Article VI Blog

"Religion, Politics, the Presidency: Commentary by a Mormon, an Evangelical, and an Orthodox Christian"

United States Constitution — Article VI:

"No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

  • Dear Mr. President –

    Posted by: John Schroeder at 08:41 am, November 9th 2013     &mdash      3 Comments »

    I went down the rabbit hole this week.  Not literally, of course.  My entrance to Wonderland came in the form of a letter from my health insurance carrier with whom I have done business for decades telling me that the health insurance that has served me so well for all these decades did not suit the King of Diamonds and had therefore had its head removed.  The insurance carrier, until recently a reasonable and reliable provider has apparently been stuck in Wonderland for several years now as they have come to resemble The Mad Hatter:

    The Hatter explains to Alice that he and the March Hare are always having tea because, when he tried to sing for the Queen of Hearts at her celebration, she sentenced him to death for “murdering the time,” but he escapes decapitation. In retaliation, Time (referred to as a “Him”) halts himself in respect to the Hatter, keeping him and the March Hare stuck at 6:00 forever. The tea party, when Alice arrives, is characterised by switching places on the table at any given time, making short, personal remarks, asking unanswerable riddles and reciting nonsensical poetry, all of which eventually drive Alice away.

    My letter directed me to a wealiceinwonderlandb site.  Not the non-functioning federal web site of now infamy, but one of their own devising that was, they assured me, fully functional.  I was offered a variety of plans and quickly found one that matched my current coverage in cost, but the precise nature of the coverage was unclear, even though it seemed to resemble what I currently had.  So at the advice of said web site, I picked up the phone.

    After the usual and irritating computerized phone tree I got to talk to a “Licensed Healthcare Adviser.”  This is a term that I came to learn over the course of the week meant “Hired in front of Home Depot last week, made to watch a 15 minute video and given a piece of paper.”  I immediately learned that the plans offered were not the “PPO” that I had come to love all these decades, but an “EPO.”  Which as best as I can determine means “Use the doctor we tell you to or you are ‘SOL.’”  And then of course arose the quite natural question of “What doctors are you telling me to use?’

    That’s when I learned the “Find a doctor” web site was non-operational and that question could not currently be answered.  But I was assured it would be operational in a couple of days.  And so I returned to the real world for a period.

    A few days later I tried the “Find a doctor” web site only to learn that it was still non-functional, but I was directed to down load a document that contained the names of all contracted providers in my county. It was only 800 pages long.  The first 13 pages were devoted purely to acupuncturists.  That’s right, acupuncturists.  I went looking for Christian Science practitioners, but none were available.  Apparently Chinese voodoo is medicine, but prayer is not.

    Anyway, it took only about three minutes of searching the 800 page document before my computer – a device that approximates the computing power of NASA – was beginning to choke on the size of the document and its utterly flawed design.  And since I do not currently own a forest to chop down to make paper to print the thing, I abandoned this effort, returned to the real world and waited again for the “Find a doctor” site to obtain functionality.13708288-executioner-argues-with-king-about-cutting-off-cheshire-cat-s-head--alice-s-adventures-in-wonderland

    As I waited, some new questions occurred to me, and a couple of days later, I once again picked up the telephone and ventured down the rabbit hole.  At first I was simply assured that I should put aside my questions because an EPO was just like a PPO except a “slightly smaller network.”  When I told the March Hare that such was not what was represented to me previously, he put me on hold and apparently went to consult the Cheshire Cat who only smiled benignly and said, “Well that all depends on what ‘just like’ means.”

    When I muttered that I apparently had to buy the insurance to find out what was covered, the March Hare seemed not to understand a word I was saying.

    And so I pressed ahead with my questions.  First question, “I travel extensively on business, suppose I am struck by a bus next time I am in New York?  New York is clearly outside of California where I live.”  Quickly the answer came, “Why sir, just call the local hospitals and ask if they are in our network.”  When I pointed out that I was hit by a bus and in no shape to use a telephone, the March Hare magically turned into a geyser with too little steam pressure and sputtered.

    I was told I would have to talk to a coverage specialist and took a delightful journey through on hold music land.  Once there I was informed that the coverage specialist could only answer questions about current coverage not the new and marvelous plans of Wonderland.  I was assured that the “Licensed Healthcare Advisers” could answer all my questions, and back through on hold music land I ventured.

