8 Things to Consider Before Watching Tonight’s Presidential Debate

dog-watching-tvThe nation will be tuning in to watch the first Presidential Debate tonight. Chances are most of us have already chosen who we will vote for. For many of us the debate is more like a boxing ring to see how well our candidate of choice will dominate the floor.

There is a segment of the population that will be chagrined at the election of either nominee. Their candidate of choice will not be on the platform tonight. Others are fearfully voting one way to avoid voting another. Some people are firmly aligned with one candidate or the other.

Regardless of what group we are a part of, we can apply a few guiding principles when watching the Presidential debates. Read more

Breaking Free of Facebook

a.aaa-Even-The-Cats-Use-Facebook-Facebook is not real. It does not give us a real picture of real life. It is manufactured. It is an imitation of socializing. It provides a false sense of community. It provides a daily dose of drama. It can also provide amusement, social networking, and helpful information. But it often takes more than it gives.

Topics of great import fade away as quickly as a summer thunderstorm. They clamor for attention with mighty displays of hype and drama only to be replaced by the next storm unleashing its fury against our walls. One day it is threats of missiles from North Korea, the next day it is the war in the Ukraine, then it is the horrific acts of ISIS, then it is the sale of baby parts by Planned Parenthood, then it is Cecil the Lion, then bathroom laws, then a Gorilla takes center stage for a few days. Now it’s Orlando and with it the hotly debated Second Amendment. As each matter demands our attention the last one fades into obscurity. Read more

Why Are We All Arguing?

cookie-cutterIf we all thought the same way, we would be in trouble. When we are free to think for ourselves, we are free to think poorly as well as rightly. We are free to think sideways, backwards, or not at all. If we are not free to think worse, we are not free to think better.

When I watch debates raging across social media, I think we have all gone mad. We seldom debate to reach truth. We debate to dominate and stamp out the opposition. I’m free to share my opinion, but your opinion should not exist. This is proven when we are angry at someone for saying something we interpret as stupid. Read more

Religion & American Politics

light-vs-dark-sideDuring the political season it is easy to adopt an us versus them mentality. Such a mentality leads to polarized thinking where “we” are the good guys and “they” are the bad guys. All “their” ideas are hogwash and all of “our” ideas are the hallmark of wisdom. Soon the ideas themselves are sacrificed to the greater cause of party politics. We demonize the “other” and glorify the one we identify as the only wise choice.

Though in this political season, some feel that no one candidate is the wise choice and all are sorely lacking as leaders. Regardless, when all the dust settles one of these candidates will be chosen as President. The one that is chosen will need to be respected as President.

On one hand, this political season has brought voters out of the woodwork and interest in the political process has soared compared to what has been normal. This is a very good thing. America needs her citizens to be interested and invested in the political process. The Republic is strengthened the more citizens become active participants in choosing their representatives. Read more

Thinking about Donald Trump

downloadDonald Trump invokes a plethora of different responses from the public. I believe one could write a good article on why Donald Trump should not be elected President. I also believe one could write a good article on why he should be elected President. This article is neither. I am writing this article because of the lack of thought behind almost every post I read where Trump is concerned. (There are a few great voices making some great points for or against Trump). Read more

The Exchanging of Political Ideas — Joining the Debate

exchange-of-ideas-222790_640Americans have the corner market on democracy. Democratic equality has permeated every fiber of our culture. We have taken a governmental structure and made it the core of culture. We individualized it, marketed it, and sold it. Consequently, we created a cultural monster that wants its needs met. The government was instituted among men to protect our equal right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But what happens when we redefine the terms of what government is to protect? What happens when we misapply equality?

If equality means that I have an equal right to a certain level of income, a responsibility is placed upon government to protect my right to receive that amount. The free market economy gets plundered by a government trying to fulfill its presumed roll to even the playing field. The people become the children waiting for their parental government to ensure they are well fed. Conservative author Russell Kirk puts it succinctly, “Equal justice is indeed a natural right; but equal dividend is no right at all.”[1] Conservatives balk at the usurpation of our rights, while liberals rejoice in the fulfillment of them. When we define the basic premise incorrectly the error becomes legitimized

This has happened with the change in marriage laws. Read more