Obama, Trump, and Hayek’s Road to Serfdom

In the 2015-2016 Republican primary, Trump’s quick rise to the top surprised many who could not understand how a conservative could find a suitable leader in Trump. I was among those sorely disappointed with his nomination (I supported Cruz). Here I offer my explanation for his quick rise, an explanation that may trigger liberals and embarrass conservatives. One aspect of Trump’s rise that surprised pundits was his lack of credentials. He had no experience in politics or public administration. Yet his supporters felt he was highly qualified. Supporters kept saying “he’s a businessman,” and “he gets things done,” as if … Continue reading “Obama, Trump, and Hayek’s Road to Serfdom”

More on Words, Ecumenism, and Language

With deep regret, this article comes to you late, for which I apologize. Vlad and I recently resumed our discussion of words and the use of “ecumenism.” We both moderated our positions, and I want to present my position anew. I look forward to hearing Vlad’s take on my moderated position. First, on the matter of etymology, Vlad is correct that I brought this up in oral discussion. This occurred on a lakeside porch in a faraway country in the summer of 2018. I may have also brought up this point previously in an online discussion. In my article, I … Continue reading “More on Words, Ecumenism, and Language”

Church and State Part Four: The Reformation

This is the fourth and last installation of a series of articles in which I present my view of church history with a focus on the relationship between church and state. In my last article, I covered the middle ages. Today I cover the Reformation. Because excommunication was being used so much as a punishment inflicted by man rather than an edict given by God through man, the tide of Protestantism came about in the sixteenth century. The frustrations so many devout church members who disagreed with the corruption and abuse of the church—particularly from the papacy—fermented for many years … Continue reading “Church and State Part Four: The Reformation”

Church and State Part Three: Popes and Kings

Henry IV waiting outside the gates of Canossa Castle whilst ecclesiastical leaders jeer from inside the castle walls. Captions read "Henricus 4 Emperour Waiting 3 dayes upon Pope Gregory 7. Image of Antichrist." Woodcut from Acts and Monuments (1570)

This is the third installation in a series of articles in which I present my view of church history with a focus on the relationship between church and state. In my last article, I covered the caesaropapism. Today I cover the middle ages, the Holy Roman Empire, and the papacy. In my next and last installation, I will cover the reformation. By no means does this series provide a comprehensive history. This article covering the middle ages does not even mention Charlemagne, Pepin’s reforms, Wycliffe, or the Hussites. Rather, I have chosen to focus on a small number of events … Continue reading “Church and State Part Three: Popes and Kings”

Church and State Part Two: Caesaropapism

This is the second installation in a series of articles in which I present my view of church history with a focus on the relationship between church and state. In my last article, I covered the early church. Today I cover Constantine and caesaropapism. In the next installation, I will cover conflicts between monarchs and popes of the middle ages. As soon as the church gained a foothold into the government through Constantine, its dynamic with the state became much more complicated. While a government could be opposed to the church, the church could still have an important and necessary … Continue reading “Church and State Part Two: Caesaropapism”

Church and State Part One: The Early Church

This is the first installation in a series of articles in which I present my view of church history with a focus on the relationship between church and state. Today I cover the history of the early church. In the next installation, I will cover Constantine and caesaropapism. Struggles between state and religion, papacy and monarchy, have long captured the attention of historians. Whether examining the Torah’s laws for separation between holy and unholy, Roman persecution of the early church, the Inquisition, or Roger Williams’ fight for separation of church and state, it becomes apparent that only a thin line … Continue reading “Church and State Part One: The Early Church”

Film Review: Onward by Pixar

Onward: Ian and Barley

With everyone cooped up at home, viewership on streaming services has predictably surged. My Mom and I recently finished Season 3 of Fauda (I highly recommend the series!), but today I want to review a kid-friendly film. Onward, Pixar’s latest release, is available on Disney Plus. Onward is worth a watch, as are all of Pixar’s films (except for Cars 2 and Cars 3). Even so, Onward is a bit of a let down, given Pixar’s high standards. Onward has all the necessary ingredients for a good film. There’s an attractive setting: a modernized suburban fantasyland. The story, about two … Continue reading “Film Review: Onward by Pixar”

A Lesson on Malthusianism from Saxo Grammaticus

Today, I want to share a passage that piqued my attention when I read it last year. It comes from book 8 of Gesta Danorum, a history of the Danish nation written by Saxo Grammaticus (1160-1220). After introducing Snio, King of the Danes, Saxo Grammaticus gives us a passage about a difficult period for the Danish people. I think this story displays well the deeds of a valorous woman, Gambaruk (see bolded section). It also gives an example of what happens when a country buys into Malthusian economics. Malthusianism holds that, because human populations reproduce at an exponential rate, eventually … Continue reading “A Lesson on Malthusianism from Saxo Grammaticus”

Christianity of the Third Millennium: A Response

I very much enjoyed reading Benjamin Bjorkman’s “Christianity of the Third Millennium.” Based on the PC games Ben and I enjoy, one can surmise that we both find it fun to look into the future with an eye toward strategy. At the same time, I do wish to voice a few criticisms of his article, and add a suggestion. Firstly, the article focuses on Christianity within developed countries. In and of itself, there is nothing wrong with this; however, one cannot read it as a comprehensive view of Christianity in the Third Millennium. As a matter of fact, huge populations … Continue reading “Christianity of the Third Millennium: A Response”

Nazi Death Camps: Blurring the Lines Between Life and Death

We are publishing this article for Holocaust Remembrance Day. May their memories be for a blessing. Death camps represent, perhaps, the most important evidence for the planned extermination of the Jewish people. The death camp manufactured a single product: the speedy and efficient murder of world Jewry. Because of this, the Nazis blurred the lines between life and death. “Life” became an optimistic way to describe an animated dying process, while “death” was normalized into everyday expectation. Nazis sought to turn humans into animals, taking away all semblance of the dignity of human life. Meanwhile, the actual act of murder … Continue reading “Nazi Death Camps: Blurring the Lines Between Life and Death”