Over the past many weeks, I have used my Monday morning post to focus on different issues in this election. But, in terms of issues, the cake is now baked for both candidates. Neither candidate has made as good a case for their candidacy as could be made. Both has been more than vague about the hard choices needed to avoid the fiscal cliff that the winner will face immediately after the election. But, voters know the essential contours of the choice they have to make. The race now comes down to two issues, turnout and Friday’s unemployment numbers.
Many things have happened since I wrote in January that President Obama's refusal to expand the conscience exemptions regarding the HHS mandate had cost him my vote. Many people have written asking if I have changed my mind. Some conservative bloggers have speculated that I will "cave."
I have long admired Melinda Henneberger as a writer. After reading her column in this morning's Washington Post, I admire her. Period.
When the magazine Gentlemen's Quarterly, GQ, called yesterday, I knew it was not for fashion tips. Left to my own devices, I would never, ever wear anything but sweats and tee-shirts. They wanted to talk about the role of abortion in the campaign. Here is the interview.
Over at America magazine, theologian Vince Miller continues the discussion of Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget. Miller was one of the signatories of the document “On All of Our Shoulders” that challenged Mr. Ryan’s budget, and the Ayn Rand-inspired, libertarian philosophy that he has many times claimed serves as the source for his ideas and values.
Last night, Rachel Maddow spent the first twenty minutes of her show discussing Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's bizarre attempt to discuss God's intentions regarding rape and pregnancy.
Last night, Sean Hannity spent the first twenty minutes of his show discussing the Obama administration's response to the attacks in Benghazi.
If you thought the culture wars were receding, think again.
As mentioned yesterday, the PRRI's American Values Survey examined the rise of the "nones," especially among young people. Here is another take, an essay I have been meaning to call attention to, that was published at The New Republic earlier this month: Laura Bennett's takedown of what she calls "Generation Whine." I would only point out that the PRRI survey showed that those who self-identify as "nones" are less likely to vote. They not only go "bowling alone," they register their politics alone too.
The last of my series of election analysis articles for the print edition of NCR is now available on-line.
Yesterday, in discussing the Public Religion Research Institute's new American Values Survey, I noted that those who find religion uninteresting bore me - religion is many things, but never boring. I also noted that those who claim to be "spiritual but not religious" are prone to a certain solipsism. I had in mind, as I wrote those words, a commentary at "Interfaith Voices" with the Rev. Lillian Denn, senior minister at the First Congregational Church, UCC, in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. I wasn't able to locate the link to the audio yesterday but have now found it and highly commend listening.
Twice this year, I have had the pleasure of reading a book that is so compelling, so smart, and so important to the issues of the day, that I want to urge readers to rush out and buy it right this second. The first was Brad Gregory’s “The Unintended Reformation,” and now I add Lew Daly’s “God’s Economy: Faith-Based Initiatives & the Caring State.” This book was published in 2009 and, for some reason, was only brought to my attention this summer. I am embarrassed that I had not read it before.