With congressional staff beginning to return to Hill offices in some numbers and many more still working from home, the question of whether senators and representatives need larger personal staffs is likely to get more attention in coming months.
Thanks to COVID-19, many staffers accustomed to doing jobs on the legislative or media side have had to learn more about the difficulties and challenges of effective constituent case work. And having most staff working from home has created a host of new challenges, as well as new ways of getting important things done.
Would hiring larger personal staffs well-serve the public? Would your boss be able to serve his or her constituents more effectively if more staff members were available?
Cast your vote below. Leave a comment. And don’t worry, it’s all anonymous, so share your thoughts and don’t be bashful!
Contrary to what is being claimed in some quarters, Critical Theory — the driving worldview behind the pervasive claim America is through and through a racist society ruled by “White Privilege” — is not consistent with the biblical understanding of reality.
The Bible does define racism as sin and tells us “there is neither Greek nor Jew, neither free or nor slave, there is no male or female, you are all one in Christ.” That’s about as complete an affirmation as I can imagine of the equality of the human race, without regard to skin color, nationality or any other factor.
But that’s about where the common ground ends. Don’t just take my word for it. Joseph Backholm of the Colson Center’s“What Would You Say” video series explains the three foundational differences between Critical Theory and the Bible. If you work on the Hill, this is a perspective you should hear, whether or not you agree with it:
It’s Wretched’s Todd Friel, here on HillFaith for the first time. We all get anxiety. If you work a high-pressure Hill job, anxiety can be a regular companion. But there is one way to deal with it that beats all the others:
If you are a follower of Jesus Christ who works on a congressional staff, either for an individual senator or representative, or a committee, or one of the congressional agencies like CBO or GAO, you likely face “the world” in ways that are unique to politics and government. And it can sometimes be overwhelming. Been there. Done that, too.
Bruce Cooper, the guy behind the excellent “Reasoned Cases for Christ” blog, does not work on the Hill but he knows a thing or three about dealing with the world’s fiery darts of busyness, confusion, overwork, ego and materialism. Lots of useful advice from one believer to another here.
Ephesians 6:16NASB “in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”
Flaming arrows, fiery darts, all being extinguished. Do you sometimes feel like you are a dartboard and those darts or flaming arrows just never seem to stop coming?
God’s Word tells us that, that which we see in not always as it appears. Ephesians 6:12NASB tells us that “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Do I have a broad understanding of what this means? Yes I do. If I was to paraphrase what I understand from this Scripture, it tells me that the interactions that I see here on earth between humans is not solely sourced…
A sharp crop of rookies comes to Capitol Hill this week, starting with Lucy
Gardner who is taking on her first challenge in a congressional job, as a Staff Assistant on the Senate Appropriations Committee for the Chairman, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). Lucy’s BA is in communicative disorders from the University of Alabama in 2019. She also studied at Reformed Theological Seminary.
Joe Vaughanhas signed on as Director, Diversity and Inclusion for the House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee for Diversity and Inclusion. Joe’s BS degree in global business and public policy was awarded by the University of Maryland.
Katie Nichols makes the big jump from Capitol Hill intern to Staff Assistant
for Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Calif.).George Washington University awarded Katie a Masters in Professional Studies in 2019 and she earned a BA in political science from Loyola Marymount University in 2017. She served Hill internships for Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.).
There is a new Executive Assistant/Scheduler working in the Hill office for Rep. Greg Stanton (D-AZ) and his name Micaiah Thomas. Micaiah’s BS in political science and government was awarded in 2020. Micaiah is also taking on his job on Capitol Hill.
Another Hillsdale College grad joins a congressional staff as William Turtonbecomes Legislative Assistant to Rep. Mark Green (R-TN). William received an MA in politics last year from the illustrious Michigan school that accepts no government funding. His bachelor in political science and government came in 2017 from Clemson 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.
Read the following two graphs. If you, like me, are not a Ph.D. in computer science or quantum physics, odds are you won’t fully understand the implications for the God question:
“We now know that three quantum fields undergird physical reality — the electron, the up quark and the down quark. These ‘particles’ are in fact tiny clouds of pure energy. And somehow, they encode digital information for establishing what is known as a particle’s quantum state.
“We do not understand and cannot visualize what this ghostly energy is. But we do know that it cannot be created or destroyed by any natural power. We also know that we can use mathematics to model how these tiny clouds of digital information behave as they flow through time and combine to undergird larger and larger patterns of energy and information.”
Trust me, if, like me, you are curious about how we all got here and why we live in the kind of material universe we inhabit, you gotta read “Bits and Bytes at the Bottom,” by Kenneth Pederson and Jonathan Witt. It appears in the latest issue of Evolution News & Science Today.
Whether you are an atheist, an agnostic or a believing Christian, we ought all be tremendously inspired and encouraged by the incredible progress being made possible by all those bytes!
