Why Are We Silent When Black Africans Are Sold Into Slavery Every Day?

America’s Civil War ended slavery in this country and the evil institution has been outlawed in much of the remainder of the world. But not a day goes by now that Black Africans aren’t sold into bondage.

Thousands of Black Africans are sold into slavery but Americans are all but silent. (Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash)

It’s happening in Northern Africa in Muslim nations like Libya, the Sudan and Mauritania. In Libya alone, CNN has reported slave auctions in nearly a dozen locations across that war-torn nation.

“Every day across the African continent, black men, women, and children are captured, bought, and sold into slavery with the Western world paying scant attention,” according to Charles Jacobs, writing today on The Federalist. Continue reading “Why Are We Silent When Black Africans Are Sold Into Slavery Every Day?”

Morality Is Relative? Liar, Liar! Pants On Fire!

Frank Turek explains why ‘what’s right for thee may not be right for me’ leads to very long noses

Probably no topic is discussed in one context or another more often on Capitol Hill than what is right and what is wrong. Whether they ground it in an ideological perspective, a religious faith or common sense logic, pretty much everybody would say yes if asked “is there such a thing as right and wrong.”

Is something right or wrong just because we say it is? (Photo by Julian Howard on Unsplash)

Two questions then: What about all those folks who contend morality is merely social convention and thus varies from one society to another, so “what’s right for you may not be right for me?

And how do we know if morality exists because a particular ideology — Ayn Rand? Karl Marx? — says it does, or because somebody’s religious faith — Christianity? Islam? — proclaims it or for some other reason? Continue reading “Morality Is Relative? Liar, Liar! Pants On Fire!”

THINK ABOUT THIS: If You Can’t Measure Your Thoughts, Do They Really Exist?

If the physical universe that we see, smell, hear, feel and taste is all that exists, how can we account for the fact we all have thoughts and emotions that are just as “real” to us as any of our senses?

God’s Crime Scene by J. Warner Wallace.

This might initially seem like an odd question, but in fact it “points” to one of the most important questions any human being can ever ponder: If the non-material (i.e. thinking, consciousness) is as real as our five material senses (which can be explained merely by physical factors), how do we explain the origin and ultimate significance of the non-material?

J. Warner Wallace, NBC “Dateline’s” cold-case detective, addresses this issue in chapter five of his superb book “God’s Crime Scene.” There he observes this:

Continue reading “THINK ABOUT THIS: If You Can’t Measure Your Thoughts, Do They Really Exist?”

If God Is All-Knowing, All Powerful, How Can We Have Free Agency?

Great question, that, in the headline. The smartest theologians and philosophers in every age for the past 2,000+ years (and more recently, physicists and mathematicians) have tried to figure how human beings can have free will in a universe in which everything is predestined by God.

At the very least, that proposition appears to violate the basic rule of logic, the Principle of Non-Contradiction — That which is A cannot also be Not-A.  If people can choose as they wish, then God can’t be determining their choice.

NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective J. Warner Wallace was asked about this during a recent presentation at Ohio State University. In response, Wallace explains why free will and materialism are similarly opposed but there is at least the logical possibility of a solution in a universe created by God.


 

STAFF MOVES: Look Who’s Moving On Up On Capitol Hill

Recent Moves, As Reported By Legistorm:

Kristine Lucius may have one of the toughest jobs on Capitol Hill these days – she’s now chief of staff for Sen. Kamala Harris, the California Democrat who is seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. That puts Lucius directing traffic at a very busy intersection! Her law degree is from Georgetown University and her BA is from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.

Jesse Lee has a second act with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, moving over from the Center for American Progress where he was a vice president. Lee previously worked as senior new media adviser for Pelosi in 2007. He’s also a veteran of the Obama White House communications office. He is a 2002 Trinity College graduate in philosophy.

Carina Nichols has her first job on the Hill, as a legislative assistant for Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska). Nichols expects to finish her MA in environmental management at Duke University in 2012 and she has a BS in biological sciences and ecology from Colorado State University. Welcome to the Hill, Carina!

Katharine MacGregor has been nominated by President Donald Trump as Deputy Secretary of the Interior. MacGregor is a Hill veteran, having served on the House Natural Resources Committee in various positions for six years.

Acting Deputy Secretary of the Interior Katharine MacGregor (Screen shot from DOI web site).

She also worked on the personal staffs of three Republican representatives, including Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), Rep. Thelma Drake (R-Va.) and Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.).

