Current Events Write-Up: Gorsuch, Disability Rights, Health Care, the Senate, Little House, the Big Bang Theory, Etc.

Time for a Current Events Write-Up.

Neil Gorsuch

Washington Post: Neil Gorsuch belongs to a notably liberal church — and would be the first Protestant on the Court in years, by Julie Zauzmer.

I learned of this article from Steve Hays, who linked to it on Triablogue.

I especially liked this part of the article: “Staff at St. John’s declined to speak about Gorsuch on Wednesday. One member, who has ushered at services with Gorsuch, said she didn’t even know he was a judge.”

Huffington Post:Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee Showed Support For His Clerk’s Gay Marriage: But people close to the judge can’t quite predict how he’ll rule on big social issues.

The title says it all.  He personally may have progressive ideas, but that does not necessarily preclude him from making conservative decisions, on the basis of a conservative judicial philosophy.

ACLU: Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch Has a Troubling History When Ruling on Disability Rights Cases, by Claudia Center.

This troubles me, as someone on the autism spectrum.

Disability and Gun Control

Reason: The House Passes a Gun Measure Supported by the ACLU and Mental Health Advocates. Media Hysteria Ensues:Bad reporting, and bad attitudes, make a sensible move to prevent the government from discriminating against certain Social Security recipients seem like sheer madness, by Brian Doherty.

We’ve read the story about how the House Republicans voted to allow the mentally ill to get guns.  Here is another perspective on the story.  And it links to the ACLU’s letter about this issue.  To quote the ACLU letter: “…regulation of firearms and individual gun ownership or use must be consistent with civil liberties principles, such as due process, equal protection, freedom from unlawful searches, and privacy. All individuals have the right to be judged on the basis of their individual capabilities, not the characteristics and capabilities that are sometimes attributed (often mistakenly) to any group or class to which they belong. A disability should not constitute grounds for the automatic per se denial of any right or privilege, including gun ownership.”

Health Care

Townhall: States Should Protect Direct-Pay Health Care Models, by Michael Hamilton.

Sounds good.  It aims to bypass the insurance companies and the overhead that dealing with them entails.  See here for wikipedia’s article, which links to sources, pro and con.

Townhall: Free Dr. Tom Price!, by Andrew Mangione.

Tom Price is President Trump’s selection for the Department of Health and Human Services.  Andrew Mangione praises the legislation that Price supported or introduced in Congress.  Mangione states that Democrats should “look at Dr. Price with clarity and identify what his colleagues already recognize – a passionate advocate for patients, seniors, women, physicians, families and veterans.”

Trump and the Muslim World

Townhall: The Coming Clash With Iran, by Pat Buchanan.

Pat offers another perspective.  Allow me to quote: “Iran-backed Houthi rebels, said Flynn, attacked a Saudi warship and Tehran tested a missile, undermining ‘security, prosperity, and stability throughout the Middle East,’ placing ‘American lives at risk.’  But how so?   The Saudis have been bombing the Houthi rebels and ravaging their country, Yemen, for two years. Are the Saudis entitled to immunity from retaliation in wars that they start?   Where is the evidence Iran had a role in the Red Sea attack on the Saudi ship? And why would President Trump make this war his war?”

CNN Politics: 100 evangelical leaders sign ad denouncing Trump’s refugee ban, by Daniel Burke.

“Signees include Pastor Timothy Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York, Christian author Ann Voskamp, Bill and Lynne Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church, preacher and author Max Lucado, Pastor Eugene Cho of Quest Church and Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals.”

Also, Dr. Gordon Hugenberger is on the list.  I used to hear him speak when I visited Park Street Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Senate

New York Times: Kirsten Gillibrand and the Anti-Trump Left: 2020 Foresight?, by Ginia Bellafante.

“When David A. Paterson, then governor of New York, appointed Kirsten E. Gillibrand to fill Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat in 2009, there was little feeling that she would become a key voice in a movement of resistance from the left. As a Blue Dog congressional Democrat representing an upstate district, Ms. Gillibrand had an A rating from the National Rifle Association. She had an uptown bearing but talked about the guns she kept tucked under her bed. Working as a young lawyer, she defended the tobacco industry.”

I love stories like this: people acting as you don’t expect!  I like the movie Separate But Equal, which was about a companion case to the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision banning racial segregation in schools.  President Eisenhower appointed Earl Warren to the Supreme Court, and opponents of segregation wondered how Warren would decide.  When they learned that Warren was the Governor who participated in the internment of Japanese-Americans into internment camps, they were not very optimistic!  But Warren surprised them.  Not only did he vote against segregation, but he encouraged all of the other justices on the court to take a principled stand against it.  I hope that President Trump acts against negative expectations and accomplishes groundbreaking reforms.

Yahoo News: Bernie Sanders Reads Coretta Scott King’s Letter on the Senate Floor, Calls GOP Silencing Elizabeth Warren ‘Incomprehensible’, by Tierney McAfee.

Elizabeth Warren was silenced from reading Coretta Scott King’s letter on Jeff Sessions before the U.S. Senate, but then Bernie went on to read it!  I think there is another side to Sessions’ record than the one that the Left presents.  Still, I believe that Senators should be allowed to read Coretta Scott King’s concerns about Sessions: Sessions was not only a Senator, but a nominee for Attorney General.  (Now, of course, he actually is Attorney General.)

Historical Interest

New York Times: Finding America, Both Red and Blue, in the ‘Little House’ Books, by Maria Russo.

I love the Little House on the Prairie TV show!  The politics of Little House has long fascinated me!  I have known that Laura Ingalls Wilder’s daughter Rose was instrumental in the libertarian movement, and that Laura Ingalls Wilder herself was a critic of the New Deal.  As the article notes, however, LIW herself benefited from the government.  I would be interested in reading something about the politics of the TV series, which this article does not explore.  Michael Landon was supposedly a Republican, yet my impression is that Little House and Highway to Heaven were very progressive, politically-speaking.

Entertainment

Glamour:The Big Bang Theory Season 10 Episode 14 Recap: This Is Why We Should Be Kind to Others, by Jessica Radloff. 

I loved this reflection on the show: “Season 10—even seasons eight and nine—has been more than just guaranteed laughs each week; it’s become a weekly therapy of sorts. From anxiety to hoarding to intimacy, the show has somehow found a way to effectively weave in topical issues 24 episodes a season. For a series that started off about a couple of nerds having problems interacting with the hot girl…well, this is no longer that series.  ‘The writers are realistic about these characters maturing and evolving, and they have [done that] in wonderful ways,’ Johnny Galecki (Leonard) acknowledges. ‘You couldn’t watch 10 seasons of these guys not being able to get a date.’ True, but never did we expect the show to evolve into something of a social discussion each week either.”

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About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. I study the History of Biblical Interpretation at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio, as part of its Ph.D. program. I have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting.
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