In a new sign that Venezuela’s financial crisis is morphing dangerously into a humanitarian one, a new nationwide survey shows that in the past year nearly 75 percent of the population lost an average of 19 pounds for lack of food.
The extreme poor said they dropped even more weight than that.
Put those two developments together: (1) the idea that your consumer choices express your identity and (2) the idea that your political views are the essence of who you are. What happens next?
Everything gets politicized.
I wrote recently about my “grumble fast” that I started, which in some ways is more difficult than going without food. Grumbling and complaining are idle words released from an ungrateful heart that if not repented for, we’ll have to give an account. Complaining and grumbling was so serious to God that some of the Israelites were destroyed because of it (see 1 Cor. 10:10). When I started this fast, I began to recognize just how deeply embedded ungratefulness was within me.
According to the new survey, which was taken before Trump’s inauguration and the reported rise in deportration concerns, Hispanics are split in their concern about deportation. About half (47%) of Hispanic adults, regardless of their immigration status, say they worry “a lot” or “some” that they themselves, a family member or a close friend, could be deported, while 52% say they are worried “not at all” or “not much.”
Worries about deportation among immigrants are greatest for those who do not hold U.S. citizenship and do not hold a green card: 67% say they worry a lot (45%) or some (22%) about the deportation of themselves or someone close to them. And among immigrants who are lawful permanent residents, 66% say they are worried about deportation of themselves or someone close to them. Both of these groups are potentially subject to deportation. By comparison, one-third (33%) of U.S.-born Hispanics say they are worried about deportation of someone they know, while 55% say they worry not much or not at all about deportation.
That democracy is increasingly unable to bring about these compromises is because when two rival goods repeatedly compete in the public sphere the desire to have one good triumph over the other good causes the parties advocating a good to trivialize, demean, and diminish the rival good.
Democracy, thus, leads to the demonization of the good, making compromise and civic discourse increasingly impossible. Instead of a compromise between two rival goods, the political fight is transformed into Good versus Evil.
At this point, when good is called evil, democracy is doomed.
If I’m being honest, there are some things in the Scriptures that I simply do not get. Some positions which I believe are biblical still make me a bit uneasy. At times, I simply do not understand why God set these things up the way that He did. But I’m asked to obey them nonetheless. And it feels a bit like I am back in the Garden of Eden with God saying something like, “Don’t eat the fruit…if you do you’ll die,” but not really giving me reasons for the rule.
The Gormans, too, argue that ways of thinking that now seem self-destructive must at some point have been adaptive. And they, too, dedicate many pages to confirmation bias, which, they claim, has a physiological component. They cite research suggesting that people experience genuine pleasure—a rush of dopamine—when processing information that supports their beliefs. “It feels good to ‘stick to our guns’ even if we are wrong,” they observe.
Now, it’s difficult, and most churches that try to self-resuscitate fail — presumably because they still have the same problems that nearly killed them in the first place. But for those churches that managed it, here’s what they did —
- A prolonged period of prayer.
- A covenant to forsake self.
- A willingness to kill sacred cows.
- A commitment to see through the eyes of the outsider.
- An agreement to connect and invite.
- A decision to move beyond the negative naysayers.
When it comes to domestic violence, Protestant pastors want to be helpful but often don’t know where to start.
Most say their church would be a safe haven for victims of domestic violence.
But many don’t know if anyone in their church has been a victim of domestic violence. And only half say they have a plan in place to help if a victim comes forward.
- Violent crime in the U.S. has fallen sharply over the past quarter century.
- Property crime has declined significantly over the long term.
- Public perceptions about crime in the U.S. often don’t align with the data.
- There are large geographic variations in crime rates.
- Many crimes are not reported to police.
After being airlifted to the hospital, the men told authorities that immigrants who crossed the border from Mexico wanted to steal an RV some of the hunters were using. In statements made through friends and family, they went further, suggesting that the assailants wanted to kill everyone in the party, as the Albuquerque Journal reported.
A GoFundMe page set up by a family friend to cover Daugherty’s medical bills raised $26,300 from more than 200 donors.
The story was harrowing, to be sure, not to mention rife with political implications. The Texas Agriculture Commissioner even shared it on his Facebook page, saying it underscored the need for President Trump’s proposed border wall.
But authorities say it was all a lie.