Massive New Data Analysis Finds Counties With More Families Show Less Coronavirus

There is huge news in a just-published statistical analysis that found a negative relationship between the strength of a county’s social capital — including especially stable families — and coronavirus infections.

Screenshot from Institute for Family Studies.

That’s a good thing! Correlation is NOT causation, but the data showed there is a distinct correlation between more of one and less of the other, according to Professor Christos Makridis, a non-resident fellow of Baylor University’s Institute for Family Studies (IFS). Continue reading “Massive New Data Analysis Finds Counties With More Families Show Less Coronavirus”

On Long-Jumping Beetles, Those Fin-Tastic Dolphins And Shrimp With Infrared-Seeing Eyes

Right up front, let me say this post is not meant to spark an evolution vs intelligent design debate. I have my views, others have theirs and odds are good we don’t agree on every point.

Photo by Darin Ashby on UnSplash.

But one thing everybody can definitely agree on is there is an all-but-inexpressibly amazing degree of creativity, variety and fascination in the world of living things, including Beetles capable of long-jumping incredible distances, dolphins with unmatched maneuverability, and shrimp capable of seeing the invisible energy known as heat.

This intriguing trio is the subject of a new post from the Discovery Institute’s EN that I highly recommend to everybody. Yes, the EN folks are highly critical of modern evolutionary theory, but put that aside as you read. Here’s a sample:

“The apparatus responsible for this exceptional jump is hidden inside the beetle’s hind legs and is relatively simple. It contains only three sclerotised parts and a few muscles. Yet, it is, in reality, a highly efficient ‘catapult, able to propel the beetle at a distance hundreds of times its body length.”

Read on here.

STAFF NEWS: Look Who Is Movin’ Up On The Hill This Week

Courtesy of Legistorm:

Rich Sheedy becomes Legislative Director for Rep. George Holding (R-NC) after serving in other jobs for the North Carolina congressman for nearly three years. Rich is a 2017 graduate of Emory University.

Hailee Hampton (Screenshot from Facebook)

Ask for Hailee Hampton if you have a scheduling question for Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX). Hailee comes to the position following a stint with the Bockorny Group and internships with Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.) and Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK). Hailee is a 2019 graduate of the University of Arkansas.

Liam Forsythe is the new Chief of Staff for Rep. Linda Diaz Barraghan (D-CA). Previously, Liam was Counsel to Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) for seven years. He earned his law degree in 2007 from Temple University’s James E. Beasley School of Law and his BA in political science and international studies in 1998 from Western Maryland College. Continue reading “STAFF NEWS: Look Who Is Movin’ Up On The Hill This Week”

Are You Ready To Get Out Of Your Boat?

Matthew’s account of Jesus walking on the water is among the most well-known of His miracles, but there is another important aspect of this event that ought especially to capture the attention of anybody working on a congressional staff.

Screenshot from Facebook.

What’s your ambition? Move up to a better-paid, higher-challenge position with your current boss? Climb the ladder to work for the most influential and powerful senator or representative? Maybe it’s to make contacts and then join a lobbying firm or advocacy group. The Hill is a wonderful springboard in countless ways, but it can also be a tough, risky place to work.

Something I read on April 30 in a daily devotional app I read every morning has been very much on my mind. The title of the entry for that day in “The Word For You Today” was simple and to the point – “Getting Out Of Your Boat.” Continue reading “Are You Ready To Get Out Of Your Boat?”

THINK ABOUT THIS: Can You Be Good Without God? Is That Even A Logical Question?

Can somebody who doesn’t believe in God still do good things, that is, act morally? The answer to that question is “yes, of course.” But when the issue is the existence of God, asking if an atheist can be moral leads the discussion down a rabbit hole.

Screenshot from drcraigvideos on youtube.

The question should be this: How can there be objectively true and universally applicable moral laws if there is no God? If there are such objective moral laws, then there must be a God. We know there are such laws the instant we realize it is always and everywhere wrong to, for example, torture children.

