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Let’s talk 2020 presidential election realpolitik in a nonpartisan, non-ideological way, meaning no endorsements stated or implied. 

1—President Trump is very good at being who he is, whether you or I like that fact, like him, or not. 

2—If President Trump is breathing, he’s going to run again in 2020.

3—If Democrats want to win the White House, they must choose wisely, meaning Democrat candidates, or most certainly the Democrat nominee, 

     --Must be as good at being who he/she is as President Trump, 

     --Must have uber-thick skin, 

     --Must have off-the-charts communication skills, and 

     --Must have an actual set of new, worthy, better-future ideas that can be shared in 3-4 sound bites. 

4—Candidates Must not try to out-Trump Trump, emulating his style, nor should they simply run as the Anti-Trump.

5—Same goes for any Republican considering challenging President Trump for the Republican nomination.

If you doubt this, ask what happened to the other 16 good, decent, prepared Republican candidates who ran in 2016. 

Again, this is not an homage to President Trump. It’s realpolitik. Sentimentality, hubris, unwarranted optimism, “experience” no matter how impressive, are not enough.

If another Republican or Democrat is going to win election in 2020 he/she Must be someone authentically different from and more compelling than President Trump.

 

Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2019   

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attributionstatement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events atwww.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

When NY enacted its full-term abortion law I was shocked but not surprised. 

When VA Governor Ralph Northam made his chilling comments about how a baby could be born, then “kept comfortable” while the mother and doctor decides its fate, I was appalled at the blithe infanticide but not surprised. 

When media and most political leaders reacted critically to the same man’s racist picture (and so did I) and ongoing dissembling while ignoring his views about violence toward children I was chagrined but not surprised.  It is noteworthy that Governor Northam apologized for the black face picture, but he defended his sickening comments about taking the life of an unwanted born-alive child, what he called a “non-viable fetus,” following a late-term (remember, the baby has been born) abortion.

When adult political leaders applaud, promote, and defend the “right” of mothers to take the lives of their born-alive child it’s not a stretch to conclude our culture is now rushing pell-mell toward immoral irrationality. If we can legally kill babies, unborn or even born, we can kill anyone “unwanted,” elderly, minorities, the religious, or just people with “wrong ideas.” 

Life and Liberty are increasingly at risk in this historically free society that valued these principles above all others. Democrats and Republicans must step up to reverse this or become a generation that future generations will condemn.  If we do not, we’re going to need to apologize to the likes of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and other historic genocidal mass murderers.  

Nothing about which I have ever written gives me more grief and despair for our culture and our grandchildren’s future than lawful infanticide in America.

The Scripture reminds us who a child is and from whence he or she comes: 

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well (Psalm 139:13-14).

 

Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2019   

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

Washington, DC:  U.S. National Archives--

While in the Capital awhile back, I had an hour at day’s end before meeting my son, so I visited the National Archives.

It’s been probably 50 years since I last saw the Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution, and Bill of Rights. These documents aren’t holy writ, but issued in 1776, adopted in 1789, and ratified in 1791 respectively, they remain unique in history and remarkable.

The society these founding documents made possible became, with missteps and serious grievance along the way, the freest, most abundant, grandest-in-opportunity of any nation state on earth.

For all our American faults (and we have several to which we must own up and which we need to change) still, the United States of America remains an incredible land of hope, a melting pot of gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, and religion. The ideals codified in these historic documents—freedom of religion, speech, rule of law, life, liberty, pursuit of happiness—make this society possible and viable.  The principles and values listed in these three amazing expressions of political philosopy that our forbears created (with the sacrifices of soldiers) what we call a Great Experiment, a pluralistic democratic republic. This we still enjoy today.

The challenge after nearly 250 years is whether we can preserve and pass it on to our grandchildren.

 

Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2019   

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attributionstatement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events atwww.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with me at www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

On May 14, 2018, the US Supreme Court ruled a 1992 ban on commercial sports betting violated the 10thAmendmentof the United States Constitution.  

States are now free to pass laws allowing any sports betting most lucrative to them—and this is the real bottom line…states starting with New Jersey want their piece of an estimated $150 billion annual haul in illegal sports betting.       

Until recently, the NCAA and professional leagues: NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, expressed a wariness of sports wagering.  But now the MLB and NBA are opening the way to legalized sports betting, including professional leagues investing in online gambling or fantasy sports websites.    