    I posed a new question.  “I travel outside the US generally on an annual basis.  Surely that is out of network.  What happens then?”   The March Hare assured me that the EPO would cover me in emergencies, regardless.  I asked “What’s an emergency?”  The first answer I got was “Why if you got to the Emergency Room, it’s an emergency.”  I quickly retorted, “So if I have a hangnail, I can go to the ER of any hospital I want and its covered?”  Then the geyser returned.  I felt sorry for the geyser and tried to calm things down.

    I made my inquiry a bit more specific.  “Suppose I am in Rome – Italy – and I contract pneumonia.  This is a very serious illness, but not imminently life threatening.  Am I covered in an Italian hospital or must I board a plane, expose 3-400 other people in a small air recycled box to my communicable disease, and return to the United States in long neck alice lennyorder to be covered?”

    “You would have to come home, sir” was the response.

    At this point I began to feel my head grow uncontrollably.  Worried that it might pop like a balloon, I quickly left Wonderland and started looking for some other place where I could find health insurance.  At this juncture I have no idea if I will find such a place.  And if I do if that insurance will resemble anything close to the insurance that I have loved and that has served my so well for decades.

    Anyway Mr. President, I wanted to write you and thank you for this marvelous journey to a land where wishes become some sort of warped reality.  I may die or go broke, but isn’t a trip to a land of fantasy, where those awful rules of reason and sanity don’t apply, worth it?

    All the best,

    John

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    Disarmed And Cluless, Part 2 (Updated)

    Posted by: John Schroeder at 10:30 am, October 5th 2012     &mdash      Comment on this post »

    Wrote this morning of debate evidence that Barack Obama was disarmed and clueless.  Well, this morning’s headlines have brought more evidence.

    Here’s what I woke up to:

    Gas prices seem to be climbing by the second, setting unwanted records, angering drivers and even causing closures at some pumps.

    Gas prices shot up 19.2 cents overnight Thursday, and the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in L.A. County was $4.58 on Friday, the highest figure since 2008.

    In Orange County, the average is up 20 cents to $4.53, while in the Inland Empire, it’s up to $4.48. In Ventura County, the average price per gallon is $4.54.

    Oh, that’s comforting.  Twenty cents overnight!  There are actual gas lines this morning.  Gas lines!  My wife saw signs for $5/gallon this morning.  FIVE DOLLARS A GALLON! Let’s see, gas in California has to be reformulated and there have been a number of “disruptions” in the capacity to do that.  And you know, the regulatory environment makes it a bit hard to overcome those disruptions, and some of that regulatory environment belongs to?  You guessed it the disarmed and clueless one.  If this goes on much past Monday, you may just see Romney perform a lot better in California than expectations.  And now would definitely be a good time for Jerry Brown to come out and endorse the disarmed and clueless one – strongly.

    But of course, there is good news for Barack, the disarmed and clueless one.  Unemployment has dropped to 7.8%.  Who didn’t see this coming?!  There is a serious chance the books are cooked; however, I don’t want to go there.  Just remember this:

    That makes a postwar record 42 months of unemployment over 8%, the longest period of unemployment that high since the Great Depression.  While Obama promised us when he wanted to pass his nearly $1 trillion wasteful government spending stimulus that unemployment would never climb above 8% if we did, it has never fallen below 8% during his entire, mistaken Presidency.

    Until the most convenient now.  But again, forget all that – how in the world can anybody consider 7.8% unemployment good news?  That’s just awful.  But then, when you are disarmed and clueless you may not know what is good news and what is not, let alone know how to fix a problem assuming you can perceive it.

    The guy simply has nothing – it did not work before and it sure as heck isn’t going to work now:

    Biting sarcastic cynicism is all I have this morning – I just cannot imagine a less effective administration than this one.  Going in, I did not imagine that this much damage could be done in this short a time.  Just proves the point that everyone has been making – the disarmed and clueless one wasn’t vetted.  The election process is supposed to ensure that our president is at least minimally up to the task.  That’s one of the many reasons the press has special protections in the constitution.  But they punted with this guy.

    As we predicted earlier today, this pathetic state of affairs moves to ensure the playing of the Mormon card.  We said it would be self-defeating.  It will be, and maybe for more than just Barack Obama – maybe, just maybe, the MSM will find itself on the outs as well.

