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Progressive Revival

Progressive Revival

Religion in the Public Square Archives

When Generosity, Love, and Kindness are Public Policy, the Violence We Saw in Arizona will Dramatically Diminish

posted by Michael Lerner

The attempted assassination of Congresswoman Giffords and the murder of so many others in Arizona has elicited a number of policy suggestions, from gun control to private protection for elected officials, to banning incitement to violence on websites either directly […]

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Values or Partisanship? TV Ad calls out Graham for caving on climate

posted by Eric Sapp

by Keely Brewster It was disappointing that Lindsey Graham changed his mind, values, and opinions surrounding climate legislation. Lindsey Graham was right when he discussed the need to decrease our dependence on foreign oil for reasons of national security, economic […]

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American Liberals and Progressive Never Miss an Opportunity to Miss an Opportunity — or Are We ready to Change Directions

posted by Michael Lerner

Progressives have been blessed in the past two years with three significant opportunities to change the fundamentals of American society. We’ve already blown the first and are missing the second and third. The first, of course, was the economic meltdown. […]

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FOX NEWS Funds Research to Discredit Progressive Pastors

posted by Eric Sapp

There is a great post by Burns Strider today on Huffington about how Glenn Beck is using Fox News staff and resources to run his smear campaign against Rev. Jim Wallis.  I’d encourage you to read the entire thing, but […]

Responding to Hitchens on Chanukah

posted by Michael Lerner

In the typical fashion that have made Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins into heroes among those who hate (sometimes for good reasons, sometimes not) the religions of the world, we get below Hitchens’ distortions endorsed by Dawkins. The approach is […]

Advent, Apocalypse Now?

posted by Diana Butler Bass

“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations caused by the roaring of the sea and the waves,” proclaims Jesus in the Gospel of Luke. He continued: People will […]

Psalm 109:8–A Prayer for Obama or Ourselves?

posted by Diana Butler Bass

During the last few days, Psalm 109:8, a Bible verse in the form of a “prayer for Obama,” has topped the Google trends chart:  “May his days be few; may another take his office.”  Evidently, a bumper sticker emblazoned with […]

Obama’s Council on Faith Based Partnerships – Missing in Action When We Need It Most

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Obama’s Council on Faith Based Partnerships has fallen off the map – and we need them back.   Nothing exemplifies the sad lack of contribution of this much hailed diverse group of religious leaders than the current impasse on Health Care […]

Catholic Hardball 2: DC Responds

posted by Diana Butler Bass

Updates on yesterday’s blog about the fight between the Roman Catholic Archdiocese and the DC City Council: According to the Washington Post, the DC city council has responded to the Catholic Archdiocese by “digging in its heels” on gay marriage. […]

New Catholic Hardball: Trading the Poor for Doctrinal Purity

posted by Diana Butler Bass

This morning’s Washington Post made me choke on my coffee:  “Catholic Church Gives D.C. Ultimatum.”  The Catholic Archdiocese is playing political hardball by threatening to cut off social services to the city’s poor–including the homeless, the hungry, the sick, and […]

Bill Donohue is Angry at Radical Secularists…Again

posted by Paul Raushenbush

By John GehringCatholics in Alliance for the Common Good Just in time for Halloween, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights is once again spooked about all those “radical secularists” lurking ominously behind ever corner. In […]

Vatican Woos Conservative Anglicans: This is News?

posted by Diana Butler Bass

This week, the Vatican announced that it would make it easier for conservative Anglicans and Episcopalians–those uncomfortable with women priests and accepting gay people–to join the Roman Catholic Church.  The move surprised Anglican leaders who, evidently, had no idea that […]

Bob McDonnell’s Thesis: Christian Reconstruction and the Virginia Governor’s Race

posted by Diana Butler Bass

Although many pundits think the religious right is waning, Republican Bob McDonnell, whose political views were shaped by radical right-wing beliefs–those of Christian Reconstruction–appears poised to win Virginia’s upcoming gubernatorial election.   McDonnell’s ties to the Christian Right were not an […]

Religious Voices for Gay Rights at the National Equality March

posted by guestblogger

Timothy Palmer is the Director of Communication and Outreach at the Religious Institute: Faith Voices on Sexuality and Religion People of faith will be conspicuous at the National Equality March in Washington this weekend.  I don’t remember hearing religious voices at my first March […]

The Problem with the Ten Commandments

posted by Diana Butler Bass

ABC’s Nightline has been running a series on the Ten Commandments in which they explore the issues and dimensions of each commandment in contemporary society.   Tonight’s commandment:  Thou shalt not commit adultery. The series is interesting and, in many ways, […]

A Choice for Catholic Bishops: Confrontation or Engagement?

posted by guestblogger

John Gehring is Media Director and Senior Writer for Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good Catholic progressives are not the only faithful worried about the dangers posed by some U.S. church leaders turning away from civil engagement in the […]

Hope and Healing

posted by Diana Butler Bass

I was too young to remember President John F. Kennedy.  My mother worked on his campaign and hauled her baby (me) along with her to pass out literature.  She assures me that one of my first words was “k-e-n-d-y.”  I […]

Labor Day Prayers

posted by Paul Raushenbush

On this Labor Day try something different – pray for rights and justice for all who work and the dignity and the success of all who are seeking work.   Creating God,  You made the heavens and the earth and your work […]

US Torture Programs – Obama’s Mixed Progress (by George Hunsinger)

posted by guestblogger

George Hunsinger teaches at Princeton Theological Seminary.  He is the Founder of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (http://www.nrcat.org).   Since the signing of the Executive Orders in January 2009, the record of the new administration on torture has been […]

Senator Edward Kennedy: A Man of Faith and Friend of Religious Freedom

posted by Chloe Breyer

The Reverend Chloe Breyer is the Director of the Interfaith Center in New York City. Whether advocating for the Americans with Disabilities Act, The Family and Medical Leave Act, the Head Start Expansion Act, or the Fair Housing Amendment, Senator […]

A Progressive Life

posted by Diana Butler Bass

I can’t say that I always loved Ted Kennedy.  For years, I have agreed with the issues he fought for–especially regarding his concern for the sick, the poor, and the elderly.  But, I confess, Senator Kennedy’s personal behavior often proved […]

The Faith, Values and Politcs of Senator Edward Kennedy

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Senator Edward Kennedy has died. It is not unexpected but his death marks an end of the era of the Kennedy brothers and their profound contributions to America.  I titled this post The Faith, Value and Politics of Senator Edward Kennedy after […]

Love Thy Roommate: Advice for College From the Princeton Chapel

posted by Paul Raushenbush

You are off to college! As you pack your coolest clothes, decide on posters for your wall, and assemble your electronics – I hope you can find room for a piece of timeless advice (some even call it a commandment) […]

Note to Ed Schultz: It is the Apocalypse, Friend

posted by Diana Butler Bass

Yesterday, Ed Schultz posed a question on both his radio program and his MSNBC show:  Where is the religious community on health care?  Ed, a Christian who admits he is not a regular churchgoer, sees the issue in pretty simple […]

