• History •
January 5, 2006
In every generation, the church is faced with a certain test-case, a certain issue which is the clearest barometer of the conviction and biblical commitment of the people of God. The church in Germany, for example, faced this sort of question with the rise of Hitler in the 1930s. Today, the church in America faces a secular regime of unrestrained moral revisionism, especially on the issue of homosexuality.
January 4, 2006
Something’s going on at The Los Angeles Times. On New Year’s Day, the paper ran not one, but two articles questioning America’s therapeutic culture and addiction to the latest psychological or psychiatric fads. When a major American newspaper publishes two articles in one issue making this essential point, we ought to take notice.
December 29, 2005
On December 26, 2004, entire regions of the Indian Ocean basin were devastated by giant waves of water, caused by an underwater earthquake in a volitile and active subduction zone. The world watched in horror as the scale of devastation became clear.
December 19, 2005
Michael Barone, editor of the Almanac of American Politics, and one of the most level-headed observers of the political scene, offers this as his summary of what the last 25 years have taught us. His essay is published in this week’s edition of U.S. News and World Report.
Barone’s lessons: First, that American military power can advance freedom and democracy to all corners of the world. Under Reagan and his three successors, America has played a lead role in extending freedom and democracy to most of Latin America, to the Philippines and Indonesia and almost all of East Asia, and, most recently, to Afghanistan and Iraq, with reverberations spreading through the Middle East. Area experts said, often plausibly, those countries’ cultures were incompatible with democracy. Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and brave men and women in those nations proved them wrong.
Second, that markets work and that lower taxes and less onerous government produce more economic growth than the alternative. About 43 million jobs have been created in the United States since December 1980, while the number in the more statist nations of western Europe is on the order of 4 million. Markets are creating millions of jobs in nominally Communist China and once socialist India.
Third, that politics and effective government can, as Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, change the culture. The crime-control methods pioneered by New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and the welfare reforms pioneered by Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, imitated around the country and followed up by federal legislation, resulted in huge decreases in crime and welfare dependency.
These lessons have been widely learned and widely applied by George W. Bush and also to a large extent by Bill Clinton. But not, curiously enough, by those who see themselves as the best and the brightest, our university and media elites. They would still like to see America’s power reined in, as it was in the 1970s. They are insouciant about the costs that larger and more intrusive government and higher taxes impose on the economy. They think that leniency and subsidy are the appropriate responses to deviant and self-destructive behavior. They think our most important right is a right to kill our unborn children. You have to be awfully smart, someone once said, to believe something so stupid. And to be so blind to the clear lessons of the past quarter century of history.
Barone just said all this so well that I wanted to pass it along. Consider doing the same.
December 1, 2005
Yesterday was the anniversary of Winston Churchill’s birth in 1874.
That occasion offers me the opportunity to point once again to
Churchill and the central role he played in the twentieth century.
November 28, 2005
The effort to separate the “Jesus of History” from the “Christ of Faith” is one of the hallmarks of theological liberalism — and a point of contact between liberal theology and postmodern secularism. Made famous by successive “quests” for a merely historical Jesus, this effort represents an attempt to recover Jesus as a figure in history, stripped of all claims to deity. Most Americans would be surprised to know that Thomas Jefferson was involved in his own quest for a merely human Jesus — and this project didn’t stop with Jefferson.
November 23, 2005
The holiday police are at it again–looking for violations of the nation’s new policy of separating faith and civic celebrations. The same folks who will soon be trolling courthouse squares looking for manger scenes are now calling on Americans to have a happy Thanksgiving . . . but leave God out of it.
November 15, 2005
Our nation’s political rhetoric is filled with references to unity and national cohesiveness. Nevertheless, this unity is often more superficial than substantial, and talk of national unity wears thin when the culture appears to be ripping apart at the seams.
November 11, 2005
“Hostilities will cease on the whole front at 11 hours today, French time. Until that hour, the operations previously ordered will be pressed with vigor. At 11 hours our line will halt in place, and no man will move one step forward or backward.” Those were the orders released just before 9:00 a.m. on November 11, 1918 in an address to the U. S. Army’s 79th Division. That order announced the end of “The War to End All Wars,” now known as World War I. Yet in one of the most bitter ironies of this bitter conflict, thousands would die between the time the armistice was signed and hostilities ceased.