Why is this important, especially if you work on Capitol Hill and are thus part of the process by which America debates and establishes its laws? The answer to that question is in the following video from philosopher William Lane Craig’s Reasonable Faith:


BY THE WAY, MONA LISA DIDN’T JUST APPEAR OUT OF THIN AIR


 

SCIENCE AND FAITH: Did Those Neanderthals Invent String? (No, Not String Theory)

You may have heard or read recently about a team of paleo-anthropologists and other researchers who found some string-like material at a dig in Southern France from the era when Neanderthals were around.

Dr. Fazale Rana (Screenshot from youtube.com)

Why is this significant, especially if you work on Capitol Hill? Well, if Neanderthals had the intelligence and dexterity to create string, that says something fundamentally important about them and modern human beings. Are we exceptional, as we think?

Reasons to Believe biochemist Dr. Fazale Rana discusses this finding and its potential significance to our understanding of human origins in the following video. It’s a half-hour video, which is a good bit longer than the norm here on HillFaith, but it’s a fascinating topic that deserves serious attention:


 

WORKING ON THE HILL: Moving From Adversity To Aspiration On Capitol Hill

By Bret Bernhardt

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

Moving from adversity to aspiration may seem like a matter of national policy, especially now, but it is just as relevant to us personally as we work on Capitol Hill.

These two “A’s” can serve to unite a nation, yet they can also help us individually to overcome personal trials. I can think of no better time to explore what this means than now.

Throughout American history, adversity has served to bring us together as a nation, and not just the United States, but other countries as well. Look no further than wars, disasters, and catastrophes. Continue reading “WORKING ON THE HILL: Moving From Adversity To Aspiration On Capitol Hill”

INTELLIGENT DESIGN: Mona Lisa Didn’t Just Appear Spontaneously Out Of Nothing

Go to an art museum and you will see dozens of illustrations of the common sense truth that design requires a designer. Regardless if you see a classic Rembrandt or some weird post-modern existential scream, there was an artist behind it (i.e. a designer).

It’s the same in nature generally and specifically in that part of nature studied as the field of biology. In the following video, Cold-Case Christianity’s J. Warner Wallace, the NBC “Dateline” detective extraordinaire, walks us through eight signs he sees in biology of design.


 

Once I Was Blind, But Now I See. How About You?

You may recognize the heart of the headline above as being from the greatest hymn ever written, “Amazing Grace,” by John Newton, the former slave trader, and the English poet, William Cowper.

Only God knows how many men and women in the centuries since it was composed and published in 1779 have gladly sung that hymn because it so perfectly captured their unique stories. Continue reading “Once I Was Blind, But Now I See. How About You?”

STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Movin’ Up On The Hill

Courtesy of Legistorm:

There’s a huge new challenge in the office of Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) that comes about as a result of the appointment of the congressman’s new Chief of Staff, Marshall Yates:

Marshall Yates, chief of staff for Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala)

“Quite frankly, the biggest challenge I will have with Marshall Yates is one common to Alabama. We are simply going to have to balance out those Auburn orange & blue socks, and Auburn Tigers flag, Marshall displays wherever he works,” Brooks said. If you don’t instantly get that, you’re not from Alabama.

Yates succeeds Mark Pettitt, who was Brooks’ COS for nine years, an unusually long tenure for a Hill slot. Continue reading “STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Movin’ Up On The Hill”

What’s In An American’s Name? Quite A Lot, Actually

There is quite a debate brewing about whether or not religion and faith have been growing or declining in this country in recent years. Regular HillFaith readers will recall this post on Glenn Stanton’s case for optimism.

Photo by Andrew McQuaid on Unsplash

Now along comes Lyman Stone, an adjunct fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) with a deep-dive look at the data, combined with a well-informed and balanced historical perspective. If you work on Capitol Hill, you will benefit from Stone’s work, as it advances the debate in a healthy way. His basic conclusion is:

“By any measure, religiosity in America is declin­ing. As this report will show, since peaking in 1960, the share of American adults attending any religious service in a typical week has fallen from 50 per­cent to about 35 percent, while the share claimed as members by any religious body has fallen from over 75 percent to about 62 percent … Continue reading “What’s In An American’s Name? Quite A Lot, Actually”

THINK ABOUT THIS: What If Your Friend Tells You All About The Red Tesla In Your Dream Last Night?

