ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "Religion" Category

From The Archives -- Supreme Court's Lack Of Religious Diversity

[ Posted Wednesday, October 14th, 2020 – 18:57 UTC ]

Since we're smack in the middle of a Supreme Court judicial nomination fight, and since her own religion has come up, I thought it would be a good time to re-run the following column. I wrote it back in 2014, so a few things have changed.

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Vice-Presidential Debate Thoughts

[ Posted Wednesday, October 7th, 2020 – 21:14 UTC ]

Two down, two to go.

Continuing my "I watch them so you don't have to" commitment, tonight I watched the vice-presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris in full. Boiled down to one thought, my main takeaway was that I seriously doubt that tonight changed any voter's mind out there.

I thought both candidates did OK -- not great, not bad, just OK. I thought that they both had a gameplan and pretty much stuck to it, and I thought both had weak moments as well as strong. All in all, I'd largely call it a draw, although my personal bias would have to give Kamala Harris the edge, in the end.

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Melania Steals The Show

[ Posted Wednesday, August 26th, 2020 – 16:41 UTC ]

When reading other reviews of the Republican National Convention today, many seemed to me to be making the mistake of proclaiming: "Trump is preaching to the choir, he's only interested in firing up his base." There is indeed a lot of this sort of thing, but there is also a sustained effort at pandering to distinct voter demographics where Trump is either performing weakly or worse. The two efforts -- fire up the base and reach out to possible "persuadable" voters -- set up another disjointed disconnect of epic proportions, to be sure, but as Trump says, it is what it is.

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Uplifting? Could Have Fooled Me

[ Posted Tuesday, August 25th, 2020 – 16:50 UTC ]

Republicans promised they'd put on an uplifting convention. To say they failed to reach this goal on their first night is a vast understatement. What we got instead was fear, on steroids.

Granted, their job was a tough one from the get-go. During the Democratic convention, there was a mix of (as Joe Biden framed it) the light and the dark. But the Democrats' message was pretty clear: we're in a dark period right now, and we can move towards the light with the repudiation of Donald Trump and all his enablers. The Republican message was the opposite, which is a pretty hard case to make, considering the current state of affairs. According to the Republicans, everything is just peachy right now, but if Biden wins, things will become apocalyptically bad overnight. There's just one problem with this formulation, however, and that is that we are hardly experiencing Utopia right now, as the COVID-19 deaths climb towards 180,000, unemployment is still in double digits -- higher than at any point during the Great Recession -- and the economy looks like it is now stalling due to the Republicans refusing to pass another pandemic stimulus bill. In other words, the American public is fully capable of looking around at their own lives and seeing that Utopia is far from what they're experiencing right now.

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Trump Fears The Stoner Vote

[ Posted Monday, August 24th, 2020 – 16:30 UTC ]

Today's one of those days when I had a subject already in mind for a column, but then read a few other columns that essentially already said what I was going to say (and in at least one case, said it much better than I could have). Fortunately, a second subject also popped up while reading the news today. So what I'm going to do is provide a few longish excerpts from the articles I read on the first subject at the end of this column, as a sort of "imagine the column Chris would have written" mental exercise (I even had a theme song in mind...), complete with the links to the original articles.

Instead, I'm going to write about weed. Weed voters, in particular. Now, any longtime reader of this column knows that I've been banging this particular drum for a very long time -- in particular, the fact that marijuana legalization is a political issue ripe for support from one of the major political parties. Sadly, both parties continue to shy away from it, although the Democrats have done a lot more "evolving" on the issue than most Republicans. Some Democrats, I should say, because not everyone's on board yet. I didn't notice this at the time, but here's a rundown of what happened to the party's official platform document this time around:

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Democratic Convention Day Four: America's Promise

[ Posted Friday, August 21st, 2020 – 17:57 UTC ]

From the wisecracking Julia Louis-Dreyfus to Joe Biden's resounding speech, the last night of the Democratic National Convention was a solid hit, with only one sour spot (but we'll get to Mike Bloomberg in a moment...). National nominating conventions are traditionally supposed to build in pitch and intensity all week long to the "big finish" on the final day. Democrats certainly succeeded in this regard last night, topped off by perhaps the best speech Joe Biden has ever given. All around, the fourth and final day of the Democratic National Convention was a solid winner.

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Friday Talking Points -- It Is What It Is

[ Posted Friday, August 7th, 2020 – 17:29 UTC ]

President Donald Trump, when challenged by Axios reporter Jonathan Swan this week on the fact that over a thousand Americans are dying each and every day from the coronavirus pandemic, callously responded: "It is what it is." Not exactly presidential-caliber leadership, to say the very least. After all, who can forget Abraham Lincoln's stirring: "The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, because, you know, the Civil War -- it is what it is." Or Franklin Delano Roosevelt's soaring: "Fear? What fear? I mean, the Great Depression... it is what it is."

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Friday Talking Points -- One-Third Of U.S. Economy Disappears

[ Posted Friday, July 31st, 2020 – 17:57 UTC ]

Let's all keep our eyes on the ball, shall we? The ball, in this case, being the fact that we just suffered the worst economic quarter ever. The gross domestic product dropped by 32.9 percent, or just shy (0.4 points) of one-third. This loss is three times bigger than the worst quarter ever previously measured. New unemployment claims were up again for the second week in a row, perhaps foreshadowing a "double-dip" recession, or even an actual depression.

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Friday Talking Points -- The Battle Of Lafayette Square

[ Posted Friday, June 5th, 2020 – 17:24 UTC ]

This week, an American president ordered the violent removal of peaceful protesters -- who were doing nothing more than exercising their First Amendment rights to assemble, speak, and petition the government for redress -- from a public park so that he could then walk across the park and hold up a borrowed Bible for a photo opportunity with both the Secretary of Defense and (clad in battle fatigues) the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Afterward, the Trump White House immediately issued a propaganda video of the event. Later that evening, a military helicopter clearly marked with a red cross took offensive action against the protesters (which is banned by the Geneva Conventions, and is now under investigation). Later still, the president and all his enablers in the White House lied through their teeth about the entire incident, repeatedly. At week's end, we learned of another affront to the Constitution by the Trump administration, when it was revealed that federal law enforcement had unconstitutionally seized a shipment of cloth face masks created by a Black Lives Matter affiliate, and the only possible reason they did so was that the Department of Justice apparently didn't like the messages displayed on the masks (which read: "Stop killing black people," and: "Defund police").

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Blessed Are The Warmakers?

[ Posted Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020 – 17:29 UTC ]

President Trump staged a photo opportunity yesterday that went horribly wrong, but the White House doesn't yet seem to have comprehended how bad a look it actually was. In fact, they proudly put up a video montage of the event that seems to strive for the impact of a Leni Riefenstahl production (watch it for yourself if you think this is overstating the case). The whole staged event is nothing more than a naked effort to counter the growing ridicule Trump has gotten for hiding in his bunker over the weekend during the protests, in fact. You see President Trump boldly striding away from the White House, crossing Lafayette Square, pumping a macho fist to all the militarized police standing around, and then appearing in front of a historic (and boarded-up) church where he awkwardly tries to hold a Bible up for the cameras. Trump then (according to the Riefenstahl clip) triumphantly strides back to the White House, to the adoration of all. Mission accomplished. Roll credits.

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