believe that it is natural to have a virtuous sovereign, and that the domestic virtues are as likely to be found on thrones as eminent when there.” It’s a good thing Bagehot is not alive to witness the current heir to the throne.
August 25, 2003
The summer of 2003 began with public attention focused on Iraq and the war on terror. Very quickly, the attention shifted to a very different battle–America’s ongoing culture war. Again, the issue was homosexuality, and the news was plentiful.
August 22, 2003
Philosopher Hannah Arendt’s famous report on the trial of Adolf Eichmann was subtitled, “A Report on the Banality of Evil.” Eichmann, the mastermind behind Nazi Germany’s “Final Solution to the Jewish Problem,” was not a fearsome, imposing man. To the contrary, he looked absolutely normal–even harmless. The calculating murderer of millions resembled nothing so much as a mid-level clerk.
August 21, 2003
Must we believe in the Virgin Birth? In his recent column in The New York Times, Nicholas Kristof pointed to belief in the Virgin Birth as evidence that conservative Christians are “less intellectual.” [see this week's WebLog entries] Are we saddled with an untenable doctrine? Is belief in the Virgin Birth really necessary?
August 20, 2003
Why do evangelical Christians face such hostility in the news media? There are exceptions, of course, but the major national news media present a picture of evangelical faith that is distorted at best and often dishonest as well.
August 19, 2003
The nation’s great divide between secularists and Christians is growing, not shrinking. This divide determines many, if not most, of our national controversies. Debates over education, abortion, environmentalism, homosexuality, and a host of other issues are really debates about whether morality is relative or revealed.
August 18, 2003
Nicholas Kristof must be a very smart man — but a very slow learner. A columnist for The New York Times, Kristof is a Harvard graduate and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. But when it comes to something as significant as the nature of Christianity, Kristof and his columns are dumb and dumber.
August 15, 2003
The major trade booksellers give little space or attention to works of theology, so when the big national chains put a theological title on prominent display, something is afoot. Alas, that something is usually not good.