Jimmy Carter’s Endangered Values

Former president Jimmy Carter has written yet another book — his twentieth — and he has hit the media circuit in order to promote his latest project. Our Endangered Values: America’s Moral Crisis represents the former president’s return to familiar themes, even as it will add new layers of confusion concerning his actual beliefs and values.

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The Baby Boomers and Their Times

“I hate the Baby Boomers. They’re the most self-centered, self-seeking, self-interested, self-absorbed, self-indulgent, self-aggrandizing generation in American history . . .” Those words represent the assessment of Paul Begala, a former advisor to President Bill Clinton, himself the first Baby Boomer president. Evidently, it takes one to know one–Begala is a boomer himself. The Baby Boomers represent the largest generation in American history, and their full impact is yet to be fully realized. After all, the first Baby Boomer will turn sixty years of age in just a few weeks. In one sense, the generation is just hitting its stride.

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The Blackmun Papers: One Man’s Shadow

When the constitutional framers established the Supreme Court as the third branch of America’s government, they left the role of the Court largely undefined and unfinished. In recent years, the Court has taken on an entirely new importance, with a majority of justices pushing an activist agenda that now assumes a legislative responsibility–encroaching on the constitutional powers of Congress and the President.

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The Rehnquist Court and American Constitutionalism

The death of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist brings to a close one of the most tumultuous and historic eras in the history of the U.S. Supreme Court. Chief Justice Rehnquist died Saturday at the age of 80, after an almost year-long fight against thyroid cancer. His total term on the bench, including fourteen years as an associate justice, ranks him among the longest-serving jurists ever to serve on the nation’s highest court.

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Christianity Recedes in Europe–Is America Next?

“I don’t go to church, and I don’t know one person who does.” That statement, taken from Brian Kenny, a 39-year-old graduate student in Dublin, Ireland, launches readers of USA Today into a consideration of Christianity’s receding influence in Europe. In “Religion Takes a Back Seat in Western Europe,” the newspaper considers the rapid pace of secularization in Western Europe, and the social, moral, and political impact that has resulted from Europe’s loss of faith.

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America’s Vanishing Protestant Majority–What Does it Mean?

Writing in 1927, French observer Andre Siegfried described Protestantism as America’s “only national religion.” To miss this, Siegfried advised, is “to view the country from a false angle.” Now, less than a century later, a major research report provides proof that Protestantism no longer represents a clear majority of Americans.

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Natan Sharansky Makes the Case for Democracy

President George W. Bush is recommending a book these days, and the President’s new literary interest has caught the attention of the world press. President Bush is recommending Natan Sharansky’s book, The Case for Democracy, and he has made frequent references to Sharansky and his book, telling audiences that Sharansky’s argument represents “how I feel” and how he thinks.

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Revisiting History–President Bush Confronts the Past

President George W. Bush’s European schedule presented the White House with several difficult and complicated diplomatic questions. After all, the celebration of “V-E Day,” marking the end of World War II in Europe, was complicated by increased tensions with Russia and its neighbors. The president’s May 7 address in Riga, Latvia takes on an entirely new significance when we understand that the American president chose to speak in the capital city of one of the nations that had been enslaved by the Soviet Union for almost half a century.

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George F. Kennan–Architect of Containment

George F. Kennan, who died last week at age 101, was not a household name to most Americans. As a matter of fact, he may be almost completely unknown to most American evangelicals, most of whom were born long after Kennan had made his major impact on American foreign policy. Nevertheless, Kennan’s thought–and the approach to foreign policy that flowed from his arguments–framed American policy during most of the Cold War. His death provides an opportunity to review the impact of his ideas and the worldview he expressed.

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Civilization on the Brink III

America’s pop culture is now a worldwide phenomenon. The music, movies, television programming, and assorted entertainments enjoyed by Americans–especially young Americans–are quickly carried around the world in a global cultural exchange that is now leading to a cultural backlash.

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Inaugural Observations–The Day Before

The District of Columbia just can’t help admitting a sense of excitement this week–but it’s sure not about the weather. For some reason known only to God, the weather for presidential inaugurations seems to turn extraordinarily nasty. Washington enjoyed unseasonably warm weather last week, but what is known here as an “Arctic Clipper” has the nation’s capital in a cold grip. Thousands of travelers to the city–including the Mohler family–waited in distant airports for the weather to clear sufficiently for landings at Reagan Washington National Airport to resume.

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Civilization on the Brink

Signals of distress continue to come from multiple sectors of the culture. Issues ranging from sexuality and politics to art and education register seismic shifts of cultural consequence. Turning its back on a rich moral inheritance and severing its few remaining ties with Christian morality, this culture seems absolutely determined to bring itself to the very brink of moral collapse.

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