An Ethnic Chinese Christian, Breaking Barriers in Indonesia - The New York Times
A former mining consultant, Mr. Basuki first ran for office in 2005, winning a local election on his native island of Belitung, off the southeast coast of Sumatra, in a district where 93 percent of the voters were Muslim. “I asked them why they wanted me to run, because I am of Chinese descent and a Christian,” he recalled of the local residents who approached him. “They said, ‘We don’t care — we know who you are. We know your character.’ ”
How the Faithful Voted in 2014 Midterm Elections
In addition to continued strong support from white evangelicals and people who attend religious services regularly, the GOP appears to have made inroads among some religious constituencies that traditionally have not been as supportive of Republican candidates. (Pew)
Big White Evangelical Turnout for Midterms - Religious Dispatches
The religious right spent decades building get-out-the-vote operations and candidate recruitment and training grounds. Those efforts do not vanish with demographic changes, particularly if evangelical turnout is outsized compared to other demographic groups. That’s why white evangelicals may only make up 32% of the population, as in Kentucky, but make up 52% of the electorate. Turnout matters.
The Big Role of Black Churches in Two Senate Races
“Souls to the Polls” drives are a big part of the explanation. Black churches often promote voting after services, sometimes even taking church members directly to the polls. Such drives are traditionally most popular on the Sunday before an election, when black turnout might be even higher than it was on Sunday.
When pulpit and pew disagree
What can Christian leaders do when the official teachings of mainline Protestant churches and the political ideologies of the laity diverge? (Elesha Coffman, Faith and Leadership)
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.
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.