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« July 2008 | Main | September 2008 »

August 29, 2008

Daily roundup

Posting will be light on Monday because of Labor Day. Have a great holiday weekend!

In honor of ’Twilight Week’

What better way to finish up a week (or so) spent talking about Twilight than with a spoof trailer for the upcoming Twilight movie? Enjoy. (For purposes of comparison, the real trailer is below the jump. But I prefer this one.)

Continue reading "In honor of ’Twilight Week’" »

Why Lip Syncing Is Bad

YouTube's sound quality stinks in this scene, but here's something the Chinese officials should have watched before they perpetrated their singer-switch-a-roo.

Have a Little Time on Your Hands?

Brought to you by The Veritas Forum: "Belief in an Age of Skepticism?" If you have a little over 90 minutes, I'd recommend viewing this video of Tim Keller's talk given at the University of California, Berkeley.

Smothers Brothers: Boil That Cabbage Down

Thank you, Gina, for YouTube Friday!

I like storytelling, folk music, and a good laugh. And the Smothers Brothers are usually good for all them.

...and she’s a mother of FIVE!

2008 -- The Year of the Breeder!

Seriously, we're taking over.

Hey Boomers, we're the future, and -- frankly -- we're your only hope for getting Social Security. It's called Math ... and it's a stern taskmaster. In fact, we Breeders are your only hope for getting anything you want, so ... you know ... you might be nice to us, if you know what I mean.

All Your Base Are Belong To Us.

Thus declareth The Point's father of five...

Sarah Palin: John McCain’s Wide Receiver

Palin In politics as in football, a risky play is seen either as pure genius or total absurdity based on one criterion: did it work?  If a touchdown is scored on a flea-flicker pass, the coach is hailed as the next Vince Lombardi. But if the other team intercepts the pass and runs down the field for a touchdown of their own, well, most fans would have been content with a run up the middle for a few yards.

John McCain has shown himself to be more of the Bobby Bowden variety when it comes to play calling when choosing Alaska's Governor, Sarah Palin, to be his Vice Presidential running mate. By choosing Palin, he has thrown a long bomb for the endzone, hoping for a touchdown from all the social conservatives in both parties, along with women voters who may give McCain another look for putting a woman on his ticket.

By choosing to air out his passing game to his wide receiver, Governor Palin, McCain has strategically decided to bypass the more small-c conservative gains he might have made from a favorite son VP choice like former Massachussetts Governor Mitt Romney (with family ties in Michigan) or current Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty. Both may have given McCain a clear shot at picking up another state's electoral votes. In a close election, every state counts.

But by choosing Palin, a popular, pro-life, conservative governor with a young family, McCain has accomplished three valuable tasks before accepting his party's nomination:

Continue reading "Sarah Palin: John McCain’s Wide Receiver" »

Friends are Forever

Here is a heartwarming reunion between friends that will warm all you animal lovers out there.

(Ed. note: Because this one starts automatically whenever the site is refreshed, I'm moving it under the jump. --GRD)

Continue reading "Friends are Forever" »

Breaking: McCain confirms Gov. Sarah Palin is VP nominee

Sarahpalin1 Press release here. A pro-lifer it is!

There's already been some chatter about Palin on this morning's "Open political thread." Click here to see what our commenters are saying about this choice.

YouTube Friday

As I mentioned earlier, it's the Friday before Labor Day, and I'm guessing that most of us in the office are wishing we were anywhere else. So we've decided to focus mainly on the fun posts today, and will be sharing with you some of our favorite online videos. First up: This little beauty of a dance number I swiped from Dirty Harry's Place, which reports that it's from a 1959 television special. Singin' in the Rain is my favorite movie and Kelly and O'Connor are two of my favorite stars, but somehow I'd never seen this before. Sit back, relax, and enjoy. And if the boss comes looking over your shoulder, tell him or her that you're taking a six-minute mental health break and The Point said it was okay.

Keep checking back for more videos, both serious and fun, and feel free to submit links to your own favorites in the comments section!

