Alternative Political Conversation

APC Topic Index

Instructions for APC

Primary Contributers

Government's Role and the Journey with Capitalism

The modern debate about the role of government is really about capitalism's negative spillover effects, and what to do about them.

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How Big Is Too Big?

A crucial issue in this year’s presidential election is the size and scope of government. Mitt Romney’s words from his website have resounded from many a Republican speech and campaign commercial: “The mission to restore America to health begins with reducing the size of the federal government . . . As president, Mitt Romney will cut federal spending and regulation, . . . reducing the size and reach of the federal government, . . .” I am deeply troubled by this. In this essay I seek to explain why.

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Government Has the Resources

If it's true that government has resources we don't have, isn't that because government took them from us?

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Role of Government

TOPIC 12: ROLE OF GOVERNMENT

Please consider the following potential leading questions for a conversation to be launched on September 19.

#1: If the role of government is to “promote a just order in society that benefits the common good” (a belief shared by our six regular commentators), what are the implications for the scope and role of government?

#2: If it is important to preserve the role of segments of civil society besides government (e. g, families, religious bodies, voluntary organizations) – another belief shared by our six regular commentators – what should be the relationships between the roles of government and the roles of these other non-governmental entities?

#3: Given the perennial debate about the balance between the roles of federal and state governments, what do you believe is the most appropriate balance?

#4: Is the Romney/Ryan/Republican vision of the purpose/role of government or the Obama/Democrat vision of the purpose/role of government more in keeping with a prudential, thoughtful application of biblical principles on the role and purpose of government?

#5: However “big” or “small” you believe government should be, what concrete steps can be taken to get beyond the current “gridlock” that works against the possibility of much needed legislation on many critical public policy issues facing our nation (like those addressed in this Alternative Political Conversation)?

Mothers and Families Matter To God Too

"What if the life of the mother is at stake? Should abortion be allowed then?"

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About a Society That Depends on Abortion

Until we learn to break our social dependence on abortion, it won't matter much who is elected or even what the law says about abortion.

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The Right Side of a Revolution

A few years ago, my mom and I were discussing the John Adams miniseries that was on TV. She remarked that if she and my dad were alive at the time, they probably would have been against the revolution. (They aren’t very revolutionary.) It was an off-hand remark, but it stuck with me. Race was a defining domestic policy issue for over two centuries before the truth broke through. Today, the inherent dignity of human is widely assumed, and our history of slavery and racism is universally condemned. Where would I have stood on slavery? I resolved to be on the right side of any future revolutions.

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Abortion in the 2012 Election

Well, we certainly cannot complain in this election cycle that the abortion issue is being ignored. The selection of the resolutely pro-life Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate and the continuing fall-out from the Todd Aikin controversy has ensured that the abortion debate will receive plenty of attention in coming weeks, much to the dismay of Romney, who clearly is trying to change the subject.

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Can Anything New Be Said?

The prolife and prochoice arguments on abortion have been aired so thoroughly for so long that one doubts if anything new can be said.  In an effort to avoid rehashing old, tired arguments let me suggest two observations and the conclusions to which they lead that may actually introduce some new perspectives.

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Reclaiming and Restoring the Pro-Life Label

Far too many Americans have negative associations with the pro-life movement. It is not uncommon to hear opponents of abortion derided as self-righteous, hypocritical, and even misogynist. As someone who self-defines as “pro-life,” such negative associations grieve me deeply. I would much rather that people connect the term pro-life with phrases like dedicated, caring, showing the love of Jesus, and ministering to people’s needs.

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