The Conflicted 500th Year

October will mark the fifth century since Martin Luther started a debate about the pope’s authority. Luther split Europe by questioning Rome’s power over a person’s spiritual life, control of information, and misuse of money. Limiting Rome’s authority helped remove the institution from the relationship between the individual and Jesus Christ. Yet as I observe... Continue Reading →


Hope in the Pharisee’s Spiral

by Matthew Raley In 2012, I got a lengthy email from a well-known pastor endorsing Newt Gingrich for the Republican nomination. Gingrich was peaking at that moment and the pastor argued that evangelicals should consolidate behind him. This was the man to deliver victories in the culture wars. The email was lengthy because the pastor... Continue Reading →

The President’s View of Rights

by Matthew Raley The last couple of weeks have seen a change of tone among Democrats about President Obama's requirement that religious institutions be forced to provide "contraception" in their health plans, and about his "compromise" that the institutions themselves don't have to pay for it but that insurers still have to provide it. Democrats... Continue Reading →

Why Romney Wins Primaries But No Victories

by Matthew Raley With Mitt Romney's wins in Michigan and Arizona last night, the race for the GOP nomination may become more stable. But the diminishing political options for Romney's competitors will not change the attitudes of GOP voters. The candidates reflect America's deepening division without giving the leadership Americans need to reunite. Republicans will... Continue Reading →

Religious Liberty and the Ruling on Prop 8

by Matthew Raley Last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Prop 8's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. No surprise there. The real question is what will happen at the U.S. Supreme Court, and what the implications will be for religious liberty. Some observations: 1. It is not clear how the Roberts... Continue Reading →

Gingrich and Social Conservatives

by Matthew Raley The victory of Newt Gingrich in South Carolina puts evangelicals and other social conservatives at a crossroads. Gingrich by any measure is morally equal to Bill Clinton, upon whom social conservatives released so much rhetorical lava in the 1990s. Yet one of the GOP's most traditionalist states has just told its delegates... Continue Reading →

Oakland and the Claims of Justice

by Matthew Raley Two stories popped up Monday morning about Oakland, CA. One reported that there were anti-police protests in the city Saturday night. The other detailed the rise in homicides last year. The homicide story was wrenching, not just because the total number of killings hit 110 but also because three small children were... Continue Reading →

Santorum’s Rise in Iowa

by Matthew Raley When I watched Rick Santorum's debate performances over the last several months, I was struck by two things. First, his answers were unusually direct and fluent. He didn't waste time trying to be charming (like Rick Perry) or delivering scripted zingers (like Michelle Bachmann). He seemed to have no use for evasion.... Continue Reading →

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: