Against a background of mounting anti-Muslim rhetoric and violence,
Baptist and other religious leaders spoke out Aug. 30 against
Islamophobia and urged federal officials to take a more proactive role
in safeguarding Muslims’ civil rights.
The political-moral spin from online bloggers and television opinion-makers is enough to make citizens dizzy, if not profoundly unsure of where U.S. public opinion is headed. The controversies relating to religious views have put the nonpartisan Pew polls in the spotlight.
Could President Obama have avoided incurring the mistaken views of a surprising number of Americans who say in surveys that they think he is a Muslim? How to account for others polled saying they do not know what faith he follows?
The scenario might have seemed unlikely: prominent Muslims and Jews from the United States trekking across the Atlantic in mournful, spiritual solidarity to visit two Nazi concentration camps—and doing it together.
Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin, is aiming to win the evangelical vote in his bid to become the Republican presidential candidate. But Heath W. Carter, who teaches history at Valparaiso University, says that if they support Walker, who is known for his union-busting efforts, evangelicals will be ignoring some of their own history. Evangelicals have played a key role in union history, says Carter. In the 19th century, Scottish immigrant Andrew Cameron, a devout believer, campaigned for an eight-hour work day, believing that workers didn’t receive a fair wage for their labor. Evangelical figures were also involved in labor efforts in the early part of the 20th century and during the Depression. Walker’s own congregation was deeply divided over his attack on public unions (New Republic, July 12).