1) That Reagan would have difficulty being in the party today. Even a cursory examination of his record in its historical context blows this assertion to smitherines.
2) That’s is now dominated by the radical right. This is CLEARLY demonstrated by the fact that every nominee since Reagan has been a moderate–including the Bush’s; H.W. lost precisley because he didn’t continue Reagan’s policies, was selected as VP because he was moderate, and selected his own VP Dan Quayle because he was a Reaganite (to stem worries from Reaganites in the GOP in 1988). W. governed as a moderate in Texas, and did so also in the White House. He spent like a drunken democrat. McCain and Romney are both self-evidently moderate and to conclude otherwise is either dishonest or ignorance of the facts. To the contrary, Obama was one of the most radically left senators ever, and has attempted to push through equally radical social and economic agendas that are intended to radically reshape the nation.
Yup, St. Francis of Assisi falls under the “nuttier than squirrel shit” category.
The single most significant element undermining the fashionable attempt to pit Jesus and his ethics against Paul and his theology is the authorial, historical, and theological congruity that exists between Luke’s gospel and the book of Acts. The theory that such discrepancy exists between Paul and his Master inadvertently pits Luke against Acts, and thus the great physician against himself.
Though Tim Challies’ choice of literature to reccomend is woeful (bordering on apologetic)–reflecting a desire idealized history rather than critical history–his article on Martin and Katie Luther’s 487th anniversary is good. So please, give it a read. But I also would like to remind people just how “earthy” viewed this relationship. Luther’s efforts re-centered the whole of European society away from the church and into the familial home–and into the marriage bed. It would not be off-base to say that Luther wanted Christians to not only have but decadently indulge in monogamous (hetrosexual) sex.
Here are two alternatives to Challies’ book recommendations:
Luther: A Man Between God and the Devil by Heiko A. Oberman
Luther: Out of the Storm by Derek Wilson
Modern Americans commonly believe that American “police actions” or non-declared wars are unique to the latter half of the 20th Century. This is, of course, entirely false. The beginning of such conflicts, as one would expect in the burgeoning age of liberalism that was the 17h Century, that these economic “hot” conflicts occurred even then. America fought the Barbary Pirates, and subdued them. Everyone benefitted, and it led to the creation of the United States Navy. From Wiki:
Until the American Declaration of Independence in 1776 British treaties with the North African states protected American ships from theBarbary corsairs. Morocco, which in 1777 was the first independent nation to publicly recognize the United States, became in 1784 the first Barbary power to seize an American vessel after independence. The Barbary threat led directly to the creation of the United States Navy in March 1794. While the United States managed to secure peace treaties, these obliged it to pay tribute for protection from attack. Payments in ransom and tribute to the Barbary states amounted to 20% of United States government annual expenditures in 1800.The First Barbary War in 1801 and the Second Barbary War in 1815 led to more favorable peace terms ending the payment of tribute. However, Algiers broke the 1805 peace treaty after only two years, and subsequently refused to implement the 1815 treaty until compelled to do so by Britain in 1816.
We might ask ourselves this question: has the result of a “freemarket place of ideas” resulted in creating the social safety nets of fundamentalism(s)? Could it be the case that the real problem we face as a nation is not the lack of information, but rather the loss of the ability think well? Is the problem the patterns we think in, and not the content we know? Left or right, America is edging dangerously close to total fundamentalism.