16 thoughts on “News/Politics 3-30-17

  1. Thanks for the link, Ricky. It is a fascinating article. It does raise some questions for me, but I want to read a little more before I comment too much. Though one thing that struck me in the article was the reference to the danger of big business to religious institutions. I have thought that big business, while having some positive influences, in general can be a long-term impediment to both small business and individual freedoms. [But for me that’s a tangent for another day…].

    I think I’m looking forward to reading the book now. In the meantime, if you get interesting snippets from your son, I would like to hear them.

    But for now, I’m back to the daily grind of small business in action…. :–)

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  2. I always liked Jim Webb. He may be my favorite Democrat. I think he was Ronald Reagan’s favorite Democrat.

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  3. This writer warns against exactly what I was trying to warn against in the Benedict Option. As Jesus said in his prayer to the Father, “I do not pray that you should take them out of the world; but that you should keep them from the evil” (John 17:15), and Paul reaffirmed by saying, “I wrote to you not to keep company with fornicators.Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or the extortioners, or the idolators, for then you must needs go out of the world.” (I Corinthians 5:9-10). We cannot be the light of the world if we hide under a bushel of an insular Christian community (Mathew 5:15):
    http://thefederalist.com/2017/03/28/benedict-option-cant-save-faith-family/

    It sounds nice on the surface, but that’s not often how it works out in practice. This option, no matter what you call it, leads to gospel amnesia, not to a flourishing Christian practice.

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  4. Roscuro, Travis said that the book did not advocate hiding one’s light under a bushel. It advocates active efforts to spread Christianity from the citadels of faith. I need to read the book. My impression of Dreher’s plan was the same as yours.

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  5. Their desperation is showing.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2017/03/30/the-left-is-stunned-that-mike-pence-refuses-to-eat-alone-with-women-other-than-his-wife/

    “There have been many silly controversies since the election but perhaps none sillier than lunch-gate. To be fair, no one is actually calling it that but quite a few people on the left seem unable to grasp Vice President Pence’s commitment to his wife. Specifically, he refuses to eat alone with women other than his wife and won’t attend events featuring alcohol unless she is there.

    All of this is based on a Washington Post profile of Pence’s wife Karen published earlier this week. The story offers this tidbit which has set off a string of Gorillas in the Mist-style takes from a number of progressive authors:

    The Pences were married in a Roman Catholic church in 1985 but later became evangelical Christians.

    In 2002, Mike Pence told the Hill that he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won’t attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side, either.
    Here’s Paul Waldman at the Washington Post arguing that Pence isn’t much different from Muslims who insist women wear a full body veil at all times in public:

    Let’s take just a moment to consider this pair of rules Mike Pence has for himself. He obviously thinks that every interaction he has with a woman is so sexually charged that it’s only safe to be around them if there are other people there, too. Unless someone might be drinking, in which case even the presence of a crowd isn’t enough to prevent…something from happening. There’s little distance between that perspective and that of the ultra-orthodox Jews who refuse to sit next to a woman on an airplane, or the fundamentalist Muslims who demand that women be covered head to toe to contain the unstoppable sexual allure that renders men unable to control their urges.

    This pretty much consolidates much of the reaction from the left to this micro-story. Every bit of this seems written to intentionally misunderstand Pence’s views, to compress things that are in no way alike into a false similarity and to mock Pence without even pausing to think about the issues. “

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  6. Good.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-03-30/white-house-says-intelligence-panels-can-see-surveillance-data

    “The Trump administration invited leaders of congressional intelligence panels to review documents it said raise questions about whether government spy agencies improperly identified President Donald Trump’s campaign officials and associates in the course of routine foreign surveillance.

    In a letter signed by White House Counsel Donald McGahn, the administration said Thursday it was responding to a March 15 request from intelligence committees for “documents necessary to determine whether information collected on U.S. persons was mishandled and leaked.” It asks the committees to probe whether the intelligence was properly gathered, whether names were improperly revealed and “to the extent that U.S. citizens were subject to such surveillance, were civil liberties violated?”

    White House press secretary Sean Spicer announced the invitation during a briefing with reporters in Washington Thursday, shortly after the New York Times reported that two White House officials had provided House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes with reports showing that Trump and his associates were named incidentally by U.S. spy agencies monitoring foreign officials.”

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  7. Kizzie, I used to think that rule was a good thing. As I’ve grown in the understanding of how Christians are to relate to one another, I’ve began to wonder if it is quite as wise as it appears. Paul counseled Timothy to treat the older women as mothers and the younger women as sisters with all purity. It would be unthinkable to view one’s mother or sister in terms of their possible attractiveness, no matter how many times one is alone with them. It would seem Paul was saying that Christians must so regard one another in the light of family as to render sexual relations between fellow believers who are not married utterly unimaginable. Now, the Church, sadly, has been far from that ideal too often. However, that is what should be taught, rather than making rules about when one can be in the presence of a member of the opposite sex. Emergencies will always arise – in such cases, a rigid rule will break, but a mindset built out of love and concern for others will stand.

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  8. I understand the not eating alone with another woman, but not the “no alcohol unless she is there.” Take it or don’t, but I don’t understand why she must be there if it’s in the room.

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  9. Cheryl – Yeah, that doesn’t sound quite necessary, but he may have personal reasons for it.

    Roscuro – My understanding is that it is not necessarily a matter of the man thinking he might become sexually interested in the woman, but as a matter of protecting his own (& her) integrity, a matter of avoiding the appearance of something untoward.

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  10. Avoiding the appearance of evil is important . . . especially if you are in the public eye. But avoiding potential temptation can also be an issue. Single or married, I’ve kept a bit of distance between myself and vulnerable men (a man in an unhappy marriage, for example). But plenty of women are willing to look for the man who looks vulnerable–maybe he just had a fight with his wife, or she isn’t sexually available, or he is on a business trip and hasn’t seen her for a week–and the person who puts up some protection in the areas where he himself is vulnerable (which might differ from one person to another) is wise.

    It’s ridiculous to see people who can’t have a conversation after church with anyone of the opposite sex or who otherwise acts as though any interaction at all with the opposite sex is a moral compromise. When I was dating my husband, I had one person suggest that we would be wiser not to be in the same car together. Well, sorry, that is impractical, unnecessary, and silly to meet up at our destination on dates or outings, not to mention we would have lost valuable talking time. Now, we didn’t sit in the car and kiss, but neither did we act as though simply being within three feet of each other spelled moral danger. But a man who is concerned about his reputation, guarding himself from temptation, and guarding himself from unscrupulous women would be wise not to let women come into his office and shut the door or otherwise put him in a potentially compromising position. A woman needs to be even more cautious at times–she faces not just the risks of compromise or temptation, but of physical assault. Wisdom is called for.

    I have a brother who travels for a living. One time his wife surprised him by flying to his destination an hour or two before he arrived and getting the key to the hotel room. She intended to wait in the bathroom until he entered the room and then to come out and surprise him. But he came into the room before she was expecting him, and she ducked quickly into the bathroom. But from his vantage point, as he entered his hotel room, a woman was darting away to hide. He knew he had the right room, and he thought maybe he was being set up for the appearance of sexual indiscretion. He chose not to enter the room, but instead stood in the hallway and said, “Hello? Is someone in there?” His wife then showed herself, to his great relief and joy. (And I imagine that she was pleased that her traveling husband showed himself to be a man of wisdom and discretion in such a situation!)

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