Had a birthday a few days ago. How old am I now? Let’s just say, as President Reagan often did, that it was the 41st anniversary of my … okay, moving right along. It doesn’t really matter how old I became, what is really important here is that the occasion means I completed another of my allotted years, however many that may ultimately be.
But we all know what happens when we reach that final day and breath our last. We die. What then? Is that all there is to it? What happens after we die? If you are a secularist/humanist, there are, in the final analysis, what appear to be two possible answers but which are actually variations on a *theme:
Not sure how I missed this story in December when The Federalist first published it, but it is an amazing and true account of a woman who has given of herself to her own six children and 20 foster kids.
“Over the decades she was a foster mother, Kennedy cared for many children who had suffered trauma at home. Her faith and her belief in the beauty and potential of each child helped her care for and walk with them along their journeys. Many still keep in touch.”
Meet Thelma Kennedy, 78, of the tiny village of Vredenburgh as reported by Christine Weerts for The Federalist. Question for congressional staff: How do we encourage more Thelma Kennedys?
There is no such thing as absolute truth. What’s true for you may not be true for me. It’s all relative. It’s impossible to know what is truth because there are so many different opinions, so why bother?
You’ve heard all of those claims, or variations thereof, especially if you pay attention to the news, politics, cultural trends, advances in science and/or debates among philosophers about weighty questions such as “what is truth and how do we know it?”
Biola University Professor Sean McDowell takes up that question in the following video and in the course of analyzing it explains why truth exists and it’s never been more important:
Natasha Crain earned her MBA in statistics from UCLA, so she knows how to read the numbers. But she is also pretty good at sorting out the meanings behind and beyond words and phrases, too.
“Critical Theory” is being heard regularly these days. It’s been a commonplace on American campuses for several decades, but it has exploded into the public consciousness in recent weeks as more than a few voices among and defending rioters have cited arguments derived from the phrase.
It all started with the Big Bang, right? Billions of years ago, there was nothing of the universe but empty space. No Earth. No stars or moons. Nobody anywhere. Nothing but … lots and lots of nothing.
Then the Big Bang happened and, well, the rest is literally history, right up to this moment as you read these words. You aren’t certain why it happened but you are convinced it did.
But hang on a second, there’s an aspect of the Big Bang that you probably haven’t thought about. It makes all the difference, however, because it’s a miracle, something super-natural, beyond what we understand to be normal. Cold Case Christianity’s J. Warner Wallace, author of “God’s Crime Scene,” explains why:
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” — John 14:1-3
And C.S. Lewis said:
“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell.
“You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.” – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.
There is a common assertion among atheists that religion is the cause of millions of deaths that would otherwise not have happened. The implication is that a world without religion would be peaceful whereas religion always and everywhere causes wars.
The implication is further that Christianity is somehow particularly prone to inciting armies to march and clash. Considering the Middle Ages and Reformation eras, there’s certainly an abundance of examples that seem to support the assertion, but, as is well-illustrated by, for example, Thucydides’ “The Peloponnesian War” and Julius Caesar’s “The Gallic Wars,” the ancient pagan world was equally familiar with wars having little or nothing to do with religion.
So the facts of history, especially in the modern era, simply do not support that atheist/agnostic contention about religion and war. As Dr. Frank Turek of cross-examined.org points out in the following video, the worst killers have been followers of officially atheistic Communism, genocidal murderers like Stalin and Mao.
And just for the record, the common element in all wars, be they religiously inspired or prompted by non-religious factors, is human nature and man’s ready resort to killing to settle things, otherwise known as Original Sin.
And Since We’re Talking About War, Don’t Miss This!
Ephesians 2:8-10 says, among much else, “you are saved by grace, not of works, lest any man should boast.” That makes Christianity a relationship with the Savior, not a religion of dos and don’ts by which one earns salvation.
Rob Burgess moves over from Red Rock Strategies to Communications Director for Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Calif.). Rob is a 2008 Ball State University graduate in political science and campaign communications.
Amy Travieso Loveng is the new Chief of Staff for Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas). This is a return engagement for Amy as she served as the veteran Texan’s Deputy Chief of Staff from 2011 to 2017. Amy is a Texas Aggie, graduating from Texas A&M in 2008 with a BA.
Heading to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue is Gregory Angelo to take over as Press Secretary for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Gregory was previously Communications Director for Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas). He is a 2000 cum laude graduate of Boston College.
Arthur Sidney has left the staff of Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) to become vice president for public policy at the Computer & Communications Industry Association. Sidney served as Chief of Staff/Chief Counsel for Johnson, as well as before that for Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas). Arthur’s LLM degree was awarded in 1999 by American University’s Washington College of Law. His law degree came in 1998 from Howard University Law School. He is a 1995 cum laude graduate of Vassar University with a BA in international and African Studies. Continue reading “STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Moving Up On The Hill This Week”