Monday, June 30, 2008

Kyrie Elieson

Merton on The Jesus prayer

Thomas Merton (+ 10 December 1968) speaking on the Jesus prayer:

The prayer of the children of God

"This is a prayer of sonship -- 'Our Father' -- and in a certain sense, although it may be used by anyone who approaches the Lord, it expresses adequately only the relationship of those who are in the Church of God, who, in Christ, have found their way to the father, because it is only through Christ and in him that we become the sons of God."

Living Prayer, p. 21

The meaning of the excorcism in Baptism

"When the learner is determined to become a free man in the kingdom of the Lord, the Church undertakes certain actions. What would be the good of asking a slave, who is still in the power of his master, whether he wants to be free? If he dares ask for the freedom which is offered, he knows he will be cruelly punished the moment he is left alone again with his master. Through fear and from a habit of slavery, a man cannot ask for freedom until he is delivered from the authority of the devil. Therefore, before any question is asked of the one who stand there, with a new hope in divine salvation, he is made free from the power of Satan. This is the meaning of the exorcisms which are read at the outset of the baptismal service both in the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. It is only when a man is free from the bonds of slavery that he is asked if he renounces the devil and if he wants to join Christ. And only after a free answer does the Church integrate him into herself, into the Body of Christ. The devil wants slaves, but God wants free men in harmony of will with him. The evil one in terms was Exodus was Egypt and Pharaoh, and all the values attached to them, namely, to be fed and kept alive, on condition that they were submissive slaves. And for us the act of prayer, which is a more essential, final act of rebellion against slavery than taking up arms, is at the same time a sort of return into our sense of responsibility and relatedness to God."

Living Prayer, by Metropolitan Anthony, pps. 22-23

A deceptively simple guide: a review of Metropolitan Anthony's 'Living Prayer,' from Amazon

Ever read a book in an afternoon, and then wished you hadn't?

I'm talking about the kind of book that you should treasure instead, maybe hoard it for yourself, so you can appreciate it over a longer period of time.

This is a book like that. You'll be tempted to read it quickly (it's 125 pages) but it is full of great and helpful stuff, and what's more, it's the kind of book that's easily read, gently told, and immensely helpful. His discussions of unanswered prayers, and of the role of petitioning in praying were especially helpful. (If you're someone like me who imagined that asking God for something was somehow easier, read his discussion on pages 82 and 83 about how prayers of petition are tests of the reality of our faith).

Jesus taught us to pray, and we never stop learning. No matter where you are along the path, this book will offer help and encouragement in your praying and ultimately in your love for God.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The meaning of repentance

"What does 'become like a child again' mean? Is the point of comparison a child's humility (cf. Matt. 18.4)? Hardly, as we have no parallel from the world of Jesus for the idea that the child is a model of humility. Or is the point of comparison the purity of children? This idea, too, is not current in early Palestinian Judaism. T. W. Manson's suggestion that Matt. 18.3 could have something to do with the use of the address 'Abba' may put us on the right track. That will, in fact, be the solution. 'Become a child again' means: to learn to say 'Abba' again.

This brings us to the heart of the meaning of repentance. Repentance means learning to say 'Abba' again, putting one's whole trust in the heavenly Father, returning to the Father's house and the Father's arms. Luke 15.11-32 provides evidence that this understanding might not be completely wrong. The repentance of the lost son consists in his finding his way home to his father. In the last resort, repentance is simply trusting in the grace of God."

Joachim Jeremias, New Testament Theology, pps. 155-156

Acrytic or gel? Anjelah Johnson's nail salon routine

OK, you've been working hard all week. Here's some comedy to get you started. My wife was clued into Anjelah Johnson's routines this week, and here's a good introduction to her:

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Shoot 'em up: the Supreme Court recognizes the right to protect ourselves and guard against tyranny

Not really a theological issue, but I think that today's Supreme Court decision is one of those that may change our lives. And that's a good thing. In one of the few such cases in US legal history, the Supreme Court has defined that the Constitution's 2nd amendment reserves the right of individuals to own and bear guns.

Non-Controversial Church Opens For Potential Presidential Candidates: from Onion radio

For all those would-be presidential candidates, here's a church that won't impede your campaign. : )

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Presentation of the Augsburg Confession, June 25: the Collect of the day

“O Lord God, heavenly father, pour our your Holy Spirit on your faithful people, keep them steadfast in your grace and truth, protect and comfort them in all temptation, defend them against all enemies of your Word, and bestow on Christ’s Church Militant your saving peace; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.”

