For Christians who wish to be informed on matters of significance in the political arena but who are pressed for time, this article offers seven “go-to” sources for political news and opinion. The first five sources are secular outlets; I follow them to keep abreast of breaking news and a variety of perspectives on the news. The last two sources are distinctively Christian outlets that provide conservative evangelical opinions on current events and political developments.
The New York Times: My favorite description of the NYT comes from the great philosopher Dennis Miller who once said “the Times leans more to the left than a NASCAR driver on muscle relaxants, which is why they have worse circulation than Michael Moore in a Speedo.” That’s just about right, but the opinion page of the Times is well worth reading as it offers some very good writing, a peek into the opinions of the smart set, and a decent amount of diversity. Conservatives would gain perspective by reading Charles Blow and Paul Krugman (farther to the left than Sam Donaldson’s part), while liberals should read David Brooks and Ross Douthat (conservatives and wickedly good writers). For that reason, I pay for a subscription to the NYT, which allows me to sign up for the following mailers:
- “First Draft,” a daily peek into “what you need to know today in politics.” It arrives in my email inbox at approximately 7:30 each morning and includes links to selected news and opinion articles.
- “Opinion” mailer, which collects all of the day’s opinion pieces and arrives in the inbox at 3:00 p.m.
The Wall Street Journal: The WSJ does not offer as many daily opinion pieces as the NYT, but the ones they do offer are worth reading. It leans right. My favorites are Peggy Noonan and Kimberly Strassel. For this reason, I pay for a subscription to the WSJ, which enables me to subscribe to the following mailers:
- “Morning Editorial Report,” which arrives in the inbox at approximately 7:30 a.m., and includes a 24-hour cycle of editorials, commentary, columns and reviews.
- “The 10-Point,” Editor-in-Chief Gerard Baker’s 7:30 a.m. summary of the days important news.
- “Best of the Web,” James Taranto’s commentary on the day’s political news and opinion.
Fox News: Fox offers 6-8 opinion pieces per day, which is less than either the NYT or WSJ, but those pieces are an important window into a wide range of conservative views. (Some of the opinions are farther to the right than a tricycler on the Autobahn, but others, not so much.) Fox tends to publish the pieces between 1-4 p.m. and no subscription is necessary.
Daily Signal: Published by The Heritage Foundation, The Daily Signal offers a generous number of political news and opinion pieces each day. It covers a wide array of issues, but seems to emphasize a few especially significant social and political issues, such as sanctity of life, religious liberty, free speech, and Constitutional interpretation. Very smart. No subscription necessary.
Politico: Politico is a very helpful alternative news source that is relatively neutral in its perspective. Media Matters for America has accused it of leaning right, while Daily Caller has accused it of leaning left. I subscribe to:
- “Politico Playbook,” a very helpful concise overview of political news and opinion. It links to numerous news and opinion pieces from both the mainstream and alternative media outlets.
The ERLC’s Website: The SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission offers conservative evangelical commentary on leading news headlines and significant social, cultural, and political issues. Among its regulars are politican journalist Joe Carter, political scientist Matthew Arbo, legal expert Travis Wussow, policy experts Barrett Duke and Andrew Walker, and the ERLC’s president Russell Moore. Some of the most helpful features of the website are:
- Canon & Culture, an online journal addressing issues at the intersection of Christianity and the public square.
- Issue Briefs, which, er, provides a brief of controversial political issues.
- Video Explainers, which are 2-3 minute videos addressing significant and sometimes controversial issues from an evangelical perspective.
Albert Mohler’s Website: Mohler offers conservative evangelical cultural commentary from a conservative evangelical perspective. The website gives access to:
- “The Briefing,” a podcast with Mohler’s “daily worldview analysis about the leading news headlines and cultural conversations.”
- “Thinking in Public,” an interview forum for intelligent conversation about frontline theological and cultural issues.
- “Articles,” a written analysis of critical issues.
Of course, I would not be offended if you visited my website which is focused on “Christianity for the common good.” I write on politics and public life more than anything, but also from time to time on marriage and family, work and leisure, culture and education, and church and mission. My goal is to create thoughtful and helpful content that is faithfully Christian and can be put to work in the public aspects of life. If you are a person interested in how Christianity applies to public life in its many facets, this is the blog for you.