A recent post on Reason.com's "Hit and Run" blog tells a disturbing tale of law enforcement run amok in Philadelphia. According to data collected by the freedom of information advocacy site, MuckRock.com, the city has paid out $40 million in losses and settlements in the last five years. The lion's share of these awards resulted from lawsuits involving misconduct such as excessive force, wrongful death, and illegal searches.
The Washington Post this week drew attention to a new Pew poll indicating that a majority of Americans believe it's time to move away from the policy of mandatory minimum sentencing in nonviolent criminal cases.
A recent Pew study made headlines last week, revealing that "as values, economics, and gender patterns change . . . the share of American adults that have never been married is at an historic high." According to the report "adults are marrying later in life, and the shares of adults cohabiting and raising children outside of marriage have increased significantly. . . . In addition, shifting public attitudes, hard economic times and changing demographic patterns may all be contributing to the rising share of never-married adults."
Physician-assisted suicide, much like abortion and same-sex marriage, has become something of a cultural bellwether.
In the public policy arena, the past few decades have seen a constant conflict between Christian conservatives and secular liberals. These two factions have sparred openly over a variety of issues, including abortion, the definition of marriage, the importance of the family, and the size of government. Recently, however, secular liberals have adopted a new tactic. Rather than continue our public debates, some secular liberals have decided to take a different route attacking the very foundations of Christian institutions. In this assault, they have been aided and abetted by the current administration.
It is a mainstay of the politically correct that we must bend over backwards to embrace the self-determined "identity" of non-mainstream individuals. The mantra used to be to "be tolerant", but we are long past that. Now we are required celebrate their differences. Unless, that is, the different characteristic is Down syndrome.
The first week of the McDonnell corruption trial has concluded, and if the testimony thus far is any indication, things aren't looking good for the defendants. The facts of the case reveal the unsavory influence that power and celebrity can have on individuals and families and of the insidious relationship between money and power in the world of politics.
In short, the same group that requires private citizens to retain financial records for up to seven years under penalty of law is saying that they are unable to produce two years' worth of electronic correspondence relating directly to an active legal investigation, and furthermore that even if backup tapes of Ms. Lerner's emails did exist at one point, they most likely have been erased since the IRS only retains email records for six months.
While its understandable that conscientious Christians are heartened by the outcome of the Hobby Lobby case, we must understand that the Court's ruling in the Hobby Lobby case had virtually nothing to do with the Justices' personal beliefs about the morality of abortifacient drugs, and everything to do – as should be the case – with the law.
They say all politics is local, but this is easy to forget amidst the incessant frenzy of a 24-hour news cycle that tends to focus exclusively on national politics. For many people, particularly those residing in sprawling suburban bedroom communities or bustling urban centers, it is easy to overlook the local in favor of the national.
As the forces of secularism continue their march to dominate virtually all aspects of the culture, the faithful remnant of Christian disciples find themselves daily confronted with situations in which their religious convictions come into conflict with reigning secular dogma. The repercussions of such conflicts are significant, and increasingly, unavoidable.
This week I write upon returning from a nine day trip with friends to England, where much of my visit centered on an examination the English Reformation. I was fortunate to be exposed to the lessons of history through two groups, Christian Heritage Cambridge and its spinoff, Christian Heritage London. These groups focus on reminding Britons and their guests of the influence of Christianity on Western civilization and inspiring and equipping Christians to demonstrate the reasonableness and transforming power of their faith.
For several years my wife and I attended a little church in Virginia called St. Peter's. Every Sunday during the "Prayers of the People" we would pray for persecuted Christians throughout the world, and each week, two different countries would be named.
?This week the Washington Post's Chris Cilizza took up the question of whether the ongoing antagonism between the Tea Party and the establishment wing of the GOP will spell doom for Republicans' chances in 2016.
It's no secret that the Republican Party has for some time been coping with a multifaceted identity crisis. With the election of Barack Obama, the fallout from the 2008 economic collapse, the emergence of the Tea Party, unrest among social conservatives, and a Congressional era marked by deep intra-party animosity, the GOP has been challenged to prove to the American people that it is the party to restore American prosperity and American values.
Last week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc case. As virtually everyone is aware, the CEO of Hobby Lobby is contesting the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate.
This month, the American Conservative Union's Conservative annual Political Action Conference, or CPAC, convened in Washington, D.C. This year's conference featured many of the GOP's presumed up-and-comers, people like Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, and Bobby Jindal.
Secular humanists like to sneer at religious folk for our stubborn insistence upon seeing God's hand at work in the world. We call "providence" what the materialist sees as a random unfolding of events.
Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards recently tweeted out a short video featuring her suggestions of what women really need for Valentine's Day. Among a litany that included "well woman visits," "cancer screenings," and "birth control," was "safe & legal abortion."
Last fall, the Supreme Court agreed to review two religious liberty cases surrounding the Obama Administration's contraception mandate. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties maintain that the federal requirement is an unlawful infringement upon religious liberty, and this year we'll find out if the highest court in the land concurs.