I love all of G. A. Henty books, as does my son. In Freedom’s Cause: A Story of Wallace and Bruce is about the twentieth of Henty’s great historical fiction books for boys–and their dads–we have read together. Like the rest of them, this one helped us learn about history and the difference between right and wrong, while telling an entertaining tale about a young man who is mature beyond his years. The new thing for me in this one is the harsh, even barbaric, treatment the Scots received at the hands of the English, who used religion as an excuse to persecute a people who worshiped God in faith. I know all people are sinners, but sometimes I give my English ancestors a pass on this. But Henty makes sure that the sins of the English are on full display here.
World Magazine reports that a pack of feral Chihuahuas are on the loose in Phoenix “nipping their way through city streets, terrorizing residents and turning sidewalks into minefields of excrement.”
One of the top priorities of the left today is shifting the national balance of power by turning Texas blue, using tactics it claims were responsible for a similar transition in Colorado.
However, based on the results of the recent Texas primaries, it’s obvious that the people of Texas are not cooperating with the left’s agenda.
Despite the focus on red versus blue, the battle for Texas is at its heart ideological, not partisan. Liberals in both Texas major parties today battle conservatives over spending, while free market supporters joust with the bipartisan business lobby over corporate subsidies.
It is in this context that the progressives’ national assault on Texas began, just over a year ago, when Battleground Texas opened its offices here. Armed with outreach efforts honed by President Obama’s Organizing for Action and tested in states like Colorado, Battleground Texas’ mission is to “turn Texas into a battleground state” in which “elected officials — from Austin to Washington — represent all Texans”— presumably all Texans except those who have made Texas the reddest state in the country.
Red State’s Erick Erickson and Ann Coulter recently went back and forth in a debate over whether conservatives should support Mitch McConnell. Coulter got things started, using inflamed rhetoric while criticizing “nonsensical jeremiads against McConnell on the RedState blog.” Erickson’s response was quite good. I think a neutral reader with no opinion on McConnell might side with Erickson.
However, I’m not trying to make a case for or against McConnell; instead, I’d like to offer a few thoughts on how best to write in a way that helps persuade the reader. Erickson’s response is good in large part because he has logically marshaled the facts in support of his position. In other words, he has presented a solid argument for his side. Another thing to note is that he has done this without using harsh rhetoric or overusing adjectives. On the other side, Coulter’s argument is riddled with gaps and inconsistencies. And it is also riddled with harsh rhetoric and a lot of adjectives.
I recently suggested to a friend that he should read more fiction. He replied that fiction was boring and he is more interested in reading nonfiction books because they can help change the world. He also, though, graciously asked if I had any recommendations for fiction that he might read. The following is my response to him.
I’d suggest that one of the primary uses of fiction is to change the world. For instance:
“Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt.
So why did Jesus tell this fictional story, better known as a parable? We’ll let Him explain.
I get my news from a variety of places and through a variety of ways. I browse websites, use RSS feeds, read emails I have signed up for, and follow some twitter feeds. None of these ways is perfect, and I am not always consistent with them, finding that I have other things to do than follow the news—though it is important to follow the news in my line of work. Here are a few places/ways I get news:
I really like Doug Wilson’s blog as much as anything. Not so newsy, but when he writes about a news issue, he does it from as solid a Biblical perspective as you will find. Plus, lots of good faith/theological posts as well. I also like Albert Mohler’s blog—it also covers news and religion. Peter Leithart’s blog is more religious than newsy, but is good nonetheless. World Magazine is more newsy and always from a strong biblical perspective, but a bit busy. The easiest place to find national news stories selected from a conservative perspective is the Drudge Report. The easiest places to find commentary on national news from a conservative perspective are National Review Online and Red State.