Beliefnet
God's Politics

the latest news on politics, shifts in the “God gap,” torture, Iraq, North Korea, Darfur, online religion, and welfare reform

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Politics. The battlefield widens for House GOP seats – “A growing number of GOP incumbents in seats once considered “safe”… are struggling this month against a powerful current of discontent with the nation’s direction, the performance of Congress and President Bush, and the war in Iraq.” Three states could swing Senate control – “Two weeks before election day, odds are increasing that the Senate could turn on the results of close contests in Tennessee, Virginia and Missouri, three states along the border between the solidly Republican Deep South and Democratic terrain in the Northeast and industrial Midwest.” Democrats Strengthen Chances For Senate – “Democrats in the past two weeks have significantly improved their chances of taking control of the Senate, according to polls and independent analysts.”

Obama Says He’ll Consider A 2008 Bid for The Presidency – “Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) opened the door to a 2008 presidential campaign yesterday, saying he has begun to weigh a possible candidacy and will make a decision after the November elections.” Audacity of a hopeful – “In a decided and unequivocal shift, Sen. Obama said Sunday he is seriously considering a run for the White House in 2008, affirming the stunningly rapid trajectory of a political career that saw him in the Illinois legislature just two years ago.”

Faith and Politics. Are the Faithful Losing Faith? – “Two weeks till midterms, the NEWSWEEK poll shows Republicans in danger of losing a big chunk of their base. And a growing consensus for a bread-and-butter Democratic agenda.” Helping Democrats Bridge the ‘God Gap’ – “At a meeting of the House Democrats’ Faith Working Group, a perplexed congressman turned to his colleagues for pastoral guidance. How could he counter a local preacher who argued that all of Jesus’s moral teachings were about the world to come, not the here and now?” Conservatism doesn’t need God – “The GOP has become the party of religion, and Democrats have been scrambling to play catch-up. The truth, though, is that piety doesn’t belong in politics.”

Torture. The rules of religions against torture – “There are certain acts that a follower of Jesus simply cannot accept. Here is one: A Christian cannot justify the torture of a human being.”

Iraq. At White House Meeting, No Big Changes on Iraq – President Bush met with his top advisers and military commanders on Iraq in a White House session that, senior officials said, weighed options for forging a way forward amid the surging violence but did not contemplate any major shifts in strategy.” U.S. to Hand Iraq a New Timetable on Security Role– “The Bush administration is drafting a timetable for the Iraqi government to address sectarian divisions and assume a larger role in securing the country,” US ‘arrogant and stupid’ in Iraq – “A senior US state department official tells al-Jazeera TV the US has shown “arrogance and stupidity” in Iraq.” To Stand or Fall in Baghdad: Capital Is Key to Mission – “After three years of trying to thwart a potent insurgency and tamp down the deadly violence in Iraq, the American military is playing its last hand: the Baghdad security plan.”

North Korea. N. Korea threat lies in nuclear sales – “U.S. intelligence officials and weapons proliferation experts say they are concerned that North Korea could add plutonium to the extensive inventory of arms components and technologies it already has sold to such nations as Syria, Pakistan and Libya.” 2 GOP senators urge direct nuclear talks – “Two Republican senators on Sunday called for direct talks with North Korea aimed at easing a nuclear standoff.”

Darfur. UN envoy is told to leave Sudan – “ The UN’s envoy to Sudan, Jan Pronk, has been recalled to New York for consultations following Khartoum’s demand that he leave within three days.” Khartoum Expels U.N. Envoy Who Has Been Outspoken on Darfur Atrocities – “Sudan’sgovernment on Sunday ordered the chief United Nations envoy to leave, saying he was an enemy of the country and its armed forces.” Grim New Turn May Harden Darfur Conflict – “For the first time in more than two years, rebels fighting the government for more autonomy are making brazen, direct and successful attacks on soldiers, and a
re declaring that all previous cease-fires are no longer in effect.”

Religion. Beliefnet gives spiritual melting pot new shape – “Beliefnet.com, the multi-faith spirituality website that started in December 1999 and crashed into near-fatal bankruptcy by spring 2002, is soaring once more.”

Op-Ed. Welfare Reform Isn’t Working – “But although work requirements were the centerpiece of the 1996 statute, its chief declared goal, as revealed by its preamble, was to reverse the decades-long decline in the nuclear family. If judged by this objective, welfare reform has been an abysmal failure. Domestic disorder continues to roil the lives of poor women.”

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