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Friday, February 17, 2017 6:00 PM
Our Founding Fathers debated government structure. John Adams believed in a strong elected executive; his opponents feared monarchy. Thomas Jefferson believed in liberal democracy (albeit of aristocrats); his opponents feared rule of the rabble. Some Mississippians have created a synthesis of the two: they fear both monarch and rabble.  To protect against both they sacrificed the common ground between Adams and Jefferson - democracy.

When it comes to some decisions, it seems government is too important to let voters decide how it should operate; tax dollars are too sacred to trust them to elections.
  • LOWRY/Heed the protests
    It’s beginning to look a lot like August 2009 in reverse.

    In that summer of the Tea Party, conservative activists packed the town-hall meetings of Democratic congressmen and peppered them with hostile questions. It was an early sign of the abiding opposition that Obamacare would encounter, and the prelude to Democratic defeats in 2010, 2014 and 2016.
  • BROOKS/Bonhoeffer, Benedict or Ford
    How should one resist the Trump administration? Well, that depends on what kind of threat Donald Trump represents.

    It could be that the primary Trump threat is authoritarianism. It is hard to imagine America turning into full fascism, but it is possible to see it sliding into the sort of “repressive kleptocracy” that David Frum describes in the current Atlantic — like the regimes that now run Hungary, the Philippines, Venezuela and Poland.
    Jesus said: “Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.” We may worry about what it means to be pure in heart. Pure to us implies no defect, something undiluted, or perfect. We worry because we know that we aren’t pure or perfect in our thoughts or actions. Jesus uses the word to describe a heart that has been converted. It is pure in that it has genuinely surrendered to Christ, and God now is their best joy. To be pure in heart means your faith is genuine.
  • LOWRY/A so-called court ruling
    If the law means anything, the Trump administration will succeed in overturning the so-called court ruling against its travel ban.

    The nationwide stay of the ban issued by Judge James Robart, a Washington state-based federal district judge, is tissue-thin. It doesn’t bother to engage on the substance, presumably because facts, logic and the law don’t support Robart’s sweeping assertion of judicial authority in an area where judicial power is inherently quite limited.
  • BROOKS/Where history is being made
    James and Deborah Fallows have always moved to where history is being made. In the 1980s, when the Japanese economic model seemed like the wave of the future, the husband and wife team moved to Japan with their school-age children. Then, after 9/11, they were back in Washington, with James writing a series of essays for The Atlantic about what might go wrong if the U.S. invaded Iraq.
  • THIGPEN/State test rewrites history
    If you were designing a U.S. History test, where would you start? The Revolutionary War? The Pilgrims? Maybe the Magna Carta as a precursor to the Declaration of Independence?

    For Mississippi high school students, the U.S. History “subject area test,” which they must take before graduating, starts in the 1870s.
    The psalm that we are looking at this week is a remedy for despair. In verses 1-2 we read of David’s distress: “Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint;” The word for “cry” is a loud cry, an extremely earnest beseeching of the Lord for necessary help.
  • LOWRY/The un-American rumor
    The surefire way to bring the word “un-American” into vogue is to propose a restriction on immigration, no matter how minor.

    Democrats, who have spent the past half-century since Joe McCarthy objecting to the suggestion that anyone in this country might not be patriotic, can barely mention President Donald Trump’s immigration order without calling it un-American. Judging by their performance over the past few days, if Democrats ever take back control of Congress, their first act will be to reinstitute the House Un-American Activities Committee to investigate proponents of reduced immigration and their associates. (“Are you now or have you ever been an immigration restrictionist?”)
  • GETTING THE MESSAGE/Luke 2:41-52
    In this passage we have the only account in the canonical Scriptures of Jesus between the time of his birth and the start of his ministry at about the age of 30. Every year Joseph and Mary made the arduous trip of around 80 miles from Nazareth in Galilee to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. Here we have a short account of their trip when Jesus was 12 years old.
  • Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.                                                               — Galatians 6:1 ESV
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