What do Melissa Rogers, Matthew and Nancy Sleeth, Jim Wallis and
Robert George have in common? I'd say not much, other than being Christians,
broadly right to center-left theologically, who have some degree of political
influence in one area or another.
(RNS) Southern Baptist executive Richard Land was pleased at how religious Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally turned out to be. Bishop Harry Jackson, a black evangelical leader, was pleasantly surprised that the Fox News talk show host said things "some of my close friends could have written." And Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. was among the faith leaders to enlist in Beck's new "Black Robe Regiment."
Conservative Christian groups won a major victory recently when a Washington judge halted federal funding of embryonic stem cell research to allow a suit challenging the practice as illegal to go forward.
What was remarkable about the overturning of Proposition 8—California’s
ban on same-sex marriage—was the weakness of the case mounted by the
defense. At times during the proceedings, Judge Vaughn Walker had to
ask the legal team in charge of defending the proposition, in effect:
“Haven’t you got something better than this?”
It’s a puzzle: the Christian Coalition is fighting off extinction, but the Religious Right seems as powerful as ever. “Christian Coalition losing clout” headlined the (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot on February 19, the day of the pivotal South Carolina Republican presidential primary.
Just a few years ago the Religious Right was talking about making itself more appealing and effective in mainstream politics. The head of the Christian Coalition at the time, Ralph Reed, declared that the Religious Right needed to tone down its rhetoric, overcome its tradition of racial bigotry, and reach out to Jews, Catholics and ethnic minorities.
Republican contenders for president met in Iowa recently to talk about politics and a testimonial broke out. When asked to identify his favorite philosopher-thinker, George W. Bush responded, “Christ, because he changed my heart.” Gary Bauer concurred. Senator Orrin Hatch covered the more obvious political bases by naming Lincoln and Reagan, but took care to cite Christ as well.
He who pays the piper calls the tune. This is reason enough to feel uneasy about the Bush administration’s program to transfer public funds into religious programs. No strings attached? Of course there are. Whether money comes from Dad, government or foundations, one thing is certain: there are always strings attached.
A group of 13 Ohio clergy is asking the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the tax-exempt status of a Washington boarding house used by conservative members of Congress.
The C Street Center, a redbrick townhouse on Capitol Hill, came to public attention last summer when use of the building was tied to several Republican politicians who had admitted to extramarital affairs.