Mitt Romney and the “Mormon Question”
Oct11

Mitt Romney and the “Mormon Question”

The latest dust-up on the already tedious 2012 presidential campaign trail was triggered several days ago when a pastor and Rick Perry supporter told interviewers that Christians should refrain from voting for Mormon candidates like Mitt Romney (and presumably, Jon Huntsman too) for president because, he asserted, Mormonism is a cult. As a Christian pastor myself (Lutheran), I decided to address the two questions raised by that...

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A Good Way to Announce a Presidential Candidacy
Jun22

A Good Way to Announce a Presidential Candidacy

Jon Huntsman, a guy with an impressive resume, announced on Tuesday that he is running for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Whether the former governor of Utah and ambassador to China stands a chance is only a guess. But, if you believe that civility should infuse the process by which we elect a president in the United States, his announcement speech ought to bring some encouragement. Among other things, he said of the...

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“If you’re not famous…be thankful”
Jun07

“If you’re not famous…be thankful”

That’s the title of this admittedly Christian and, I hope, charitable, take on what’s come to be called...

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Edwards Indicment Pure Politics
Jun04

Edwards Indicment Pure Politics

Was the indictment of former North Carolina senator John Edwards pure politics? The answer to that question may seem obvious. Edwards is a Democrat. The indictments were sought by a Democratic Justice Department. You can hardly accuse the current Administration of engaging in a witchhunt of an opposition political figure. But what if the Barack Obama-Eric Holder Justice Department had passed on pressing for indictment of Edwards, who...

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Why This is My Favorite Time of Year
May15

Why This is My Favorite Time of Year

...

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Trump’s Racist Schtick from a Christian Perspective
Apr28

Trump’s Racist Schtick from a Christian Perspective

Here. I hope that my fellow Christians will see (and name) Donald Trump’s racist, ungodly demagoguery for what it is. We need to speak...

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Congress, the President, and the Power to Make War
Apr19

Congress, the President, and the Power to Make War

The United States Constitution requires that before the Commander-in-Chief, the President, can go to war, Congress must declare war. Congress has done so five times in US history. In the latest issue of The Week, there’s a discussion of whether, by precedent, especially since World War II, Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution has been effectively abrogated. You can find it here (for subscribers only). One can argue that the...

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“The morning’s gonna shine like a red rubber ball”
Mar10

“The morning’s gonna shine like a red rubber ball”

I had a great day off with my wife, Ann, even though some of it was taken up by an appointment with our dentist. The highlight of that visit came when the doctor and I sang some of ‘Red Rubber Ball’ by the Cyrkle to his hygienist. She hadn’t believed him when he mentioned this song and the band; she thought he was making both names up. Kids! (She’s thirty.) I had to sing to vouch for his veracity. By the way,...

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For Ash Wednesday…
Mar09

For Ash Wednesday…

…a Franciscan blessing I hope everyone will appreciate: May God bless you with discomfort. Discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart. Amen. May God bless you with anger. Anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace. Amen. May God bless you with tears. Tears to shed for those who suffer from...

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Looking at Middle East, I’m Thankful for George Washington
Feb22

Looking at Middle East, I’m Thankful for George Washington

Watching what’s happening in the Middle East, where sick men have held onto power for decades, I’m thankful to live in the United States. Here, we take for granted the peaceful transition of executive power. The human instrument by which that incredible blessing has come to us was George Washington. As I’ve pointed out before, Washington turned down the offer of absolute power more than once. Most notably, of course,...

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Friedman: A Perilous Time for Israel
Feb02

Friedman: A Perilous Time for Israel

But also, he believes, one presenting a window of opportunity to make a deal with the Palestinians and ensure peace: To put it bluntly, if Israelis tell themselves that Egypt’s unrest proves why Israel cannot make peace with the Palestinian Authority, then they will be talking themselves into becoming an apartheid state — they will be talking themselves into permanently absorbing the West Bank and thereby laying the seeds for an Arab...

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“Teachers to sacrifice for pensions”
Jan28

“Teachers to sacrifice for pensions”

That’s the headline of this Columbus Dispatch article on the decision of the State Teachers’ Retirement System here in Ohio to make changes in order to ensure future solvency. Similar actions are being taken or contemplated by pension systems across the country. Fair-minded Republican and Democratic officeholders alike will, however quietly or off the record, agree that essential for addressing the national debt is a...

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A Biennial Federal Budget?
Jan28

A Biennial Federal Budget?

What do you...

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At a time when other states are lowering taxes or considering doing so…
Jan19

At a time when other states are lowering taxes or considering doing so…

…Illinois has raised its income taxes. Is the State Legislature crazy or are they onto something? The jury’s out, but read the whole thing and render your judgment in the comments section, if you wish. [This has been cross-posted at my personal...

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“At the end of every day, starting when he was in high school, he would ask himself, in effect, What have I done to improve the lot of humanity?”
Jan19

“At the end of every day, starting when he was in high school, he would ask himself, in effect, What have I done to improve the lot of humanity?”

“The root of Shriver’s self-conception was as a lay Catholic who always tried to model his life after the ethics of Jesus as expressed in the Gospels. This has not been a passive pursuit. Always he was asking himself, Am I living my life as Christ would want me to? “What he derived from his faith was less the solace of Lord’s presence, or the promise of transcendence in the hereafter (though he did derive both...

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The US Should Give More Foreign Aid, Poll Suggest Americans Would Go For That
Dec23

The US Should Give More Foreign Aid, Poll Suggest Americans Would Go For That

[What follows is only my personal opinion. I don't claim my authority as a pastor for it. It's just me and, as always, I could be completely wrong.] The daily headlines suggest that the United States and all western democracies are, in the days ahead, facing not fewer but more threats from terrorists–whether they’re violent Islamists or, as in the case of those thought responsible for today’s embassy bombings in...

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Plea from OSU Alum: Don’t Appeal NCAA Suspensions
Dec23

Plea from OSU Alum: Don’t Appeal NCAA Suspensions

Earlier today, I watched the press conference with Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith and head football coach Jim Tressel. Five Ohio State players have been suspended from playing the first five games of next season by the NCAA. Smith indicated that Ohio State will appeal the penalties. (Another player has been suspended for one game of the 2011 season.) As an Ohio State alum and fan, I hope that Smith will reconsider that move....

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What the Latest Zogby Poll Could Tell Us
Nov13

What the Latest Zogby Poll Could Tell Us

Yesterday over on Facebook, Ohio’s outgoing Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, posted a link to a new Zogby Poll. Brunner, a progressive Democrat, understandably highlighted Zogby’s finding that, in spite of the “shellacking” that Democrats took in the 2010 midterm elections a few weeks ago, voter majorities still favor government spending on infrastructure in order to create jobs. (That’s what Zogby...

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Watch Out for Beijing
Nov13

Watch Out for Beijing

Charles Krauthammer is no fan of President Obama, but he had no use for the silly (and largely misinformed) carping over the cost of the president’s recent trip to Asia. I agree with Krauthammer. It’s important for Presidents of the United States to go abroad for these diplomatic missions. The president is America’s diplomat-in-chief. When presidents take such trips, it is in everybody’s interest that he be...

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The Mayflower Compact: The Separation of Church and State
Oct15

The Mayflower Compact: The Separation of Church and State

Reading Nathaniel Philbrick’s outstanding book, Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War, roused some thoughts in me regarding the separation of Church and State, something I see as a positive good. I posted about it over on my blog. Out of respect to those who adhere to religious beliefs other than my own, I’m not posting it here. Still, I felt that Moderate Voice readers of all stripes might be interested in a...

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