She is a University of Pennsylvania 2004 graduate with a BA in American history and classical studies, with honors. She is presently the Acting Deputy Secretary.

Ally Kehoe is the new communications director for Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), moving over from the same position with Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ). Kehoe is a 2008 graduate in political science and broadcast journalism from Syracuse University.


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.

The Best Resources for Finding a Job On the Hill

Where Your Best Job Lead is on Capitol Hill May Surprise You

Getting in the Door on Capitol Hill

Here’s Nine Valuable Tips for Interviewing Well on Capitol Hill

Working on Capitol Hill is the World’s Best Job (Or at Least My Best Ever)


Got A New Job On The Hill? Tell The World About It Right Here

Just email the details – name of your new boss, your new title, description of duties, where you graduated from school, a great digital photo of yourself, etc. Send to: mt.hillfaith@gmail.com.


 

Here’s What Beauty Tells Us About Ourselves And The Universe (Hint: This Is VIP)

What is “beauty?” Is it really just “in the eye of the beholder?” One happy, contented person’s beautiful blue sky is nothing more than another depressed, lonely individual’s empty, meaningless expanse of … whatever?

This may seem like a trite question to begin with, but, if you think about it carefully, something extremely important is illustrated by the fact that people disagree on what is and is not beautiful. That’s what this brief, thought-provoking video is about.

Dr. Sean McDowell is a professor of apologetics at Biola University and, with his father Josh, co-author of the latest edition of “More Than A Carpenter,” the classic presentation of evidence for the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave. Enjoy!

 

Kanye West May Be The Canary In America’s Political Coal Mine

Something is happening with the guy and it’s much bigger than Donald Trump

Kanye West is one of those famous people who got that way by being unusually talented at something – in his case, music and entrepreneurship – and being unlike pretty much anybody else in American public life.

Kanye West during his Chicago Sunday Service (Screen shot )

That makes him, depending upon your perspective, either unique and fascinating, or weird and puzzling. Either way, he’s not a take-him-or-leave-him kind of guy.

Love or despise him, though, West is a major influence on contemporary American culture and that makes him relevant in multiple ways for folks working on Capitol Hill.

(For one thing, he may be a canary in the coal mine of American politics, telling us in advance of a coming seismic shift in the way Black Americans see things in Washington, D.C. That, as Sen. Bernie Sanders might say,  would be huuuuge on Capitol Hill.) Continue reading “Kanye West May Be The Canary In America’s Political Coal Mine”

WORKING ON THE HILL: Studies Reveal Unexpected Profiles Of Hill Staff Pay, Demographics

When Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi released the results of her July survey of Congressional Compensation and Diversity on September 26, it prompted Casey Burgat, senior fellow for the R Street Institute’s Governance Project, to run a comparison with data on HIll staff he uses in his analyses.

Casey Burgat, R Street Institute Governance Project Senior Fellow (screen shot from C-SPAN)

Pelosi’s results were based on responses from more than 5,000 respondents to a survey that was sent to 10,000 Hill employees. Burgat uses data obtained from Legistorm, the widely used compiler of official congressional information about salaries, staff backgrounds, employment histories and much, much more, as of March 2019.

For the most part, the Pelosi and Legistorm data are close, but Burgat found some significant differences, especially with regard to issues like salary and gender distributions by position. Continue reading “WORKING ON THE HILL: Studies Reveal Unexpected Profiles Of Hill Staff Pay, Demographics”

There Are Humongous Problems With Scientism (Note: Not Science, But ‘Scientism’)

Science proves it. I believe it. That settles it. Really?

iApologia logo (Screen shot)

It was not uncommon in years past to hear it stereotypically declared occasionally among some religious folks in America that “The Bible says it, I believe it and that settles it!”

Comedians and college professors still make jokes about such declarations here and there, but the truth is, there are also examples of the same sort of closed mindedness on the other side of the debate about the origins of the universe, the existence of God, and related topics.

Daniel Currier at iApologia explains why he describes this state of mind as “scientism:” Continue reading “There Are Humongous Problems With Scientism (Note: Not Science, But ‘Scientism’)”

Just In Case You Were In Siberia This Past Week, With No Internet …

Here’s what you missed on HillFaith:

* Why did a Chicago atheist doing standup comedy become a Christian?
* Ready for the insurmountable odds against you being here by chance?
* Is America a “Christian nation?” Apologist Frank Turek’s answer will surprise you.
* Here’s why agnosticism is self-defeating (And who wants to live that kind of life?).
* Cold-case detective J. Warner Wallace explains why witnesses with differing accounts can all be right.
* Looking for the right recipe for your office’s culture? Just add salt. And guess who is the salt!

