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Politics and the pulpit illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The toothless Johnson Amendment

- The Washington Times

There are close to 350,000 churches and houses of worship in the United States. How many case examples of churches losing their tax-exempt status would make you afraid of this happening to your church? Statistically, a church building is far more likely to be hit by lightning, catch fire from bad wiring, or damaged by termites than a church congregation is to face a court battle over politics in the pulpit. But I bet most parishioners don't lie awake at night worrying about bugs or bad wiring.

Vice President Mike Pence spoke with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels this week. (Associated Press)

Trying to talk culturally suicidal Europe off the ledge

Europeans are acting as if they have a real attraction to suicide, as a culture and as a group of sovereign states. I watched and read several things this week that made me want to write on this subject. All of the incidents fall into a long-term pattern of self-hating groupthink and self-destruction.

Marchers stop in front of the White House in Washington, Monday, Feb. 20, 2017. The DC rally is one of several "Not My President's Day" protests planned across the country to mark the President's Day holiday. Protesters are criticizing Trump's immigration policies, among other things. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

What about the marches, riots and violence?

The most alarming aspect of the recent anti-Trump movement is the rioting and violence which has raised the specter of a revolution against the lawful authority of the United States federal government.

U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer answers a question near the end of a town hall meeting in Sartell, Minn., Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. Emmer's town hall went on as planned after the congressman said he would shut down the event if protests or unruly attendees disrupted the conversation. (Dave Schwarz/St. Cloud Times via AP)

The art of listening: Congress could learn a thing or two from Trump

Have you noticed that members of Congress are keen listeners? They love to listen to each other, and they love listening to the voices in the echo chamber. And, of course, they love to listen to the sound of their own voices. But when it comes to listening to their constituents, Congress could learn a thing or two from President Trump.

Peggy Grande, author of a recently released memoir, "The President Will See You Now"

Beautiful memoir from a post-White House aide to the Reagans

Peggy Grande's new memoir released this week by Hachette. Grande was fresh out of Pepperdine University when the Reagans returned to Southern California for the first taste of retirement -- if that's what you call the busy life they led during the years leading up to his disablement from Alzheimer's. Grande began as an intern and wound up working for 10 years, from 1989 to 1999 -- just after Reagan ceased coming into the office each day.

Overall, the ride and drive behind the wheel of the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq is an excellent experience with minimal noise and vibration. The handling and durability of the Ioniq will make you feel safe and secure and even better you know you will be doing your part for the planet. (Photo by Hyundai)

Hyundai's 2017 Ioniq is pure eco with a millennial target reach

Hyundai folks are saying the market for the Ioniq is the millennial set. Indeed, the millennial group is changing the conversation in the U.S. since there are more folks than ever moving to urban areas. With this urban migration also come car owners with different needs such as smaller vehicles and greater fuel efficiency and it seems the Ioniq fits this scenario.

Irish rock star Bono speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Lagos, Nigeria Friday, Aug. 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba) ** FILE **

Top quotes of the week from faith-related newsmakers and columnists

Strachan writes, "And do not forget the thick and terrible irony here: in a world of lies, with evil everywhere at hand, an agent of American government is acting to smash not a terrorist, not a law-breaker, but a well-loved woman who has done nothing other than live out her religious beliefs. This is wrong. This is a travesty. "Justice has miscarried this day.

In this Feb. 25, 2016, file photo, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas listen as Donald Trump speaks during a Republican presidential primary debate at The University of Houston in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

Confessions of a Never Trumper

May 3, 2016, was not one of the best days of my life. I was a media surrogate for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz as he ran for president. The heady days of January and the Iowa caucus had been replaced by the grim struggle to simply stay in the race. I traveled from New Hampshire to South Carolina, to Florida, to Indiana and other places I've lost track of at this point.

Becoming a doctor? The costs and the rewards

Recently, I was asked to speak on a topic assignment with a national television news organization with respect to a countrywide breaking story titled: "Nine out of 10 Physicians Unwilling to Recommend Health Care as a Profession, Exacerbating Anticipated Physician Shortage."

Belarus's President Alexander Lukashenko speaks during a briefing in Minsk, Belarus, Friday, Feb. 3, 2017.  In a televised broadcast on Friday, Lukashenko asked the country's interior minister to press charges against Russia's top food safety official, alleging charges of "damaging the state" because Russia stopped the import of Belarusian products due to quality issues and suspicions that Belarus resells EU-made dairy products that are banned in Russia.  The Kremlin responded to the outburst, listing the loans and reduced taxes that Russia gave to Belarus.  (Maxim Guchek/BelTA Pool Photo via AP) **FILE**

Menacing Russia, cowering Belarus -- trouble in the Union State

Many in the West don't realize that after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia and Belarus, its smaller neighbor to the west, set up their own mini-political combination, dubbed the "Union State." Belarus -- literally, "White Russia -- historically has been controlled by Moscow, with some periods ruled by Moscow's archrival throughout the ages, Poland.

Protesters cheer at the Women's March on Washington during the first full day of Donald Trump's presidency, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017 in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Will conservatives ever get in the fight?

When President Trump won the election, the left went nuts, and it wasn't just the crazy far-left activists who lost it. Liberals en masse have used boycott pressure to push corporations to do their will. When will conservatives give these left-leaning companies a taste of their own medicine?