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    Gingrich: A Question of Character – with A Disturbing Answer

    Posted by: Lowell Brown at 12:11 am, January 26th 2012     &mdash      4 Comments »

    In this continuation of our inquiry into which candidate is the one whom people of faith should support, I’ll ask our readers to leave aside any judgments about Newt Gingrich’s admitted past moral mistakes, including his serial infidelities and the related divorces.

    No, I want you to think, not about those mistakes, but about how easily he lies about them, how glibly he obfuscates the moral clarity surrounding them.

    Not Like Clinton, or Just Like Him?  You Decide

    First, the former Speaker of the House was asked in detail about whether he was hypocrital to pursue Bill Clinton during the Lewinsky scandal when Gingrich himself was engaged in a long-term adulterous affair (with the woman who is now his wife).  Gingrich has an interesting way of distinguishing between his own sleazy infidelity and Bill Clinton’s lies about the same kind of behavior:

    Gingrich, when pressed that it was hypocrisy, responded that “people listen to your question but don’t listen to the facts.”

    When pressed about having an affair himself, he responded many people approached him at the time and explained lots of people had affairs. But he always responded that it was lying under oath that made it an issue.

    “I’ve been through two divorces,” Gingrich said. “I’ve been deposed both times under oath. Both times I told the truth in the deposition because I know that it is, I’m not a lawyer and I know it’s a felony, Bill Clinton is a lawyer. He’s a Yale Law School graduate. He knew it was perjury. He knew it was a felony.”

    In other words, “I may have been a sleazeball and a hypocrite, but I didn’t lie about it — at least not under oath!” There.  Do you feel better about this man now?

    Like so much of what Gingrich says, this response is — how to put this delicately? — an insult to the public’s intelligence. As one of the commenters to the post says, “Gingrich wasn’t the same as Bubba because nobody knew publicly he was having ANOTHER affair, cheating on ANOTHER sick wife…if they had, none of [the Clinton impeachment drama] would’ve proceeded, perjury or no perjury.”

    Yet another Politico commenter raises an ominous point: “Well, there’s an opening: Let’s see Newt’s depositions in the 2 divorces to check out whether he told the truth.” As long as he is a candidate, Newt’s past will be the gift that keeps on giving, as closet after closet is opened to reveal yet another skeleton.

    And Another Example

    Remember the great signature moment of the second South Carolina presidential debate, when Newt Gingrich rose up in righteous indignation and thundered at the elite news media, which had no interest in the truth but simply wanted to to get him, and any other Republican candidate they could?  Remember how he stated, with fiery certainty and crystalline clarity, that his campaign had offered several witnesses to ABC news who would counter his ex-wife Marianne’s story, but ABC was not interested in speaking to those people?

    As Rick Perry might say, Oops.  No such thing happened.  Here’s the video:

    Well, so much for fiery certainty and crystalline clarity. I must admit, I am impressed, in a morbid way, by the ease with which Newt Gingrich lies so convincingly.  Watching him do that is like observing the behavior of a rare and exotic species of animal. It is astonishing, frightening, and disturbing all at once.  Is this the kind of man we want as President of the United States?  R. Emmett Tyrell doesn’t think so, and reminds us that we have been down this road before.

    Conservatives should not be surprised by the scandals that lie ahead, if they stick with him. Those of us, who raised the question of character in 1992, were confronted by an indignant Bill Clinton, treating the topic as a low blow. To listen to him, character was the “c” word of American politics. It was reprehensible to mention it. By now we know. Character matters. Paul, Santorum, and Romney have it. Newt has Clinton’s character.

    It sure looks that way. Please, please, voters of Florida — and voters everywhere who care about electing decent men and women to positions of trust and authority — keep that in mind.
     

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    Romney, His Church, 1994, and Abortion

    Posted by: Lowell Brown at 10:08 am, December 31st 2011     &mdash      1 Comment »

    Byron York wrote yesterday about a report that Mitt Romney “briefed” the top authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the “Church”) about his position on abortion in the 1994 Massachusetts Senate campaign.

    The Mormon Lay Ministry

    The story York relates makes perfect sense to Mormons, who are steeped in the Church’s organizational makeup.   The key to understanding this story is to understand that Mormonism has a lay ministry.  Romney was a stake president in 1994.  A stake is roughly the Mormon equivalent of a Catholic diocese and usually consists of around 2500 members of the Church in seven or eight wards, which are congregations like parishes.  Each ward is presided over by a bishop, who is like a pastor and does all the things pastors do – care for the poor, provide marriage and life counseling, hear confessions, work with the youth.  (Romney was a bishop before he was a stake president.)  The stake president and the bishops, as well as their counselors and all of the many other members who assist them, are unpaid laity.  In other words, they have a day job, and devote 20-40 hours a week or more to their callings and are deeply loved and respected by the members they serve.