Open political thread

Dnc_obama_biden We have a few fun Friday-before-Labor-Day-type posts coming up, just to start the holiday weekend off right. But before that gets under way, I know some of you will be in the mood to discuss Obama's speech/McCain VP rumors/all things political.

So, I may be taking my life in my hands, but I'm opening this thread for purposes of political discussion. Just keep it civil, okay? I don't want to have to shut down the thread and send everyone to their rooms. Thanks.

(Image © Susan Biddle for The Washington Post)

The Point Radio: At the Improv

When it comes to sharing your faith, how about a little improv?...

Click play above to listen.

Carlin Flora, “Gut Almighty,” Psychology Today, May/Jun 2007.

August 28, 2008

Daily roundup

Wiping Tears From Her Eyes

I just passed a TV set on which I watched a campaign ad by Senator McCain congratulating Senator Obama for his historic win. He said something along the lines of "Tomorrow, of course, we'll be back at it, but for today--congratulations."

Class act, I'm thinking. And....it also speaks to what I've been feeling the last few days. I think--as Point readers may have guessed--that Obama is a terrible candidate and would be bad for America. Everything about running this country, I think, is above his paygrade, not just abortion decisions. And yet--I can't help being excited, too. It really is a huge, huge thing that a major political party has nominated an African American presidential candidate. It makes me proud.

One of the networks last night, covering the Dem convention, kept focusing on an elderly black woman wiping tears from her eyes. That will be one of my enduring images of the 2008 presidential campaign. 

And now, to get back at it.....

Rifles in the Living Room

This isn't a plug for the NRA. No, it's a story about two young men who slept in my living room last night and left for Afghanistan today. Two young men I didn't know before yesterday. One is my roommate's brother; the other, a fellow enlistee who has lived most of his life in rural Texas. 

Last night, they arrived at my front door with six enormous military bags and two black gun cases. So, at 10 o'clock p.m., our tidy feminine sitting room morphed into a bunker. The guns came out (unloaded) and we three girls got fake shooting practice amidst the red throw pillows and decorative candles. (Good thing the neighbors couldn't see.) Then my friends and I made up the couches for them and did our best to make their last night in a home as pleasant as possible.

Today I returned home to heavy metal music blasting from the stereo in my dining room and two 20-year-olds downing two piles of pancakes, as if they were storing up for the (at least) four months that they'd be away.

The doorbell rang. It was their taxi driver. In minutes, my typically subdued dwelling became a flurry of fatigues, duffel bags, and aftershave.

Continue reading "Rifles in the Living Room" »

’Top Model,’ Meet ’Top Nun’

Sonuns_1111 An Italian priest has had to shelve his idea for an entirely new kind of beauty pageant. Did anyone ever really think it was a good idea? There must be a better way to promote Catholic nuns' "inner beauty" and end the stereotype that they are "old and dour."

(Image © Sahannon Taggart for TIME)

Memo to McCain & Co.: Abortion still matters

Child_in_womb Republican bigwigs may get tired of it, they may think it's the issue that never quite goes away but never quite comes to the forefront, they may wish it would just disappear.

But I've said it before and I'll say it again: They ignore it at their peril.

(via Hot Air)

Is this supposed to be a GOOD thing?

Ie_8 Because I have to say, at first glance, I don't think so. We all have a right to privacy, but there are certain things that parents, for one, need to know, and I don't think it's feasible to keep calling in the police.

(Image © Microsoft)

Google Earth is Watching

Cows I'm sure this points somehow to the marvelous design of God, in ways that we can't yet grasp, but for me it's just downright interesting in that weird, go-figure kind of way. Researchers have used Google Earth to study the sleeping patterns of cattle and deer. What they've found is that cattle tend to sleep in north-south patterns, reflecting not so much the cardinal directions as magnetic north-south. As you may remember studying in school, "Previous research has shown that animals such as birds, turtles and salmon migrate using a sense of magnetic direction, and small mammals such as rodents and one bat species also have a magnetic compass."

