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Posted by on Dec 24, 2015 in Culture, Politics | 1 comment

Driving Back the Cloud of Fear: A Christmas Meditation

Driving Back the Cloud of Fear: A Christmas Meditation

  If there is anything we Americans hold in common this Christmas, it is fear. I felt it creeping up my neck four weeks ago when my dad called me on the way to work. “Did you hear about San Bernardino?” I confessed I was behind on the news. “The Islamic State is here.” That same day my wife stopped in to buy jeans at the Gap. A Muslim man was buying a jacket for his wife who was draped in an all-black hijab, showing only her eyes. My wife felt guilty for saying it, but she said what so many of us feel: “Jeff, I was a afraid.” As Christmas approaches, the thorns of fear quietly infest American soil. Yet my wife and I hold something in common with many Muslims today. They too are afraid. Since San Bernardino, many American Muslims have feared a backlash. And should they not be afraid? Donald Trump vows to expel Muslims from America, and has even hinted at creating internment camps....

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Posted by on Sep 24, 2015 in Economy, Politics, Work, World | 0 comments

Let Them Eat Chicken: Religious Intolerance Is Bad for Business

Let Them Eat Chicken: Religious Intolerance Is Bad for Business

  by Chris Horst and Jeff Haanen Denver is on the rise. Construction cranes line the streets around Union Station. New residents arrive faster than we can house them. But as Denver surges, will our city be a place where religious people are permitted to live and work? Given the recent news, it’s a fair question to ask. Last month, a Denver federal appeals court ruled against Little Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic ministry serving low-income elderly and dying people in Colorado and around the world. The nuns believe new federal health care requirements force them to violate their faith by mandating they pay for abortion-inducing drugs for employees. Sister Loraine Marie Maguire, one of the nuns serving at Little Sisters of the Poor,  said, “We… simply cannot choose between our care for the elderly poor and our faith.”   Then, last month, the Denver City Council impeded the approval of a new restaurant lease at Denver International Airport (DIA). The “normally routine” approval process met a roadblock when several members...

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Posted by on Aug 10, 2014 in Culture, Politics | 0 comments

Interview with Michael Lindsay

Interview with Michael Lindsay

  As I sat down for lunch at The Broadmoor, a historic, five-star resort in Colorado Springs, it quickly became clear I was among the elite. White linen table clothes, waiters in black ties, and a view of the rolling green golf course nestled at the foot of the Rockies. I was glad, then, when Michael Lindsay, the President of Gordon College, joined me. His wide smile, gracious disposition and articulate brilliance exuded confidence and calmed my middle class nerves. He had been among the powerful before. In 2008, Lindsay published his Pulitzer-nominated Faith in the Halls of Power, an unprecedented look at influential evangelicals from Washington DC to Wall Street. His latest book, View from the Top (Wiley, 2014), is the result of a 10 year study of “Platinum Leaders,” 550 elite politicians, CEOs and nonprofit executives who hold many of the most significant positions of leadership in the world. Over lunch we had the chance to discuss the White House Fellows, a liberal arts view of life,...

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Posted by on Oct 28, 2013 in Politics | 0 comments

Immigration Video Series & Curriculum

Immigration Video Series & Curriculum

Update: This last week, the small group curriculum for this immigration video series was released. This .pdf is a great resource to go along with videos, and is structured around facilitating a small group discussion. Feel free to use and share as needed. Here it is.  Today I travel to Washington D.C. My friend Michelle Warren, with the Evangelical Immigration Table, is flying several of us from Colorado to the capitol to meet with Congressman about immigration reform. Because of budget battles, immigration reform is long overdue. The US hasn’t updated its immigration laws for almost a generation, and the situation has become dire. But the right solution has evaded many. Should there be a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants? How about immigrants should we admit on family visas, high skilled visas, low skilled visas? These are all foundational questions, but for me, the most important starting point is: What does my Christian faith have to say about immigrants and immigration? Last Spring I helped to organize a conference...

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Posted by on Oct 10, 2013 in Politics | 4 comments

Political Polarization: Healing the Great Divide

Political Polarization: Healing the Great Divide

  Perhaps the most concerning matter of public life today is our political polarization. Right and left seem to be speaking almost in completely different languages, and our leaders have reached what seems like a perpetual impasse. Exhibit A: Government Shutdown. For the first time in nearly 18 years, the US government has furloughed nearly 800,000 employees because it could not pass a budget for the next fiscal year.  Neither side will negotiate. The Left has blamed the Right for not negotiating and trying to de-fund (or destroy) Obamacare as a part of a budget deal. The Right has blamed the Left for perpetual overspending and, now, for not being willing to negotiate. (Actually both sides heap condemnation on the other for an unwillingness to negotiate.) Gridlock has become such a way of life that shutting down basic government services has become preferable to compromise. And as I write, the greater concern by far is the coming battle over raising the debt ceiling. If the national debt ceiling is...

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Posted by on Apr 18, 2013 in Politics | 0 comments

The Real Reason for Evangelical Interest in Immigration Reform

The Real Reason for Evangelical Interest in Immigration Reform

  Today evangelical Christians flocked to Washington D.C. for an “Evangelical Day of Prayer and Action for Immigration Reform.” Believers from across the US, 15 from Colorado, gathered for worship, press conferences, and meetings with members of Congress. The event, well timed to overlap with the recent release of a proposed immigration overhaul, represents a growing groundswell of support for immigration reform among conservative evangelicals. But what has caused this growing consensus among evangelicals? Was it the beating Republicans took at the polls last November from minorities, especially Hispanics? Or how about the growing number of heart-wrenching stories from the nations’ nearly 11 undocumented immigrants who are living in legal limbo? Or was it, as a recent TIME cover story pointed out, the growing realization that “they” (our immigrant neighbors) are increasingly “us” (evangelical Christians)? These are all central reasons. But the media has generally overlooked a central truth:  The Bible is the real reason behind evangelical interest in immigration reform. Colorado presents an interesting case study. In 2008,...

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