How Do We Explain Vladimir Putin?

Mar 26th, 2022 | By

It is nothing short of astonishing that a few ultra-conservatives still regard Vladimir Putin as a messianic, heroic figure. For such people, in the early decades of the 21st century, Putin is a valuable ally because he seeks to replace the multiracial, multilingual global order with strong nation-states. Putin’s ideologist, Alexander Dugin, writes: “We must create strategic alliances to overthrow the present order of things, of which the core could be described as human rights, anti-hierarchy and political correctness, everything that is the face of the Beast, the Antichrist.” Right-wing ideologist, Steve Bannon, concludes that “We, the Judeo-Christian West, really have to look at what [Putin] is talking about as far as traditionalism goes, particularly the sense of where it supports the underpinnings of nationalism.”



A New Superpower?

Mar 19th, 2022 | By

The war in Ukraine has upset the world order resulting in the rethinking of past assumptions and perceptions. To provide the context for this observation, let’s go back to the opening of the Chinese Winter Olympics in early February: Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping held a high-profile summit meeting in which they pledged friendship and solidarity. At the end of their meeting, they issued a joint manifesto.



The Moral Clarity Of The Ukraine War

Mar 12th, 2022 | By

The dreadful war in Ukraine launched by the brutal and aggressive designs of the criminal Vladimir Putin has changed perceptions, assumptions and priorities. As Aaron Rhodes, President to the Forum for Religious Freedom—Europe, has argued, “[This war] is a war of conquest by a statist regime against a society seeking democracy and peace. Mr. Putin’s attack on Ukraine is emblematic of a world-wide conflict between democratic and hegemonic powers. It thus offers an opportunity for moral clarity, which will be crucial in the years and decades ahead.” It is indeed a chance to rediscover the principles of freedom and democracy, eroded by illiberal intellectual fads. This brutal war requires a change in the thinking of the United States about its future, its relationship with NATO and its military and diplomatic strategies.



Putin, Ukraine And War In Europe

Feb 26th, 2022 | By

As I am writing this, Vladimir Putin has launched an invasion of Ukraine, initiating the first European land war since 1945. By any definition, Ukraine is a sovereign nation-state. Christopher DeMuth of the Hudson Institute itemizes these criteria: 1. It occupies and polices a clearly defined territory inhabited by millions of citizens; 2. It has self-conscious polities with its own history, traditions and institutions of government, commerce and civil liberty; 3. It is a peaceable nation.



America’s Role In The World, 2022

Feb 19th, 2022 | By

With the 1945 allied victory in World War II, America emerged a superpower, but a superpower contending with the Soviet Union for influence and dominance. With the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, 1989-1991, American hegemony was achieved. From this collapse until the financial crisis of 2007-2009, the US dominated the world in various domains of power—military, economic, political and cultural. That hegemony is now breaking down.



Profound Concerns About Evangelicalism In 2022

Feb 5th, 2022 | By

The two major political parties in the US have always exhibited partisanship; that is the nature of politics. But, the political culture of America in early 2022 is meaner and more dysfunctional than at any other point in American history, save the last few years of the 1850s right before the Civil War. For example, The Economist’s John Prideaux writes that “Partisans really loathe each other: 40% reckon the other side are ‘downright evil,’ 60% that they are ‘a threat to the United States.’ Lilliana Mason of Johns Hopkins has written persuasively about the rise of what she calls ‘lethal partisanship’ in the electorate. Yet those views are often based on a caricature of what the other side is really like. Some enthusiastic Republicans think that Democrats are a bunch of socialist snowflakes who hate America. Some committed Democrats believe that Republicans are crypto-fascist racists who hate science. The vast majority of Democrats and Republicans are neither America-hating socialists nor crypto-fascist bigots. So why are such views, which feed the worst kind of partisanship, so widespread?



The Post-War International Order And 21st-Century Nationalism

Jan 22nd, 2022 | By

The 20th century witnessed two World Wars, the Holocaust and the rise of atheistic communism. That century changed the role of the United States in world affairs. Since the administration of George Washington, the US largely followed the doctrine of isolationism, which was forcefully articulated in the 1823 Monroe Doctrine. But it was Woodrow Wilson’s decision to enter World War I and his subsequent 14 Points, which championed the principle of national self-determination and set the agenda for the 1919 Versailles Treaty, which challenged this isolationism. The US was going to “make the world safe for democracy.”



The Role Of The United States In The World Order?

Jan 15th, 2022 | By

The Economist commented in early December that “Unfortunately, America is tiring of its role as guarantor of the liberal order. The giant has not exactly fallen asleep again, but its resolve is faltering and its enemies are testing it. Vladimir Putin is massing troops on the border with Ukraine and could soon invade. China is buzzing Taiwan’s airspace with fighter jets, using mock-ups of American aircraft-carriers for target practice and trying out hypersonic weapons. Iran has taken such a maximalist stance at nuclear talks that many observers expect them to collapse. Thus, two autocratic powers threaten to seize land currently under democratic control, and a third threatens to violate the Non-Proliferation Treaty by building a nuclear bomb. How far would America go to prevent such reckless acts?”



The End Of Abortion In America?

Jan 8th, 2022 | By

In early December, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, which could result in the Court overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. The normal procedure for the Court is to hold a preliminary vote on the decision, after which the Chief Justice, John Roberts, assigns a member of the majority to write the decision, which is then reviewed and amended by the Court; a decision no doubt will be handed down in late June 2022. At this point, it is uncertain what that decision might be. Permit me this opportunity to review the history of abortion since 1973 and then analyze the possible scenarios of what might occur in June.



Evaluating COVID’s Impact Through 2021

Jan 1st, 2022 | By

Russell Moore, Christianity Today’s chair of theology, recently wrote that “Many have referred to the past couple of years as an ‘apocalypse.’ Some use the word just to mean ‘akin to a dystopian movie.’ But others, mostly Christians, have pointed to the word’s actual meaning—an unveiling. We have seen awful things uncovered. People we thought were prophets and pastors turned out to be predators. Thousands of our neighbors died gasping for air, while others screamed at one another about whether to wear masks or get vaccines. Churches and denominations and even families split in a way we never would have imagined a decade ago.” COVID and how to respond to it has divided families, churches and neighbors. Its effect has been pernicious and incredibly disruptive. On top of everything else, COVID has further divided an already polarized nation.