President Bush may truly care about the poor and about people down on their luck, and he may want the public and private sectors to join in efforts to help. But his actions suggest he is engaged in what the Wall Street Journal calls a “war on the war on poverty.”
List-making is a peculiarly modern obsession. The top 20 basketball teams. The top ten best sellers. Ten ways to trim your thighs. Time magazine recently listed its choices for the 25 most influential evangelicals.
When President Bush spoke last month at a major antiabortion rally, he endorsed the activists’ cause but admitted that their primary goal—making abortion illegal—is not likely to be achieved anytime soon. He added that “a true culture of life cannot be sustained solely by changing laws. We need, most of all, to change hearts.”
If the staff at the Christian Century is any indication, most younger Americans don’t expect much from Social Security. When the subject came up at lunch, all of the 20- and 30-somethings said they assume that they will have to pay into the system, but that the benefits won’t be there for them when they retire.
Evil should be mourned but not ascribed to any greater divine purpose
Jan 25, 2005
It is hard to speak theologically about the Indian Ocean tsunami without being banal or obscene. To say the event reminds us of our finitude or our inability to control nature is to mumble platitudes. To say God willed such devastation for some greater reason is to administer a theological slap to the tear-stained faces of all who mourn, especially the parents who mourn their drowned children.
Since 1988 there have been ten major party candidates for the office of U.S. president. Except for Bob Dole and John McCain, they all attended elite, private colleges, and seven of those eight also went to elite professional schools. All eight of them went to Harvard or Yale at some point—both of the Bushes, Dukakis, Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Obama, and Romney. Of the 14 presidential nominees between 1948 and 1984, the heyday of public universities, only three went to elite private colleges and only two attended Harvard or Yale, with a third candidate having gone to Princeton. Harry Truman didn’t go to college and Barry Goldwater didn’t finish college. Lyndon Johnson went to Southwest Texas State Teachers College, Richard Nixon to Whittier College, and Ronald Reagan to Eureka College (William Deresiewicz, Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite, Free Press).