Now the only question I have is if God gave cattle, birds, turtles and salmon a magnetic sense of direction, why is it that I so desperately need a GPS? Hmmm.... Something to ask Him later.

(Image © Hynek Burda)

Give me gas for my Ford, keep me trucking for the Lord

Moses_gas_station Some churches are now giving incentives for going to chuch. These free gas card giveaways and raffles are just the latest factors pushing the ongoing debate on when marketing church crosses the line.

Michael Cromartie, Vice President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in DC and former PF employee, raises a good point: "There are a lot of worse things that people can be doing in life than getting people to come to church."

What do you think? As MSNBC says, is it "godly or gimmick"?

Or then again, maybe your bigger question, is where can I find a church that will buy down my gas? If so, I've got the answer . . .

Continue reading "Give me gas for my Ford, keep me trucking for the Lord" »

Defying Gravity

Roboskeleton I wonder what Peter and John would have said to this guy?

(Image © BBC News)

Joel Rosenberg on Joe Biden

Biden You may want to check out Joel Rosenberg's article "Who Is Joe Biden?" which offers insight into his past and his stance on a number of important issues. Here's an excerpt:

I like Joe Biden. I like his love of family and country. I like that I can disagree with him but would still enjoy a good policy discussion over dinner. But I do disagree with him profoundly on most important issues. He is, after all, the third most liberal man in the Senate, according to National Journal. And when it comes to most epicenter issues, he is just plain wrong. He reminds me in many ways of President Jimmy Carter in the mid-to-late 1970s -- kind, friendly, warm, engaging, but someone who often misunderstands the nature and threat of evil, particularly in the Middle East.

Since I know very little about Biden, I found the article helpful in putting Obama's VP pick in perspective.   

(Image © AOL News)

The Point Radio: Little Emperors

Like China, are we becoming a nation of so-called little emperors?...

Click play above to listen.

Taylor Clark, “Plight of the Little Emperors,” Psychology Today, Jul/Aug 2008.

August 27, 2008

Daily roundup

The ultrasound: Savior or killer?

Ultrasound Most of us pro-lifers, I believe, think of the ultrasound machine as a lifesaver, one of our most valuable tools in helping parents to see their unborn children as living human beings. Witness this article by my former boss Chuck Donovan:

The vast majority of advocates for the sanctity of human life cite the protective effects of ultrasound, and they have strong evidence. The National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) has worked for a decade to promote the transformation of pro-life pregnancy care centers into medical offices capable of delivering more and more services to their clients. Centers that take advantage of NIFLA's project, The Life Choice (TLC), obtain legal advice, training courses and manuals, insurance coverage, and a Shimadzu 350 ultrasound machine.

Tom Glessner, NIFLA's executive director, notes the impact that ultrasound availability and other steps toward medicalization have had on women who come to pregnancy centers intending to have abortions. "The Pregnancy Resource Center of Dallas," he writes, "converted to medical clinic status in 1998. Since then, they have reported a 66% increase in the total number of clients, a 74% increase in the number of pregnancy tests, a 151% increase in abortion-minded and abortion-vulnerable clients, and a 243% increase in the number of clients that carry to term." Similarly, a Columbus, Ohio, center that serves many university students found "that prior to its becoming a medical clinic, 80% of abortion-minded clients chose abortion after counseling and education only. Now, after receiving an ultrasound and a free physician consultation, of those clients whose pregnancy outcomes can be documented, approximately 90% choose life."

However, on his new site Culture11, Joe Carter brings up a sobering aspect of ultrasound technology to which we may not have given full weight:

Continue reading "The ultrasound: Savior or killer?" »

’Fireproof’ Storytelling

Fireproofposter "Stop it. Stop trying to make me cry!"

That was Travis' response to Fireproof, a Christian film coming to theaters September 26. The movie, produced by the same church that made Facing the Giants, introduces fireman Caleb (Kirk Cameron), who is a hero to everyone but his wife. As an explicitly evangelistic film, Fireproof sets up Caleb's floundering marriage as the perfect contrast to God's unwavering love.

