If democracy is a moral abstraction instead of an embodied struggle, it won’t survive.
No president knew the literature and religion of America better—not even Lincoln.
It's odd the way this volume deals with Barack Obama. It's a shame it has to deal with David Barton at all.
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.
I was born in California. One side of my family immigrated to the United States in the early 17th century. The other side of my family arrived on tightly packed ships filled with misery and tears. We have been American for a long time. Yet, it wasn’t until a cool night in November 2008 that I felt a sense of belonging.
Famously, Obama's term was originally premised on hope. Just as famously, his own faith has been mocked and doubted. I wonder how much of each he has left?
The president’s speech in Dallas this week was an excellent performance of a difficult task. There was just one point where I thought he missed it.
This comprehensive collection, spanning 300 years and 150 authors, includes excerpts from political writers such as Martin Luther King Jr., Daniel Berrigan, Dorothy Day, Shirley Chisholm, and Barack Obama, but also a surprising array of artistic voices: Mark Twain, Joan Baez, Denise Levertov, and Bill Watterson.
Lincoln understood that the dream of well-being, if not radically democratized, would for some people only be a nightmare.
Roughly 94 percent of black voters now vote for a candidate from the Democratic Party. This high number at the national level may be due in part to President Obama’s racial identity. In 2008 Obama surpassed even the solidification of black votes for Lyndon Baines Johnson that occurred in 1964. Has the United States moved closer to a post-racial society?
In years and decades to come, we’ll remember the last two weeks. The Emanuel A.M.E. massacre, the sudden shift away from the Confederate flag, the Supreme Court’s reaffirmation of the Affordable Care Act and its extension of same-sex marriage to every state. Last Friday there was an awesome funeral service for Clementa Pinckney, the pastor of Emanuel and one of the victims in the shooting. And all of it while once again black churches have been burning, some under suspicious circumstances. For all of America’s secularization, actual and expected, each event was resonant with religious significations—and each prompted a wave of public theology.
As the battle for the Republican and Democratic nominations for president begins to heat up, most candidates, especially GOP ones, are discussing their faith. Four likely contenders for the Republican nomination are Catholic—Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, and Bobby Jindal. Several other GOP hopefuls are evangelicals—Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Mike Huckabee, and Ben Carson. Hillary Clinton, the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination, has declared that the Methodist commitment to social justice directs her approach to politics. Should prospective voters care about candidates’ religious convictions?
This past Saturday, President Obama spoke in Selma, Alabama, marking the 50th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday"—the assault by Alabama state troopers on marchers from Selma to Montgomery for equal voting rights for African Americans. His speech is remarkable for many reasons, but one of the things I find really remarkable is that it ranks as a singular example of presidential exceptionalist rhetoric.
At the National Prayer Breakfast on February 5, President Obama urged humility about “a sinful tendency that can pervert and distort our faith” to the point where we commit atrocities, like slavery and Jim Crow, in the name of Christ. Critics quickly denounced Obama’s comments as un-American, while supporters defended their accuracy. But few have asked why Obama did not also link Christian conviction to the campaign against slavery and racial injustice. His theology is telling.
In politics, meeting in the middle is often a useful and necessary thing. But it isn’t itself an adequate ethical yardstick.