Lutheran

Early 2020 contender? Dream #NeverTrump candidate makes political waves with a new book

Early 2020 contender? Dream #NeverTrump candidate makes political waves with a new book

Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse has a new book out called "The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis — and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance." 

I'll pause for a second so you can catch your breath after that title ...

Yes, that was a childish thing to say. My apologies.

But seriously, Time is pretty certain the book marks a first step toward the Republican senator — whom the magazine dubs "the Anti-Trump" — making a White House run:

Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse is not yet running for President, and his new book, The Vanishing American Adult, is not about politics, policy or his own life story, all of which someone like him would normally write about if he were thinking about running for President.
"I'm pretty certain the President is never mentioned at any point in this book," Sasse, a Republican, told me when I asked him about Donald Trump as we recently sat outside a café a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol. "I want to move upstream from politics to have that conversation about all the things that we should want for our kids."
But jump-starting a postpartisan national conversation about what the nation should want for its children is exactly the sort of thing someone who is looking to run for President might do. And the solutions that Sasse proposes are, in many cases, precisely the opposite of the examples set by Trump or Hillary Clinton, both of whom Sasse has criticized for failing to behave like "you know ... an adult."
For Sasse, emotional and intellectual maturity is a lockpick for the nation's future. He speaks of an American crisis of loneliness and disconnection; he calls for parents to take back responsibility for their children's upbringing from schools and for children to resist consumerism, travel widely, work hard and "become truly literate," with a reading list that resembles a graduate-seminar syllabus. His personal canon contains unexpected choices for a conservative Republican: books by Aldous Huxley, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin and Karl Marx, along with Augustine and Alexis de Toqueville.

Way back in August, GetReligion editor Terry Mattingly noted that Sasse is "a hero of religious and cultural conservatives" and "was the dream #NeverTrump third-party candidate after Trump's victory in the primaries."

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Associated Press story on Wyoming judge is fair enough, but about that 'anti-gay' headline ...

Associated Press story on Wyoming judge is fair enough, but about that 'anti-gay' headline ...

Pretty nice story, Associated Press.

But the headline? It's less than perfect.

That's my quick assessment of the wire service's coverage of a decision concerning a Wyoming judge who refuses to perform same-sex marriages.

The news report itself is clear and concise. The 740-word piece simply reports the facts. It avoids loaded (read: biased) language.

A big chunk of the opening:

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A small-town judge who says her religious beliefs prevent her from presiding over same-sex marriages was publicly censured by the Wyoming Supreme Court on Tuesday.
But while the court said her conduct undermines the integrity of the judicial system, it does not warrant removal from the bench. In a 3-2 decision, Justice Kate Fox wrote that Judge Ruth Neely violated judicial conduct code but removing Neely would "unnecessarily circumscribe protected expression."
"Judge Neely shall either perform no marriage ceremonies or she shall perform marriage ceremonies regardless of the couple's sexual orientation," Fox wrote.
Neely has never been asked to perform a same-sex marriage, and Fox said that the case was not about same-sex marriage or the reasonableness of religious beliefs. ...
Neely's case has similarities to legal action against a Kentucky clerk of court jailed briefly in 2015 after refusing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. The case against clerk Kim Davis, a conservative Christian, sparked a national debate over the religious freedom of civil servants versus the civil rights of same-sex couples. Davis ultimately agreed to alter the licenses to remove her name and title. ...
(T)he dissenting justices argued that Neely didn't violate any judicial conduct code. "Wyoming law does not require any judge or magistrate to perform any particular marriage, and couples seeking to be married have no right to insist on a particular official as the officiant of their wedding," Justice Keith Kautz wrote in the dissent that was joined by Justice Michael K. Davis.

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On the 'heartbreaking' death of a city church

The Godbeat reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel consistently does good work. “After 125 years, Bethlehem Lutheran Church holds last service” is the latest example. It was one of those stories that I came across via a Google alert, expecting it to be a boring depiction of what happened to cause a church to shutter its doors. Usually those stories are only exciting if they involve some type of doctrinal or financial corruption.

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Media: Pope says retweets spring the soul!

You may have read stories about the Vatican announcing that Roman Catholics may earn time off purgatory by following Pope Francis on social media during World Youth Day. Many of the stories had serious problems. The main problem was getting the theology all wrong.

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Here I stand: Martin Luther on film

So while the rest of you are focused on Halloween, we Lutherans are busy celebrating Reformation Day. To be sure, some churches moved their celebrations to earlier in the month or last Sunday, but my congregation is keeping it real with services at 7:00 PM tonight.

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