Ezra Klein’s work at the Washington Post is indispensable; he brings much insight to the task of making domestic policy accessible to those of us who only follow it part time. But I’m not buying this one:
There’s a tendency among some on the left and, with the “libertarian populists,” some on the right, to portray the interests of corporate American and the interests of low-income Americans as directly opposed to each other. That’s not true. They can conflict, of course — it’s easy enough to imagine a proposal to raise taxes on corporations in order to fund a low-income tax cut — but they’re not always in tension. Sometimes they’re even in concert.
Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) is the other thug we’ve been battling. It has beautiful flowers, butterflies love it, and it blooms for months, which is why it’s still sold as an ornamental except in states wise enough to ban it. Some loosestrife is marketed as “sterile,” suggesting it's okay to plant, but researchers have shown that the so-called “sterile” plants are as prolific as their peers.
The problem with loosestrife is that, grown on a continent where it has no natural insect predators, it takes over wetland habitat.
It happened again. A young family visited our congregation recently. They are looking for a church. They liked the worship service. They liked the kneelers (this is sort of unusual for a Lutheran church; we have had kneelers since the 1960s); they liked the sermon. But as they looked around, they made the observation, "There are an awful lot of gray heads out there."
One of my favorite things to teach in a seminary setting is Christology, particularly the early church’s development of what would become “orthodox” understandings of both the person and work of Jesus.
This week, the State Department announced that Christian ethicist Shaun Casey will lead its new office for “religious engagement.” Within the network of the State Department’s various offices, this one stands out as potentially divisive and potentially useful. Under Hillary Clinton, the State Department turned its attention to nontraditional diplomatic partners—and she intentionally engaged, among others, religious partners. That focus has continued under John Kerry, resulting in the official announcement of this office.
But the U.S. government continues to face the issue of how exactly to engage religion.