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

China's underground churches

China is a vast country (officially, one billion people; more likely, one and a half billion), and there are differences in the way the church is treated in various areas. However, this short video is an enlightening look at some of the persecution Christians are undergoing:

Collect for the Nativity of St. John the Baptist: June 24th

Almighty God, through John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, You once proclaimed salvation. Now grant that we may know this salvation and serve You in holiness and righteousness all the days of our life; through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Perceiving the ineffable goodness of God

"Through grace God in His entirety penetrates the saints in their entirety, and the saints in their entirety penetrate God entirely, exchanging the whole of Him for themselves, and acquiring Him alone as the reward of their ascent towards Him; for He embraces them as the soul embraces the body, enabling them to be in Him as His own members…the intellect, because of its freedom from worldly cares, is able to act with its full vigor and becomes capable of perceiving the ineffable goodness of God."

St. Gregory Palamas (1296 – 1359)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The pastor who went to prison

King David committed adultery with Bathsheba and killed her husband to cover up his sin. Nathan the prophet came to him, to warn him of his sin, and to rebuke him:

"And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbor, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun. And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die." (2 Sam. 12.7-13)

King David's response was of repentance to life, and Nathan continues to have a place of honor and counsel and continues to preach God's word to his king.

But note the difference in a similar incident, this time in 2 Chronicles 16.7-10a:

"And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand. Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubims a huge host, with very many chariots and horsemen? yet, because thou didst rely on the LORD, he delivered them into thine hand. For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars. Then Asa was wroth with the seer, and put him in a prison house; for he was in a rage with him because of this thing."

Asa responds in fury to the seer's rebuke and places him in prison. There's no repentance.

Both Hanani and Nathan must have trembled at their task. It required them to go before the king of their land and tell him that he had sinned. King David could have responded as King Asa did. But neither Nathan nor Hanani knew the outcome of their visit, but they spoke God's word as He had commanded them.

It's not easy for someone to tell us we've done wrong. We often lash out at those who do. But may God grant us faithful Hananis and Nathans. We need such men to tell us when we've done wrong. It's especially important for those in powerful positions to have such faithful men. But all of us need them. And may God grant them to us.

New book from Repristination Press

On the New Testament Offices
and their Relationship to the
On the Question of Church’s Polity
by Johann Konrad Wilhelm Löhe
translated by Rev. Dr. John Stephenson
Registrar & Professor of Historical Theology
Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary
St Catharines, Ontario

In June 1993, Repristination Press began its work of publishing the
works of our Lutheran forefathers with a reprint of Löhe’s (or
Loehe’s) Liturgy for Chirstian Congregations of the Lutheran Faith
(selected portions of the third edition of Loehe’sAgende, which had
originally been published in 1902). Now, in connection with the two
hundredth anniversary year of Löhe's birth, and Repristination Press'
fifteenth anniversary year of publication, Repristination Press is
pleased to announce publication of an English translation of Löhe's
1849 Aphorisms.

The 1849 and 1851 Aphorisms constitute Löhe’s two most significant
detailed studies on the Office of the Holy Ministry. Dr. Stephenson’s
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Löhe’s substantial involvement in ministry and mission in the North
America (including founding Concordia Theological Seminary-Fort Wayne
and providing crucial support for American missions) highlight the
importance of his thought for confessional Lutherans. One need not
agree with all of Löhe’s conclusions to acknowledge the importance of
his role in supporting confessional Lutheran theology and practice in
North America and around the world.

Dr. John Stephenson’s excellent translation of this important text
was carried out from the original edition, including Löhe’s footnotes
from the original edition, and additional endnotes by the translator.

99 Pages • Hardcover • $20.00 (plus $3 shipping charge for U.S.
mailing addresses, shipping rate higher elsewhere).

You may order Aphorisms online and pay with Paypal:

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P.O. Box 173
Bynum, TX 76631

Rev. James Heiser
Repristination Press
P.O. Box 173
Bynum, TX 76631

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Theology teaching videos on youtube

I haven't seen everything this guy's done, but what I've seen is good. He teaches plainly, carefully, and thoroughly, without being obtuse.

Old Crow Medicine Show - I Hear Them All

Sometimes CMT (Country Music Television) comes through with some really fine pieces that don't get commercial airplay much. Here's one I heard this morning.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Why casting lots is not a good idea

When problems happen with church officials (as they always will -- those folks are sinners like the rest of us), someone will invariably suggest that instead of electing officials, we should cast lots (draw straws, flip coins, whatever).

They give the example of Matthias, who was selected by lot to take the place of Judas, who had forfeited his apostleship by betraying our Lord.