So, getting back to Travis and crying, my thoughts exactly.

I went to the film with a popcorn bag full of prejudices, fully expecting to witness the cheesiest, low-budget Christian flick, and come away patting myself on the back for my high taste in quality film. I left with my fair share of tears, and more questions than I had answers.

Like, what makes a good story?

Let's see. For one, empathetic characters. Fireproof had plenty of those, hence the sniffles. Two, irony. The film got that down too, with a guy who can rescue everything except his marriage. Three, ambiguity. That's where, I think, the film stumbled.

Continue reading "’Fireproof’ Storytelling" »

Re: Tyra Goes Transgender

Antm My post on the transgendered contestant on America's Next Top Model has stirred up quite a debate. But what’s still clear is that homosexual and transgender practices are not consistent with Biblical principles.

What’s also true and what’s important to remember is that there’s no special punishment for homosexuals or the transgendered. I am not more righteous than they or anyone else. “All have sinned and fall short of glory of God (Rom. 3:23).” Their struggles with the same sex are no different from my own struggles with the opposite sex.

I have sincere friendships with some gays and ex-gays, and it doesn't matter to me whether a homosexual friend is out of the closet or not. What I am concerned about, going back to my original post, is the promotion of changing one's sexual identity on a TV show popular with young girls and accessible to families with young kids. I have no intention of imposing a judgment on the contestant or anyone else, only of questioning the show's intention to add a character who I think producers know has no chance of winning the modeling competition but who is meant to attract higher ratings at the expense of alienating people with traditional and Biblical values.

(Image © CW)

I Love Mike Adams

Adams doesn't allow for excuses for immoral behavior and clearly shows that bad actions produce bad results! Enjoy!

I'm already looking forward to his next installment.

Re: Pray for the candidate

The verdict seems to be that the alleged plotters posed "no credible threat" to Senator Obama and will face only gun and drug charges. Thank God for that -- but all the same, let's not let up on the prayers.

Thought for the Day

"Religion operates on the principle: I obey, therefore I am accepted by God. The gospel operates on the principle: I am accepted through the costly grace of God; therefore I obey."

-- Tim Keller in The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World

The Point Radio: Virtually Lonely

Virtual friendship -- a substitute for the real thing?...

Click play above to listen.

Joel Garreau, “Friends Indeed? As We Click With More Pals Online, the Idea of Friendship Multiplies,” Washington Post, 20 April 2008.

August 26, 2008

Daily roundup

Fiction matters

Breaking_dawn Two commenters wrote to tell me that the Twilight series is fiction, and I have to tell you, I'm relieved. The thought of all those vampires and werewolves running around the woods was starting to worry me.

I kid, of course. However, I thought these comments were worth a follow-up post, because they represent what I think is a pretty large school of thought among Stephenie Meyer's fans. While working on my review of the series, I was keeping track of fan reaction to the newly released Breaking Dawn (book four) on the Internet, and "It's just fiction!" -- and many variations thereof -- was a claim I saw over and over again, in response to those who disliked the book. You can see a few examples here.

You may feel it's just the English major in me overreacting again, but I get slightly alarmed when people use "It's fiction" as shorthand for "It doesn't matter if it's horrifically bad." What many of these fans don't seem to realize is that there's a long and honorable tradition of reviewing, yes, fiction. (Pick up a copy of the New York Review of Books or the Washington Post's Book World next weekend and see if you can find any reviews that read simply, "It's fiction, so give it a break already!")

And there's a reason for that: because fiction does matter. It reflects who we are as a society, and who we want to be. It inspires, informs, moves, and sometimes even transforms us. While it's not meant to be used simply as a vehicle to send a message, themes and messages are always going to be inherent in it, whether Stephenie Meyer understands that or not. (Even Mark Twain couldn't really get away without any.) And those messages -- and the quality of the book in general -- are not always going to be good, even if the writer has good intentions.

So how do we deal with that fact?

