President Obama has named nine new advisers to the White House office for religious and community groups, adding a gay rights leader, an Orthodox Jew, a black Pentecostal bishop and others to an eclectic 25-member council.
When I was a child I spoke as a child, understood as a child, reasoned as a child. I knew my parents loved me best. I mistook abundant love for especial favor and blessings for entitlements. I mistook good fortune for God’s approval and worldly outcomes for the will of God. Kennedy won because God was on our side. When my grandfather died, I assumed it was me—something I’d done or failed to do. Maybe the first time I ate meat on a Friday, at Bobby Bacon’s house. It was baloney.
President Obama’s scheduled May 17 commencement speech at the University of Notre Dame has sparked protests by some Catholics. The local Catholic bishop, John D’Arcy, said he will boycott the event because some Obama policies contradict church teaching.
The White House’s budget proposal to reduce the tax deduction for charitable giving from 35 percent to 28 percent for wealthy givers “would equalize” the benefit common to all taxpayers who itemize their returns, said President Obama in his March 24 news conference.
The church sign of a Pentecostal congregation facing a busy Los Angeles–area street bore a single message for months: let us pray for our new president. The church’s pastor, a Republican, said that right after the November elections he and congregational leaders decided to follow New Testament admonitions to pray for those in governing authority.
When Rick Warren was invited to deliver the invocation at Barack Obama’s inauguration, the choice annoyed some people because of Warren’s conservative position on several important and controversial issues, and it pleased others who either like Warren or like Obama’s ecumenical approach.
Leaders from 67 religious and humanitarian organizations have asked President Obama to reconsider U.S. opposition to global treaties that prohibit the use and transfer of landmines and cluster munitions. “Reconsidering these two treaties—and eliminating the threat that U.S.