California: Up in Smoke

Rev. Robert Sirico comments on California’s Proposition 86, a measure which would nearly triple state tobacco taxes to fund health care initiatives. “It is true, of course, that governments always act on moral premises of some sort,” he writes. Continue Reading...

Linker and Douthat on Theocons

A while ago, I reported Damon Linker’s turn against his erstwhile colleagues at First Things. Now The New Republic online (free registration required) features an unusually productive and revealing debate between Linker and Atlantic Monthly‘s Ross Douthat on the threat, or lack thereof, posed by “theocons” such as Richard John Neuhaus (and the Acton Institute?). Continue Reading...

Food Force Goes Global

Via International Civic Engagement: Already available in English, Japanese, Italian and Polish, the game will now be accessible in French, Hungarian and Chinese by the end of next week, vastly increasing the forum for the UN World Food Programme’s (WFP) ‘Food Force’ www.food-force.com – designed to teach youngsters about the problems of global hunger and what humanitarian organizations do to fight it. Continue Reading...

Is God Green?

Tonight at 9 PM on PBS stations across the country, Bill Moyers’ program, Moyers on America, will take up the question, “Is God Green?” The one-hour documentary goes inside the conversation among evangelical Christians over the environment. Continue Reading...

What Would Superman Do?

The latest take on the “What Would Jesus Do?” (WWJD) phenomenon is passed along by Allen Galbraith of Life is a Journal (HT: Lifehacker). Allen’s advice: “When dealing with difficult people imagine how one of your role models or heroes would deal with them.” Allen notes the possibilities of using Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, or Jesus as part of this thought experiment. Continue Reading...

The Hollywood Screenwriting Expo

The Templeton Foundation and Movieguide are sponsoring two panels at the upcoming Screenwriting Expo in Hollywood (Oct. 19-22). According to AgapePress (courtesy of The Church Report), “‘Christians in Hollywood’ and ‘Writing for the Family Film Market’ are the titles of two panels slated for what is billed as the world’s largest conference and trade show for screenwriters’.” “Christians in Hollywood” is briefly described in the catalog (PDF) as a chance to “Meet the players—and the prayers—in the Hollywood Christian Community, and learn how to find your audience.” That session is scheduled for Sunday at 10 am…placed conveniently enough to conflict with most Sunday morning worship services. Continue Reading...

Creating Equality by Consolidating Power

Can you find the tension in the lead sentence from this WSJ story on the annual Communist Party meeting in China? Here it is: “China’s ruling communist elite opened an annual meeting that will focus on policies for spreading the nation’s newfound prosperity more evenly and on President Hu Jintao’s attempts to further consolidate his power.” It still amazes me that so many people still think that centralizing political power is both an effective way to spread out wealth and one that is therefore socially desirable. Continue Reading...