Evangelicals road test 2016 strategy - Anna Palmer - POLITICO.com
The evangelical movement finds itself at a crossroads: Regain relevancy in 2014 after a tough year in 2012 or face an even tougher fight in the next presidential election, when, it fears, Hillary Clinton will be at the top of the ticket, galvanizing liberals all the way down the ballot.
RNS: Atheist politicians remain closeted in the US
Serah Blain at the Secular Coalition for Arizona thinks many atheist politicians are closeted because of “a strong association in the U.S. between morality and religion — this idea that morality comes from faith. Right now it’s still politically risky to say you can be ethical without a belief in God,” she said.
Project Pedro Pan and Today’s Manufactured Border Crisis
When Fidel Castro brought the horrors of Communism to the island nation of Cuba, parents feared their children would lose their faith, their heritage and suffer indoctrination. Some parents did the unthinkable: They sent their children away, not knowing if they’d be reunited.
Emily's List Candidates Are Quiet on Abortion
Yet none of them are talking much about abortion, a change from recent elections in which Democrats used the issue to stir female voters. The gap can be explained by this awkward fact: Most of this year's competitive races are in red states where the Democratic playbook on social issues doesn't work, compounding the party's challenges in retaining control of the Senate.
Opinion: Presidents pay tribute to Billy Graham
How popular is Billy Graham? Just look at the new book, “Billy Graham & Me: 101 Inspiring Personal Stories from Presidents, Pastors, Performers, and Other People Who Know Him Well.” President Barack Obama and every living former president contributes to this book. (Patrick Gavin, Politico)
Obama could have a prayer among Ohio's white evangelicals
A recent gathering of religious leaders in Ohio indicates that churches don't necessarily march in lock step with the Republican Party. But certain social issues could still make it a tough sell for the president. (Los Angeles Times)
House panel backs bill to ban later-term abortions
The bill, named the "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act," was approved by the House Judiciary Committee on a party-line 20-12 vote and could get a vote in the full House as early as next week. (Associated Press)
House strikes back on gay marriage
Just hours after President Barack Obama publicly backed gay marriage, the House struck back and passed a measure aimed at reinforcing the Defense of Marriage Act. (Politico)
Supreme Court declines to intervene in gay marriage cases | Reuters
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up the hotly contested issue of gay marriage, a surprise move that will allow gay men and women to marry in five states where same-sex weddings were previously banned. By rejecting appeals in cases involving Virginia, Oklahoma, Utah, Wisconsin and Indiana, the court left intact lower-court rulings that struck down bans in those states. Other states under the jurisdiction of appeals courts that struck down the bans will also be affected, meaning the number of states with gay marriage is likely to quickly jump from 19 to 30.
Evangelical college's contraception lawsuit proves divisive | Al Jazeera America
“There’s this external, out-facing argument to the federal government that ‘we believe these to be abortifacients, and this is part of our core religious identity,’ ” Leah Seppanen Anderson, a political science professor, said. “As an insider at Wheaton, I feel like we have not had that conversation.” She and most of the women she spoke with agreed that in their own lives, they would probably err on the side of not using emergency contraception. But Anderson said she’s simply not comfortable with the college making that decision for her, let alone presenting it to the world as a definitive evangelical value. “It seems like people at best aren’t sure, so why are we drawing the line on the sand on this issue?”
How Serious Is the Supreme Court About Religious Freedom? - The Atlantic
This standard may sound familiar—RLUIPA is the sister statute to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA, the federal law which was at issue in Hobby Lobby. These laws apply to different laws implicating religious freedom—RFRA only to federal laws and RLUIPA to the land use and prison contexts—but both ask whether a religious burden is the “least-restrictive means” of accomplishing the government’s “compelling” goals.