    The office of stake president is one of the most responsible in the church.  Stake presidents are selected by the Church’s highest leaders.  They thus are representatives of the Church, both internally and externally.  What they say and do in their personal lives matters a great deal to the Church and its members.

    So Why Brief the Church’s Leaders?

    In 1994 Romney was about to enter a national political race against Ted Kennedy, one of the most famous political figures in the USA, and was a stake president.  He learned from his pollsters that he could never win in Massachusetts if he took a pro-life position.  York:

    How Romney handled that dilemma is described in a new book, “Mitt Romney: An Inside Look at the Man and His Politics,” by Boston journalist Ronald Scott. A Mormon who admires Romney but has had his share of disagreements with him, Scott knew Romney from local church matters in the late 1980s.

    Scott had worked for Time Inc., and in the fall of 1993, he says, Romney asked him for advice on how to handle various issues the media might pursue in a Senate campaign. Scott gave his advice in a couple of phone conversations and a memo. In the course of the conversations, Scott says, Romney outlined his views on the abortion problem….

    In light of the polling data, Romney decided to run as a pro-choice candidate, pledging to support Roe v. Wade, while remaining personally pro-life….

    In November 1993 … Romney … traveled to Salt Lake City to meet with church elders. Gathering in the Church Administration Building, Romney, in Scott’s words, “laid out for church leaders … what his public position would be on abortion — personally opposed but willing to let others decide for themselves.”

    By Scott’s account, Romney wasn’t seeking approval or permission; he was telling the officials what he was going to do. Scott quotes a “senior church leader” saying Romney “didn’t ask what his position should be, nor did he ask the brethren to endorse his position. He came to explain, and his explanation was consistent with church teachings and policies.”

    According to Scott, some of the leaders were unhappy with Romney’s plan and let him know it. “I may not have burned bridges, but a few of them were singed and smoking,” Romney told Scott in a phone conversation.

    This story tells us something about what Romney’s true feelings on life are. It also tells us something about his independence from the Church when it comes to political matters.

    And So….

    John and I have both met Ron Scott, when we were fellow speakers with Scott on a panel about Romney and religion. I’ve also corresponded with Scott. He is no Romney shill and disagrees with him politically.

    The time seems right for this kind of information to come out.  In my opinion, it’s helpful to the overall discussion of the role of faith in the candidate’s life.  York notes:

    By all accounts, Romney did a lot of good in his time as a Mormon official, and that work was a significant part of his life. In the coming campaign, voters will want to know more about it.

    From what I’ve seen it seems to me that Romney’s supporters have been hoping he’d do that very thing.  Watch this space!

    Finally….

    It’s New Year’s Eve and so it seems fitting to close with this from Stewart Schwartz of The American Thinker:

    Yes but “he’s a Mormon — he’s in a cult,” another spat, echoing at least one Baptist leader who urged evangelical Christians not to vote for Romney “because he’s a Mormon[.]”  Ah, but doing and being make for worship in a way that words and song only begin to express, which makes Mitt Romney as evangelical in walk as Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann.  Which means this: Evangelicals have three dogs in this hunt.  And Mitt, because of his experience and integrity and faith, his potential to lift a nation economically and emotionally reeling from a Democrat-led descent into the leftist swamps — well, that dog’ll hunt!

    Mitt Romney, like Perry and Bachmann, lives and breathes faith in a life so authentic that it automatically makes him a political outsider, the real deal in a political world where love and loyalty are measured in nanoseconds.  Who is Mitt Romney?  New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie answered that simply, telling Iowa primary voters of an enduring and intimate love for his family, a love so un-Beltway that it shines in “a guy who is a father and a husband and loves his wife and his kids.”

    Mitt Romney not part of the faith-based conservative traditions that power a culture built by American exceptionalism?  In the words popularized by that great Catholic theologian, Bing Crosby, “‘Tain’t so, honey, ’tain’t so…”  Mitt Romney, in public and private, demonstrates biblical values in walk and talk, in battling an entrenched Beltway class that includes Obama and Newt Gingrich and, he says, is “gutting” a great nation with  ”[s]low growth, out-of-control regulation, and chronic uncertainty.”

