Religion

How Churches Die

Featured image There’s a saying attributed variously to Robert Conquest or John O’Sullivan that “any institution that is not explicitly right-wing will become left-wing over time.” A good case in point is the Episcopal Church, which was once known as “the Republican Party at prayer,” but which has for the last several decades fallen in line behind every politically correct enthusiasm of the left. We imagine the conversation in the Episcopal clergy »

Leftist Jews use Days of Awe to atone for America’s “sins”

Featured image During the Days of Awe, which began yesterday at sundown with Rosh Hashanah and will conclude ten days later with Yom Kippur, Jews focus on repenting for transgressions we have committed in the year just ending. However, at Temple Sinai in upscale Northwest Washington Jews are focusing on something else. They are seeking atonement for the sins of the United States. Nor is this phenomenon confined to Washington. According to »

DOJ tried to force pastor to testify on his views of Islam

Featured image Christian Adams at PJ Media reports that the United State Department of Justice issued subpoenas to force a Christian pastor in Virginia to disclose under oath his views on Islam. Fortunately, today a federal court dismissed the underlying case that gave rise to the subpoena. Nonetheless, the saga reminds us of the abusive leftism of the DOJ. Steve Harrelson is the pastor of the Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church in Boston, »

Michael Cromartie, RIP

Featured image Very sad news today of the passing of Michael Cromartie, after a long battle with cancer. I’ve known Mike for 30 years, and he was always my favorite person to encounter on the street or anywhere else in Washington. No one had a more infectious sense of joy and delight, which was the obvious product of his deep Christian faith, which he nevertheless applied with flinty realism in our always »

Persecution and the Art of Cake Baking

Featured image I’m on the road today, departing shortly on a flight to Munich, and then connecting on to Bulgaria tomorrow (long story—I’ll try to post updates when I get internet access), but I’m keeping an eye out for Supreme Court news, especially the hoped-for retirement announcement of Justice Kennedy. One announcement from the Court today is important: they are taking up the appeal of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, which had »

Rube Goldberg’s Passover Seder

Featured image I’m from the Christian half of Power Line’s ecumenical conference, but as we approach Passover I have to give a hat tip to this Passover observance from Technion (Israel’s CalTech): »

Do American Jews believe in God?

Featured image The answer, it appears, is: sort of. According to newsletter put out by our congregation, survey data shows that 34 percent of American Jews are certain that God exists. Another 38 percent think He does, but are less than certain. 23 percent don’t believe in God, and 5 percent don’t know. Conservative Jews (in the religious, not the political, sense) have more faith. 41 percent are certain God exists; 46 »

Trump’s immigration order: myths and realities

Featured image Reasonable people can disagree about the wisdom of the Trump administration’s immigration order [NOTE: And the way it was implemented arguably left much to be desired]. But before agreeing or disagreeing, it’s important understand what the order does and does not do, and how it compares to recent policy. David French does a good job of separating the facts from the hysteria. For the hysteria, French cites the usual suspects: »

The Clintonistas contempt for Americans runs deep

Featured image During the two presidential debates (or should I say debates between presidential candidates?) Hillary Clinton has lambasted Donald Trump for attacking women, Hispanics, African-Americans, Muslim-Americans and the disabled. Trump has, indeed, attacked members of these groups, sometimes in disgusting ways. However, his attacks have not been categorical ones directed at entire classes of Americans. By contrast, Hillary Clinton and her close advisers have attacked broad swathes of the American population »

Who’s afraid of religious liberty? An introduction

Featured image Professor Richard Samuelson’s closely argued Mosaic essay “Who’s afraid of religious liberty?” is must reading. In it Professor Samuelson explains the assault on our religious freedom under the ever expanding regime of anti-discrimination law and practice. I urge readers who care about the subject to read the whole thing; there is no substitute for it. I invited Professor Samuelson to write a brief introduction for Power Line readers. Professor Samuelson »

What the anti-discrimination fetish means for Jews

Featured image In a post below, Scott directs attention to Richard Samuelson’s Mosaic column “Who’s afraid of religious liberty?” I agree with Scott that Samuelson’s piece, which discusses the danger to freedom inherent in anti-discrimination law, should be required reading. In conjunction with that column, I recommend David Bernstein’s response in Mosiac, “How Anti-Discrimination Became a Religion, and What It Means for Judaism.” Both parts of the column — the “how” (which »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 41: Decoding the Religious Right

Featured image One of the surprises of the GOP primary campaign season was the strong support Donald Trump received from many—though not all—evangelical Christian voters. Maybe the so-called “religious right” isn’t as monolithic as the media supposes. In this edition of the Power Line Show, Steve Hayward interviews one of the most insightful observers of the religious right, Michael Cromartie of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. We talk about theology, journalism, »

Supreme Court to parties in “Little Sisters of the Poor” — work it out yourselves

Featured image The Supreme Court has issued a unanimous per curiam opinion in the Little Sisters of the Poor case. Rather than deciding the legal issues before it, the Court vacated the judgment of the Court of Appeals, which was adverse to the Little Sisters, and sent the case back to that court so the parties can be given “sufficient time to resolve any outstanding issues between them.” Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor »

Let New Europe be New Europe

Featured image I’m back from my trip to “New Europe,” specifically to Prague and Krakow. I highly recommend both cities to potential tourists, and I find the concept of New Europe apt. Poland and the Czech Republic suffered grievously from the two great scourges of the 20th century — Nazism and Communism. So far, they have avoided the scourge of the present century — radical Islam. They have avoided it because Muslims »

A canticle for Donald Trump

Featured image Donald Trump’s progress toward the Republican nomination is beginning to look fated. When it comes to good luck, or divine intervention, can anything beat Pope Francis’s condemnation of Donald Trump today for supporting a wall protecting the southern border of the United States? Answering questions posed to him on the papal plane on his way back from Mexico to Vatican City, Pope Francis was asked what he thought of Trump’s »

Obama at prayer

Featured image President Obama spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. this morning. The White House has posted the text of Obama’s remarks here. I’ve embedded the White House video below; Obama’s speech begins at about 01:49:00 and runs to 02:17:00. C-SPAN has posted the video here. I transcribed quotes from the video before the White House posted the text; they may not be perfectly accurate. Those who say that »

Rubio Bags the Crom Endorsement

Featured image Michael Cromartie (“the Crom” to me for 30 years now) is the most significant person in Washington DC that you’ve never heard of. And that’s just the way he likes it. Not because he’s a backroom K Street wire puller from the shadows of House of Cards. To the contrary: he is the rarest thing you can find in Washington: a truly honest broker; a person of faith, understated on »