Slow Words

posted by Diana Butler Bass

People often ask me why I don’t blog more often in the crucible of the news cycle when an issue is “hot.”  My friends and editors are always trying to get me to speed up–as I tend to be slow […]

The Real Decline of Churches

posted by Diana Butler Bass

Three news stories in recent days point to significant change in the landscape of North American religion.  For decades now, the conventional wisdom about church growth has been that only conservative churches–those that take the Bible literally and embrace conservative […]

Not Angels, but Anglicans

posted by Diana Butler Bass

For the last month, I’ve been in Australia and only occasionally heard news from the United States.  I haven’t minded too much missing arguments over health care and the Supreme Court confirmation hearings.  But I have fretted about missing the […]

47 National Religious Leaders (Christian, Jewish and Muslim) Call for Urgent Priority to Health Care Reform–and why I signed

posted by Michael Lerner

Explanatory Note from Rabbi Lerner: Why I Signed This Very Weak Statement         On the one hand, I wanted the Network of Spiritual Progressives to be included in a list of some of the most important religious forces in the […]

The Separation of Mosque and State

posted by Paul Raushenbush

The clerics of Iran are not of one mind on the recent Iranian election and voter fraud.  In fact they are deeply divided. The New York Times reported that in the religiously important town of Qum there is a group of […]

Cairo and the New Faith Frame

posted by Diana Butler Bass

Following the President’s Cairo University speech a number of journalists commented that it was a political speech and not very “religious.”  Indeed, one referred to his policy remarks as “wonky” in which he primarily addressed seven areas of tension that […]

Was Tiller’s Murder Justice?

posted by Eric Sapp

(cross posted from Faithfuldemocrats.com)             Last week, I had the honor of sitting next to a group of Gold Star Moms during the National Memorial Day concert.  We talked about their sons and exchanged some tearful hugs during the extremely […]

A Memorial Day Salute to my Partner’s Father

posted by Paul Raushenbush

John Glenn Gooch’s military stone had only recently been placed in the cemetery when we arrived to plant flowers to honor him this Memorial Day weekend.  Glenn died this winter and is now buried near the town where he arrived […]

Dueling Visions of American Renewal

posted by Diana Butler Bass

In 2004, a little book appeared that made quite a splash among dispirited Democrats:  George Lakoff’s Don’t Think of an Elephant.  In it, Lakoff argued that Republicans and Democrats worked out of two different “framing” stories–frames are “mental structures that […]

Bible Bill vs America

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Word has it that Rep Paul Broun (GA) has introduced new legislation called National Year of the Bible Resolution a.k.a. the Bible Bill making the year 2010 the Year of the Bible.   The Bible Bill panders to Rep. Broun’s bible base, but it isn’t really an […]

Liberty U Revokes College Dem Charter

posted by Eric Sapp

There is a great post over on faithfuldemocrats about the unfortunately decision by Liberty University to revoke the charter for it’s college Democrats b/c the Democratic platform was unChristian.  Check it out, and then join the facebook petition to reinstate […]

Notre Dame Rebooted

posted by Diana Butler Bass

In 1899, Pope Leo condemned “Americanism” as a heresy.  Americanism, a theological development in American Roman Catholicism, was a complex of progressive ideals regarding freedom, separation of church and state, historical criticism and scientific inquiry that attempted to reconcile traditional […]

Happy Progressive Mother’s Day!

posted by Diana Butler Bass

Most people think of Mother’s Day as a quaint and conservative holiday honoring 1950s values, a sort of historical throw back to traditional notions of hearth and home. Let’s correct that impression by saying:  Happy Progressive Mother’s Day. In May […]

Mainline Protestants: America’s Moral Conscience

posted by Diana Butler Bass

Earlier this week, the Pew Research Center released a survey on the views of religious Americans regarding torture.  They survey found that white evangelical Protestants were the most supportive of torture–only 16% of evangelicals reject the use of torture.  A […]

A Room of Our Own

posted by Diana Butler Bass

My family lives in a typical 1960s house in the Washington DC suburbs, and I work at home.  “Typical 1960s house” equals small and no closets.  As a result, my books were taking over and there wasn’t much space to […]

Barack of One Hundred Days?

posted by Diana Butler Bass

One of my favorite movies is the old film, Anne of a Thousand Days.  After her turbulent affair and brief marriage to Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn awaits execution in the Tower of London and reflects on the fleeting 1,000 days […]

The Torture Memos – Dick Cheney vs. Jesus

posted by Paul Raushenbush

When we get people who are more concerned about reading the rights to an Al Qaeda terrorist than they are with protecting the United States against people who are absolutely committed to do anything they can to kill Americans, then […]

Columbine and Original Sin

posted by Diana Butler Bass

Ten years ago today, I was in San Francisco leading a retreat for Episcopal clergy from the western United States.  During the afternoon break, someone handed me a slip of paper saying that there had been a shooting at a […]

The Gathering Storm – Colbert Strikes Back

posted by Paul Raushenbush

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c The Colbert Coalition’s Anti-Gay Marriage Ad colbertnation.com Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor NASA Name Contest There were a lot of good spoofs of the National Organization for Marriage’s video The […]

Happy Progressive Income Tax Day!

posted by Diana Butler Bass

This morning, at 9:00 a.m. sharp, I took my tax payment to the local post office.  When I handed it to the clerk, she said, “I hate tax day.”  I replied, “Not me.  I don’t love parting with the money, […]

The Post 01/20/09 World

posted by Diana Butler Bass

For four years, I’ve been driving around with one of those “01/20/09″ stickers on the back of my car.   However, with the exception of election night and the inauguration, I haven’t really, truly believed that there has been a change […]

Politics and Good Friday

posted by Ed Kilgore

Like Paul, I grew up in a tradition that didn’t pay much if any attention Good Friday, or see anything terribly ironic about the adjective “Good.”  I’ve come to see that omission (and with it the implication that the crucifixion didn’t […]

Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Today Christians observe what is known as Good Friday.  I grew up in a Protestant church that didn’t put much stock in dwelling on the crucifixion, preferring to stake our faith flag in the fertile ground of the resurrection.  It […]

Faith, Politics, and the Rest of Us

posted by Diana Butler Bass

All day Wednesday, MSNBC advertised a discussion about the “new role” of religion and politics to be aired on the Chris Matthews Show.   When the show began, guest host Mike Barnicle announced that the debate would feature atheist Christopher Hitchens […]

President Obama, Islam, and the Push-me/Pull-you

posted by Diana Butler Bass

Yesterday, on the first day of Holy Week in the western Christian world, President Obama addressed Turkey’s Grand National Assembly and declared that the United States “is not and never will be at war with Islam.” “Our partnership with the […]

What Values will Bind the President’s Council on Faith Based Initiatives?

posted by Paul Raushenbush

The President’s Council on Faith Based and Community Partnerships has been filled out. It puts together an extraordinary group of people from different backgrounds and ideologies reinforcing President Obama’s comments yesterday in Turkey : “One of the great strengths of the […]