Continue reading "Fiction matters" »

Timothy George: On Augustine and History

200pxsandro_botticelli_050 Check out this article by Dr. Timothy George that I recently came across in a back issue of Christian History magazine. It's called "Love Amidst the Brokenness," and it offers a timeless perspective on the Christian's responsibility to the time, and place, in which he or she lives:

Augustine teaches us that Christians are those who live in time but who belong to eternity. He also teaches us that we must not equate any political party--whether it be the Roman Empire, the American Republic, the United Nations, or anything else--with the kingdom of God. This is one side of the Augustinian equation, but there is another. Christians hold a double citizenship in this world. Like the apostle Paul--who could claim that his true political identity was in heaven (Phil 3:20), but who also appealed to Caesar as a Roman citizen when his life was at stake--so believers in Christ live as sojourners, resident aliens, in a world of profound discontinuity and frequently contested loyalty....

There are two major (and regrettably common) mistakes Augustine wants us to avoid. One is the lure of utopianism--the mistake of thinking we can produce a society that will solve our problems and bring about the Kingdom of God on earth. This was the basic error of both Marxism and 19th century liberalism. The other error, equally disastrous, is cynicism. This creeps upon us as we see ever-present evil. We withdraw into our own self-contained circle of contentment, which can just as well be a pious holy huddle as a secular skeptics club.

Dr. George goes on to talk about our calling "amidst the brokenness--including the threat of terrorism--all around us. We are to be faithful to God's calling, to bear witness to the beauty, the light, and the divine reality that we shall forever enjoy in heaven. We are to do this in a culture that seems, at times, like Augustine's: a crumbling world beset by dangers we cannnot predict. The Christian attitude toward history is neither arrogrant self-reliance ... nor indifference ... but hope--the hope that radiates from a messy manger, a ruddy tree, and an empty tomb." 

Can’t-miss campaign coverage

I'm happy to let you all know that my favorite reporter will be on the spot to cover both parties' conventions over the next two weeks. Make sure you don't miss any of his hard-hitting updates, starting with these two.

Imminent Threat: Our Enemies and the American Energy Scandal

Scandals abound in Washington, but this one just might kill you. Due to our lack of a sound energy policy, America is imperiled by our enemies. From Saudi Arabia and Iran to Venezuela to other OPEC nations, messages of hate targeting America have become standard fare. Ironically, we are financing terrorists and terrorist nations by annually importing seven billion dollars' worth of oil from our enemies. 

Amazingly, America is rich in its own natural resources like oil, gas and coal, but our own government has placed a moratorium on drilling. 

In his booklet “When Night Fell on a Different World,” Chuck Colson reminded Christians that the first business of the government is to ensure the “safety and future of the people.” But what is happening is that our representatives in both houses of Congress are posturing instead of developing a reasonable energy plan, and our enemies are raking in the dough while holding us over a barrel.

For instance, Venezuela’s president Hugo Chávez has made no secret of his desire to “play forcefully” against us, and one of his minions, a convert via the Hezbollah movement to Islam, concurs by promising to “sabotage the transportation of oil from Latin America to the U.S.”

Continue reading "Imminent Threat: Our Enemies and the American Energy Scandal" »

Pray for the candidate

As NRO's Jim Geraghty says, this plot sounds serious. Please keep Senator Obama and his family in your prayers this week, and for the rest of the campaign.

The Point Radio: 2050 Church

What will your church look like in the year 2050?...

Click play above to listen.

Alex Johnson, “America in 2050: Even Older, More Diverse,” MSNBC.com, 14 August 2008.

August 25, 2008

Daily roundup

Poll: The blogosphere and you

Blogger Thanks to Travis for compiling our Olympics poll results, which were as follows:

Total Votes: 186

43.0% - 80 votes
I'll watch it

21.0% - 39 votes
I'll boycott it

9.7% - 19 votes
I'll watch the Games but not the opening ceremony

11.3% - 21 votes
I'll boycott the sponsors

32.3% - 60 votes
I'll work to publicize human-rights abuses

19.9% - 37 votes

Thank you to everyone who participated, and especially all of you who are making a difference for the persecuted in China and elsewhere through your prayers, publicizing, and other efforts.

