“Now that it’s done, though, remember not just that they won but how they won. The 2019 Washington Nationals taught us all lessons — about patience and belief, about faith and fortitude, about finding life where none seemed to exist. They are champions because of all of that, even if — right now or next month or next year — it’s unfathomable they did it at all.” — Barry Svriuga, Washington Post sports columnist.
Read that headline again because it probably doesn’t suggest what you thought it did the first time through. That is, it’s NOT suggesting that if you think there are little green men somewhere “out there,” you must also believe God exists.
Now, check out this logic from Timothy Fox, one of the proprietors of the Free Thinking Ministries blog, in an illuminating post on Dr. Sean McDowell’s blog entitled “Aliens and the Existence of God”:
“So how could we demonstrate that God does not exist? Aliens are physical beings and so we must seek physical, scientific evidence of their existence. Continue reading “If You Think Aliens May Exist, God Can Get To You, Too”
Gene-editing or altering DNA to achieve a desired change in the characteristics of a person yet to be born, is a technology that holds both great promise for bettering the human condition and of creating, unintentionally or otherwise, bio-monsters capable of unimaginable horror.
Molecular biologist Anjeanette Roberts points out on the Reasons to Believe blog that gene-editing has made big strides in the past six years, highlighted most notably in the recent case of a Chinese biologist who claimed to have altered successfully the genomes of three babies born of IVF processes to make them resistant to HIV. It appears his claims, however, were in error.
Even so, such developments pose huge ethical, political, technological and regulatory questions that sooner or later will have to be addressed by Congress, the courts and federal policymakers in the executive branch.
Roberts’ essential point is the crucial importance of caution. Here’s why: Continue reading “What About Editing The Human Genome? How Long Till Congress Must Act?”
If you remember or have seen the 1993 movie “Groundhog Day” with Bill Murray and Andie McDowell as the two lead characters, you know he’s local TV reporter, she is his producer and he becomes trapped in a day-long time loop.
And of course, he falls in love with her, but she’s skeptical when he tries to explain the time-loop. Only when he repeatedly tells her details easily forgettable details about what is about to happen does she realize he’s telling her the truth. Continue reading “THINK ABOUT THIS: What The Movie ‘Groundhog Day’ Points To On Biblical Prophetic Accuracy”
Some Washington political sage whose name I long ago forgot once remarked that when you see a tree covered with big, juicy red apples, you can pretty much count on it being an apple tree.
So why shouldn’t the same logic apply when we encounter a universe in which hundreds of factors must be finely tuned simultaneously in order for we humans to survive, as we have for thousands of years?
NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective J. Warner Wallace points out in the following video clip that even atheists like physicist Paul Davies concede that “everyone agrees that the universe looks as if it was designed for life.” There is a reason for that and it isn’t chance:
“Mark Twain had a point when he concluded that it was not the parts of the Bible he did not understand that bothered him—but the parts he did understand!)” ―
Recent Staff Moves, As Reported By Legistorm:
Matt McNally now occupies the chief of staff’s office for Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY) after two years in Gotham City as director of its federal affairs operation. Previously, McNally was communications director for Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.). He is a Roger Williams University graduate.
Jacob Stubbs has his first position on a congressional staff, serving as a legislative assistant for Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.). For two years prior, Stubbs was a special assistant in the Department of Homeland Security. He has an MA from Yale Divinity School and a BA in government and religion from Berry College.
There’s a new professional staff member for the Research and Technology Subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, Alan McQuinn. He’s a “Hook’em Horns” kind of guy, earning a BS in 2013 in political communications and public relations from that big school in Austin.
Got a scheduling question involving Rep. Cindy Axne (D-Iowa)? Ask the new scheduler, Tony McComiskey. The new gig comes after three years in various capacities with former Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.). McComiskey’s BA in political science and government was awarded by Gettysburg College in 2014.
Think You Want To Go Back Home And Run For Congress?
It’s not unusual for congressional staffers to return home at some point and stand for election as their neighbors’ representative in the nation’s capitol.
Sometimes they win, sometimes they don’t. Rosemary Becchi, former tax counsel for the Senate Finance Committee, is making major strides toward being among the former, having raised, according to the New Jersey Globe, more than $387,000 in her bid for the GOP nomination for Congress in the seventh district.
If she wins her primary against two opponents, Becchi will take on Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J., a freshman who will be running for re-election for the first time. Becchi has the endorsement of FreedomWorks America and Maggie’s List.
LOOKING FOR A HILL JOB?
Check out this five-part HillFaith series by Bret Bernhardt, former chief of staff for Senators Don Nickle (R-Okla.) and Jim DeMint (R-S.C.). Bernhardt has a wealth of experience, insider insight, how-tos and obscure terms (know what a “golden reference” is on the Hill?), plus lots of helpful links.
Jesus told His disciples that He would be coming back to this Earth and when He does “every knee shall bow and … every tongue will confess” that He is Lord. But nobody, not even Him, knows when that will happen?
