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Showing posts from December, 2018

Target on their backs: Trump outs the members of Seal Team Five

Remember the Israeli intelligence asset President Trump burned in order to brag to Russian diplomats about how much he knew- the gaffe that led the former head of Mossad to urge the Israeli government to stop sharing intel with the United States as long as he's president?

Remember the warnings our intelligence agencies gave to our allies before he took office that he has no filters and can't be trusted not to impulsively blurt out secrets in order to make himself look good?

Well, he's done it again. Mr. Trump has tweeted a video of himself and his wife shaking the hands of members of Navy Seal Team Five during his trip to Iraq. Not only did he thereby reveal where they were stationed, but he also did something worse: he revealed their identities.

Our Special Operations forces are the people who do our most sensitive military operations, like killing Osama bin Laden. There are lots and lots of people who would like to take personal revenge against them. That's why publ…

"...And was made man..."

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.2 He was in the beginning with God.3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men.5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him.8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. 9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.11 He came to

Two kingdoms, one king

Just came across a Facebook page called "Lutheran Pundit."

Those two words side by side kind of set off a warning signal that I was about to encounter either an extreme left-wing, pro-liberation theology and anti-confessional ELCA blog or an extreme right-wing, virtually alt-right Muslim-hating Trumpist one written by somebody from the LCMS or ELS or WELS.

I don't know why moderates so seldom feature the word "Lutheran" so prominently in the titles of their largely political writings and blogs. However, I have a theory

Genuine Lutheranism goes to great lengths not to, in Luther's phrase, "brew the two kingdoms into each other." It distinguishes sharply between God as Lord of creation and God as Lord of the Church, between God the righteous lawgiver and God the forgiving Father, His righteous wrath propitiated by Christ. It isn't the job of the government to forgive, and it isn't the job of the Church to punish, beyond simple church discip…

With Kelly and now Mattis gone, who's going to babysit the President?

Defense Secretary James (Mad Dog) Mattis, who presumably disagrees with President Trump's decision to support Russia's strategic objectives by withdrawing American troops from Syria, hasn't really seen eye-to-eye with our erratic leader all along, any more than has the other most prominent adult in the administration, departed Chief of Staff John Kelly. It was ominous when Gen. Kelly left. The outlook became dire when Sec. Mattis announced that he would be leaving the administration for policy reasons at the end of February.

Well, Mr. Trump has responded by firing him two months early.

Whatever the timing, Gen. Mattis's departure is a serious matter.  He has hitherto been one of the grownups in the administration who has kept our naive, unstable, and emotionally immature president from sticking metaphorical forks into metaphorical electric sockets. A Trump administration without James Mattis is a dangerous thing for America.

As the members of the administration who kn…