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Government

Thomas Paine’s use of the Bible was at the heart of his incendiary critique of the political powers of his day. It goes, in summary, like this: The Bible denounces monarchy, and it’s no wonder because the monarchy is rotten so let’s start a revolution. Paine’s “Common Sense” has received a renewed interest in the […] Read More

We need to recover and adapt Thomas Paine’s critique of political power. Paine delivered a devastating blow to the notion of the British monarchy, and its attendant aristocracy, with his “Common Sense.” Just as the granting of a monarchy in the Old Testament was a “curse in reserve” to the Israelites, so the setting up […] Read More

My son and grandson enjoy magic, and they’re both pretty good at it. I’m a good audience for their sleight-of-hand tricks because I’m easily distracted by what one hand is doing while the other is doing its “magic.” I understand (though not from personal experience) that a favorite tactic of thieves is to work in […] Read More

Has President Barack Obama become what he, his campaign and liberal pundits accused Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney of being? Romney was pulverized for flip-flopping, shading ideas to the point of distortion and making up facts. Yet within weeks of being re-elected president, Obama has done the same thing. With few exceptions, the left has […] Read More

President Obama wants to limit tax deductions on charitable giving by the wealthy, those who give an estimated one-third of all charitable gifts. He thinks that capping or cutting the tax deduction on gifts will help the nation avoid the “fiscal cliff.” Nonprofit leaders oppose such a move. “President Obama and Congress are considering caps […] Read More

As is well known, in a debate over the payment of taxes, Jesus asserted that we are to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.”  George Weigel called this “a revolutionary text.” With them, Weigel writes, “Jesus gives Caesar his due.” Neither Jesus nor the early church […] Read More

Those pushing for small government these days are doing a good job of keeping their utter joy under wraps. Most of the time, the rest of us see these folks lamenting the growth of government. They make pledges not to raise taxes or the debt ceiling as a way of decreasing the size of the […] Read More

LONDON (RNS) One of the prominent figures in the revived ancient priesthood of Druidism in Britain has been charged with defrauding the government of 40,000 pounds (about $25,000) in welfare payments over the past eight years. Druid Terry Dobney, the self-styled “Keeper of the Stones” at the nation’s ages-old monument at Stonehenge, is best known […] Read More

WASHINGTON (RNS) The Civility Project, a two-year bipartisan attempt to get politicians and others to respect one another, is closing down after just three members of Congress agreed to the project’s pledge. “You three were alone in pledging to be civil,” Christian publicist Mark DeMoss wrote in a Jan. 3 letter announcing an end to […] Read More

Height-challenged Zacchaeus gets high marks from Jesus, not just for climbing that sycamore tree, and not just for taking up the itinerant rabbi’s wish to dine and stay at his house, but most of all for agreeing to give half of his possessions to the poor and repaying four times the amount he had defrauded […] Read More