And the Apostles were right to do this. However, just a couple of chapters later, when the first deacons were selected, we find the church "choosing" those who would take that office. Presumably by vote or consensus, but choosing, nonetheless.

What was the difference? The first event occurred in Acts 1.21-26:

"Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection. And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles."

Note the words: "shew whether of these two thou hast chosen." In other words, the purpose of the lots was to determine a choice which God had already made. Even in the midst of the lots process, criteria (a witness of the resurrection who had been with the Apostles from the time of John's baptism) were used.

The event in Acts 6 -- which I'd argue is the more relevant for our discussions about churchly officials -- is different. Men were needed for a task in the church. They were to be the first deacons, and I'd also argue that they were thereby trained to be pastors. The Jerusalem church was given direction by the Apostles: "look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom," and choose from such. We're not even told that the Apostles had a say in the process: the men chosen were simply set before them.

Likewise, in I Timothy 3, St. Paul counsels Timothy about the qualifications of pastors and deacons (3.1-13). Timothy is to take such criteria, and use them to choose out those who will lead the congregations.

To be honest, the whole idea of lots is usually well-intentioned, but not a good idea. God has given us abilities, intelligence, and has charged us with doing certain things. We are not Manicheans, who believe that we're somehow rocks that God just throws. We are, to use St. Paul's words, "workers together with [Christ]" (II Cor. 6.1) and we have a responsibility to use our abilities well. And that sometimes includes choosing. We should not try to be holier than God. God has commanded us, not to flip coins, but to make rational, conscious decisions, informed by God's word and the church.

I'm not making a law here. If you're in a 3 man committee, and everyone's equally qualified, there's no problem with drawing straws to see who will serve as chairman. But serving in leadership positions in God's church is important, and we should, whenever possible, use those most qualified. We might wish that God would magically inform us whom we should pick, but that's not the way God operates. Use your abilities and choose. It's God's plan.

The first protest in the LCMS

I'm continuing to listen to this series, which I recommended earlier. I was intrigued by something Wohlrabe mentions in this video: the first time there was a protest in the LCMS:

Monday, June 16, 2008

When McCain Drops Out

A fascinating piece here on the question: what happens if McCain leaves the race?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Redeemer's 50th anniversary


A mildly exhausting weekend. But all to good purpose.

My congregation (Redeemer LCMS, Burlington, NC) celebrated our 50th anniversary this weekend, with a dinner/reception last night, and a celebratory service today. We rejoiced to have a number of former members and pastors in for the weekend, and stayed up late last night catching up. That's a good tired to have. : )

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Wohlrabe: Restoring Unity in the LCMS

This series (10 videos) is a good history of the LCMS, and the controversies that plague the synod now. (The guy who introduces Dr. Wohlrabe is, shall we say, long-winded. You might want to fast forward to the middle of the first video to get to the speaker).

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Why nothing will change in January

Eric Heatherly's music

I've been a fan of roots country music since about 1980, but I find that I listen to commercial country stations less and less. My complaint is that such stations play a routinized genre, calculated to appeal to a mostly female, middle-aged crowd. The music's without the edge that characterizes a genre's beginnings. Which is only appropriate: country music's mainstream appeal has moved -- literally and figuratively -- into middle age.

Here's an interesting and perhaps harder to classify country musician, Eric Heatherly. He doesn't get much commercial airplay, but he plays a music that still has some sharp edges. May his numbers increase.

Jesus' baptism -- and ours

Jeremias, New Testament Theology, p. 55-56:

"Be that as it may, it is clear that Jesus attached supreme authority to the moment of his baptism. The puzzling and, by that token, early pericope Mark 11.27-33 par. is evidence of that. Jesus is asked about the basis of his authority. His counter-question, whether the baptism of John was or was not from God (v. 30) is hardly an evasion, a move by which Jesus seeks to avoid a direct answer. Now if his counter-question is meant seriously, it means: ' My authority rests on John's baptism', and that again will mean in concrete terms: 'My authority rests on what happened when I was baptized by John'."

Jeremias: The meaning of Matt. 11.27

I'm currently reading Joachim Jeremias' New Testament Theology, and I'll be periodically passing some choice pieces.

Jeremias is almost always thought-provoking and interesting.

"As we saw, Matt. 11.27 par. Luke 10.22 is a four-line stanza. The first line introduces the them: 'My Father has given me all things'. [This] is a technical term for the transmission of doctrine, knowledge and holy lore. Thus [this] like vs. 25, designates the mystery of revelation, and the first line means: 'My Father has given me a full revelation'."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Portable Professor series

I don't like the term "monetizing time."

