The Role of a President

The modern political world often idealizes leaders who “get things done” — in other words, are able to enact an agenda effectively. I see a lot of merit in the arguments for a more powerful executive, though to be fair I have not personally acquainted myself with the arguments against the strong executive. While I am relatively unanchored concerning this debate, I nevertheless want to explore ideas in this piece that look toward scripture to highlight the proper role of a President. To start, consider one of the most pertinent passages regarding this topic when Israel receives its king in … Continue reading “The Role of a President”

Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin

Growing up I often heard the phrase “love the sinner, hate the sin” used as a way to approach the complexity of living in a world where we are called to love a broken and sinful people. This phrase actually comes from St Augustine in his Letter 211 where he writes, “Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum” or “With love for mankind and hatred of sins.” The phrase, albeit simple, captures an important struggle of taking a nuanced look at each person, distinguishing the good from the bad. While the phrase is not direct from scripture, it is based on … Continue reading “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin”

Bad Dichotomies

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You have probably heard, on multiple occasions, the distinction between knowledge and wisdom. “Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit,” they say, “But wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.” This distinction indeed exists, and perhaps even the tomato example is appropriate. But there is still something wrong, and the problem comes down to the takeaway. Most people, when presented with this example, interpret it as knowledge compared to intelligence. In reality, intelligence is no less different from wisdom than it is from knowledge. Intelligence usually refers to the ability to learn and use … Continue reading “Bad Dichotomies”

Justice, Politics, and Thomas Aquinas

A 2017 Gallup Poll found that Americans are becoming more and more partisan on a number of issues. The two parties are as far apart as they have ever been in the past half a century. More alarming is the separation between parties on a large variety of issues. In the past when party tensions rode high, they usually focused on a single issue. However, now the parties have grown more partisan on a number of issues simultaneously. Lack of inter-partisan dialogue, increasing tribalism, and decreasing association with members of opposing political viewpoints all lead to a place where people … Continue reading “Justice, Politics, and Thomas Aquinas”

The Strange Image of America

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It is common in American immigrant communities to view things from their ancestral homeland as sacred and holy, while viewing everything American as profane and disposable. This trend is difficult to quantify, and it is based solely on my observations. Yet I noticed it consistently throughout immigrants from Eastern Europe as well as even some immigrants from China. It is not an explicit view that anyone articulates, but it is most similar to a gut feeling or a bias that ascribes more moral value to the heritage culture than to its American counterpart. In fact, I was myself prone to … Continue reading “The Strange Image of America”

The Worst Argument of All

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“You are not pro-life; you are pro-birth!” It is a common objection that the pro-life movement faces. In this article I will argue that this argument is not only fallacious and illogical, but also condescending, pathological, and destructive. It is the worst political argument ever made, and this fact should be common knowledge. I will not attempt to state the argument in my own words, because my extreme bias against it will likely butcher the point one way or another. Joan Chittister, a Catholic nun, provides the most well-known statement of this argument; thus I will represent it with a … Continue reading “The Worst Argument of All”

Political and Theological Divides

The Eastern Orthodox Church, of which I am a member, has had a schism within itself during this past fall. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow broke all ties with the Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople over a land dispute in Ukraine. Opinions on this event within the Orthodox community have been split, and the debate continues. Both Patriarchs have been accused with acting on behalf of world political entities and even ties with intelligence agencies. I knew since the event that it would take a while for me to form a coherent opinion on this issue. It has been about two months, … Continue reading “Political and Theological Divides”

Simplicity and Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is soon approaching and there is so much good food to look forward to in the upcoming days. Thanksgiving, much like the Sabbath, is a day on which we rest and look back on all that we are grateful for. Yet despite the myriad of things that we can say we are truly glad to have in our lives, there are still things that nag at us underneath the surface. This nagging can take the form of planning out your shopping run for Black Friday, causing you to plan and stress when you should be enjoying the smoked ham … Continue reading “Simplicity and Thanksgiving”