Our new poll is at right. As many of you know, the blogosphere, like the Internet in general, is a wild and crazy place, and can be an intimidating one. (Case in point.) Yet even in the Internet jungle, Christians have a good chance to get out there and make an impact for Christ, as this excellent new article by Conversion Diary blogger Jennifer Fulwiler points out.

According to Barna Research, 10 percent of computer users have a blog. Are you one of them? Vote in the poll and then, if you'd like, use the comment section below to tell us about some of your blogging (or commenting or Facebooking or MySpacing or Web surfing) experiences.

(Image © InsideCatholic.com)

Skipping Church

Churchgoing folks in Wimberley, Texas, made a bold move and skipped church one Sunday last month to devote a full day to volunteer service. The event was called “Big Serve.” More than 500 participants from various evangelical churches in Wimberley mowed lawns, painted walls, washed windows, poured concrete and cleared brush to help renovate their cash-strapped schools. More than 2000 hours of labor were contributed and both the volunteers and school district were very pleased with the results.

This reminded me of what Chuck mentioned in Chapter 10 of his book The Faith:

The church exists not only as a worshipping but also as a missionary community… the Gospel should be radiating out from our churches, the message in the pulpit translated by those in the pew. We often think that evangelism belongs mainly to the clergy, but every church member has a particular ability and calling to extend the Church’s witness into the world.

Big Serve is one good example of becoming a godly witness to the world and bringing the faith outside the church walls. Organizers of Big Serve intend to hold another event in the future, and this is one good idea for other churches (including the one I belong to) to copy. It’s time put faith into action and give "Sunday church service" a whole new meaning.

And this week on BreakPoint Radio -- starting today -- hear Chuck again discuss fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith. Stay tuned!

Sister Nancy explains it all for you

In the Meet the Press clip below, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi takes it upon herself to declare what the Catholic church believes and doesn't believe about abortion. I imagine the Catholic church will be pretty surprised to hear that these are its views.

Special thanks to Karen Hall, ProLifeBlogs, and my mom.

Flew Slams Dawkins...

...as a "secular bigot."

After the world's most influential atheist stunned the atheist community with his book There Is a God, and was accused of being a senescent scholar manipulated by cunning Christians, Antony Flew has come out swinging at Richard Dawkins and his book The God Delusion.

Writes Flew,

The fault of Dawkins as an academic (which he still was during the period in which he composed this book although he has since announced his intention to retire) was his scandalous and apparently deliberate refusal to present the doctrine which he appears to think he has refuted in its strongest form...and his failure is the crucial index of his insincerity of academic purpose and therefore warrants me in charging him with having become, what he has probably believed to be an impossibility, a secularist bigot.

After criticizing Dawkins for his unacademic approach, Flew turns to the author's self-serving intentions:

This whole business makes all too clear that Dawkins is not interested in the truth as such but is primarily concerned to discredit an ideological opponent by any available means. That would itself constitute sufficient reason for suspecting that the whole enterprise of The God Delusion was not, as it at least pretended to be, an attempt to discover and spread knowledge of the existence or non-existence of God but rather an attempt – an extremely successful one – to spread the author’s own convictions in this area.

If that's the result of mental senescence, I'll look forward to a lump of it when I approach those octogenarian years. 

Life’s a Peach

Peaches From Phyllis Tickle, on the nature of human consciousness:

Everything from cognitive science to artificial intelligence to nanotechnology, from human physiology to neurobiology to neurosurgery, from quantum theories of consciousness to mechanistic psychology ... each of them, along with the disciplines related to, or descended from them, contributes on an almost hourly basis to our bank of sheer physical information. We know "how" mentation works ... or we are well on our way to knowing with considerable precision the first steps toward mapping how a great deal of it works; and there is every reason to assume we will be closer tomorrow than we are today to fathoming the mechanics of human thought. The question, in other words, increasingly is not how the human animal thinks and/or develops an autobiographical self, but rather the question is what is that "self" and how is it related to, or identical with, the human being.

