Jeffrey MacDonald reports on an interesting development: left-of-center religious groups invoking religious liberty much as right-of-center groups have in recent years. A church wants to install solar panels despite the objections of a local historic district commission; elsewhere, groups serving the homeless are looking to faith-based partners to protect their ability to do so. The story provides a lens on the classic questions about what counts as religious exercise and who decides. Yet it’s a little odd that MacDonald’s framing takes as given this very recent use of the term “religious liberty”—more strategy than principle, an argument to advance a cause.
Twenty years ago this week, President Clinton signed a bill that replaced the federal government’s traditional cash welfare program with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, aka welfare-to-work. Has this been a success? That depends on your criteria, on what it is you want a welfare program to do.
A friend notes, “now if we could get this type of article to be printed in men's magazines, too.” Indeed. Yet a male president’s byline on a Glamour exclusive makes a powerful statement before the main text even begins.
National Public Radio just ran a pair of features on the flavors of Christianity represented by the presidential and vice presidential nominees. An editor’s note affixed to both stories summarizes the theme: “Both major presidential candidates this year are Protestants… Beyond that, their faith profiles are very different.”