Welcome to this week’s installment of Weekend Compilations, a blog post where I share links to my favorite blog posts from the previous week. I am at the point in the semester where I am incredibly busy trying to finish my term papers. So, please forgive me for having Weekend Compilations a day late this week.

Sunday: Preston Yancey talks about “when you say pro-life.” He writes, “Banners that read abortion is murder will still have the invisible asterisk beside the last word, the exemption clause observed by many in the pro-life movement, that if the mother has been raped or is the victim of incest, abortion is understandable. These are the same people, usually, who advocate capital punishment. Life for life. Then there’s the other side. These are the same people, usually, who argue that a woman has the right to terminate her pregnancy but do not see conflict with laws that recognize the murder of a mother and her unborn child as a double homicide. These are the same people, usually, who advocate euthanasia. Right to end life. And somewhere in the tangle, phrases like pro-life and pro-choice slip through the cracks of our broken words.”

Monday: Luke Harms offers a prayer for the election. He writes, “No man or woman. No party or philosophy. No country or creed. May none other be held in the place of honor in our hearts. May the allegiance we pledge be first and foremost to Your name. May the tribute we pay be to Your Kingdom and to the love, grace and peace that are its foundations.”

Tuesday: Alise writes about her political evolution, “that hopey changey thing.” She writes, “I’m just a few months away from my wedding and my almost-husband is far more conservative than I am. I believe that I should be submissive to him, and somehow in my mind, this means agreeing with him politically. The nagging doubts that whispered in the back of my mind four years earlier have moved to the front and are positively screaming at me. I don’t know it yet, but in the next year, my best friend will come out to me and one of my co-workers will require a late-term abortion. I vote for the candidate on the right and pray that he doesn’t win. I feel like a traitor to everyone.”

Wednesday: Richard Beck explains the reason that Obama won. He writes, “I’m from Texas and we get this. George W. Bush understood this with his “compassionate conservatism.” And so did Rick Perry, our current governor. You may have noticed that Rick Perry, while being a Tea Party favorite, articulated a moderate stance on immigration during the GOP primaries. Because he’s from Texas and knows the score. And yet, Perry was blasted from his right by Mitt Romney.”

Thursday: iMonk reposts an old blog by Michael Spencer in which he talks about his hatred for theology. He writes, “But I am rejoining my counselors at this point: I still hate theology. Even as I theologize. Even as I write and preach, there is something in me that grows in hostility to what I am doing. And this is, surprisingly, a good thing. The world is entirely full of people who have no capacity for self-criticism; people who cannot see the dark side of what they are doing, selling or creating. I propose we reconsider the virtue of doing anything without understanding the circumstances under which someone–perhaps even ourselves–might say we hate what we are engaged in. I am suggesting that if we have not trembled with the possibilities for doing harm, we are not in a capacity to truly do good.”

Friday: Alastair Roberts, guest posting over at Mere Orthodoxy, discusses “How to Think About American Politics (by a British Observer).” He writes, “The form of politics that exists in the UK is less inviting to quests for ideological purity and their attendant antagonisms and undermines those inclined to take the rationalization of politics too seriously or intensely. Also, as we have an established church, the House of Lords, and the monarchy, there is a sense that the legacy of the past and our religious identity have established guardians, and the accumulated furniture of tradition isn’t about to be placed out on the driveway when a new guy moves in. This does relieve anxieties somewhat. Recognizing that the US lacks most of these things and their corresponding assurances to some extent or other may help us to understand why American Christians are so politicized and why so much importance is imputed to politically assertive ideologies.”

Saturday: Richard Beck explains the “Epistemic Closure” that the election has brought. He writes, “For those who were closely following the Presidential polls heading into election night this shock was a bit of a head-scratcher. Anyone who had a clue knew that President Obama was leading when the polls opened and was the odds on favorite to win on election night. True, it was close, battleground leads were only a few percentage points, so it was a very real possibility that Obama would lose. Turnout was going to be key. But no one looking at the data would have doubted that Obama was the favorite. And yet, as I talked with various Republican friends–before and after the election–they seemed to be living in another world. Had they not been following 538, Pollster, Real Clear Politics, and Intrade (among others)? All these sites were aggregating and averaging the polls–both left and right leaning–and all had Obama favored. All of them. And nothing fancy or skewed or biased or book-cooking was going on. You didn’t need to be a quant to figure this out. Anyone could have pulled out a calculator and performed a simple average of the polls and gotten the electoral map 100% correct. The data was there. Available to anyone with a calculator. So why couldn’t many on the right see it?”

On the blog, I wrote on Tuesday about being thankful that I live in a democracy. I write, “Because, in my mind, the greatest part of the election is not election day itself when people exercise their right to vote. The greatest day is that cold day in January when grown men and women lay aside their political differences and respect the will of the people. The peaceful transfer of power amazes me. No tanks. No coups. No assassinations. No UN peacekeepers. Just solemn, grave respect for the rule of law, order, and civil society.”

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