    And so it doesn’t really matter whether Mitt is Christian, Mormon, atheist, or Pescatarian.  What does matter is that he is not Barack Obama, that he is not a Beltway insider, and that he does not answer every question with the words “more government.”

    Happy New Year!

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    The Mormon/Christian Thing – A DEEPLY Personal Perspective

    Posted by: John Schroeder at 07:42 am, October 15th 2011     &mdash      4 Comments »

    So yesterday, when writing about the latest Perry misstep, I said, “Their camp insults Romney on the deepest possible level by asserting that ‘Mormons are not Christians.’”  I have been thinking about that a lot and being as it is the weekend and all, I am going to wander into some more personal religious territory than is our normal fare here.

    I really mean what I say about that being an insult on the deepest possible level – that is something I know because I have had it thrown at me.  We Christians tend to debate about who is and who in not inside the club all the time.  Such debate does not generally have the import it carries with it at the moment, but it is fairly common.  The exclusion of Catholicism from the fold is reasonably common amongst the more hardcore of we Protestants, but somehow, not withstanding the rants of Jeffress, we have found a way to co-exist amiably.  Never been a problem for me personally.

    However, within Protestantism there is a branch called “Pentecostalism.”  In the broadest of terms, Pentecostals have an overt, and many would say overwhelming, focus on the miraculous – most commonly “glossolalia,” or the speaking in tongues.  The strict definition of a Pentecostal is someone that believes that the conversion experience comes in two parts.  The first would be the salvation experience, or the “acceptance of Christ as your Lord and Savior,” that we are all so familiar with.  The second part would be a separate experience known as “baptism of the Holy Spirit” and this experience is universally accompanied by glossolalia.  There are volumes and volumes written about this stuff and I could go on for days, but that is all you need to know for the story at hand.

    When I was in high school, a Pentecostal revival movement swept through my community.  People not normally prone to such things were claiming ecstatic experiences and “miracles galore” were happening throughout the community.  For a whole bunch of reasons, this was a tide I resisted.  But it resulted in a deep hurt.  It took some years, but the movement eventually died a violent and tragic death.  But long before it turned so ugly, one of my closest friends, a spiritual peer if you will, that was caught up in it accused me point blank of “not being a Christian because I had not spoken in tongues.”  Fortunately I am still friends with this individual today – some 40 years later – and that, I believe, is the real miracle to come out of the whole thing.

    Boy, it hurt at the time though, obviously because I remember it so vividly today.  The scar from the wound that was created by that accusation serves as a constant reminder to me that some theological opinions are best kept to oneself.  Needless to say, a wound that deep resulted in a number of counter-accusations, some substantive and some designed to wound as deeply as I was wounded.  One of the arguments that I made that sticks with me even to this day was that my friend could not possibly expect me to come to his point of view, nor even be much of a friend if he was going to so casually toss about such insult.  He was free to believe I was wrong and he was free to pray for my correction, as I did his, but such an accusation served no purpose but to construct a wall where a bridge should be.

    In the end, that is the bottom line here.  The theological chasm between Mormonism and traditional creedal Christianity is indeed wide.  I am fascinated by how it has narrowed over the years, but it remains quite large at the moment.  But at a time when our nation desperately needs to change course we need bridges, not walls.  Yes, I want Mitt Romney to be the next President of the United States.  But I am also smart enough to know that he might not even be the Republican nominee – that’s politics.  But you can bet your bottom dollar that I am going to support the Republican nominee because the nation so needs a new direction.  That is unless there has been such a wall constructed between myself and such a hypothetical not-Romney nominee that I cannot overcome it to pull the lever.

    That is something Camp Perry and others with religion issues about Romney need to think about.

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    Obama’s Policies and Religious Issues

    Posted by: John Schroeder at 07:20 am, June 28th 2009     &mdash      2 Comments »

    It should be a surprise to no one that I am an opponent of the health care proposals currently floating around Washington.  I have not written on them here because I never had a religious angle.  While the economics of the proposal are staggeringly bad and the quality of care that will result is equally awful, my personal primary objection has been the levels of social engineering it will enable.

