Worth Checking Out (Aug. 13)

Can Syria's Christian Survive - "Nonetheless, many Christians fear any government that replaces the Assad regime might be dominated by groups like the Muslim Brotherhood that could relegate them back to second-class status. They also worry their communities could be devastated in the crossfire between Syria's largely Sunni Muslim insurgency and the well-armed Alawite regime, just as Christians in neighboring Iraq have suffered mightily in the sectarian wars there over the past decade."

German Austerity's Lutheran Core - Steven Ozment, author of The Serpent and the Lamb: Cranach, Luther, and the Making of the Reformation, discusses the ways in which Germany's Lutheran heritage still influences the nation's public policy. "But if their Lutheran heritage of sacrificing for their neighbors makes Germans choose austerity, it also leads them to social engagement. In classic Lutheran teaching, the salvation of the believer 'by faith alone' does not curtail the need for constant charitable good works, as ill-informed critics allege. Faith, rather, empowers the believer to act in the world by taking the worry out of his present and future religious life."

A Nation That Believes Nothing - The teaser for Peggy Noonan's WSJ article on the presidential campaign reads "Romney doesn't need to talk about America becoming like Europe. He needs to warn us about America becoming like California." As a Californian that caught my attention. And as a Californian I have to say I tend to agree.