Is God a Dog? Tony Hall and the Prayer and Fasting Campaign on Budget Cuts

     As a former Democratic congressperson and an ambassador in the George W. Bush administration, Tony Hall never had a reputation for being uncivil. At a press conference for the National Press Club on Monday, however, Hall stretched the boundaries of both decency and biblical hermeneutics. With Jim Wallis, David Beckmann, and Ritu Sharma, Hall announced a campaign of prayer and fasting to protest the House Republican’s proposed budget cuts for anti-poverty programs (both foreign and domestic). During that event, Hall said,
It’s time to call in God. It’s time to unleash God. You know the discipline of fasting and prayer, when you put it together is so powerful, and it’s like I said earlier, when you put them both together, it seems like God leans a little bit closer to you, and you’re saying to Him, “I’m not gonna let go until you listen to me.” Now we’ve done just about everything and they’re not listening. It’s time to sic God on ’em. And that’s the reason for the fast.
     Upon hearing that, images of Liam Neeson, playing the part of Zeus in Clash of the Titans, declaring “RELEASE THE KRAKEN!” come to mind. The other image conjured—of God as an obedient German Shepard ready to strike down our political foes—is more disturbing. I recall a common criticism of those who declared that we “kicked God out of the public schools,” after the Supreme Court decided that state mandated prayer in public schools was unconstitutional was, “who has a boot big enough to kick God?” Similarly, I must ask, “who has a collar big enough to leash God?” Alternatively, I could ask, “is your God so small that you’re able to leash him?”

Steve Inskeep, Just Because I Listen to NPR Doesn’t Mean I Think it is Unbiased

>NPR Journalist Steve Inskeep argued, in a recent opinion article for the Wall Street Journal, that NPR does not have a liberal bias. To support his argument, Inskeep offers a single piece of evidence—conservatives listen to it. The assumption Inskeep is making is that if NPR had a liberal bias, conservatives would not listen to it. As a conservative and an NPR listener, I take exception to this line of reasoning. Continue reading

David Brooks’ "Modesty Manifesto" and the "Call for Intergenerational Justice"

>David Brooks’ recent editorial addresses some of the issues raised by the “Call for Intergenerational Justice,” the topic of my previous 2 posts. He notes that Americans today are more self-confident than previous generations and place much emphasis upon their own self-importance. “In short, there’s abundant evidence to suggest that we have shifted a bit from a culture that emphasized self-effacement — I’m no better than anybody else, but nobody is better than me — to a culture that emphasizes self-expansion.” Continue reading

Do We Have to Agree on Principle to Agree on Policy? A Response to Jordan Ballor

In the debate over the joint statement by Center for Public Justice and Evangelicals for Social Action called “A Call for Intergenerational Justice: A Christian Proposal for the Debt Crisis“, Jordan Ballor, of the Acton Institute, doesn’t like that the agreement says nothing about what the proper role of government should be. He writes,

These religious groups’ focus on government’s role in ameliorating poverty, however, leaves largely unaddressed the real core of the problem, and the necessary steps to address it.

A Call for Intergenerational Justice

I’ve recently signed onto a statement put together by the Center for Public Justice and Evangelicals for Social Action titled A Call for Intergenerational Justice: A Christian Proposal for the American Debt Crisis. The statement points to the immorality of passing our large national debt onto our children and children’s children. It states, 

Today’s federal debts threaten not only the present generation, but also our children and generations yet unborn. Intergenerational justice demands that one generation must not benefit or suffer unfairly at the cost of another.

Continue reading

Inaugural Post: Welcome to My Blog

Welcome to the first post of my new blog. I hope to use this blog to share my thoughts about religion, evangelicalism, theology, politics, and culture. I also maintain a political blog, learningaboutpolitics.com. That blog is intentionally non-partisan and intended to serve those looking for a basic understanding of politics. My intent for this blog is to write on a wider variety of topics and to be more forthright about my political views. Continue reading