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.”
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.
Ever since the University of Notre Dame announced that President Obama would receive an honorary degree and speak at its May 17 commencement ceremony, debate among American Catholics has grown increasingly heated.
Southern Baptist ethicist Richard Land, a leading Christian conservative who helped advance the Bush administration’s agenda on a range of social issues, says that the formerly sanctioned practice of waterboarding of suspected terrorists is torture and “violates everything we stand for.”
After President Obama released memos from Bush administration lawyers that defended waterboarding, Dick Cheney told Fox News that extreme interrogation methods like waterboarding helped the country gain important information and deter terrorist attacks.
Activists on both sides were disappointed when the Obama administration revealed its policy on embryonic stem cell research last month. The guidelines issued by the National Institutes of Health are “not bold enough,” in the view of the New York Times. But to the Family Research Council actions permitted under the guidelines will “destroy human life.”
The Alliance of Baptists applauded President Obama for loosening restrictions on Americans’ travel to Cuba and called for more U.S. policy reform during the progressive group’s April 17-19 convocation in Charlotte, North Carolina.