President’s Faith-Based Advisory Council Taps Four Progressive Leaders Featured in Recent Book, Progressive & Religious

posted by Robert P. Jones

President Obama’s newly unveiled Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships taps four progressive religious leaders featured in my recent book, Progressive & Religious: How Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist Leaders are Moving Beyond the Culture Wars and Transforming American […]

The Religious Control of the Israeli Army

posted by Paul Raushenbush

This seriously upsetting article in the New York Times Sunday paper chronicles the increasing influence of the religious right in Israeli’s armed forces and its affect on the execution of the war on Gaza.  Especially chilling is the quote from […]

Julian Bond: Black Rights and Gay Rights – A Common Struggle

posted by Paul Raushenbush

This is a wonderful video for anyone who cars about the civil rights of all people.  It puts to rest the false idea that African Americans are more homophobic than other Americans.   Homophobia has no race and bigotry towards gay people […]

President Obama and his Pastors – Listen to Religious Women for a Change

posted by Paul Raushenbush

The New York Time reports that President Obama has his circle of five pastors who offer him moral and spiritual guidance.  Given his history of being burned by Rev. Wright it is not surprising that the President is hesitant to […]

A Cancer Survivor’s Argument for Embryonic Stem Cell Research

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Rabbi David Wolpe writes in Washington Post’s On Faith from the point of view of a cancer survivor and as a religious leader. From both vantage points he supports the president’s lifting of the ban on embryonic stem cell research.  His concise […]

Memo to Chuck Norris: America, Love it or Leave It.

posted by Paul Raushenbush

A couple days ago I needed a haircut and a shave.  Passing by an unfamiliar barber shop I noticed a sticker in the window that I hadn’t seen for a few decades that read: “America: Love it or Leave it.”   […]

Sex and Religion Kiss in Texas Public Schools

posted by guestblogger

Ryan Valentine serves as the Deputy Director for the Texas Freedom Network, a nonpartisan organization of religious and community leaders who advocate a mainstream agenda of religious freedom and individual liberties.   The only thing more controversial than teaching about […]

Rush Limbaugh and His Cowering Republicanettes

posted by Paul Raushenbush

The Republicans are a funny lot right now – not funny ha ha, but funny sad.   Rush Limbaugh has become their de facto king and any time any person says that the king has no clothes, they get reprimanded and […]

The Bible and Budget: Applying Scripture in a Pluralistic Society

posted by Eric Sapp

(Conclusion of “The Primer on Scripture and the Budget for 2009“)   A faithful and true use of religious beliefs to guide policy in our constitutional system of government is very difficult.  Even those with the best intentions will often […]

Budget and Bible: The Sin of Helping the Rich at the Expense of the Poor

posted by Eric Sapp

[Part 5 of “The Primer on Scripture and the Budget for 2009” being released and discussed at www.faithfuldemocrats.com]   Democrats must not get into the business of throwing stones, but neither should we allow Republicans to continue to portray us as […]

Scripture on the Budget: What the Bible Says About National Priorities

posted by Eric Sapp

We all know that as soon as we start talking about budget and taxes, the Republicans put away their Bibles and turn to Darwinian social and economic theories to support their policy positions.   The problem is that Democrats and progressives […]

Slumdog Millionaire: An Oscar for Hope in the Face of Hopelessness

posted by guestblogger

Vineet Chander is the Coordinator for Hindu LIfe at Princeton University and communicartions director for ISkCON.  Even as the world celebrates the eight Oscars that “Slumdog Millionaire” took home tonight – including the coveted Best Picture and props to A.R. […]

Can a Prayer be Gay?

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Oklahoma lawmakers voted on whether to include a prayer in the official record, largely because the minister praying was gay.  As David Waters at the Washington Post reported: Oklahoma legislators demonstrated the divisive power of state-sponsored prayer last week when […]

God In a Box: Dissenting Thoughts On Obama’s Faith-Based Office

posted by Ed Kilgore

As it happens, I am a huge and consistent supporter of President Barack Obama and his agenda.  I’ve spent a lot of time explaining and defending his approach to “bipartisanship,” which doesn’t have many friends, left or right, these days.  And moreover, […]

A cry from the political wilderness about stimulus

posted by Eric Sapp

(Cross-posted from FaithfulDemocrats)   When examining the morality of a society or government, most people would probably argue that the most important thing to look at is how it acted.  I would argue, however, that it is at least as […]

God in the White House – Randall Balmer talks to Jon Stewart

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Progressive Revival blogger Randall Balmer talks to Jon Stewart about Obama, faith and the White House.  The Daily Show With Jon StewartM – Th 11p / 10c Randall Balmer Daily Show Full EpisodesImportant Things With Demetri Martin Funny Political NewsJoke […]

Faith Based Discrimination?

posted by Paul Raushenbush

David Waters in his Under God blog asks these good questions about President Obama’s decision to defer a final decision on the non-discrimination hiring policy for groups getting federal money though the new White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood […]

Assisted Reproductive Technologies and the Catholic Church

The single mother of six who lives with her parents and then has more eight children seems to have missed the class on good parenting. Simply put, this is too many children.  They can’t each get the care and attention […]

Judging Religion

posted by Paul Raushenbush

(The Golden Rule)  is an ancient rule; a simple rule; but also one of the most challenging. For it asks each of us to take some measure of responsibility for the well-being of people we may not know or worship […]

Barack Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast

posted by Paul Raushenbush

These are President Barack Obama’s remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast: Good morning. I want to thank the Co-Chairs of this breakfast, Representatives Heath Shuler and Vernon Ehlers. I’d also like to thank Tony Blair for coming today, as well […]

Faith Based Office 2.0

posted by Paul Raushenbush

The Washington Post writes about President Obama’s new Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.  It looks like a diverse group of advisors will be assembled from different religious traditions and politics perspectives.  And  a closer look will be given […]

Shovel Ready Jobs Needed in Washington

posted by Burns Strider

Cross Posted at www.faithfuldemocrats.com   Pungent piles of Republican nay-saying to the American jobs and stimulus package are getting so deep in Washington that shovel-ready jobs are needed to shovel it all to the dump. Could this be the Republican job creation package?   […]

Secular is Better in Iraq

posted by Paul Raushenbush

The New York Times reports that secularist parties gained in recent regional elections in Iraq.  The relative success of the secular parties may be a sign that a significant number of Iraqis are disillusioned with the religious parties that have […]

Pray the Devil Back to Hell

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Bob Herbert wrote his column today in the New York Times about the political power of prayer to make peace in Liberia as documented in Pray the Devil Back to Hell.  The next time someone says to you that religion is […]

The New Faith Based Initiatives

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Joshua Dubois appears to have been named the director of  the Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. According to the New York Times, the President and Dubois are looking for new ways to make this organization work for the common good.  […]