    Think about it for a minute.  Most acknowledge that it will end up like the Canadian or British systems which are on de facto rationing.  On what basis will the rationing decisions be made?  I can think of some.  How about smoking?  You smoke, you forgo treatment for lung disease.  Or how about beef consumption?  You eat more than 8 ounces of beef a week and you will be denied access to the cholesterol lowering statins.  Of course, unprotected sex will not be on the list of forbidden behaviors.

    Yep – that’s social engineering.  But I failed to realize just how awful it could get until I came upon this article in the BBC:

    Doctors are demanding that NHS staff be given a right to discuss spiritual issues with patients as well as being allowed to offer to pray for them.

    Medics will tell the British Medical Association conference this week that staff should not be disciplined as long as they handle the issue sensitively.

    The doctors said recent cases where health workers had got into trouble were making people fearful.

    But atheists said it was wrong to mix religion and health care.

    There it is, in black and white.   The nationalized health care system in Britain is being used to prevent the discussion of religious matter in a medical setting.  Look at that last sentence – ponder it – “But atheists said it was wrong to mix religion and health care.”  Can you conceive of a time when religion is more important than end of life?  I bet all of us of faith have a story somewhere in our lives where faith restored health when medicine could not.  Or where it brought comfort to those in pain or even terminal.  No place do our lives intersect more with religion than when it comes to our health.  I wonder how many of those atheists have prayed, “just in case” when they received their cancer diagnosis?

    To say that religion and health care “do not mix,” is not an attempt to keep religion a “private matter,” it is an effort to wipe religion out.   And yet, the argument has some merit if the government provides health care.  Imagine a Catholic individual denied the Last Rights because priests cannot be allowed in government owned and operated hospitals because “religion and health care, since the areligious government provides it, do not mix.”

    Proponents of nationalized health care can call my assertions here preposterous if they want, but are they?  But there it is in the British system.  Yes, if you read the entire BBC article, you can see there is a chaplaincy system – its just doctors that are not allowed to discuss religion with patients – but how sterile is that?  I know many Christian doctors, many of whom pray for each patient, even if quietly and privately, as they see them, and it is effective.   Imagine health care robbed of the simple power of prayer.

    Obamacare is not nearly as benign as it appears on the surface.  Monday morning update:  Here’s a piece on the same thing from the conservative leaning London Telegraph.

    And while we are looking at Britain…

    Here is something to think about.   This article appeared in the London Telegraph by the Anglican assistant Bishop of Newcastle.

    Britain is no longer a Christian nation

    If recent trends are any guide, many Church of England parishes will have been cheered by higher attendances at Easter services. The last published statistics for 2006/7 show rises of 7 and 5 per cent in church going at Christmas and Easter.

    But these figures are just about the only signs of hope for the church and certainly not the first green shoots of a revival. Other statistics make for gloomy reading.

    Annual decline in Sunday attendance is running at around 1 per cent. At this rate it is hard to see the church surviving for more than 30 years though few of its leaders are prepared to face that possibility.

    [...]

    The figure rises by a small amount if adult baptism and thanksgiving services are included but it is hard to see the Church of England being able to justify its position as the established church on the basis of these numbers.

    Yet, if one looks at the religious identification figures from the UK in 2001 (newest I could find)  one sees that over 70% of the population still identifies as “Christian.”  So how does the assistant bishop justify his conclusion that it is no longer a “Christian” nation?  Well,of course, all his stats are about the official, established church.  Will the UK cease to be Christian if the Anglican church indeed becomes so weak that it can no longer justify its status as the established church?

    Of course not, it will just become more like America which is the most religious nation on the planet.  So why the woe?  Well, establishment is a big deal, government money, perks, etc.  I wonder how many leaders in the value voters crowd in our nation seek those perks and how many of them are really about the issues they claim to represent?  Further, I wonder how their stance on voting for someone of a different religion, even if having the same values, correlates?

    Sadly, we’ll never know.  Such data could never be reliably gathered.  But it is interesting to think about.

    A final British note…

    This Thursday, July 2, the lovely wife and I are off to cruise around the island of Britain with blogfather Hugh and friends.  We will be gone for a couple of weeks   If there is news between now and then, I will post, but while gone, unless something super major happens, I will leave you in Lowell’s way too busy hands.  Maybe you want to check he and his wife out at True North.  I’ll be “going travelogue” at Blogotional if you want to see pics and hear about adventures.

    Brief Monday postscript:  Gee, this sounds awfully “Christian” to me.

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