It's one of those unfortunate, sad terms that you still hear from time to time, and though I understand (or think I do) what the writer's trying to say, it simply isn't true, because contrary to the popular American expression, time isn't money, so you can't "monetize" it. You can only hope to make good use of it.

And incidentally, goofing off is sometimes a very good use of time. But I digress.

I do a lot of driving with my work. And while I like to drive, I also like to learn, and I've sought to find ways to use that time for learning. One I've recently discovered is the Portable Professor series, available from Barnes and Noble.

I bought one to try it out: Foundations of Western Thought. It's good.

Judging from the one I've been listening to so far, I think these are an improvement over those from The Teaching Company. The Teaching Company's stuff, while good, has a whiff of pomposity about them, and little things such as triumphalistic music intros and canned applause tracks at the beginning and end of lectures (as if Americans applauded when professors speak)are sort of silly, to be frank.

The world's first church

"Archeology is our voyage to the past, where we discover who we were and therefore who we are."

Camille Paglia

For Christians, here's a not small step on that voyage to the past: the world's first church, dating from about 33-70 A.D.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Why a speaker at the National Right to Life convention can besmirch who we are and what we do

What's wrong with this picture?


One of the things that's beautiful about the right to life movement is that it's so selfless.

Nobody's there to make money. (In fact, an astonishingly large number of people work long hours for no pay at all. I know of one state's RTL affiliate who works this like it's a full-time job. Only without pay. Compare that to the lobbyists on K Street).

And honestly, nobody's there to get a lot of political clout. For 99% of politicians, right-to-lifers are an embarrassment. They're happy to have us out of the way.

Rove is the Bobby Baker of our generation, a slick political operative who has manuvered George Bush to where he is today.

And where he is involves an administration that has done -- despite loud promises -- next to nothing for the right to life.

Lots of Americans -- my wife included -- held their noses and voted for Bush in 2004 "because of the Supreme Court." What we got was Chief Justice John Roberts who said that Roe v. Wade is the "settled law of the land."

Having Rove speak at a National Right to Life convention is an embarrassment to a movement that has worked long and hard to secure a fundamental right for the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly, among others. Having him speak makes our movement look like just another special group, lining up for a place at the trough.

I understand that working in Washington sometimes involves political associations that are less than ideal. For instance, the Right to Life PAC has endorsed John McCain for president, a man whose loathing for us is well-known. But I respect that sometimes endorsements must be made that might not be made under better circumstances.

But having Rove speak is quite another thing. It would be better to have no speaker than to have this weasel give an address. There's still time to dis-invite him.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

How we talk: an Amazon review of Steven Pinker's 'The Language Instinct'

"We all talk. (Some of us more than others). But all humans -- barring a problem such as deafness -- talk. Even our deaf friends talk by means of a complicated language of visual signs.

And Steven Pinker tells this story, the story of human language, and why it's so essential a part of our humanity, well. Following Chomsky, he posits a universal language structure, an innate part of our being who we are, and how small children grow quickly into complex grammatical and syntactical structures.

And for the most part, this is a good read. My only complaint is that on occasions, Dr. Pinker waxes a bit too eloquent, telling more information than is needed for the argument, giving pages and pages of examples when one or 2 would do. But this is a good introduction to the whole question of why and how we talk, and by inference how we think."

The Real McCain

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

How to tell if it's a human culture

Donald E. Brown is an American anthropologist who's done interesting work on the theory that there are universals within human culture: aspects which every human culture has. Brown's work points out that in every culture, for example, there are differentiated gender roles (such as sex differences in spatial cognition and behavior, and division of labor by sex).

In the 1970s, there were those who argued that feminism would bring on an age in which, for example, women would play professional football. Such ideas are so idiotic that it's difficult to believe that anyone thought it true, but there are those who still believe them. But there are universals that hold true. We can tinker with the edges of human culture, but most things remain the same, through both geography and time.

"They didn't understand how much politics has changed since the 1990s. They were slow to use the Internet ... "

This is an interesting analysis. While its subject is the failure of the Clinton campaign, it has lessons for church bodies.

