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Cultural Commentary

Are you building a resume or writing a eulogy?

A woman clutches her resume at the Colorado Hospital Association health care career fair in Denver in this April 9, 2013 (Credit: Reuters/Rick Wilking) In 1976, America celebrated our Bicentennial.  That year, Jimmy Carter was elected president.  Pittsburgh won the Super Bowl, Boston won the NBA title, and the Cincinnati Reds won the World Series.  The Winter Olympics were held in Austria.  And on April 11, Steve Jobs built the first Apple-1 computer in his parents' garage.  It was the first pre-assembled personal computer ever sold.  Next month it will be sold again, this time at a New York City auction for $400,000 to $600,000.

We seldom know today what will matter most tomorrow.  Yesterday, Americans voted in elections for 435 members of the House of Representatives, 36 members of the Senate, and 36 governors.  What matters today is not so much who won as what they will do now that they have won.

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How to vote today

A voter holds an 'I Voted' sticker on index finger in front of 'Vote Here' sign outside a polling location in Berkeley, California, November 6, 2012 (Credit: Daniel Parks via Flickr)There is an anti-establishment mood in America today of historic proportions.  Survey after survey says that voters are tired of the bickering in Washington, the party-line animosity that has polarized the nation and paralyzed our politics.  Many voters are not happy with either party.  Many hear that the economy is improving but are still struggling personally.  They worry about Ebola, ISIS, and the direction of the country.  Some are calling this a "rejection election" of those in power.  Many will vote today against the status quo, whatever they perceive it to be.  Others will vote by not voting.

The latter is not an option for Christians.  Followers of Jesus are called to be good and godly citizens (Romans 13:1-7).  Unlike our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world, Christians in America are free to vote and free to participate in our nation's governance.  God is calling more Christians into public service than are answering his call.  And he is calling us all to vote.  But for whom?

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Did the pope endorse evolution?

Pope Francis spoke last week to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences gathered at the Vatican to discuss Pope Francis spoke last week to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences gathered at the Vatican to discuss "Evolving Concepts of Nature."  He stated, "Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve."

Newspapers the world over were quick to claim that the pope had just endorsed evolution.  But there's more to the story.  The pope also claimed that God "created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfillment."  He added: "The beginning of the world is not the work of chaos that owes its origin to something else, but it derives directly from a supreme principle that creates out of love.  The Big Bang, that today is considered to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the creative intervention of God; on the contrary, it requires it."

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Apple's CEO Tim Cook: 'I'm proud to be gay'

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at the WSJD Live conference in Laguna Beach, California October 27, 2014 (Credit: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson) "I'm proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me."  So announced Tim Cook yesterday in a Businessweek essay.  (For my thoughts on his statement, read my article "Tim Cook: Is being gay a gift of God?".)  Meanwhile, Brittany Maynard, the 29-year-old with terminal brain cancer, says that she plans to end her life tomorrow, though she could still change her mind.

Now consider these facts: Americans will spend $7.4 billion on Halloween this year, including $350 million for pet costumes.  Nearly one in five Americans claims to have encountered a ghost.  Nearly a third of us believe that houses can be haunted.  The occult movie Ouija was No. 1 at the box office last weekend.  Other occult/horror movies in theaters this weekend include Dracula Untold, Annabelle, Saw, and As Above, So Below.

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How did one man use $10 to feed 28,992 children?

Portland native, Anton Cobb, on the first day of his campaign to raise money for the local food bank, sits at small table with a red-checkered tablecloth in Director's Park, with a sign that reads 'I am skipping lunch.  So that 30 children won't.  Will you join me?  Donate your lunch money to the Oregon Food Bank', July 24, 2014 (Credit: Heather Boyd via hOURLUNCH on Facebook) Anton Cobb decided to help the local food bank in Portland, Oregon.  So he put a checkered cloth on a table in a busy area near his office.  He sat there during his lunch break next to a sign which read, "I am skipping lunch.  So that 30 children won't.  Will you join me?  Donate your lunch money to the Oregon Food Bank."

He created hOURLUNCH to encourage others to do the same.  On the hOURLUNCH Facebook page he says, "Your $10 lunch money will buy a great burrito . . . OR lunch for 30-100 CHILDREN!"  His strategy has inspired a remarkable response.  People have been donating and posting photos to his Facebook page.  In total, one man's benevolence has provided 28,992 meals for hungry children in his city.

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