Obama New Religious Pluralism

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Adelle M. Banks and Kevin Eckstrom give this analysis of President Obama’s inclusive religous inauguration and what it indicates for his approach to religion in the fture.  A couple of Progressive Revival bloogers weighed in: Randall Balmer: “If the inauguration is any […]

Are Non-Believers Americans Too?

posted by Paul Raushenbush

It looks like Obama was a bit too inclusive last Tuesday when he included non-believers in his inaugural address:  “For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, […]

Pro-Choice While Seeking Common Ground

posted by Sally Steenland

Thirty-six years ago today, women were legally granted a basic right of conscience. In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruled that women, rather than politicians, appointed boards of physicians, or review panels, were the ones to decide whether or […]

Obama Signs Executive Order of American Ideals

posted by Paul Raushenbush

The New York Times reports:  “Saying that “our ideals give us the strength and moral high ground” to combat terrorism, President Obama signed executive orders Thursday ending the Central Intelligence Agency‘s secret overseas prisons, banning coercive interrogation methods and closing the Guantánamo Bay detention camp […]

A wonderful and refreshing new theological look at the abortion debate

posted by Eric Sapp

It is not often that one comes across a way to approach the abortion debate that is new…so imagine my surprise and delight when I read the challenging piece on faithfuldemocrats.com that raised theological questions about this debate I had […]

The Inauguration Of Barack Hussein Obama

posted by Paul Raushenbush

At the core of the inauguration of the 44th president of the United States was the clear, real, and inspiring inaugural address given by President Barack Hussein Obama.    I was among the millions who were on the mall.  My […]

The Exodus and the Status Quo (by Rabbi Shai Held)

posted by guestblogger

Those of you have been my friends and/or my students over many years have no doubt heard me say it countless times before: the meaning of the Exodus is that anything is possible, that there is no status quo that […]

Text of President Obama Inaugural Address

posted by Paul Raushenbush

OBAMA: My fellow citizens: I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as […]

CHANGING LEADERS AND ENDURING VALUES

posted by Welton Gaddy

Just as I seek to protect appropriate boundaries between religion and government, I also protect appropriate boundaries between my work as President of Interfaith Alliance and my role as Pastor of Northminster Baptist Church in Monroe, LA. That is not […]

Barack Obama, Race and the Power of Progress!

posted by Paul Raushenbush

There have been many, (many!) Barack Obama t-shirts that appeared over the long months of the presidential election, but my favorite was the multi-colored portrait of the candidate boldly underlined with the word “Progress.”  Progress was promised in the policies […]

A New President, MLK, Mother Parks, a Congressman, My Boys and Me

posted by Burns Strider

Bedtime Stories   Last night’s bedtime story for my two little boys was about Mother Rosa Parks. A few nights ago we read and talked about Dr. King.   On Monday morning, MLK Day, I will do what I have […]

Religious Freedom Day 2009

posted by Welton Gaddy

President Bush has declared today, January 16, 2009 as Religious Freedom Day.  Other presidents have done the same. However, it is an ironic act on the part of a president who leaves office with a dismal record on protecting and […]

So Help Obama God

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Another prayer controversy – and it doesn’t involve either Warren or Robinson.  Should Obama say the words “So help me God” as he is sworn in on Tuesday? Obama wants to, a group of atheists doesn’t.  The atheist group is […]

Gene and Rick: Post-Partisan Parable 2

posted by Diana Butler Bass

A few days ago, the Obama team announced that Bishop Gene Robinson, the Episcopal bishop who is an openly partnered gay man, will pray at Sunday’s Inauguration rock concert on the National Mall.    On the Rachel Maddow Show, Bishop […]

Cease Fire Now in Gaza – Full Page Ad in the New York Times

posted by Michael Lerner

On Wednesday Jan. 1st the Tikkun Community and the Network of Spiritual Progressives purchased an full page Ad in The New York Times (it appears on page A17 of Wednesday’s issue).  It was signed by about 3000 people and funded […]

The Sideshow — News and Lessons from the Republican Civil War

posted by Burns Strider

Republicans have a problem… they don’t know who they are. Devastated The 2006 and 2008 election cycles were devastating for the GOP. They went from the Roveian-based belief that they had basically won the political war and Democrats would be […]

Bishop Gene Robinson to Give Prayer at Pre-Inaugural Event

posted by Paul Raushenbush

The New Hampshire gay Episcopal Bishop, Gene Robinson will offer a prayer at the Lincoln Memorial on the Sunday before the inauguration.  This is really great news and seems to me to be an appropriate and brave gesture by the […]

Will Israel Split America’s Religious Left?

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Steve Waldman asks the question whether the current crisis will split the religious left.  He predicts: “Most likely what will happen next is that an over-reaction from the Protestant left will prompt American Jews into an uncomfortable (but familiar) defensive […]

The Booming, Powerful Voice of Congressman Jim Clyburn (D-SC)

posted by Burns Strider

One of the many blessings I have been afforded over the years was the opportunity to serve and work for Congressman Jim Clyburn of South Carolina. As a white Southerner, this African American Congressman, also of the South, taught me […]

The Truth About Rick Warren In Africa

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Max Blumenthal on Daily Beast digs deeper into the work of Rick Warren in Africa.   “Team Obama likes to cite Warren’s work on AIDS in Africa to combat criticism about the controversial pastor. But how does burning condoms in […]

A Strategy to End the Israel/Palestine Struggle Once and For All

posted by Michael Lerner

The leadership of the State of Israel has rejected the latest calls for a cease fire. Only President-Elect Obama has the moral authority to make a call for a cease fire that could be listened to seriously by the Israelis. […]

Tim Kaine and the DNC’s Faith Initiative

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Obama’s pick of Tim Kaine for the DNC Chair means a continuation or expansion of the DNC’s Faith Outreach.  Dan Gilgoff explains on his blog God and Country “Barack Obama’s decision to tap Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine to be the next Democratic […]

Barack Obama and the (progressive) Religious Revival

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Barack Obama’s transition team is ringing in the New Year with a series of meetings with religious groups reports Dan Gilgoff at US News.  It is striking that the names that dominate the list are the very ones that some […]

The Ten Worst Religion Stories of 2008

posted by Paul Raushenbush

It was the best of religion, it was the worst of religion in 2008.  Let’s concentrate on the worst.  The following are the ten stories that made us want to roll our eyes, curl up into a ball or raise […]

Broken Communion

posted by Ed Kilgore

On December 19, Brian McClaren published a well-intentioned post on this site suggesting that Christians put aside all their political and cultural differences and focus on their common faith in Jesus Christ.  As it happens, I read Brian’s piece the […]

Rick Warren and the Inauguration: Why You Should be Concerned As Well

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Guest Post by Rev. Debra W. Haffner, Director, Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing a multifaith organization with more than 4400 religious leaders in its network. First, you need to know who I am. I am a Jewish Unitarian […]

Melissa Etheridge gets it right …

posted by Brian McLaren

In the ongoing controversy over Rick Warren as the “invocator” at the inauguration, the wisest words I’ve heard so far have come from Melissa Etheridge. I especially love what happens when she uses the word “maybe.” You can read her […]

