How Do You Spell Relief?

You may have heard about the debate in Washington that erupted late last week, as Senate Democrats and Republicans sought ways to respond to rising gas prices. According to Marketplace’s Hillary Wikai, the majority Republicans settled on “a $100 gas-tax rebate to be paid for by drilling in Alaska’s Wildlife Refuge.” Michigan Democrat Debbie Stabenow proposed “a $500 rebate but pay for it by cutting the tax breaks for oil companies.” She said, “We should instead put that money back in the pockets of the people paying the high gas prices.” But one other Democratic plan was to stop taking that money from the people in the first place, at least temporarily. Continue Reading...

Wanted: A Duke Lacrosse Team Hero

Duke University is embroiled in a sensational scandal involving its lacrosse team and allegations of sexual assault of a stripper at a wild party. But, as Anthony Bradley points out, the case is really symptomatic of a much larger problem in American society. Continue Reading...

Alarmist Profiteering

Remember when I said that I thought there is a dangerous incentive in climate change research to make things seem worse than they are? (If not, that’s OK. I actually called it an “analogous phenomenon” to the possibility that AIDS statistics are exaggerated.) Well, TCS Daily reports that a letter to Canadian PM Stephen Harper signed by over 60 scientists asks a similar question. Continue Reading...

Evangelicals and Earth Day

Check out my Detroit News column today, “Humanity’s creativity helps environment,” in which I give a brief overview of the conflicting evangelical views of environmental stewardship. Continue Reading...

The Iron Law of Unintended Consequences

Conserve water by FLUSHING AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE A report from the road: I’m in Colorado Springs this week, and I noticed this note taped to the wall of the bathroom in my spartan lodgings at the local Ramada Inn: Due to restrictions made by the City of Colorado Springs, the toilets have reduced water pressure and may not flush as well as you are accustomed to. Continue Reading...

College and Carbon Neutrality

Tom Friedman asks in today’s NYT, “Why doesn’t every college make it a goal to become carbon-neutral — that is, reduce its net CO2 emissions to zero?” (TimesSelect subscription required) I’ll give an initial possible answer: they already have enough to worry about with double-digit tuition increases practically every year without adding such costs. Continue Reading...

Talking about the Tithe

Here’s an article in the Washington Post recently that I want to pass along, “Tithing Rewards Both Spiritual and Financial,” by Avis Thomas-Lester. Among the highlights are the Rev. Jonathan Weaver of Greater Mount Nebo African Methodist Episcopal Church, who says, “Some people have a sense that pastors are heavy-handed . Continue Reading...

Getting Stewardship Right

Amy Ridenour of the National Center for Public Policy passes along a report from Peyton Knight about a briefing in Washington sponsored by the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance, the Acton Institute, and the Institute on Religion and Democracy. Continue Reading...

Cashing in on Carbon Credits

As Earth Day approaches (April 22), Jordan Ballor reflects on the Kyoto Protocol and some of the results of the “market-based” incentives promised to those who signed on. The Kyoto Protocol created a carbon trading system, a “cap and trade” mechanism where a set number of carbon credits were established based upon the 1990 levels of emissions from the involved countries. Continue Reading...

Evangelical Litmus Tests

This article, “Evangelicals Debate the Meaning of ‘Evangelical’,” which appeared in the New York Times on Easter, is instructive on a number of levels. First off, the article attempts to point out widening “fissures” among evangelicals, in which “new theological and political splits are developing.” While the article does talk at the end about so-called “theological” differences, the bulk of the piece is spent discussing the political divisions. Continue Reading...