Today’s first lesson: Dysfunctional Washington doesn’t turn effective just because one leader or another gives a solid speech. This is bare-knuckles politics, not erudite debate.

Second lesson: Turning young citizens against older citizens as a way to cripple the Social Security program is craven misdirection. Seniors aren’t stealing from juniors. When politicians start creating new ways to divide people, rather than bringing us together, we’re in trouble.

Third lesson: I think people are finding common ground despite politicians. Maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part, but I see a rise in common sense and a growing desire for tolerance. That bodes ill for the political class, but well for America.


Q: You are an Apple man. If God wanted to send you a message, why would He not do it by your iPad or iPhone, instead of by earthquake or hurricane as Michele Bachmann has suggested? Serious question.

A: To clarify, I am a hybrid (Windows for PC and Apple for mobile), not that it matters much, because I do all of my work online.

I think God can use whatever media God wants to use, from iPad to hurricane to dark night of the soul. A Jesus-centered page is the most-liked page on Facebook. As we search for God and for meaning, I think we can look in many places. The point isn’t the venue – earthquake or parlor or web site – but our openness to what God might be saying and our commitment to discernment. Not every message is of God, not even the ones bearing religion’s stamp, or a politician’s interpretation of what God must surely be saying.

In my experience, I think I have heard God speak to me in my writing – which is my form of prayer – and in quiet conversations, sometimes with people whom I count on for guidance and sometimes with the most unexpected people. I don’t usually turn to presidential candidates for Godly admonition.

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