God's Politics

the latest news on the Catholic Bishops’ statement on Iraq, Bush’s Iraq policy, evangelicals and foreign policy, Democrats’ power struggles, faith and the election, Darfur, Martin Luther King Jr. memorial, racial injustice, and select features and op-eds

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Full news summary:

Catholic bishops and Iraq. Bishops call for change on Iraq policy – “The nation’s Catholic bishops, saying the United States needs to move past the “shrill and shallow debate” of last week’s midterm Congressional elections, declared yesterday that the goal in Iraq should be justice and peace, rather than victory,” Bishops renew stance on Iraq – “The U.S. should move past election politics and push for a “responsible transition” in Iraq that would build peace while bringing American troops home, a top Roman Catholic official said Monday.” U.S. Catholic Bishops Call for ‘Honest Dialogue’ – “The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said Monday that the United States should keep its troops in Iraq only as long as they are contributing to a “responsible transition” to Iraqi rule.” Statement on IraqMost Reverend William Skylstad, November 13, 2006

President and Iraq. Bush Faces New Calls to Shift Policies On Mideast – “President Bush came under new pressure yesterday at home and abroad to alter his policies in the Middle East.” U.S. feeling heavy pressure on Iran – “As pressure mounted for direct talks with Iran and Syria on the crisis in Iraq, President Bush held a much-anticipated session Monday with members of the Iraq Study Group, a blue-ribbon panel that is expected to propose major changes in U.S. policy.” Bush Says He’s Open to Change in Iraq, but …– “After meeting with a panel examining the war, the president said that military options “depend upon conditions on the ground.” Huge task before Iraq Study Group – “For the bipartisan panel of luminaries known as the Iraq Study Group, the most important thing now may be hammering out a framework for peace in Washington, not drawing up new lists of options for US policy toward Iraq.” Blair wants shunned nations to help solve Iraq fiasco – “Tony Blair has urged George Bush to make a dramatic U-turn by drawing Iran and Syria into efforts to bring stability to Iraq and forge a long-term peace in the wider Middle East.” Blair Urges Strategy Change in Mideast, Spotlighting Iran– “Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain said that the “nature of the battle” in Iraq had changed, and that Western strategy in the Middle East must evolve.”

Evangelicals and foreign policy. For Evangelicals, Supporting Israel Is ‘God’s Foreign Policy’– “Many conservative Christians say they believe that the president’s support for Israel fulfills a biblical injunction to protect the Jewish state, which some of them think will play a pivotal role in the second coming. Many on the left, in turn, fear that such theology may influence decisions the administration makes toward Israel and the Middle East.”

Democrats and power. Power struggles unravel Democrats’ unity – “Democrats returned to Capitol Hill to prepare for a transfer of power in Congress, but their postelection emphasis on unity quickly dissolved into power struggles and jockeying over the spoils of victory.” In Backing Murtha, Pelosi Draws Fire – “House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi’s endorsement of Rep. John P. Murtha’s bid for House majority leader set off a furor yesterday on Capitol Hill, with critics charging that she is undercutting her pledge to clean up corruption by backing a veteran lawmaker who they say has repeatedly skirted ethical boundaries.”

Faith and election. Some evangelical Christians reconsider their faith in GOP – “Republican and evangelical leaders said how the GOP reshapes its moral stances may determine the strength of their ties in the future. Two national Republican leaders said this fall that the party needs to soften some of its ideological positions in order to broaden its base.” Democrats’ wins hinged on Muslims – “Muslim voters, an electoral ally of President Bush as recently as 2000, played a key role in turning over control of the Senate to Democrats,”

Darfur. UN to offer plan for ‘hybrid’ African Union-UN force – “UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan intends to propose a “hybrid” African Union-UN force for Darfur in talks with Sudanese officials and has invited major powers to take part, the United Nations said yesterday.”

King memorial. In King’s Honor, A Dream Achieved – “Two presidents, a renowned poet and lions of the civil rights movement joined thousands gathered on the Mall yesterday to mark the spot where a memorial will be built to honor Martin Luther King Jr.” A King memorial for `eternal truths’ – “Only a select number of Americans have been honored with individual monuments on the National Mall in Washington. There are no memorials to historic African-Americans. And few, if any, of those enshrined there were ever jailed.”

Racial injustice. Racial gaps in income, education persist – “Decades after the civil rights movement, racial disparities in income, education, and home ownership persist and, by some measurements, are growing.White households had incomes last year that were two-thirds higher than those of blacks and 40 percent higher than those of Hispanics, according to data released today by the Census Bureau.”

Feature interview. Former second-in-command of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives talks about why evangelicals should stay out of politics – “As Democrats celebrate their victories in last week’s election, some Republicans are wondering what happened to their supposedly rock-solid evangelical voting base. Polls show 30 percent of evangelicals voted for Democrats this election, up from 21 percent last time. Have conservative Christians become disgruntled with the Republican Party? Yes, says David Kuo.”

Op-Ed. Democrats’ Real Victory (E.J. Dionne, Washington Post) – “Elections provoke myth-spinning. Republicans are in danger of spinning away from a full appreciation of the magnitude of their defeat last week. Democrats could spin themselves into useless arguments rooted in the past and ignore the opportunity American voters have offered them.”

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