• Taking Sides: The Christian's Responsibility in Civic Affairs


    This is the first in a series of essays on the duty of Christians in civic affairs, adapted from Kevin’s weekly radio address and podcasts here.

    Let’s begin by dispelling some myths about Christians and political affairs.

    A common misconception lurks among American Christians that politics can be separated from our beliefs, and that the Church – the Body of Christ – should not be engaged in the political arena.

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Elections, conventions, and politics are merely practical means for implementing a body of beliefs about the human condition. Every policy advanced, every piece of legislation passed, and every opinion rendered by a court presupposes certain beliefs about the nature and relationship between humanity and government: from whom and how you tax, to whom you choose to defend, to what you can say, think, or do, and how you spend your money. READ MORE...

  • Building human capital in charter school networks


    The number of charter schools nationally has grown significantly in the last decade and a half, and currently charters serve 6% of students – up from 2% in 2000. But there have been, and still are, major challenges to charter growth. After interviewing several people from three very different high-performing charter networks for a forthcoming paper, we found that the most significant barrier to growth is human capital recruitment and training.

    Andrew Ellison, head of upper schools for Great Hearts Academies, an operator with nearly 30 schools in the southwest, says that “the $65,000 question” is whether “you can find the people.” But finding the people is only half the battle. Training teachers is also a major ongoing challenge. To that end, Great Hearts recently announced a new “Headmaster College” that will pay future school leaders a full salary during a year of training before they run a school. The network’s leadership is also considering innovative ways of training teachers – many of whom come to Great Hearts straight out of college. READ MORE...

  • Living In Unreality


    On the Dictatorship of the Dimwits post, a reader writes:

    I teach religious education to third graders in my parish. These children are 8 and 9 years old, a mix of boys and girls who have self selected themselves at gender specific tables. Boys on one side, girls on the other. Nothing can make them sit together. Boys have cooties and so on. And yet…there is a boy in class who wants everyone to call him Princess Insert-Name-Here. When my co-teacher and I pointed out that we wanted to use our given names in class and that he would go by that, a lively discussion ensued wherein the children wanted to know why he couldn’t be called princess, he wants to be a princess, therefore he IS a princess and we should all just recognize that, and refer to him as he wishes. Apparently it’s ok for him to go by that title at school, and everyone complies with his wishes there. This could not have been more shocking to me. I tell this story only as a warning. These children have been socialized in this manner since birth. It is not going away in my lifetime. READ MORE...

  • Civil Religion—or Christianity?


    Can “exceptionalism” be made safe for America? Can exceptionalism be made safe for American Christians who desire to be at the same time patriotic and faithful to their God? As long as exceptionalism remains the test of creedal orthodoxy it has been turned into, these questions will need to be answered with all the sound historical and theological judgment at our disposal.

    To that worthy end, John Wilsey offers a timely reassessment of American exceptionalism. He sets out to discover what, if anything, in the idea of exceptionalism can be salvaged as consistent with America’s founding principles and with Christian theology. He argues that exceptionalism, and the civil religion it helps sustain, can indeed be made safe, if freed from its worst abuses and confined within ethical and theological limits. READ MORE...

  • Will History Only Remember the Founders as Slaveowners?


    Last year, I decided to take my teenage sons on a trip across the country. We traveled in our motor home, starting in our home state of Utah, visiting sites of historic significance along the way. I am not a historian, but on this trip I discovered that left-leaning benefactors doling out large grants have ensured that visitors are presented with a version of history driven by political correctness—all while ignoring the essential contributions that the American founders made to our Constitution and founding ideals. READ MORE...

  • These Are Things


    Photo by Rod Dreher, who just about fell out at the sight of this

    I have raised my older son right, and this proves it. He fetched out of the town recycling Dumpster a stack of The Cross And The Clown, the journal of the Fellowship of Christian Clowns. [Insert joke about synod/conclave/etc. here] The boy knew that his father would be all Prytania about this kind of thing. And he was right! I have about ten issues to go through. One of the most excruciating cinematic experiences I’ve ever endured was watching the movie version of the hippie-clown Jesus freak show Godspell. It’s the only time I’ve ever wondered if the Sanhedrin had a point. READ MORE...

  • These Are Things


    Photo by Rod Dreher, who just about fell out at the sight of this

    I have raised my older son right, and this proves it. He fetched out of the town recycling Dumpster a stack of The Cross And The Clown, the journal of the Fellowship of Christian Clowns. [Insert joke about synod/conclave/etc. here] The boy knew that his father would be all Prytania about this kind of thing. And he was right! I have about ten issues to go through. One of the most excruciating cinematic experiences I’ve ever endured was watching the movie version of the hippie-clown Jesus freak show Godspell. It’s the only time I’ve ever wondered if the Sanhedrin had a point. READ MORE...