It turns out in scripture that only God the Father knows when God the Son, Jesus, will return at His second coming, but that raises a question: If Jesus is fully God and fully man, why doesn’t He know when He’s returning?
Great question, according to crossexamined.org’s Dr. Frank Turek, who in this video not only responds to that question but includes an adaption of that famous Abbot & Costello”Who’s on First” routine that will put a smile on your face:
Right at the outset, let me make it clear that in my view it is reasonable to conclude that some form of evolutionary process was used by God to create life. Scripture says a day is like a thousand years for God, so the time issue isn’t the show-stopper many think it is.
But claiming evolution provides the only acceptable answers to all questions about the origins of life on Earth is just as close-minded as saying “the Bible says God did it in six days and that settles it.”
The fact is that there are important issues that evolutionary theory, as it is currently developed, has answers about which equally smart, reasonable people can disagree and there are questions for which evolution’s answers are purely speculative. Continue reading “Evolution Has Answers For Many Of The Most VIP Questions But What About Those It Doesn’t?”
A major new survey of nearly 16,000 young adults aged 18 to 35 years old living in 25 countries around the world turned up numerous positive trends but it revealed some genuinely worrisome news as well.
The survey — entitled “The Connected Generation” — was conducted collaboratively by World Vision, the Washington-based “global Christian humanitarian organization” for sponsoring a child, and The Barna Group, the California-based demographic research firm, and was released last month.
The genuinely worrisome news coming out of the survey is the extraordinarily low number of respondents who “often feel deeply cared-for by those around me” (33 percent) and who “often feel someone believes in me” (32 percent). Continue reading “EMERGING ISSUES ON THE HILL: Just One-Third Of Young Adults Feel ‘Deeply Cared-For By Those Around Me.’ Is Social Media The Culprit?”
Clarissa Rojas, 23, is one of the youngest communications directors working on Capitol Hill, having begun serving in that position earlier this month for Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.).
But her latest position is not her first on Capitol Hill. Rojas previously served as press secretary for Rep. Nannette Diaz Barragan (D-Calif.) and before that as press assistant in the same office.
It’s not just her age that makes Rojas noteworthy, it’s the tough road she’s had to travel to get from a hard life in California to a congressional staff position. It’s a journey that Roll Call’s Kathryn Lyons describes well in a superb profile today. If you read nothing else today, read this one.
What do you say if a former boss asks you for a few minutes to chat, then closes the door and explains that she wants to pick your brain about reshaping her staff to advance her legislative agenda more effectively?
Do you say “hire more staff” or “let some people go and pay those you keep more?” Perhaps the solution is to start looking for replacements for all of the key slots, but then how do you avoid merely hiring a new version of the same-old-same-old?
Alan Wiseman of Vanderbilt and Craig Volden of UVA are co-directors of the Center for Effective Law-Making and they recently did a thoughtful memo for the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress on what makes productive legislative staffs. Some of their conclusions, posted by legbranch.org, will surprise even Hill veterans.
This post came about today because early this morning as I was walking Twister, our exuberant Black Lab, I was somehow reminded by a magnificent oak of the fact I couldn’t see the trees for the forest on my first “bad” job on Capitol Hill.
Here’s the background: My first job on the Hill was as press secretary for a Maryland congressman. It was a great experience, as I learned so much from Don Baker, a superb Washington Post reporter, about journalism and the news process, and I absorbed volumes about the ways of the Hill.
But then I got over-confident, talked my way into a job working for an older Texas congressman as his chief of staff, and promptly realized I had screwed up royally.
It truly was not a good fit. He was set in his ways, which, after all, had gotten him re-elected multiple times during an era when old-guard conservative Democrats still ruled the Lone Star State. Continue reading “WORKING ON THE HILL: Not Happy In Your Job? Step One To Healthy Change — Count Your Blessings”
Recent Staff Moves, As Reported By Legistorm:
Greg Brooks is now chief of staff for Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio). The Brooks and Wenstrup connection goes back to 2012 when Brooks served as political director. Brooks has filled just about every other key staff slot for Wenstrup in the years since. He is a 2010 Magna Cum Laude graduate in government with a BA from Centre College.
Stephanie Dougherty is Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner’s new legislative counsel. She moves over to the Hill after a two-year stint with the U.S. Climate Action Network as government affairs director.
She is a 2009 graduate of the Seattle University School of Law and a 2005 BA graduate in political science and business from Texas Christian University.
Ben Martello is now senior adviser to Rep. Lori Trahan (D-Mass.). Martello’s BA in politics was awarded in 2002 by Salve Regina University. He was previously district director for Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.).
Christine Ravold has set up shop as communications director for Rep. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio), coming over from the Capital Research Center where she was communications officer. Ravold completed her BA in English and communications in 2013 from Rosemont College. Continue reading “WORKING ON THE HILL: *Look Who’s ‘Movin’ On Up’”
God is impartial, but HillFaith isn’t! Go Nats! Bring on the Pinstripes or the Astros, makes no difference.