After less than two weeks on the job, the Democratic Party’s first-ever director of religious outreach resigned suddenly after her public positions came under fire.
Brenda Bartella Peterson said on August 4 it was “no longer possible for me to do my job effectively” after the New York–based Catholic League issued three blistering press releases attacking her positions.
A laundry list of duties sent to conservative Christian volunteers by the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign is causing alarm among evangelical leaders who are concerned that the use of congregations as political organizing bases will endanger churches’ tax-exempt status.
In a Fourth of July message to clergy of the Diocese of Southeast Florida, Episcopal Bishop Leo Frade expressed “grave concern” that the Bush-Cheney campaign has asked volunteers to use church member lists for political organizing.
In a self-defining paper for the broad spectrum of U.S. evangelicals, a landmark document nearing completion warns against close alignment with one political party and endorses government-aided social policies that are fair and just for all.
The Democrats have a religion problem, and it is not just that presidential candidate John Kerry has run afoul of the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church because of his support of abortion rights and gay civil unions. According to a recent Time magazine poll, 59 percent of those who consider themselves “very religious” support President Bush, while only 35 percent of them support Kerry.
Are George W. Bush’s religious convictions his own business and no one else’s? Or do they have very public consequences? We can begin to probe the question by considering the religious context of his entry into national politics.
As presidential campaigns swung into their final five months, President Bush worked at cementing his strong support from evangelicals and shoring up ties to Catholics by visiting and honoring Pope John Paul II at the Vatican.
Catholic lawmakers who resent being targeted by bishops for their support of abortion rights have fired back, with one suggesting that prelates who wade too deeply into politics may risk their tax-exempt status.
Most people think of politics as a regrettable but necessary business. Necessary, because we live in a world of scarce resources, there are many of us, and our needs, interests and desires conflict. We need agreements as to the fair distribution of these limited goods, and an established authority to ensure the policing of those agreements.In the fight over these scarce resources, each of us fears being revealed as greedy, insecure, envious and deceitful. But imagine a different kind of politics—a politics of love.
This magazine has long straddled the world of religion and politics, convinced that political awareness and engagement are part of faithful Christian living. We do so knowing full well that this territory is highly contested. One of the ways we gauge success is by whether we get criticism from different ends of the political spectrum. That happens a lot.