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We Are Better Than This

Sunday, January 31, 2016  |  posted by John Schroeder

The French wire service, AFP, released a story Thursday under the headline:

Vulgarity is hallmark of US presidential race

I thought about it for a minute, decided they were right, and felt my heart sink to the bottom of my gut.  That may be the single most visible evidence of the decreasing influence of Christianity in the public sphere.  Think about the definition of “vulgar:”

lacking in distinction, aesthetic value, or charm; banal; ordinary

There should be nothing ordinary about the United States of America and there certainly is nothing ordinary about Christians.  The Apostle Paul urged the Christians in Rome, “to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

That is anything but ordinary. Continue Reading

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Senator Ted Cruz On Thursday’s Debate And Hillary’s Emails

Friday, January 29, 2016  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Senator Ted Cruz joined me to open Friday’s show:

Audio:

01-29hhs-cruz

Transcript:

HH: What a debate last night, and I’m so pleased to open today’s show with United States Senator Ted Cruz. I feel like sending him a Kevlar vest. I gave him the bronze in the debate last night. Senator Cruz, how are you?

TC: Hugh, I’m doing terrific, it’s great to be with you.

HH: Let’s begin with a non-debate subject. It is reported this afternoon that there are 22 emails on Hillary Clinton’s account marked top secret. Darrell Issa has said the FBI has enough evidence to indict her now, but that James Comey is being constrained. What do you make of this?

TC: Look, it is deeply concerning, and it is yet another indication that under Barack Obama, this Department of Justice has been partisan and political. At this point, from what’s publicly known, it appears that Secretary Clinton’s conduct was far more serious than that of General Petraeus. And yet, this Justice Department prosecuted a war hero, and now, even today, is trying to strip one or two stars from General Petraeus after a lifetime of honorable service defending this nation. And yet, in one of the saddest things, if you talk to any reporter who covers Washington, D.C., and you ask the question will Hillary Clinton be indicted, inevitably the answer is well, it depends on what the Obama White House wants. If they decide they want rid of her, then she will be indicted, and if they don’t, she won’t. And you can appreciate as an alumnus of the Department of Justice just how heartbreaking it is that there is an acceptance that the enforcement of criminal justice is decided not by the laws of this country, but by some political hack in the West Wing of the White House. That is not how our Constitution is meant to operate. Continue Reading

Dr. Ben Carson On The Debate, The Race…And The Zika Virus

Friday, January 29, 2016  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Dr. Ben Carson joined me today to discuss the debate, the race and the Zika virus:

Audio:

01-29hhs-carson

Transcript

HH: So pleased to welcome back Dr. Ben Carson. Follow him on Twitter, @RealBenCarson. Dr. Carson, good to talk to you, welcome back.

BC: Good to be back. Thank you.

HH: Dr., you broke off your campaign because of a car crash that seriously injured…how are they doing? We want to pray for them, we want to keep them, what’s going on?

BC: Yes, well, the family, fortunately, obviously, they’ve gone through a horrible tragedy, but they’re strong people of faith. And you know, that has got them through. And the campaign, I think, has drawn together even closer. It’s called the Braden effect, because Braden Joplin was such a healing influence. He was always looking after the concerns of other people. He wanted to make sure that they felt that. And we’re seeing that spread throughout the campaign. Continue Reading

Media Is Not Reality

Thursday, January 28, 2016  |  posted by John Schroeder

At this point I think everyone knows there is little real about reality TV.  I find it interesting that social media, while social, is often not real either.  A 2012 piece on social media at colleges contained this little tidbit:

“People tend to want to show others that they are having fun than actually having fun themselves,” said University of South Florida graduate Mark Clennon.

Grammatical complications notwithstanding, that is a stunning admission.  Apparently we live in a time so media saturated that media presentation matters more than reality.  I mean that is why reality TV is so unreal – reality just does not play well on TV.  It seems some people live their whole lives like its a reality TV show.  Like the kids that make their pictures look like a mega-party when it is really six buddies hanging out, everything we see in media  is crafted on some level.  In other words we live in an age where media confuses a message as much and often more than it transmits it.

The most influential figures in human history – Jesus, Mohammad, that level of influential – are from a non-media age.  That should also tell us something about media – its effects are massive, but not necessarily lasting.  Media permits reaching a large audience, but by virtue of the confusion it can create and the degree of separation it puts between producer and consumer, its effects are far more transient than can be produced by real personal interaction.

I do not know enough about Mohammad to speak intelligently about him, but Jesus I do know.  Jesus came to change the world and he did so by working very closely with twelve individuals.  Yes, He spoke to masses from time-to-time, but if that had been all He had done He would be largely absent from the history books.  It was His work with the twelve that changed the world.

As a media phenomena, this election cycle is amazing.  But if media is often confusing and transient in its effect, we as voters have to work extra hard to see through the haze and look for permanence. Continue Reading

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