Category Archives: Grace & Forgiveness

Malice Toward None

Lincoln's Last Night NGCUS -  Ep Code 4578One hundred and fifty years ago this week, Abraham Lincoln delivered his Second Inaugural Address. The address, at its core, is a discourse on slavery, war, and God’s justice. The speech, in its entirety, is inscribed in the walls of the Lincoln Memorial. Lincoln was killed a month after delivering it. The original is presently on display at the Library of Congress.

Second Inaugural Address, Abraham Lincoln, March 5, 1865.


Islam, Christianity and Terror

ISIL FlagLess than a week after 9/11 President George W. Bush said, “The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam.  That’s not what Islam is all about.  Islam is peace.” President Obama has argued that ISIL “is not Islamic” at all, but is instead attempting to hijack Islam in a quest for legitimacy. He has also pointed to the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition to argue that religiously-justified violence is not exclusive to Islam. Some, like Robert Tracinski, have recently made a very different argument about Islam.

“Why Islam is More Violent Than Christianity: An Atheist’s Guide,” by Robert Tracinski. The Federalist, January 27, 2015.

“The Two Crises,” by Bill Kristol. The Weekly Standard, January 19, 2015.

Remarks on Islam and Terrorism, George W. Bush, September 16, 2001.

“The Islamic State.” VICE News, August 14, 2014.

Perpetual Outrage

kim k GQHaving observed that there seems to be a new “outrage” every day, Slate magazine kept track for all of 2014 and produced a year-end piece on the cumulative effect of perpetual outrage. “Over the past decade or so,” write the authors, “outrage has become the default mode for politicians, pundits, critics and, with the rise of social media, the rest of us. When something outrageous happens—when a posh London block installs anti-homeless spikes, or when Khloé Kardashian wears a Native American headdress, or, for that matter, when we read the horrifying details in the Senate’s torture report—it’s easy to anticipate the cycle that follows: anger, sarcasm, recrimination, piling on; defenses and counterattacks; anger at the anger, disdain for the outraged; sometimes, an apology … and on to the next. Twitter and Facebook make it easier than ever to participate from home. And the same cycle occurs regardless of the gravity of the offense, which can make each outrage feel forgettable, replaceable. The bottomlessness of our rage has a numbing effect.”

“The Year of Outrage,” by Allison Benedikt, Chris Kirk, and Dan Kois. Slate, December 17, 2014.

Conservatism as a Temperament

AngryPeter Wehner writes in the New York Times that a conservative temperament is an important part of conservatism. “Conservatism is famously anti-utopian,” he writes, “understanding life’s imperfections and the limitations of politics. Knowing this, those on the right shouldn’t become enraged or forlorn when the world itself doesn’t fully conform to their hopes. Conservatism considers one of the cardinal virtues to be prudence.”

“Conservatives in Name Only,” by Peter Wehner. The New York Times, January 14, 2015.

A Suicide to Protest Racism

CharlesMooreIn his suicide note, 79-year-old Rev. Charles Moore of Texas wrote, “Many African Americans were lynched around here…hanged, decapitated, and burned, some while still alive. The vision of them haunts me greatly. So, at this late date, I have decided to join them by giving my body to be burned, with love in my heart not only for them but also for the perpetrators of such horror–but especially for the citizens of Grand Saline, many of whom have been very kind to me and others who may be moved to change the situation here.”

The Suicide Note of Charles Moore, June 13, 2014.

“In dying act, minister hoped to inspire social justice,” by Melissa Repko. Dallas Morning News, July 14, 2014.

Christian Views on Immigration Reform

ImmigrationChristiansChristians who are allies on most issues are divided on the harder questions in the immigration debate.  Several essays on the topic were shared before and after our November 12th discussion.

“No, Evangelicals Are Not United on Immigration Reform,” by Timothy Dalrymple. Patheos, August 9, 2013.

“Immigration and the Welcoming Church,” by Cardinal Timothy Dolan. The Wall Street Journal, October 17, 2013.

“Understanding Evangelicals and Immigration Reform,” by Michael Gerson. The Washington Post, November 7, 2013.

“Evangelical Support for Immigration Reform is Biblical, Not Political,” by Matthew Soerens. Patheos, March 13, 2013.

Southern Baptist Convention resolution: “On Immigration and the Gospel,” June, 2011.

“For Evangelicals, Reasons to Be Cautious on Immigration Reform,” by Mark Tooley. Patheos, March 11, 2013.

“What if a ‘Gosnell’ clinic was only four miles away?”

Gosnell620x413Commentator S.E. Cupp and Indiana Congressman Marlin Stutzman offer interesting reactions to the Kermit Gosnell trial.

“A close encounter with abortion: one life that wasn’t snipped short,” by Marlin Stutzman.  The Washington Times, May 8, 2013.

“Why aren’t we trying to stop Gosnell from happening again?” by S.E. Cupp.  MSNBC, May 7, 2013.

More on Compassionate Conservatism

bush hug 1Some additional readings on compassionate conservatism.

“Where W. Got Compassion,” by David Grann. The New York Times Magazine. September 12, 1999.

“Compassionate Conservatism Redux,” by Jonah Goldberg.  National Review Online, November 16, 2012.

“The Worst Ideas of the Decade: Compassionate Conservatism,” by Reihan Salam.  The Washington Post, undated.

“Compassionate Conservatism: A Primer,” by Clifford Orwin.  Hoover Institution, March 1, 2011.

“Compassionate Conservatism: An Idea in Tension,” by Clifford Orwin.  Hoover Institution, Aprill 22, 2011.

“The Fall of Compassionate Conservatism,” by Clifford Orwin. Hoover Institution, September 29, 2011

Do Conservatives Lack Compassion?

StopIllegalAlienInvasionBanner(1)For years, conservatives have scoffed at George Bush’s notion of “compassionate conservatism” as little more than the Republican version of Big Government.  Many, however, see Obama’s victory in November as evidence that Republicans should not have abandoned the effort to convince people that you can be conservative and caring at the same time.

“How Obama’s ‘Life of Julia’ Prevailed,” by William McGurn.  The Wall Street Journal, November 29, 2012.

“On Immigration and the Gospel.” Southern Baptist Convention resolution, June, 2011.

Dr. Richard Land discusses immigration with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien.  June 18, 2012

(House Reading Group, December 11, 2012)

Charles Wendell Colson, 1931 – 2012

Thoughts on the life and impact of Chuck Colson, who was an inspiration and example to many in the Faith and Law community.  His book How Now Shall We Live? became the virtual manifesto of Faith and Law after it was published in 1999.  His Wilberforce Forum frequently teamed up with Faith and Law to sponsor events on the Hill.

“God’s Man,” by Emily Belz.  World Magazine, April 21, 2012.

“Setting Captives Free,” by Emily Belz.  World Magazine, May 5, 2012.

“Charles Colson Found Freedom in Prison,” by Michael Gerson.  The Washington Post, April 22, 2012.