G. K. Chesterton once called the U.S. the “nation with the soul of a church.” The Pakistanis now find us the nation with the soul of a Predator drone. The French and Germans called; they just want their privacy back. Meanwhile, Americans don’t know what or whom to believe about their country’s misconduct in the world.
Billy Graham’s 95th birthday party last week was a heartwarming event—and a media spectacle. Most accounts of the celebration emphasized the star-studded guest list. Even in his golden years, Graham has not lost his golden touch: an aura of wholesome Christian patriotism that appeals to entertainers looking to transcend showbiz as well as to culture warriors on the make.
The reporters who covered the party provided a window into Graham’s lasting power as a cultural icon, but they largely missed his significance to American Christianity.
I imagine many Americans felt some anxiety watching the debacle unfold over the Affordable Care Act. From the government shutdown to problems with healthcare.gov, the American promise didn’t look so hot.
In conversations with my friends and colleagues, my students and family, and (to the concern of my daughter) with the radio, I stumbled to find some solace amidst the storm of stupidity that seemed to defy politics and logic. And when I stumble I usually look to Reinhold Niebuhr.
Christian Mingle wants to help God help you. The dating site’s motto comes from Psalm 37: “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Christian Mingle reflects a move from broad dating pools like Match.com to niche markets of personal preferences and identities. Christian Mingle’s goal is to help singles “make new friends or to find a life-partner that shares similar values, traditions and beliefs.” My guess is that more log in for the latter.
Recently, Secretary of State John Kerry explained that if he could do it all over again, he would major in “comparative religion.” Were it not for a Supreme Court decision 50 years ago, this might not have even been possible.
When President Obama argued for U.S. strikes on Syria, he used a familiar trope:
When, with modest effort and risk, we can stop children from being gassed to death and thereby make our own children safer over the long run, I believe we should act. That’s what makes America different. That’s what makes us exceptional.
Yet his proposed Syria policy put him in new political territory: against the views of a majority of African Americans.