Best Religious Books of 2008

posted by Paul Raushenbush

I have two favorite religious books for 2008.  The first one is Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of this World for Crucifixion and Empire by Rita Brock and Rebecca Parker.  This is a great book for those of us […]

Warren, Cizik, Obama, left, right, pro, anti, etc.

posted by Brian McLaren

What a fascinating time to be alive. Here we are … about to celebrate the 2008th anniversary of Jesus’ birth, and a whole bunch of us are still squabbling like cats and dogs about what it means to be a […]

SOME ADVOCACY

Somebody needs to explain this to me, because I must be dumb: Rick Warren was somehow an inclusive choice to deliver the Invocation at the Inauguration?     Let’s look for a moment at what an invocation is. It’s that moment when […]

Rich and Rick: A Post-Partisan Parable

posted by Diana Butler Bass

This week’s two major religion stories revolved around Rich and Rick–Rich Cizik and Rick Warren–and point out the uncomfortable but spiritually challenging direction President-elect Obama may be pushing religious communities with his post-partisan vision for America. For more than a […]

Inaugural Invocation

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Barack Obama has selected Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the inauguration. The choice of Warren is in line with other Obama appointments meant to bring a broad spectrum of viewpoints to the same table.  The patchwork of oddly opposing […]

Rick Warren and the Social Gospel

posted by Paul Raushenbush

“Historically evangelicals and mainline protestants were all in one group. Along about the beginning of the 20th century there were some protestant theologians who started using the term social gospel. What they meant by that was you don’t really need […]

Cizik & Civil Unions: Evangelical leader ousted over supportive comments

posted by David Gibson

An earthquake is rocking the Evangelical world as the longtime spokesman and Washington leader of the National Association of Evangelicals has resigned over comments he made to NPR revealing that he voted for Barack Obama (heresy) and he could support […]

The future of Catholic politics? (Again)

posted by David Gibson

I, among others, have posed the question (here and here) of what the future of Catholic politics might look like–if it has any future–in light of the great splits between and among Catholic voters and leaders during the recent presidential […]

Partisans and Prayer: Right and Left together, for once

posted by David Gibson

This graphic from Kevin Drum at Mother Jones (via Secular Right and dotCommonweal) is interesting: The more politically committed people are, the greater the frequency of prayer. One thing it may say is that the idea that conservatives are more […]

Terrorist Attack on Mumbai and the Effect on Indian Politics

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Terrorist attacks on Mumbai have provoked Meenakshi Ravi to write this on Huffingtonpost: Four years ago, the Hindu-dominated, right wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was dismissed from government by an Indian electorate that saw through its glossy ‘India Shining’ campaign […]

How Does a President Chose a Church?

posted by Eric Sapp

My good friend Amy Sullivan is a very hard act to follow in any writing assignment, and she covered this topic very well for Time last week.  But in an attempt to help provide a little perspective for our good […]

Bob Jones University is Right

posted by Eric Sapp

(cross-posted on www.faithfuldemocrats.com) Thereis a danger in our polarized society of loudly critiquing missteps by ourpolitical or ideological opponents and remaining silent when they do the rightthing.   Today,Bob Jones Universityjust did the right thing and showed humility and Christian repentance […]

Obama’s White House and the Council for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

posted by Paul Raushenbush

As Barack Obama appoints his cabinet there is one area upon which the president-elect and his aids, as well as the media have been largely silent – the President’s Council for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.   In a speech on […]

Obama’s Church Choice

posted by Paul Raushenbush

The church Barack and Michelle Obama chose to join will send a signal about their beliefs and values.  Amy Sulivan at Time Magazine writes a fun piece that features various religious folks offering suggestions. Dear Mr. President-elect, No doubt you have […]

Much Ado about Obama Sending Girls to Private School

posted by Eric Sapp

(Cross-posted on faithfuldemocrats.com) I have received a number of emails and seen a lot written about Obama’s decision not to send his girls to DC public schools.  People are saying he has thrown the urban public school system under the […]

Abortion Policy: When and Why

posted by Ed Kilgore

One of the most animated discussions involving faith communities that’s underway in the wake of November 4 is about abortion policy.  To put it simply, the conservative drive to take a first step towards a national abortion ban via an […]

Religion Plays Role in Election – In Jerusalem

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Lest we forget, religion and politics are happening all over the world.  Here is an article from the Economist about the recent mayoral election in Jerusalem.  It is interesting that like in the US voters have rejected the percieved religious candidate in […]

Barack and Benedict:Together again for the first time

posted by David Gibson

Not the Dream Team some Catholics envisoned, but the President-elect dialed the Pope personally to thank him for the congratulatory telegram. According to CNS: The Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, confirmed to Catholic News Service Nov. 12 that the president-elect […]

The Pastor Problem ’08 Revisited

posted by Paul Raushenbush

I don’t remember hearing the exact term before – but it is clear that the Pastor Problem is here to stay. There were three categories of pastor problems in the 08 elections. The most closely watched and problematic were the […]

The Future of Faith Based Initiatives

posted by Paul Raushenbush

The Washington Post ran an interesting article about the future of the office of Community and Faith Based Initiatives Pointing to his spiritually-laced campaign rhetoric and outreach to religious groups, liberal faith-based organizations have high expectations that President-elect Barack Obama […]

UPDATE: Bishops scotch politics debate

posted by David Gibson

…At least officially. Dan Burke at Religion News Service has the scoop, that the USCCB has decided to remove from the agenda a discussion about Catholics and politics. They put the item on the agenda in September, and even this week archbishops […]

Catholic and Politics: What now?

posted by David Gibson

Judging by the headlines this campaign, you might have thought the shepherds were headed one way and the flock in another direction. That’s not quite the case, as reports of 50 or 60 or even 100 bishops promoting a “McCain-or-be-damned” […]

Economics is THE Religious Issue

posted by Diana Butler Bass

Was religion an important issue in this election?  Or was Barack Obama’s election a matter of economics?   Exit polls reveal that white Protestants voted in large numbers for John McCain for president–thus making them the primary religious group left […]

Felons Can’t Vote…Unless they are IN the Senate?!

posted by Eric Sapp

(cross-posted on faithfuldemocrats.com)   Wow, what a night.  I know everyone is going to be writing about Obama and the incredible races and probably has more energy and insight than I at this moment.  But something struck me about the […]

Mississippi Republicans Rig Ballots… Voter Fraud in Play

posted by Burns Strider

Phil Singer over at “The Marathon Blog” has broke the story that Mississippi Republicans are defrauding the system and attempting to steal the election from the voters of Mississippi. It’s simple… Mississippi’s African American communities come together and choose candidates […]

Indiana goes for Obama! (Well, just South Bend, for now)

posted by David Gibson

Yes, the results of Notre Dame’s mock election are in, and the winner is…Barack Obama. According to The Observer, the campus newspaper: “2,692 undergraduate and graduate students participated in the mock election. Democrat Sen. Barack Obama and running mate Sen. […]

