By Graham Glover

Some think it’s reached the point of absurdity. Our politics that is. These past few months (actually, this past year and a half) has not seen our politics at their best. Like many of you, I’m still a bit shocked that we’ve gotten here and increasingly saddened as to why we debate the asinine issues we think are important. Although I remain optimistic that things will improve (naively, perhaps), I’m certain that I’ll be banging my head against the proverbial wall this week, sighing out loud as I watch, listen, and even partake in this thing we call politics.

By Paul Koch

“Truly, you are a God who hides himself, O God of Israel, the Savior.” (Isaiah 45:15)

Commenting on this verse, Luther wrote, “These are the words of the prophet, who had already predicted these words of consolation. Now he is snatched into a trance of the Word of God, as if to say, ‘Dear God, how strangely you deal with us!’ It is a matter beyond comprehension to which reason cannot attain.” In one breath, the prophet praises God as a God who hides and then proclaims him as the one revealed to be the God of Israel and our Savior.

By Graham Glover

At some point next month, Congress will begin putting together a budget (or at least a continuing resolution. They don’t seem keen on passing actual budgets these days). As that conversation gets started, there will likely be a lively debate on taxes. Specifically, how much the Federal Government should tax individual and business incomes, profits, etc. I look forward to that debate and hope there is some meaningful dialogue on whether tax rates should be adjusted, and if so, how and why.

By Joel A. Hess

Today we celebrate the Declaration of Independence and the establishment of a country free from foreign rule. Many of us would say we simply celebrate freedom. For sure, people are freer in this country than most others. Praise God, I suppose. However, we also laugh at our brave founding fathers who simultaneously fought for freedom and held slaves. Sure, many a stubborn conservative will throw out a million excuses for the hypocrisy, but no excuse covers the disgusting blemish of slavery. How could someone speak eloquently about freedom and also enslave their neighbor!?

By Graham Glover

The United States of America has become our idol. It has become our god. Our worship of it, or at least what we think it should be, consumes us. I dare say it defines us. We talk about what it means to be a good American all the time. Our devotion to living out what we perceive to be the “American Dream” is the benchmark of our success – its fulfillment is what we strive to every day.

We may claim to put God first. We talk often about the importance of family and friends. But nothing beats the U.S. of A. It is our priority. In everything.