Brooks: “Step to the Center”
Wednesday, March 28, 2012, 12:08 PM

David Brooks has a very insightful op-ed at The New York Times where he invokes his Hamilitonian conservatism to argue for centralized goals, but decentralized means in the healthcare debate.

Brooks stops shorts of fully endorsing Barack Obama’s signature first-term success, touting his fear on how the law will centralize government:

Finally, it would effectively make health care a political responsibility. When you go to a campaign town hall in, say, Britain, you discover that many of the questions are about why somebody’s back or dental surgery didn’t go well and what the candidate can do to fix it. Once voters assume that national politicians are responsible for their health care, national politicians become more active in running the health system.

David Brooks either infuriates or enlightens. With this article, he certainly introduces new categories of thinking into our political lexicon.



Gerson on the GOP’s Frenzied (Religious) Politics
Tuesday, March 27, 2012, 12:01 PM

Michael Gerson, the “reluctant evangelical” as I call him, has a helpful op-ed at The Washington Post. The religious confusion exhibited by the cross-denominational support for Mormons by Catholics and Catholics by Evangelicals points to a frenzied evangelical political engagement.

Religion in the 2012 presidential election is the topic that will launch a thousand PhD theses. The pre-Vatican II Catholic candidate, Rick Santorum, has risen largely on the support of evangelicals, who, before the Second Vatican Council, often regarded the pope as the Antichrist. The former Mormon bishop, Mitt Romney, won Ohio and Michigan (and thus probably the nomination) arguably because of Catholic support. Meanwhile, a significant portion of the Republican electorate regards a president who has affirmed “the resurrection of our savior Jesus Christ” as a closet Muslim.

[...]

In light of these developments, Americans have every right to be confused. But they hold one conviction about the role of religion in politics with increasing clarity: There is too much of it. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center found that 38 percent of Americans believe there is “too much expression of religious faith and prayer from political leaders.” This is up from 29 percent in 2010.

 



Obama’s Faith Council Missing in Action?
Monday, March 12, 2012, 12:58 PM

Politico is reporting on the dwindling relevance of Obama’s original faith council.

[...] three years into his presidency, Obama’s marquee council of faith advisers has gone dark — a little-noticed postscript for a panel that he rolled out with fanfare and high expectations during his first weeks in office but ended up playing only a limited role in West Wing deliberations.



Defending Marriage isn’t just about Religion
Monday, March 12, 2012, 9:02 AM

The greatest missive exported by same-sex marriage proponents is that any and all opposition to same-sex marriage is based on irrational and religiously-based prejudice. To dispel this thesis, The National Organization for Marriage has excerpted an interesting article from Melanie McDonagh from the UK Spectator:

…In other words, objection to gay marriage isn’t about religion at all and the letter that the bishops are sending to Catholic churches does, to do them credit, make that clear.

It’s all to do with the nature of marriage. And that is, a natural institution providing the optimal situation for raising children. It’s vulgarly biological, marriage — a state for bringing up children in. And that’s how it’s been for almost all of human history. Even in ancient Greece, which practically invented homosexuality — alright, it was especially about the Socratic master-pupil relationship — reserved marriage for men and women, for the conceiving and bearing of children. And it’s that fundamental character of marriage which makes it essentially heterosexual. It’s to do with the complementarity of the sexes. Men and women fulfill different roles when it comes to the rearing of their offspring, and even in an atypical family like my own, in which I’m the sole breadwinner, those complementary roles make sense. Children relate differently to mothers and fathers; they pick up cues about how the sexes work, even children who go on to become gay. And departing from that biological foundation for marriage is a radically new departure.

 



Conservatism’s Great Commission Problem
Friday, March 9, 2012, 2:18 PM

Earlier today, I published an article at Mere Orthodoxy dealing with the issue of partisanship and Christian involvement in the political sphere. Here’s an excerpt:

Admittedly, I would wager that 90% of Southern Baptists vote Republican. Yet, the Southern Baptist Convention has never formalized a Republican policy position by resolution. If a resolution by the SBC ever mirrored a conservative policy position, it is because the topic first aligned or followed from a commitment to conservative theology. Really, at the end of the day, young adults aren’t finding dissatisfaction with conservative politics; they’re finding dissatisfaction with conservative theology, which calls upon them to hold difficult truths in the public square. The media and the academy, I believe, are unwilling to connect the two and assign, prematurely, the issue of spiritual apathy to politics. Like the chicken before the egg or the egg before the chicken, is it politics then theology or theology then politics? I’d argue the latter.

Click here to read the rest.



Hi, I’m Andrew
Friday, March 9, 2012, 10:49 AM

Joe Carter has recently invited me to blog at Touchstone’s Mere Comments. I was honored to accept.

For those wondering, I’ll be posting primarily about the intersection of religion and politics. Of course, I’ll be bringing attention to other noteworthy items, as well.

Currently, I work for The Family Foundation, a conservative advocacy group in Kentucky. We are the state affiliate of Focus on the Family. My day job consists of advocacy, lobbying, policy analysis, communications and legislative research.

I’m a very proud graduate of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where I received my Masters of Divinity. While at Southern Seminary, I had the pleasure of working for Touchstone Senior Editor Dr. Russell Moore. He’s been a dean, a pastor, and a mentor to me. His influence has been incalculable.

I also blog with Matthew Anderson at MereOrthodoxy.com. My work has been featured in The Weekly Standard, Christianity Today, Louisville Courier-Journal, The City, and other places. I also serve as a freelance correspondent for The Institute on Religion & Democracy. Overall, I live and write at the intersection of church and state; politics and religion.

Above all, I’m a family man. I’m married to a woman I don’t deserve and together, we have a little girl that I treasure more than I communicate in words.

You can find me at twitter.com/Walker_Andrew