Prayers for the Family of Madelyn Dunham

posted by Paul Raushenbush

  Madelyn Dunham A Prayer for the Obama Family Please share your prayers for the Obama family as they mourn the loss of their cornerstone, Obama’s grandmother, Madelyn Dunham.     On the eve of the election that may make him […]

Dole in Final Week Takes Up Role as Poster Child for All that is Wrong in Politics… and It Backslides… I Mean Backfires…

posted by Burns Strider

I’ve seen some misleading and terrible political ads over the years but Elizabeth Dole’s attack on her opponent, North Carolina Democratic Senate candidate Kay Hagan, pretty much takes the wafer… and grape juice. Senator Dole is losing. What does she […]

Obama=Ottomans?

posted by David Gibson

Or, pro-choice voters as Muslim invaders? I don’t know if Bishop Robert Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph wanted to go there, but he did, in his latest column in the diocesan newspaper: “Our Catholic moral principles teach […]

REALLY Great Pumpkins!

posted by David Gibson

Over at Christianity Today, Sarah Pulliam has been “getting political with pumpkins”–and it looks like a lot of fun. Definitely try this at home! She links to the AP page with some rockin’ images, but I’ve been unable to download […]

International Religious Freedom: The orphan issue of 2008

posted by David Gibson

Amid the final campaign push, the 10th anniversary of the nation’s landmark covenant on international religious freedom passed largely unnoticed on Monday. That is more than a shame. The International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (IRFA) was passed by a […]

Join Us in Responding to Dobson 2012 Letter

posted by Mara Vanderslice

Respond to Focus on the Family Action “Letter from 2012 in Obama’s America” James Dobson is promoting a Letter from 2012 purporting to offer a vision after four years of an Obama administration. This letter, filled with doomsday projections, is […]

Rev. Jim Wallis Shares “My Personal ‘Faith Priorities’ for this Election”

posted by Burns Strider

I was emailing this evening with Jim Wallis. Its always a blessing to hear what’s on Reverend Wallis’ mind. He’s a good friend, great leader, prophetic minister and caring pastor. He mentioned a recent posting of his at God’s Politics. […]

Battle of the Bishops

posted by David Gibson

It continues…Memphis Bishop Terry Steib this week called on Catholics not to be “one-issue” voters, in contrast to Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput (whose latest comments in a talk titled “Little Murders” were especially strong) and some others. Steib, in this NCR piece, […]

Just When You Thought You Were an American… Conservatives Say Not So Fast.

posted by Burns Strider

Governor Palin and her brand of Republicanism are about to overcook my grits.   She and those who drink from the same mug have decided that you are not a real American, maybe you are even anti-American, if you either […]

The Tale of Two Presidents and one Economy

posted by Eric Sapp

Marta Cook over at Faithful Democrats just did a great post on the differences between how American families fared during the Clinton and Bush years.   She based her post on a report by Third Way (my favorite of the progressive […]

Who is the real heir to Teddy Roosevelt?

posted by David Gibson

John McCain says he is the new TR. And Barack Obama is a socialist who wants to “share the wealth,” as he told the now (in)famous Joe the Plumber (or whatever). But check out Teddy’s “New Nationalism” speech of 1910, […]

Good Catholics AND Good Democrats

posted by David Gibson

“The Catholic case for Barack Obama” has rarely been put so convincingly as it is in this Newsweek essay. Or, at least, a case for voting freely, according to one’s conscience and the range of issues. The argument is made […]

“Racism is a sin”…A bishop speaks out

posted by David Gibson

I have heard of few religious leaders speaking out against the ugliness emerging from the campaign trail, especially on race and violence. That makes this powerful essay in the latest issue of the Jesuit weekly America that much more welcome. It is by Bishop Blase […]

Republican Earmarks for Gay Porn: Part II

posted by Eric Sapp

The Danville Register and Bee–the paper that originally broke the story about Rep. Virgil Goode’s connections with the “gay coming of age” movie, Eden’s Curve, and Goode’s earmarks to its producer–just released a very good editorial explaining their reasons for […]

Beyond Partisanship, Part II: The Al Smith Dinner

posted by David Gibson

Now this is more like it. Sure, you’re not going to see a lot of jocularity and self-deprecation–or raising $4 million for charity rather than themselves–but the Al Smith Dinner, the white-tie gala and quadrennial campaign-free zone that was held […]

BEING CATHOLIC: BEYOND PARTISANSHIP AND LABELS

posted by Alexia Kelley

Catholics are the quintessential swing voters in this presidential election. Whoever wins the Catholic vote in key battleground states is likely to be sworn in as our 44th president in January.     Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good is challenging […]

Is Barack Obama the new Al Smith?

posted by David Gibson

That might be heresy to some in the Catholic universe, but the argument has much to be said for it–though don’t expect Cardinal Edward M. Egan to be making that claim at tonight’s Al Smith Dinner. The quadrennial white-tie gala […]

Conservative GOP Congressman + his earmark for gay porn flick = interesting times in VA

posted by Eric Sapp

OK, I’m not making this up.  But it just came out that Rep. Virgil Goode, notorious for leading the protest against Rep. Ellison’s desire to be sworn in on the Koran and for being an outspoken opponent of gay rights, […]

Jesus Christ: Do you REALLY know him?

posted by David Gibson

Seriously. His entire track record is hearsay. The four accounts we have of his life contradict each other and they’re probably not historically reliable. Besides, he was born in Palestine, for crying out loud. You all have to ask these hard questions. The MSM […]

An Open Letter to Sister Sarah

posted by Diana Butler Bass

In an interview with Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin responded to the host’s question about her attacks on Barack Obama.  Praising her for “forcefulness,” Rush asked, “Can you attack as you wish?”  Palin replied, “I’ve got nothing to lose in this.” […]

Parker Griffith of Alabama Calls Americans to Stand Tall, be Patriotic and Embrace Their Faith. Bloggers Who Support His Opponent Think He’s Wrong to Believe These Things

posted by Burns Strider

Parker Griffith, the Democratic candidate for Congress in Alabama’s 5th Congressional District, while speaking to a Baptist association as a fellow believer, recently made one of the most patriotic and faith-infused statements a candidate can make:   “I think America’s […]

“Barry” & the Downstream Media

posted by Randall Balmer

In desperation, apparently, Messrs. Hannity, Limbaugh and other principals of the Downstream Media are trying to make hay out of the fact that Barack Obama was known as “Barry” while a child but then opted to use his given name, […]

Faith of their Fathers? Not When it Comes to the Culture Wars

posted by Robert P. Jones

Given the divisive role religion played in the 2004 election, many progressives have been waiting for a resumption of the culture wars in this election season.  Yet despite the addition of Sarah Palin to the Republican ticket, (a Pentecostal governor […]

Donna Brazile: A good Catholic girl lets loose…

posted by David Gibson

…And says what I wish more Catholic leaders would about the ugly, angry–and yes, race-baiting–tone of the McCain/Palin campaign. Watch the video from a recent New Yorker campaign symposium…She’s not going to the back of the bus anymore!  

