Michael Newdow is at it again. The California atheist, best known for trying to get the words “under God” removed from the Pledge of Allegiance, is now trying to make certain that no one prays at the inauguration of President George W. Bush later this month–at least no one on the program.
Pundits, political scientists, and observers of various stripes have been working hard to explain just what happened on November 2. The results of the election are clear enough by now, but the meaning of the election is still hotly debated. Various demographic trends, moral issues, and social trends have been offered as explanations for America’s voting patterns. Missing from most of these discussions is something very obvious, very important, and very controversial–the “baby gap.” Writing in The American Conservative, Steve Sailer identifies the baby gap as the factor almost no one mentions, even though the baby gap is “correlated uncannily with states’ partisan splits in both 2000 and 2004.”
Peter Beinart argues that the Democratic Party will reemerge from its political exile only if it recovers a clear vision for protecting democracy and freedom from their enemies. In “A Fighting Faith,” published in the December 2, 2004 edition of The New Republic, Beinart asserts that the Democrats have been taken over by Michael Moore and MoveOn.org and is now in the hands of leaders who refuse to support the war on terror and have instead associated the party with far left positions on social and domestic issues. As a result, the Democrats have lost both elections and political capital.
For too long, it looked like the 2004 presidential election was headed for a repeat of the 2000 race, with an army of lawyers descending–this time on Ohio–in an effort to litigate the electoral decision. Yet as the electoral map grew clearer and results poured in, what had been forecast as a tight election turned out not to be a cliffhanger after all. President George W. Bush won a clear majority of votes and sufficient support in the Electoral College to guarantee his reelection to a second four-year term.
OK–so we didn’t have a concession or a victory speech last night. Nevertheless, it certainly looks like President George W. Bush has won a second term in the White House. We’ll track the developments closely on Wednesday, and hope to have a clearer picture.
The arrival of Election Day will be greeted by most Americans with a combination of anticipation and relief. Given the historic importance of this election, most Americans look to it with a considerable degree of concern, knowing that the decisions made today are certain to have a long-lasting impact on America’s political culture and the society at large. At the same time, the arrival of this day of decision also comes as a relief to an electorate strained, stressed, and nearly exhausted by months of political debate and conflict.
The 2004 presidential campaign has been described as one of the most polarizing contests in the nation’s history. With the electoral map divided between “red” and “blue” states reflecting partisan, cultural, and ideological divisions, Americans are coming to terms with the fact that this nation is deeply divided over serious issues of meaning, morality, and basic vision.
Professor David Domke is a very worried man who has written a very worried book. In God Willing?: Political Fundamentalism in the White House, the ‘War on Terror’ and the Echoing Press, Domke, associate professor of Communications at University of Washington, is sounding an alarm–America has a dangerous theocrat in the White House.
Presenting himself to the American people, Senator John Kerry has promised that he would be ready to defend America against the threat of terror and to use military force when necessary. But his convoluted and often confusing explanations of just how, when, and where he would be willing to use military force have left many voters confused. When accused of “flip-flops” and recklessness in opinion, Kerry consistently argues that his positions are merely “nuance,” implying that voters should trust his intelligence and intuition to guide him in serving as Commander-in-Chief.
Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of Senator John Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee, sparked a genuine controversy this week, describing First Lady Laura Bush as less qualified to be a president’s wife because she had never held a “real job” as an adult. The ensuing controversy raised a host of issues, ranging from Teresa Heinz Kerry’s worldview to the role of mothers and the value of motherhood.
The reality that Americans are increasingly divided over basic issues of meaning, morality, and politics is hardly a new insight, nor can it seriously be denied. Yet the precise contours of our cultural conflict and the depth of ideological division are difficult to measure. Now, along comes one of America’s major newsmagazines to raise the issue in a new way. The cover story for the October 25, 2004 issue of U.S. News and World Report shouts with the headline: “The Deep Divide–Why Voters for Both Sides Are So Angry.” The article, written by reporter Jay Tolson, provides a helpful review and thoughtful analysis of our present political and cultural divisions. At the same time, the article raises more questions than it resolves.
How are we to relate our Christian beliefs to the political sphere? That question has demanded the most careful and faithful Christian thinking for centuries, but recent developments demonstrate that our current post-Christian age presents us with new and ominous postmodern perils.
Phyllis Schlafly put herself through college working the night shift at the St. Louis Ordnance Plant, firing rifles and machine guns in order to test ammunition for troops during World War II. Sixty years later, she has lost none of her nerve, none of her energy, and none of her aim. Now, she has leveled her powerful intellectual guns at an out-of-control judiciary, and her new book The Supremacists is a powerful manifesto for our times.
Senator John Kerry has been introducing himself to the American people, even as he is running for the nation’s highest office. Through his public appearances, televised debates, and political events, he has revealed a great deal about his political positions, personal history, and plans for America. Missing from this picture is any substantial understanding of John Kerry’s faith. When it comes to his religious convictions, John Kerry is a portrait in paradox.
The scandal and controversy at CBS News continues to unfold, even as the network announced a two-person panel appointed to review its now discredited report on President George W. Bush’s military record. The full extent of the damage to CBS’s reputation and credibility is yet unknown, but the Dan Rather-led “Memogate” scandal is certain to become a landmark case in journalistic ethics. Beyond this, it may very well be the final blow to the credibility of CBS News and to network news coverage itself.
Over the last 20 years, evangelical Christians have been politically mobilized in an outpouring of moral concern and political engagement unprecedented since the crusade against slavery in the 19th century. Is this a good development? With the 2004 presidential campaign now under way, the issue of political involvement emerges anew with urgency.
On the very eve of the 2004 Republican National Convention, former President Bill Clinton took to the pulpit of one of New York’s most famous churches. Aiming his sights at George W. Bush and Christian conservatives, he delivered a message designed to mobilize religious liberals.
When it comes to politics, must Christians check their beliefs at the door? That question–and a host of others–was debated at a symposium recently sponsored by the Brookings Institution. Entitled “One Electorate Under God?,” the symposium featured some of the leading names in American politics and academic life. In the context of a presidential election year, the symposium was well timed and well executed.
Pop icon Andy Warhol–famous for his bizarre appearance as well as for his paintings of Campbell soup cans–once predicted that eventually everyone in the world would have fifteen minutes of fame. With the rise of the media culture and the cult of celebrity, every single individual, he said, would enjoy at least fifteen minutes of the cultural limelight. Well, it seems that Ron Reagan’s fifteen minutes should have expired by now.
And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take…
The vision of sexuality glorified by Playboy is no longer on the cutting edge of moral change. Playboy won the battle and can now leave the battlefield commercially wounded but culturally victorious.
In the beginning was the Word. Christians rightly cherish the declaration that our Savior, the crucified and resurrected Lord Jesus Christ, is first known as…
Presidents of the United States are usually awful as theologians. In far too many cases, the closer they get to anything theological, the bigger the…