What is a Christian to Make of Trump?

Many of my Christian friends voted for Donald Trump.  Many of them continue to support him.  Those who did not (and do not) support him generally keep very quiet at church so that unruly arguments don’t break out.  I am often less successful at this, but I still find that I want to talk about what it is that some Christians like about the president.

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What’s the Problem with Gay Marriage?

With the recent Supreme Court decision on gay marriage, I have been hearing many people at church lamenting about how our culture is falling apart.  Maybe I’m just not getting it, but I don’t think that the recent decision is a problem at all. Continue reading

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Science, Government, and Religion: Health Care Bill

Sometimes I wonder about people who reject science.  As a neuroscientist and behavioral scientist, I have been privileged to experience the wonder of God’s creation and marvel at its complexity.  Sure, I have bones to pick with those who go beyond the science into a purely materialistic philosophy, but that is not science.

Recently I heard that conservative politicians have proposed a law to allow employers to not provide health insurance coverage for employees working less than 40 hours (the current cut-off is 30 hours).  This is touted as “protecting the 40 hour work week.”  Either I am missing something or the conservatives have failed, ignored, or lied about basic behavioral science.

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Separation of Church and State

There has been a lot of arguing lately about the “Separation of Church and State.”  Many conservatives have complained about how their ability to live their religion has been infringed by government interference.  Some progressives have felt that government has been too lax in allowing religious expression into government run activities.  I am very content with the separation of Church and State as described in the U.S. Constitution and understood by our founding fathers.  Better still, I believe in the separation of Church and State based on a higher authority, the Bible.

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What is Government For?

Politicians frequently argue about the government.  It’s too big.  It’s too small.  It’s too intrusive.  It’s too ineffectual.  The list goes on and on.  Few people stop and ask, “What’s government for, anyway?”  Is it too big?  Too big for what?  Is it too intrusive?  Intrusive to what end?  As a Christian and a progressive, I have some thoughts on this matter.

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Simplicity — The Heart of Honesty

In my previous post, I proposed that honesty is is key strategy in Christian politics.  In this post, I propose that simplicity is key to full honesty.  To be clear, simplicity does not mean to dumb things down or to ignore the complexities of reality.  Instead, it means to avoid complicating issues beyond what is necessary to effectively understand or deal with the issue.

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Honesty — What a Strategy!

Now that we have gotten through our recent election here in the good ol’ U.S.A., we can start seeing how gullible we have been.  Our candidates (of both stripes) have told us where they stand, what kinds of values they hold, how they are going to better our lives, and of the inevitable reign of virtue, wealth, and happiness that will come from their wise governance.  If past performance is any indicator of the future, little will change.  Money will continue to be the measure of success for our politicians, and those with the most money will be the ones with the most political power.  Dishonest rhetoric (from both sides) will be played in soundbites and will be called wise and insightful.  Examples will be cherry-picked to reinforce otherwise indefensible arguments.  High ideals will be appealed to to obscure petty deals.  I hope that these will not be true this time, but I am not optimistic.

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I have started this blog so that I have a place to write about issues that would not be appropriate in my other blog, which deals with professional issues.  This blog will hit on issues that are closer to my heart and more personal.

I am a conservative Christian.  I believe that God created the heavens and the earth.  I believe in a real Adam and Eve.  I believe in a God that works throughout history and has a plan for mankind.  I believe in heaven and hell.  I believe in a spiritual realm that is (at least for now) beyond the reach of scientific scrutiny.  I believe in the completed saving work of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.  I believe that he will come again.  I believe in one God in three persons —  The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.  I believe that those who are saved are saved by grace through faith and that this faith is shown in our lives as acts of love.

I am also a progressive Democrat.  Notice that I listed “Christian” first.  My allegiance is not primarily to the Democratic Party.  I reserve the right to disagree with anything the party does that goes against my allegiance to God.  On the other hand, I find that the Democratic Party is often (but of course not always) closer to the will of God than other parties.  This is not to judge people who align with other parties.  Many of my best friends identify with Republicans, and some with Libertarian or even Green Parties.

The purpose of this blog is not to trash others.  As a Christian, I do not have the luxury of using hate to motivate.  I have the privilege and responsibility to labor under the pleasant burden of love.  To anyone who chooses to read this blog and who is not a Christian, I hope that I can show you real Christianity instead of the angry, controlling, condemning version that is so often portrayed in American media.  To those who are Christians but who disagree with me politically, I hope to show you why a progressive political stance works so well with conservative Christianity.  To those who disagree with me, I look forward to a vigorous and rigorous conversation.

And if no one reads this blog, then, “Dear Diary…….”


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