SUNDAY THINK ABOUT THIS: The Insurmountable Odds Against You Being Here By Chance

“The first question smart gamblers ask is, ‘What are the odds?’ There’s good reason for it; playing the odds gives them the best chance at winning.

Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

“However, the odds for many things we see in our universe coming into existence without any intelligent input or intentionality are so mind-numbingly improbable it requires an irrational dose of blind faith to even consider them.

“How mind-numbing, you ask? I’ll give just one brief example. Take living cells and the biological proteins that compose them. If we consider just one simple living cell consisting of only 250 short proteins, and those 250 proteins each consist of only 150 amino acids (they can consist of up to 30,000 amino acids), the odds that these 37,500 amino acids (250 proteins X 150 amino acids) could all arrange themselves into a sequence where the cell could actually function is only one chance in 10 to the 41,000th (that’s a one followed by 41,000 zeros.

“That’s a lethal problem for atheism. Even if the universe were 14 billion years old (that’s the oldest estimate even the most ardent atheists give it), there hasn’t been nearly enough time for 10 to the 41,000th attempts at anything. Not by a long shot! And that’s only one example out of countless others we could offer.” — Tom Hammond, What Time Is Purple, pps 16-17


 

Is America A ‘Christian Nation?’

Earlier this year, Dr. Frank Turek, the founder of crossexamined.org, was asked by a young questioner if he thinks America is or was a “Christian nation.” This issue should be a familiar one to congressional aides, but how Turek responded is almost certainly unexpected for many on the Hill.

Dr. Frank Turek, president of crossexamined.org. (Screen shot from YouTube)

In a word, Turek’s response was “no,” but then he explained that the term “Christian nation” is subject to multiple definitions. Referring to the 1776  Declaration of Independence drafted by Thomas Jefferson, Turek argued that the founders intended to establish a nation based on the moral laws that endow every individual with those inalienable rights.

“A Christian nation? Maybe by description, but not by prescription,” Turek said. He said a great deal more on this issue and his analysis may well surprise folks who have certain stereotypical ideas about what conservative and evangelical Christians believe.

Why Two Witnesses With Differing Details Can Both Be Telling The Truth About An Event

Everybody knows that five different people who see a car wreck will provide five different explanations for what happened, right? That’s why nobody ever goes to jail based on the testimony of two or more witnesses, right?

Addressing the “Contradictions in the Bible” issue by J. Warner Wallace. (Screen shot)

Wait a minute, people are convicted of crimes and go to jail every day based on testimony from at least two witnesses and it’s not at all unusual for those witnesses to offer different details about the circumstances surrounding the crime.

NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective J. Warner Wallace responds to the oft-heard objection that there are contradictions in the Bible, particularly in the four Gospel accounts of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

WORKING ON THE HILL: Look Who’s Being Promoted

Recent Moves, As Reported By Legistorm:

Kate O’Connor is the new chief counsel for the Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on communications and technology. Kate has worked on the Hill for five years on the Senate side, but this is her first committee gig. She’s a 2014 public policy BA graduate from the University of Chicago.

Marsha Espinoza is Rep. Linda Sanchez’s new chief of staff, marking a return for Espinoza as she was communications director for the California Democratic representative in 2008-2010. In the years between, Espinoza worked for Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Califo ), was an Obama political appointee at the Department of Homeland Security, and became a partner at Swann Street Partners. Espinoza received her MA in communications from Texas State University at San Marcos in 2007, and her BS in education in 2002 from New Mexico State University. Continue reading “WORKING ON THE HILL: Look Who’s Being Promoted”

Looking For The Recipe For Your Office’s Culture? Just Add Salt

By Bret Bernhardt

We talk a lot about influencing our culture in the macro, but what about closer to home? What’s the culture like in your office? Is it warm, friendly, selfless, welcoming, and open? Or is it coarse, backstabbing, self-serving, and overly ambitious?

Bret Bernhardt, former chief of staff for senators Don Nickles and Jim DeMint.

Now, what is your role in that culture? Do you strive to bring it to a higher level or do your actions or inactions contribute to an unhealthy environment? We can look for the answer in the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.

He said, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” (Matthew 5:13) What does this mean? Continue reading “Looking For The Recipe For Your Office’s Culture? Just Add Salt”