High Noon: The campaign as a Western movie

posted by David Gibson

But who are the Good Guys? John McCain and Sarah Palin think they are, and in this piece in the current issue of The Tablet of London, I try to explain the campaign through the lens of the Old West: […]

The “Trekkie” Campaign

posted by David Gibson

McCain as Captain Kirk and Obama as Mr. Spock? That’s the take from Jason Horowitz in this week’s New York Observer cover story. I nsightful piece. Spock was mixed race, and great at times of crisis, and he always knew […]

“Barry” & the Downstream Media

posted by Randall Balmer

In desperation, apparently, Messrs. Hannity, Limbaugh and other principals of the Downstream Media are trying to make hay out of the fact that Barack Obama was known as “Barry” while a child but then opted to use his given name, […]

Gambling with Politics

posted by Eric Sapp

Tabitha Knerr at Faithfuldemocrats.com just posted a great piece on all the many ties between Republicans and the gambling industry that are starting to pop up in races around the country.  I commented recently on the effect Sheldon Adelson–the GOP […]

Sarah Palin: Religionless Christian?

posted by David Gibson

Who’s afraid of Sarah Palin? And her faith? I’m one of those who thinks all the hand-wringing about her supposedly ideological right-wing faith is way overblown. Could she be a right-wing religious ideologue if in office? Perhaps she’d follow the script […]

“Where Your Trasure Is”: Part II

posted by Eric Sapp

(cross-posted on faithfuldemocrats.com)   Talk about politics making strange bedfellows.  Who would have thought that liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans would join forces to defeat one of the strongest legislative pushes I’ve seen in recent years, one backed by the […]

Catholic Bishops offer a Five-Point Bailout Plan

posted by David Gibson

A strong statement from the head of the U.S. bishops domestic justice committee offers five conditions to guide any rescue/bailout package. In the Sept. 26 statement (it didn’t get much press; I just found it now via ZENIT), Bishop William […]

A Spiritual Bailout

posted by Diana Butler Bass

Over the summer, a seventy-year old family member has struggled mightily with the possibility of losing her home.  For many months, she has been in a financial meltdown, one unnoticed by politicians claiming that the economy was “sound.” Washington politicians […]

Paying For Prophecy

posted by Ed Kilgore

As most politically active Americans focused on the financial system bailout legislation over the weekend, 33 Christian ministers took the occasion of Sunday sermons to defy federal tax regulations prohibiting endorsement of political candidates by churches and other tax-exempt organizations.  […]

Eugenics lives! Lousiana lawmaker wants to sterilize the poor

posted by David Gibson

Rep. John LaBruzzo, a Republican from Metarie (David Duke’s old haunts) wants to pay poor women $1,000 to get sterilized. Why? Because people receiving food and housing assistance “are reproducing at a faster rate than more affluent, better-educated residents.” The […]

Obama Takes Debate at Ole Miss

posted by Burns Strider

Senator Obama had a good night at Ole Miss. He dominated the opening discussion on the economy and held his own during the discussion on foreign affairs. Translation: signficant night for Senator Obama. I appreciate the fact that Senator McCain […]

Just Say “No” to Any Immediate Bailout-Don’t try band-aids to keep the Tower of Babel Standing

posted by Michael Lerner

Rabbis of antiquity interpreted the attempt by humanity to build a Tower of Babel that would allow people to storm heaven as a symbol of human hubris and technological power gone crazy. It was globalization for the sake of power, […]

The Apocalypse Rears Its Head

posted by Diana Butler Bass

With media attention directed toward the largest economic story in recent American history, other stories are falling by the way.  One of the most interesting–and surely least understood–is the story of Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s religious faith. As […]

No debate in Mississippi? Well, at least we wouldn’t have to help all those poor, deprived visitors understand the differences between grits and hushpuppies, cornbread and cake… molasses and glue.

posted by Burns Strider

I hope both Senators Obama and McCain show up for the debate at Ole Miss. Its important to see our two choices together, interacting, answering the same questions. Showcasing why they should be President is pretty much their job right […]

Vatican newspaper: “New economy” is a “sham”

posted by David Gibson

Looking for a Catholic–some would say traditionally Christian–point of view on the economic meltdown? The  church has long-standing teachings and resources that I think could be useful–and an antidote to some of the idolatry and fatalism of unfettered free-marketeering. (“Hey, stuff […]

“Where Your Treasure Is”: The Economy and Values

posted by Eric Sapp

As we contemplate the fact that Republicans are arguing for the largest U.S. government interference in the free markets in our nation’s history–a bailout just shy of being equal to the entire US debt when Ronald Reagan became President–Democrats MUST […]

Miami Archbishop: We’re not “party bosses”

posted by David Gibson

That is the bracing message from Miami Archbishop John C. Favalora in a Sept. 12 column that is the best rendering I’ve yet seen of how the church–and the bishops–can approach the elections. The statement is titled “Why we don’t take […]

“Otherizing” Obama: Strange face welcome in a crisis?

posted by David Gibson

The Times’ columnist Nicholas Kristof had a piece on Sunday, “The Push to ‘Otherize’ Obama,” that perfectly sums up the efforts to key in on fears of Obama’s race and persistent (unfounded) doubts about his faith, and how that plays […]

Inside Obama’s God Ops

posted by David Gibson

Barack Obama is not giving up on faith-based voters. While polls seem to show voters stuck in same pattern as 2004, despite the Democrat’s persistent outreach and God talk, the campaign is redoubling its efforts and rejecting suggestions that the […]

Abortion? Gay marriage? It’s the (stupid) economy–again!

posted by David Gibson

Do the hot-button culture war issues like abortion and gay marriage matter? If you read only blogs or the news coverage (such as this NYTimes story, “Abortion Issue Again Dividing Catholics”) you might get the impression that these are the […]

Among the Unbelievers: New poll shows secularist strength

posted by David Gibson

Results from the huge American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) of 2000 stunned many and led to heated debates when it showed some 14 percent of Americans embracing some form of secularism. Preliminary numbers released today from the upcoming 2008 ARIS survey […]

Hunger Advocate and Former Congressman Tony Hall Connects Faith to Economic Woes

posted by Mara Vanderslice

Beginning next week, the Matthew 25 Network will run a new ad on Christian radio stationsin Ohio connecting the Christian mandate to care for the least among uswith the economic crisis in Ohio and around the country.  FormerCongressman Tony Hall, […]

Buddhist Values in the Public Square

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Given the recent summit on Value Voters, and the crisis on Wall Street I thought it might be interesting to ask a non-Christian on what values informed his approach to the public square.  I sent an email to Robert Thurman, a […]

Votes and Consequences

posted by Ed Kilgore

There’s been a lot of discussion here at Beliefnet and elsewhere about the variable impact of cultural issues like abortion in the current presidential campaign.  And it’s safe to say most Democrats have concluded that Barack Obama’s prospects for victory […]

