House Reading Group

Sanger’s Victory: How Planned Parenthood’s Founder Played the Christians—and Won

Allan Carlson, Touchstone

“The Good News About Evangelicalism” 

Byron Johnson, First Things  

“The Inner Ring”

CS Lewis, “The Inner Ring”

Address of Senator Kennedy

A Charge to Revive the Role of Faith in the Public Square

This week we will discuss Senator John F. Kennedy’s 1960 speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association and Senator Rick Santorum’s speech from last week at the University of St. Thomas in Houston. The two speeches represent different perspectives on the role of religion in the public square. Should make for a great discussion.

The Weight of Smut

Mary Eberstadt, First Things

“…But while we’re on the subject of bad habits that can turn unwitting kids into unhappy adults, how about that other epidemic out there that is far more likely to make their future lives miserable than carrying those extra pounds ever will? That would be the emerging social phenomenon of what can appropriately be called “sexual obesity”: the widespread gorging on pornographic imagery that is also deleterious and unhealthy, though far less remarked on than that other epidemic—and nowhere near an object of universal public concern…”

Married Fathers: America’s Greatest Weapon Against Child Poverty

Robert Rector, The Heritage Foundation

“The mainstream media, liberal politicians, activists, and academia bewail child poverty in the U.S. But in these ritual lamentations, one key fact remains hidden: The principal cause of child poverty in the U.S. is the absence of married fathers in the home…”

Atlanta Progressive News fires reporter for trying to be objective


” … In an e-mail statement, editor Matthew Cardinale says Springston was asked to leave APN last week ‘because he held on to the notion that there was an objective reality that could be reported objectively, despite the fact that that was not our editorial policy at Atlanta Progressive News.’…”

In ‘vegetative state’ patients, brain scanners show some alert minds


“Many of the patients were labeled with the same grim diagnosis: ‘vegetative state.’… But an international team of scientists decided to try a bold experiment using the latest technology to peek inside the minds of 54 patients to see whether, in fact, they were conscious…”

Pulling the Plug on the Conscience Clause

FIRST THINGS – Wesley J. Smith

” … The ongoing transformation in the methods and ethics of medicine raises profound moral questions for doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and others who believe in the traditional virtues of Hippocratic medicine that proscribe abortion and assisted suicide and compel physicians to ‘do no harm.’…”

In ‘vegetative state’ patients, brain scanners show some alert minds


“Many of the patients were labeled with the same grim diagnosis: ‘vegetative state.’… But an international team of scientists decided to try a bold experiment using the latest technology to peek inside the minds of 54 patients to see whether, in fact, they were conscious…”

The End of Religious Freedom?

Christianity Today – Editorial

“…The CLS v. Martinez decision will be widely cited, no matter the outcome. But as CLS made clear in its own briefs, it’s very much a separate battle. (The CLS case is mostly about speech at a university forum, and money is not central.) If CLS loses, it is far from a foregone conclusion that religious groups that partner with the government will lose their ability to consider faith commitments when hiring. And it’s a far journey from that step to the much-discussed scenario of protesters joining organizations en masse to nullify the groups’ religious identity or ethical commitments. Defenders of religious identity safeguards are not scaremongers. The scenarios they propose are actually quite likely if government entities like Hastings or the Supreme Court treat biblical principles as invidious discrimination and then shun organizations with faith commitments…”

A Time to Kill


” … Violence in the pro-life movement has emerged relatively late in the abortion conflict, only recently cliaming the lives of abortion providers. To really understand Tiller’s death, therefore, we need to look beyond his own biography to some of the peculiar historical developments that have made abortioin politics in America so distinctive and tragic…”

The Making of a Fugitive

THE NEW YORK TIMES – David Samuels

“… The ease with which the prayerful defender of life has since eluded a Federal-local task force of more than 50 agents, assisted by authorities in Canada, Mexico and overseas, suggests that Jim Kopp’s interest in disguise may have run deeper than he let on. Kopp is wanted on a Federal material-witness warrant in connection with the fatal shooting of Dr. Barnett Slepian on Oct. 23, 1998, in Amherst, N.Y….”

Compassionate Conservatism: Its Brief History, Demise, and Future Prospects

Evan Baehr

” Many allege–or, arguably, observe–that conservatives are without message. ‘Conservatives are not for anything–only against things,’ they suggest. It is a good question to ponder: what are conservatives for? What is our agenda or platform?…”

The Declaration of Independence


” When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation…”

The Inspiration of the Declaration

President Calvin Coolidge

” We meet to celebrate the birthday of America. The coming of a new life always excites our interest. Although we know in the case of the individual that it has been an infinite repetition reaching beyond our vision, that only makes it the more wonderful. But how our interest and wonder increase when we behold the miracle of the birth of a new nation…”

An Election Sermon

THE ONLINE LIBRARY OF LIBERTY – Gad Hitchcock (1718-1803)

” …The safety of society greatly depends on the disposition of rulers, and the regard they have to equity in their measures of government. If they rule in the fear of God, they will make his laws their pattern in framing and executing their own…”

God is back: How Ned Flanders won the evangelical crusade

TIMES ONLINE – John Micklethwait and Adrian Woolridge

” … But is Ned really such a loser? Look around the world and you find that risible old Nedward – or at least the phenomenon he epitomises – he won one of the great intellectual battles of the past two centuries. And now, far from being put down, Flanderism is spreading around the world, an American export with a potency at least the equal of the very Hollywood products that mock him…”

The End of Christian America

NEWSWEEK – Jon Meacham

” …the number of Americans who claim no religious affiliation has nearly doubled since 1990, rising from 8 to 15 percent. Then came the point he could not get out of his mind: while the unaffiliated have historically been concentrated in the Pacific Northwest, the report said, ‘this pattern has now changed, and the Northeast emerged in 2008 as the new stronghold of the religiously unidentified.’ As Mohler saw it, the historic foundatio nof America’s religious culture was cracking.”

Red Faith, Blue Faith


” … A younger generation of evangelicals and their leaders, while generally remaining culturally conservative, tends to view the religious right’s model of social engagement as narrow in focus and too negative in tone. And the loose language of creating or re-creating a ‘Christian America’ has always been a heresy, a historical error and a blunder. A hereesy because no kingdom, however admirable, can be properly identified with the Kingdom of God. A historical error…”

The Happiness of the People


” …Do you want the United States to be like Europe? … In short, the question has suddenly become urgently relevant because President Obama and his leading intellectual heroes are the American equivalent of Europe’s social democrats…”

Demographics & Depression

FIRST THINGS – David P. Goldman

“Three generations of economists immersed themselves in study of the Great Depression, determined to prevent a recurrence of the awful events of teh 1930s. And as our current financial crisis began to unfold in 2008, policymakers did everything that those economists prescribed… In other words, the government tried to do everything right, but everything continues to go wrong. We labored hard and traveled long to avoid a new depression, but…”

Faith & Finance

FIRST THINGS – Gary A. Anderson

“… As it happens, the problem of trust–of faith–appears in places beyond the current credit crisis. Most of us think of trust as an interiior spiritual disposition. But, linquistically, faith and finance are closely linked: It is no accident…”