How Should Christians Respond to the Government Shutdown?

4 ways Christians can respond during times of uncertainty.
 
 

Controversial Christian conservative Dinesh D'Souza has entered a guilty plea in a case involving the violation of some political campaign financing laws. The case in question involves allegations that he made illegal contributions to a New York Republican senatorial campaign, donating through "straw donors" to avoid state-mandated contribution limits. Although D'Souza had originally denied the claims and accused the administration of "selective prosecution," his surprise admission today is expected to to reduce the charges leveled against him.

D'Souza rose to prominence as a conservative author (he wrote 2007's What's So Great About Christianity?) and a harsh critic of President Barack Obama. As the author of The Roots of Obama's Rage and its film adaptation, 2016: Obama's America. He also had a brief, controversial stint as the president of King's College.

His sentencing will occur at a later date ... Discuss

 

Today, the Supreme Court finally weighed in on the hotly debated Town of Greece VS. Galloway case, determining that public meetings can start with "religion specific-prayer" (i.e. "In Jesus' name ..."). The case started in the little town of Greece, New York, where city officials have been starting meetings with prayer for some time. A few people in the town took issue with the practice, and the case has been boiling ever since, with both sides saying their religious rights are on the line. The Supreme Court's 5-4 majority sided with Greece, saying that Town Hall meetings can start with prayer—falling in line with both public support and the White House. It does not, however, square away with the views of Justice Kagan, who offered a strongly worded dissent:

...Greece's Board did nothing to recognize reli­gious diversity: In arranging for clergy members to open each meeting, the Town never sought (except briefly when this suit was filed) to involve, accommodate, or in any way reach out to adherents of non-Christian religions. So month in and month out for over a decade, prayers steeped in only one faith, addressed toward members of the public, commenced meetings to discuss local affairs and distribute government benefits. In my view, that practice does not square with the First Amendment's promise that every citizen, irrespective of her religion, owns an equal share in her government.

 

If James Woods wins Arizona's Congressional District 5, then he'll be the nation's first Congressman to openly campaign as a humanist. He would also be the first blind member of Congress in over a century, having lost his eyesight to a MRSA infection seven years ago. Regarding his views, Woods says that "Humanism requires that we treat everyone with dignity and respect. That we stand up for equality. That we govern compassionately. That we listen to what people need. We need to shift toward progressive Humanist values to address human suffering."

His campaign is a long shot, seeking to unseat incumbent Rep. Matt Salmon. Also, running as an atheist in America remains a dicy prospect. A study by Gallup found humanists to be America's "most unelectable group," with only 54 percent of voters saying they'd be willing to even consider an atheist presidential candidate. And that's saying nothing of a study from the University of Minnesota, which found atheists to be America's most mistrusted minority group, ... Discuss

 

Are we alone? That's the question that has plagued mankind since the beginning. And no matter how you may feel about the existence of life on other planets, you'd probably admit that if they were to show up on earth, you'd be at least a little surprised. But that's because you're not former US President and noted expert on extraterrestrial life Bill Clinton, who visited Jimmy Kimmel on Wednesday night to talk, among other things, about aliens.

Specifically, Kimmel wanted to know if President Clinton ever got the full scoop on Area 51. President Clinton said that there was nothing in Roswell, New Mexico to prove aliens exist (Uh-huh. Whatever you say. Suuuure.) but that he "wouldn't be surprised" if "we were visited someday." Boom. There you have it. President Clinton wouldn't be surprised, although he did add this ominous note.

"I just hope that it’s not like Independence Day, the movie — that it’s, you know, a conflict" ... Discuss

 

The hard thing about Twitter is context. Twitter doesn't have any. The words you tweet may be the end result of a lot of critical thought in your own mind, but for everyone reading the tweet, it's a single balloon, floating alone on the Internet, vulnerable to just about any sort of pinprick whatsoever. Such is the lesson Minnesota Rep. Pat Garofalo is learning. Following the offending tweet and a deluge of outrage from NBA fans, basketball players and a lot of people who saw some uncomfortable racial undertones to his sentiment, the Representative has issued an apology:

The NBA has many examples of players and owners who are role models for our communities and for our country. Those individuals did not deserve that criticism and I apologize. In addition, it’s been brought to my attention that I was mistaken and the NBA policy on drug enforcement is stronger than I previously believed.

Regardless of how the apology goes over, here's a good lesson for all of us to remember: Twitter is not the place for nuance ... Discuss

 

Despite her famous 13-hour filibuster last year against new abortion legislation in Texas, Sen. Wendy Davis says she actually supports a 20-week ban on abortion. In a new interview, she clarified her position, saying that she would have actually voted for the Texas abortion law—that was eventually passed after her filibuster—if it wasn’t for other measures that did not defer to the woman or doctor in cases of potential abnormalities or risks to the mother’s health. “I would have and could have voted to allow that to go through, if I felt like we had tightly defined the ability for a woman and a doctor to be making this decision together and not have the Legislature get too deep in the weeds of how we would describe when that was appropriate.” As CBS News points out, the position may be an effort to widen her political appeal in the state, as she may be preparing to run for governor: “By supporting a version of the 20-week ban, Davis is likely trying to stake out broader support in her conservative state” ... Discuss