The presence of the question and the myriad of theories swarming around it like bees to the flower pot have led to an increasing, and a certainly invigorated, atheism that is itself by way of becoming a serious religion, having all the hallmarks by which a religion can objectively be delineated. That development is ironic enough to amuse me at times and passingly, but it also has a popular appeal that deeply troubles me.

There is a distinct difference between the skin or peel of the peach and the germ of the peach resting interior to its pit and being the life that will make another tree after the peach itself is destroyed. Science, child of religion and gift of God to our lives, can tell us grand things about the peach's exterior, about the chemicals used by it and needed by it, about its proper care, about the adjustments possible in enhancing its flavor or appeal, about increasing its longevity after picking and its resistance to the bruises of being shipped. Science can tell us all of these things; and if we're smart, we'll accept and employ every one of them. Science cannot tell us what it is that the peach's germ contains. Science cannot show us the life there. It never will be able to, nor should we ever expect it to do so.

Continue reading "Life’s a Peach" »

To pray or not to pray?

Cameronclose_normal When the Democratic National Convention begins tonight, one formerly scheduled speaker will not be on the stage. Cameron Strang, editor of Relevant magazine, had agreed to deliver the benediction, but then pulled out.

Citing fears that his bridge-building gesture would be wrongly construed as an endorsement, Strang said he instead hopes to take a lower-profile role, participating in a convention caucus meeting on religion later in the week.

"Through Relevant, I reach a demographic that has strong faith, morals and passion, but disagreements politically," Strang wrote on his blog. "It wouldn't be wise for me to be seen as picking a political side when I've consistently said both sides are right in some areas and wrong in some areas."

Taking Strang's place will be Donald Miller, author of the popular book Blue Like Jazz.

At Relevant's blog, Strang has received some praise but also taken some heat for his decision. What do you think? Was it a commendable stand on principle, an opportunity lost, or something in between?

(Image courtesy of Bigsight)

The Point Radio: Best Place to Raise a Family

Where's the best place to raise a family?...

Click play above to listen.

Zack O’Malley Greenburg, “Best Places to Raise a Family in the U.S.: Schools Matter, but so do Commutes, Affordability and Amenities,” Forbes, 17 August 2008.

August 22, 2008

Daily roundup

’Dogs Are Prolife’

There is no way I can improve on that title. Props to Jonah Goldberg. Also, tissue alert. (Sounds like these scientists were a bit off: Dogs may actually have more morals than humans now.)

A Real Apology

T1gibbs2 A regret is not an apology. Saying "mistakes were made" is not an apology. Joe Gibbs and family show us what a true apology is. As Chuck notes today on "BreakPoint":

Earlier this year NASCAR ordered one team to reduce the horsepower generated by its engines in an attempt to make races more competitive. That team had won more than half of the races this season.

Compliance with the order was determined by what is known as a "chassis dynamometer" test—or "dyno test" for short.

In the competitive world of auto racing, where money, prestige, and pride are always on the line, such an order does not go down very well. Mechanics and technicians who have spent countless hours perfecting their cars might resent this attempt to level the playing field. They might even put a kind of moral spin on the issue: It is "unfair," maybe even "un-American," to "punish" excellence in this way.

So it comes as no surprise that someone might try to disobey the order while appearing to be in compliance by fooling the dynamometer. And that is exactly what happened: During "chassis dyno" tests after a recent race in Michigan, NASCAR inspectors found that the team's mechanics had rigged the cars to appear as if they were in compliance when they were not. In other words, they cheated.

Continue reading "A Real Apology" »

Beware the ’Bunny’

Cinefaris We've sunk to a new low when a review of the latest PG-13-rated comedy -- marketed aggressively to teenage girls -- kicks off with "To Shelley Darlingson . . . living in the Playboy Mansion is a fairytale come true."

(Image © Sony Pictures)