Commentary

Medved: Is Congress Unfairly Dominated by Christians?

Marijuana

A recent New York Times headline clearly intended to alarm readers. “The New Congress is 91% Christian,” the newspaper declared. “That’s barely budged since 1961.” Since “the percentage of Christians among the United States population is declining,” the article suggested, it’s inappropriate that the percentage of Christians in Congress remains so high.

Actually, numbers provided by Pew Research Center show that an overwhelming majority of Americans—71 percent—still say they are formally affiliated with a Christian church, with less than 7 percent affiliated with all other faiths combined.

This means that those who participate in organized Christianity outnumber those who take part in all other faith communities combined—and by more than 10-1! With no other faith close to Christianity in popularity and influence, and with a widespread assumption that religious commitment connects to good character, it should surprise no one that 9 of 10 of those we elect to of Congress identify as Christians.

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Davenport: Fear More Federal Deficits

One topic that has pretty much been dropped from the political conversation is the federal debt. Under President Obama, the federal debt has nearly doubled, from around $10 trillion to $20 trillion. Unfortunately, it could grow even more under President Donald Trump.

In the campaign, Trump said he loved debt, having built a successful business career with it. If debt becomes a problem, he said he would renegotiate it with other countries, a very tough sell. And he talks about lots of federal spending, rebuilding the military and spending $1 trillion on infrastructure, while lowering taxes. It would take an unrealistic amount of economic growth to balance that budget.

The growing federal debt is a national security risk, placing too much of our economic future in the hands of other countries such as China.  And it is an unfair transfer of responsibility from this generation to the next.

One meaningful step would be to finally address overblown entitlement programs.  But something must be done about the debt.

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Mark Davis: Prospects for 2017

With the holiday season behind us and—we feel it—the new year quickly getting started we wonder: what’s in store for 2017?

A year is best defined by events in our families, our friendships, our faith and our livelihoods—and not as much by events in the news, even elections. Many of us have counted numerous personal blessings even during the politically insufferable Obama era. And—even as we await a new President and a new administration—we don’t pretend that the coming year will be free of challenges, personal or political.

But for those of us who value liberty, security and constitutional governance, the horizon looks promising. A President Trump—along with a GOP House and Senate—stands to bolster the Supreme Court, improve our immigration policies and free our economy from excessive taxes and regulation.

The administration taking shape has been a pleasant surprise to many.

2017 may turn out to be a happier year (politically speaking) than any of us thought we could expect.

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Hewitt: Democrat Party In Free Fall

Pepperdine California Democratic Party

President Obama gave a so called exit interview to his long-time friend and political advisor David Axelrod which is fascinating. In it President Obama implicitly blasts Secretary Clinton’s campaign strategy and says he would have beaten President-elect Trump. President-elect Trump quickly replied that he didn’t think so. And so we have the two all-stars of different elections claimed they could have beaten each other.

What’s it all prove? Nothing. But it does reveal a Democratic Party in free fall, devastated by President Obama’s hard-left exclusionary policies and crippled by an aging oligarchy of special interests that seems to have abandoned 90 percent of the land mass of the United States and half its voters.

The blue wall isn’t just down, it’s shattered—and the shards are cutting everyone left in the Democrats elected bench, small and thin as it is. Members of Team Clinton have to decide who they are angrier with: President elect Trump or President Obama. Republicans are unified in being, if nothing else, amused at the Democrats’ meltdown.

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Mohler: Reflections On 2016

Every year brings surprises, but 2016 may set a record. In the biggest news of the year, Hillary Clinton wasn’t elected president of the United States and Donald Trump was, thus reshaping our nation’s entire political landscape.

It was a year of populist uprisings around the world and the year that Britain voted to leave the European Union. Terrorist attacks continued, including a weaponized truck attack on Bastille Day in France. In Europe, a refugee crisis grew even larger. In Syria, the heartbreak continued and in Turkey a coup was defeated.

2016 brought the deaths of many, including dictator Fidel Castro, heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The biggest surprise of all came when the Chicago Cubs broke a century-long streak of losing to win the World Series. Seriously.

We can only pray that 2017 will bring good news for us all.

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Mohler: A Festival of Lights

The Jewish festival of Hanukkah is now underway, its first night coinciding with Christmas for the first time in many years. This is the “Festival of Lights” commemorating the recapture of the Temple by Jewish forces led by the Maccabees about 160 years before the birth of Christ.

Our Jewish neighbors celebrate Hanukkah as the cleansing and rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem and they remember the miracle of the menorah lights in the Temple burning for eight days, even though there was sufficient oil for only one day.

Hanukkah is a significant Jewish holiday in the United States and increasingly around the world. It’s a celebration of Jewish identity and religious liberty, commemorated with gifts and special foods and the gathering of families.

Of course, it also includes the lighting of a candle each night and its symbol is the menorah—with nine lights. Let us all wish our Jewish friends and neighbors a very Happy Hanukkah.

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LaBerge: The Long View Of History

American history is very short by global standards. In the news we’ve been hearing about Coptic Christians in Cairo and the plight of the peoples of Aleppo. What many of us don’t remember is that those were two of the three largest cities in the Ottoman Empire, the Islamic Caliphate that ruled the region from 1299-1919.

Our tendency is to focus on issues of the West and even western varieties of Christianity. This can leave us lacking the “long view” of history that informs many Muslims and—especially—the Islamist movements that have disrupted the entire region.

Of course: the even longer view of history reminds us of when Christianity thrived throughout the greater Middle East.

As ancient cities and people of ancient faiths make contemporary headlines, we need to remember just how young (relatively speaking) our nation is and yet just how much we have to offer those who for centuries have not had the blessings of living in freedom and peace.

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