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Adjusting Our Expectations

Disappointment 14511569_sThere is an old saying, “Blessed are those who expect nothing, for they shall not be disappointed.” Whether it was first uttered as pithy wisdom or a tongue-in-cheek comment on the likelihood of disappointment is not known. But either way, the idea is interesting.

The pertinent question is, of course, expect from whom? Other people or ourselves? And therein lies the clash between past and present cultures.… Read More

 

The Pharisee’s Confession

Pharisee & Publican 2I know it couldn’t have happened, but imagine that the Pharisee in the famous Gospel parable had gone to confession. No doubt the exchange with his confessor would have gone something like this:

Pharisee: Bless me, Father, for my wife, kids, parents, in-laws, fellow Pharisees and neighbors have sinned. I hope I didn’t leave anyone out. Oh, yes, I’m sure that Publican behind me has sinned, too, probably grievously.… Read More

 

What’s Really Wrong with Education

Kids in ClassroomIt was recently revealed that the “Common Core” curriculum crams partisan political ideas into children’s minds. For example, a grade school grammar exercise has students write, “[The president] makes sure the country’s laws are fair,” “Government officials’ commands must be obeyed,” and ”An individual’s wants are less important than the nation’s well-being.”

Though troubling, this offense is merely a symptom of a much greater problem—the persistent fallacy that students cannot be taught how to think and must therefore be told what to think.… Read More

 

Progressivism’s Fundamental Flaw

Francis Galton (Bing)Progressivism is the dominant political and social philosophy of our time. Even people who know little about it tend to regard it favorably. They believe that since progress suggests moving forward, developing, and improving, Progressivism must be positive and good. But Progressivism doesn’t deserve this favorable image because it is rooted in a profound falsehood—that the vast majority of human beings are mentally deficient and nothing can be done to alter their condition.Read More

 

Don’t Raise The Debt Ceiling- LOWER It!

FranklinDoes the debt ceiling debate seem familiar? It should. From the Carter administration to the Obama administration the debt ceiling has been raised 39 times. Each time the increase was opposed but then passed by the opposition party.

It’s like a political variation on the silent movie drama in which the poor damsel says, “I can’t pay the rent,” the villainous landlord demands, “You must pay the rent,” and the young hero declares, “I’ll pay the rent.” In the political version, the parties take turns playing the villain.… Read More

 

A Tale Of Two Students

StudentsCarson Huey graduated from high school with a perfect 4.0 grade point average and a 1770 Scholastic Aptitude Test score. He is now a freshman at Texas Christian University, studying calculus, physics, history, and religion for a total of 14 credit hours.

Impressive, you say? Consider this—Carson is eleven years old. (His brother is seven and studying at an eighth grade level.) He began reading books at age two and hopes to finish his Ph.D.… Read More

 

What A Brilliant Idea!

BooksEvery once in a while we encounter an idea so brilliant that we are inclined to shout, as did the ancient Greek scholar Archimedes, “Eureka!” (Of course, prudence dictates we not run naked through the streets while shouting it, as he reportedly did.)

I’m excited to say I just had such an encounter. It came in the form of a news story from Hudson Falls in upstate NY.… Read More

 

Have You Forgiven Yourself Lately?

forgive-yo-selfI don’t know about you, but I’m uncomfortable with the modern perspective on forgiveness. Part of the problem is that I am from a different age, but I don’t offer that as an excuse. It could simply mean that I am rooted in the past and fearful of progress.

Before addressing that possibility, let me explain what I mean by the modern perspective on forgiveness. These quotations will serve that purpose:

If you decide there is nothing to forgive yourself for, you are free to put away shame and guilt and move forward.… Read More

 

The Race Conversation

Stereotype-mePresident Obama’s speech following the Zimmerman verdict has received considerable criticism. Many say he should have refrained from commenting on the matter—both in 2012 when he said “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon Martin” and in his 2013 updating of the remark, “Trayvon could have been me 35 years ago.” On the other hand, Governor Mike Huckabee found no fault with the President addressing the issue, but argued that he failed to offer leadership.… Read More

 

Lessons From The Zimmerman Case

zimmermanIt seems that everyone with a computer or a cell phone is weighing in on the George Zimmerman verdict. The number of themes is quite limited, however. Justice was done, justice was not done; Zimmerman simply defended himself, Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin; racism was a factor, racism was not a factor.

The focus of this essay is very different and, I hope, more useful. It is on what those of us who were not involved in the case can learn from it.… Read More