The election of Barack Obama offers hope that religion will play a more constructive role in the public arena rather than the largely divisive role it has played in recent years. One sign of hope is that Obama was able to narrow the Democrats’ so-called God gap.
Catholic legal scholar Nicholas Cafardi, who recently endorsed Senator Barack Obama for president, has resigned as a trustee of Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio, an outpost of conservative Catholicism.
An expert in civil and canon law, Cafardi said he quit the school’s board voluntarily.
Four students at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon, confessed to hanging an effigy of Senator Barack Obama from a tree on campus and were suspended for up to a year, school officials announced September 30. The students’ names were not released.
Barack Obama promised to practice a different kind of politics, a politics that would stick to the issues. Yet his campaign has produced an ad that shows an old photo of McCain, wearing an out-of-style suit and large glasses, in an effort to convey the message that McCain is an old, out-of-touch man, someone who doesn’t even know how to use the Internet or even send an e-mail message.
When introducing the presidential forum at Saddleback Church last month, Rick Warren noted that the separation of church and state does not mean the separation of faith and politics. He was right about that. Warren or any other pastor is entitled—as the government is not—to ask Barack Obama and John McCain about their faith in Jesus and to judge them accordingly.
A veteran of Democratic Party politics and a former aide to representatives Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and James Clyburn (D., S.C.), Burns Strider was senior adviser and director of faith-based outreach for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.
A New Testament scholar at Vanderbilt University Divinity School has been nominated to become senior minister of New York’s Riverside Church, one of the nation’s most prestigious pulpits. Brad R. Braxton would succeed James A. Forbes, who served at Riverside 18 years until his retirement last year.