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.
Results of off-year state elections this November suggest that reports of the religious right’s demise are greatly exaggerated, but some observers found the movement’s influence on election outcomes rather mixed.
Long-held assumptions about religious activists on the left and right have been confirmed in a new 40-page report issued in mid-September: the only thing both sides seem to have in common is that faith is a big part of their lives—bigger than among the general public.
Beyond that, the two poles differ dramatically on political priorities and biblical interpretation.
Health-care reform may be Priority No. 1 in Congress and at the White House, but for the 1,825 religious conservatives who gathered in Washington for the annual Values Voter Summit in September, the subject was barely on their radar screen.
"Now Watergate does not bother me,” sang Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Ronnie Van Zant in the unofficial Alabama state anthem, “Does your conscience bother you?” When the Watergate break-in turned into a presidency-threatening scandal in 1973, it clearly bothered Billy Graham’s conscience.
On the surface, the June 4 Presidential Forum on Faith, Values and Poverty seemed a good thing. But in the long run, the forum was not a victory for the faith community but rather a sign that social-justice Christians are making the same mistakes that the Christian right has been making—with the nation and Christianity paying the long-term price.