Church bodies that feel that they are "inevitable," or that they have some kind of lock on a constituency are usually wrong. Honestly, I'm not sure there's a lot to do to repair some of these groups. There's a whiff of decay about them, they feel almost retro, as though they were operating in 1989. And usually, the things they feel are ever so current are dated beyond belief. My favorite story of this nature was an LCMS pastor who sought to bring in what he thought were "contemporary hymns." One he suggested as contemporary was in reality written in the 1890s, and the hymn-writer was killed when she was thrown from a buggy in 1896 when a horse bolted. But in the same way that we are often suspicious of those who loudly proclaim their morality, it's not wrong to be suspicious of those who proclaim how contemporary they are. They usually aren't. The quote I gave above is symptomatic: the Clinton campaign didn't know how to use the net. Her staffers -- and her voters -- were old. Church groups that are dying usually can't use the net. Their members, too, are likely to be old and dying.

The end of the primary season

Whew. The primary season of the 2008 presidential race is finally -- officially -- over. The reality is that it's been over for several months, but poor, delusional Sen. Clinton has dragged this out until now for reasons best known to her.

I don't agree with Sen. Obama and won't vote for him. (I'll be voting for Libertarian Bob Barr in November). But this is a moment for the history books: the first time an American of African ancestry has headed up a major party ticket. America tends to view ethnic groups differently after someone from that group has won the presidency (think John Kennedy as the first Irish-American in 1960) and this is that moment for black Americans. The race issue will never again be a big deal in electoral politics. I'm glad for that.

Most of us are tired of this race. It's been going on for years, and won't be over for another 9 months. My wife and I are celebrating our 30th anniversary next week, and I joked that we should celebrate by visiting New Hampshire, where there are probably pols already hanging out in diners, pimping for the 2012 presidential race. But given the way the US system is set up, there's no way to avoid such long-range running. The only way to remedy it would be a change to a parliamentary system, where the date of the race is only known a few weeks to months in advance.

But that's not happening. So we'll endure this one until November. But life goes on apart from -- and in spite of -- electoral politics. It's always worth remembering that almost all of the important things in life happen apart from politics. Politicians fail to realize that. We must not.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Systematic theology: a Reformed course

I don't always agree with my Reformed brethren, but I appreciate what's being done here to provide a good, systematic, and scholarly theology course on youtube. I hope that other Christian traditions will provide similar courses.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Visible and invisible

Visible doesn't always mean visible.

When I speak about the "visible church," I'm using "visible" to broadly say that the church is "accessible to sense perception."

Which means that the people of God can be seen. That the flesh of Christ is eaten. The blood of Christ drunk. We can hear the word of God preached, hear the word of forgiveness, and speak that word.

Of course, as Luther spoke well (especially in his Lectures on Galatians the church is "hidden." I know that among the people of God I see are hypocrites and false believers. I know that the body of Christ is hidden under the bread. That the blood is hidden under the wine.

And faith is always required to know the reality of the church. We don't confess that we "see" the church, we confess that we "believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church." Because while the church isn't invisible, it's also not something that we can know without faith. Because ultimately, like all doctrine, it's revealed to us. It's like there's a curtain hiding the reality, and God pulls the curtain back. Matthew 16.17: "And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven."

Trying to make the church invisible only splits the one church into 2, one invisible, which we try to view as perfect, without sinners, without schisms, without faults, and the average, every Sunday get-together which we call church, but imagine it isn't, where there are preachers who occasionally do bad sermons, annoying Sunday school teachers, people who teach false doctrine, and sinners.

But the church is one. One church. God shows us some of it, and the rest remains hidden. But still there. And like all faith, it's a gift. Rejoice in that gift, and rejoice in the reality of the one church God has given to us.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Collect for St. Justin Martyr's day, June 1st

God our Redeemer,
who through the folly of the cross taught your martyr Justin
the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ:
remove from us every kind of error
that we, like him, may be firmly grounded in the faith,
and make your name known to all peoples;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

The sad end of feminism

In a way, it's not fair to give this woman as an example. Her candidate has lost, and she's mad. But I give this clip as an example of the final, personal result of feminism. This woman represents a lot of women her age: embittered, sad, and nasty, and ideological feminism is the cause. Clinton's failed campaign is no longer a campaign, it's a bellwether for people like this as to their adequacy as human beings. This is an example of why I've said that Clinton's campaign has really done a disservice for other women running for office: Clinton has basically rode her husband's coattails for her entire career. She's no feminist, at least in the Susan Anthony/Elizabeth Cady Stanton tradition. And behavior such as her New Hampshire crying incident was a perfect example of how not to campaign: she's seeking to be the commander in chief of the US military, and she cries on camera (a staged incident, I'd argue), reinforcing the fear that some Americans have that a woman can't do the job. Clinton has set the cause of women running for office back years, and yet people like this view her as an exemplar of feminism. It's really sad.