Iran is a young country: the median age is about 26. Young Iranians, who are connected to the outside world through the Internet and satellite TV, made their presence known in the streets as they protested the outcome of Iran’s presidential election.
President Obama signed long-sought legislation June 22 authorizing the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco products, and among those cheering were the 25 faith groups in the Faith United Against Tobacco coalition. “Better late than never,” said Wesley “Pat” Padillo, a key advocacy official for the National Council of Churches.
President Obama’s plan to give all Americans the option of a government-run health insurance plan got a frigid reception in June from the American Medical Association, the nation’s leading lobbying group for physicians. Offering a public plan would “restrict patient choice by driving out private insurers,” the AMA warned in a statement before Obama appeared before the group.
Prominent religious officials led a march to the White House last month to urge President Obama to form a commission of inquiry into interrogation practices under the Bush administration. The clerics and other senior religious leaders and supporters who joined them for the “public witness” formed a crowd adorned with robes, collars, hijabs and yarmulkes.
President Obama’s June 4 speech in Cairo was just that—a speech. As commentators at home and abroad pointed out, it will take deeds to give substance to his call for “a new beginning” in relations between the U.S. and the Muslim world.
President Obama has nominated Latino theologian Miguel H. Diaz as the next U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. Diaz is a professor of theology at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University in Minnesota.
If the May 27 nomination is approved by the Senate, Diaz, 45, would be the
Dogged by persistent but untrue rumors that he is a closet Muslim, Barack Obama’s presidential campaign carefully sidestepped questions about his Muslim ancestry. But in Cairo, Egypt, on June 4 Obama quoted the “Holy Qur’an,” greeted his audience with the customary “Assalaamu alaykum” and, when speaking of Moses, Jesus and Muhammad in the same breath, said “peace be upon them.”
President Barack Obama couldn’t have been more explicit in his inaugural address. Moments into his young presidency, the Democrat let Muslims know that he wants to work with them to bring stability to the world.
Will President Obama’s plea for common ground on abortion during his speech at the University of Notre Dame persuade ardent abortion opponents to work with the new president? At first glance, it seems unlikely.