Abortion & Catholics: Big wedge–small impact?

posted by David Gibson

The furious division in Catholicism over abortion and the presidential election grows wider. But to what end? A front-page story in today’s New York Times is titled, “Abortion Issue Again Dividing Catholic Votes,” and yet evidence of how that is […]

Christian-omics?

posted by David Gibson

The turmoil on Wall Street is continuing, and even though it is closer to me than even Russia is to Alaska, I understand less than little about economics. And yet the human toll of the crashes and crises is poignantly clear, and is spreading.  […]

Politically Speaking, Everything is a Value for a Values Voter… Like the Economy

posted by Burns Strider

How is it that many, from left to right, who believe and argue that “values” and religion play a primary role in driving voting choices don’t equate “economic” issues and concerns as values-driven?   How is it that those who are […]

Apology Needed

posted by rsider

The “Obama Waffles” episode illustrates the racism that everyone knew would surface around the murky edges of the pro-McCain campaign.  That was inevitable.  What should not be inevitable and certainly not tolerated is that evangelical Christians play a role in […]

Bishops v. Politicians: An abortion alternative

posted by David Gibson

Fallout over controversial remarks on abortion by Joseph Biden and Nancy Pelosi are continuing. And not just in the political sphere. The U.S. Bishops announced last week that in light of the conflicts and debates, they will address the topic […]

Palin’s Religion: What’s Scary, What’s Not?

posted by Paul Raushenbush

Beliefnet’s Steve Waldman wrote about Sarah Palin’s faith in a way that seems balanced and intelligent to me.  You can find his full text below: Those on the left, or merely those who aren’t evangelical Christians, are struggling to make […]

“When does life begin?” Interesting question. But it doesn’t stop there…

posted by David Gibson

For all the wilful disparaging of the MSM by the GOP and its allies on the Christian right, there is a good argument to be made that the “media” (whatever that is, today) is reading straight out of the McCain […]

Something to be thankful for: McCain & Obama to appear together Thursday at Ground Zero

posted by David Gibson

From the NYT “Caucus” blog: The two campaigns issued a rare joint statement on Saturday announcing the plans of the Republican and Democratic rivals. They also will appear together at a forum later that day at Columbia University. “All of […]

Teen pregnancy: Is there a faith-based program?

posted by David Gibson

Whether Sarah Palin’s family, or Sarah Palin herself, should be an subject of commentary and scruitny has itself become a much-debated topic. But let us agree that the issues raised by her candidacy, notably the revelation of her 17-year-old daughter’s […]

Praying for Pipeline

posted by Randall Balmer

Some years ago, Melissa Fay Greene wrote a book about the rural South entitled Praying for Sheetrock. If Sarah Palin, John McCain’s running mate, ever published an autobiography, she might consider calling it Praying for Pipeline. It appears that God […]

Looking at the RNC through Muslim eyes

posted by Shahed Amanullah

If you listened closely during the various speeches at the RNC convention, you’ll notice that the times when the crowd was most animated was when Republican rage was focused on what Sen. John McCain calls the “trancendent challenge of our […]

An Ironic Night at the RNC

posted by Brian McLaren

There were four highly ironic moments for me last night, watching the RNC on television. First, Rudy Giuliani seemed to side with down-to-earth, rural, moral, family-friendly middle America against the urban, educated, gay-friendly, divorcing East Coast elite – and neither […]

Palin cut funding for pregnant moms in need

posted by David Gibson

The Washington Post has the story here, and a facsimile of the bill on which Palin herself wrote out how much to cut and where: ST. PAUL — Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee who revealed Monday that […]

“Palin’s pregnant!” Easy, easy…It’s only her unwed 17-year-old daughter.

posted by David Gibson

I had thought the terrifying onslaught of Gustav and the efforts by the GOP to dodge the Katrina bullet–or turn it to McCain’s benefit–would be the story of the day, but the bombshell news that Sarah Palin’s 17-year-old daughter Bristol […]

Notes from the Old Empire (by Sara Miles)

posted by Sara Miles

    “Of course,” Patricia told me, leaning in close, “of course English people don’t even like the Scottish.” Patricia, the funny, perceptive, activist wife of a progressive Church of England vicar, made a face. ” I have no idea if […]

Jon Stewart on Sarah Palin: All you need to know!

posted by David Gibson

This is why newspapers are withering and “The Daily Show” is flourishing. It’s not the fault of journalism–my chosen profession–but because in a world where John McCain picks Sarah Palin to be “a heartbeat away from the presidency,” sometimes only […]

Picking Palin: McCain’s Folly, or “crazy like a fox”?

posted by David Gibson

John McCain has certainly revived his maverick label by picking–or plucking from obscurity–freshman Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. (WaPo coverage here, and NYT coverage here.) Like every candidate, there are pluses and minuses with her. On the plus side, […]

Karma and the Christian Right: Will Gustav delay the GOP convention?

posted by David Gibson

Earlier this month Stuart Shepard, correspondent for the Focus on the Family network (you know, that OTHER religious gathering in Colorado), had a segment in which he less than half-jokingly asked prayers for torrential rains to inundate Invesco Field during last night’s […]

Beyond Roe? New study shows abortion rates lowered by public policy

posted by David Gibson

In a new study that could recast the seemingly endless debates over abortion and Roe v. Wade, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good yesterday released a new study that, according to the news release, is the first study of its kind to look at the […]

Abortion, Augustine and…Nancy Pelosi?

posted by David Gibson

And Aristotle, Aquinas, Archbishop Chaput and various Bishops, and Brokaw…All weigh in on the House Speaker’s response to Brokaw on Sunday morning’s “Meet the Press” (scroll to the end) in which he raised–yet again–the age-old question, “When does life begin?” Pelosi’s […]

Joe Biden and the Catholic Challenge

posted by David Gibson

By choosing the longtime senator insider and foreign policy expert, Joe Biden, as his running mate, Barack Obama got a well-respected congressional insider to help his prospective legislative agenda as well as sharp-spoken (too much, at times–but good for a veep) campaigner […]

AP: Obama Chooses Biden

posted by Mara Vanderslice

I think Biden is a great choice for the Obama campaign!  His working class roots in Scranton, PA, foreign policy bona fides and deep Catholic faith- that you can just tell is in his bones- will be a great addition to […]

Obama Wins at Saddleback!

posted by mhenneberger

The McCain campaign sent out an email yesterday touting their guy’s performance with Pastor Rick: “The reviews are in from Saturday’s Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency, moderated by Pastor Rick Warren. The critics agree – John McCain’s straight talk […]

Baptism by Politics: Sacraments and “The Saddleback Confession”

posted by David Gibson

In his quest to prune the overgrowth of Christianity to reveal to root of the faith, Martin Luther famously reduced the number of sacraments from seven to three, discarding Holy Orders, Last Rites (now known as the Anointing of the Sick), […]

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