So, you’re jawing with a friend on the cell and happen to mention that you had a really odd dream the other night during which you were driving a sporty Tesla Model S through Hollywood.

Tesla Model S P100D (From Tesla.com)

Then your friend says, “right, it was a red convertible and we had the top down.” Would that freak you out? What if the next thing he said was “the blonde was in the back seat with me and the redhead was up there with you” and he was right!?!? (Yes, I know Tesla doesn’t make a convertible Model S, but work with me here, ok?)

Now you’re really freaked out because two people just don’t independently have the same dream like that. But, as Cold-Case Christianity’s J. Warner Wallace (the Tesla illustration was actually his, not mine) explains in this video, something like it did happen after Jesus was resurrected. And that makes all the difference in the world for all of us:


DON’T MISS THIS!

THERE’S MORE THAN ONE WAY TO ‘TRUST THE SCIENCE’


SCIENCE AND FAITH: Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing?

Photo by Yeshi Kangrang on Unsplash

What is the most basic question of all? How about “why is there something rather than nothing?” That’s even more basic than “why am I here” or “what is the purpose of my life?”

Philosopher Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716) was a German polymath (i.e. extraordinarily smart person) and logician who said the most fundamental question of all was precisely that, why is there something rather than nothing.

His conclusion was that the answer to the question brings us face-to-face with the absolute necessity for the existence of God. Otherwise, nothing else, including us, would exist. It’s what philosophers and theologians today refer to as “The Contingency Argument.”

The following video from reasonablefaith.org provides an entertaining and thoughtfully accessible explanation of the how and why:


 

STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s *’Movin’ On Up’ On Capitol Hill

Courtesy of Legistorm:

Sarah Selip is the new Communications Director for Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA). Sarah was previously founder of 917 Strategies and before that a public relations strategist for Shirley & Bannister. She earned her BA in public relations, advertising and applied communications from St. Vincent College in 2017.

Oriana Pina, Hispanic Media Director for Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)(Screenshot from Facebook).

Taking the reins as Hispanic Media Director for Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is Oriana Pina. She comes to the Schumer staff from the SKDKnickerbocker LLC communications strategies firm where she was a Senior Associate. Oriana was awarded an MA in global communications and public diplomacy from George Washington University in 2015 and a BS in international relations in 2012 from the home of the Seminoles, Florida State University.

Now serving as Deputy Counsel for Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) is John Ehrett, following nearly two years as an Associate in the firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP. John earned his JD from Yale University School of Law in 2017 and completed his BA in government as summa cum laude at Patrick Henry College in 2014.

Leaving The Hill:

After more than three years as Chief of Staff for Rep. Antonio Cardenas (D-Calif.), Miguel Franco is moving to NBC Universal as Vice President for Government Affairs. Miguel received his BA in political science from the University of Southern California in 2007.

Sunil Varghese put in almost two years as Counsel to Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He is now Project Director for the International Refugee Assistance Project, Inc. He received his JD in 2007 from Georgetown University Law Center and both a BA in government and a BBA in management information systems in 2002 from the University of Texas.


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)


AND DON’T MISS THIS GREAT HILL STAFF STORY FROM WEDNESDAY!

STAFF NEWS/EARLY EDITION: Long-Serving COS Is Praised By Boss After Nine-Year Run

With the average tenure of a congressional aide in a position traditionally being less than two years, it’s not often that we see somebody doing the same key job for the same Member of Congress for nearly a decade.

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), left, departing chief of staff Mark Pettitt, right. (Photo courtesy of Brooks).

Such a person is Mark Pettitt, the departing chief of staff for Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) ever since the Alabamian was first elected to Congress in the Tea Party Revolution of 2010.

It helps that Brooks and Pettitt have been close friends since their high school days, a fact that perhaps accounts for the heart-felt respect and affection the congressman expressed in announcing the departure: Continue reading “STAFF NEWS/EARLY EDITION: Long-Serving COS Is Praised By Boss After Nine-Year Run”