But sports betting is gambling kindergarten.  It’s how young people most often start gambling.     

Teens are nearly two and one-half times as likely to become compulsive gamblers as adults. Suicide rates are twice as high among teenagers with gambling problems.       

Sports betting is the easiest and quickest way for children and youth to begin gambling because it taps into athletics opportunities that are “everywhere.”  And because frequently they are emulating adults in their families who are already gambling on sports.    

Christians are getting sucked into the gambling vortex.  Some say, “There’s no Bible verse against gambling” or “Hey, it’s my money.”  But they forget that God requires us to be stewards of our time, talent, and treasure. He expects us to discern, to be a testimony to others, to handle our money in a way that honors him, and to never allow ourselves to be controlled by other than the Spirit of God. Christians riding along on the cultural wave have forgotten their theology and the record of church history. 

Christians who gamble, particularly ubiquitous sports wagering, are playing with fire.  It’s almost impossible not to get burned, via debt, compulsive if not addictive behavior, loss of pleasure in sports, broken relationships and more.    

Gambling is a slippery slope, and sports betting is the first rung on the slide.

 

Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2019   

*This blogmay be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with meat www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

Fantasy sports websites have become a huge phenomenon in the past few years. So far, fantasy sports are legally considered games of skill - not chance - if they can be won by successfully utilizing superior knowledge of the players involved. But then again, pay-to-play sites take a piece of every payout, about $35 average per player per month.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 included “carve out” language that clarified the legality of fantasy sports.  By this definition, fantasy sports are not gambling.

FanDuel (2009) and Draftkings (2012) quickly became biggest online sites by using that carve-out language to create daily online fantasy sports games with cash prizes sometimes as high as $2 million.  In 2017, the two accounted for about 90 percent of the $320 million in revenue generated by fantasy sports.

Already the NBA, NHL, and MLB invest in fantasy sports websites.  More are coming.

So if fantasy sports is legally not gambling, can fantasy sports create addictive behaviors similar to what gambling can produce?  Yes, people who get deeply into fantasy sports report the same kinds of time-consuming, compulsive, debt-inducing behavior as gambling in casinos.  These fantasy fans talk about how their interest in sports was soon overwhelmed by their interest in the money.

For Christians, fantasy sports and its temptations are like anything else.  If we conclude the activity is not sin as such, then we must assure our engagement is a right use of our time, talent, and treasure, for all of which God holds us accountable.  

It’s possible to become addicted to just about anything.  It gets back to the heart more than the activity.  It’s God’s will that Christian submit themselves fully and only to the Spirit of God.

 

Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2019   

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at www.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with meat www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.    

Since at least Dr. Francis A Schaeffer’s work and others in the 1970s, philosophers have warned us about moral relativism, the idea there is no right or wrong.  This view sounded good to a culture that wished to throw off all restraints, especially sexual.  

But now into the 21stCentury we’re plagued by division, crudeness, lack of integrity and character in “leadership,” declining free speech, pornography, narcotics, racism, sexual harassment or assault, random shootings, alienation from not just politics but from the country itself (Celebrities vie for news saying they want to move to Canada), rancor and the new “hater” phenomenon...the list goes on.

None of this is a surprise.  An emerging social dystopia is a direct result of a people deciding there’s no difference between right vs wrong and though many still say they believe in God most do not see how this is relevant to their everyday lives.  We’re now grasping at any belief, even entirely irrational ones like an inability to define man vs woman, or politicians voting not to protect born-alive babies. 

We’ve lost what scholars call our “sacred canopy,” which until the 1960s was a “Judeo-Christian consensus” about how society could operate freely and justly.  Now we have a mishmash secularism and weak religion, but what we need is a revival of the idea of objective truth, and individual responsibility and accountability.  Without this renewal of belief in truth, our mooring, centrifugal forces in our culture will continue to spin toward irrationality.

This is not an encouraging prognosis. Yet God is still there.  He is still the definition of Truth, Love, Mercy, Justice.  

Revival does not begin with the non-churched, “…judgment begins with God’s household” (1 Peter 4:17). Speaking truth to culture begins with us, the individual Christian believer and the Church.

 

Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2019   

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attributionstatement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events atwww.rexmrogers.com/, or connect with meat www.linkedin.com/in/rexmrogers.