3:10 PM, May 14, 2015 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Earlier this week, Harvard professor Robert Putnam did a Q&A with Washington Post religion reporter Michelle Boorstein, headlined "Have faith groups been too absent in the fight on poverty?" Here is Putnam's answer to that question:
The obvious fact is that over the last 30 years, most organized religion has focused on issues regarding sexual morality, such as abortion, gay marriage, all of those. I’m not saying if that’s good or bad, but that’s what they’ve been using all their resources for. This is the most obvious point in the world. It’s been entirely focused on issues of homosexuality and contraception and not at all focused on issues of poverty.
That the venerable author of Bowling Alone would say this, let alone declare it "the most obvious point in the world," is a good reminder of that even the most brilliant social scientists are, more often than not, demonstrably full of it. There's a damning retort to this by Rob Schwarzwalder and Pat Fagan at Religion News Service. Just to give you an idea, a single Christian Charity, World Vision, spends about $2.8 billion on anti-poverty efforts. "That would rank World Vision about 12th within the G20 nations in terms of overseas development assistance," World Vision President Richard Stearns noted in Christianity Today a few years back. Fagan and Schwarzwelder do a lot more number crunching, but the upshot is that Christians spend billions and billions fighting poverty. Even the most generous estimates of the resources devoted to pro-life causes and organizations defending traditional marriage are just a few hundred million dollars. By contrast, the budget of Planned Parenthood alone is just over a billion dollars. I don't know what the Human Rights Campaign's budget is, but if I've walked by their impressive building in Washington many times and I suspect they could marshall the resources of a small nation.
Now, this is bad enough. But Putnam also recently appeared on a panel at the Catholic-Evangelical Leadership Summit on Overcoming Poverty at Georgetown University discussing this very topic with columnist E.J. Dionne, American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks, and, yes, Barack Obama. The president himself joined in the mendacious chorus:
“Despite great caring and concern,” [Obama] said, “when it comes to what are you really going to the mat for, what's the defining issue, when you're talking in your congregations, what's the thing that is really going to capture the essence of who we are as Christians, or as Catholics, or what have you, that this”—fighting poverty—“is often times viewed as a 'nice to have' relative to an issue like abortion.”
Nice to have? What would be nice to have is a president who's not so divorced from the reality of American Christians that he thinks he has the moral authority to more or less slander millions of well-intentioned Christians. Their lives and the things they care about could not be more different than how it is casually being characterized by a president who has apparently turned the White House into an Ivory Tower.
What about the inner city pastor who wakes up in the middle of the night everytime there's a knock on the door and rummages through his own fridge to feed the homeless guy on his step? What about the ladies of the church Golden Group who spent the last week turning old colorful pillowcases and bits of ribbon into dresses to send to young girls in Haiti who literally have nothing to wear? What about the six-year-old who comes to school with a spare toothbrush and their birthday money because the teacher at her Lutheran School told her that the Orphan Grain Train is helping people in Nepal who lost everything in an earthquake? What about the accomplished professional who drives across town once a week to tutor poor kids, even though he's got more lucrative things on his schedule, just because it's what he believes Jesus Christ wants him to do?
7:19 AM, May 8, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The House of Representatives will vote on a bill next week that would ban nearly all late-term abortions, House majority leader Kevin McCarthy tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD. The legislation would establish a national limit on abortion at 20 weeks after conception—five months into pregnancy—which is the gestational age at which infants can of feel pain and survive long-term if born prematurely.
1:42 PM, Apr 24, 2015 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
The Daily Caller's Kerry Picket reports that likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said in a speech on Thursday in New York that religious beliefs about abortion "have to be changed."
1:19 PM, Apr 2, 2015 • By NOEMIE EMERY
American entrepreneurship is a wonderful thing, with its emphasis on the new and exciting, so it was no surprise that the Washington Post gave a spot on page one to a creative new enterprise: an abortion clinic that seeks to present a pleasant and even soothing experience, one that looks and behaves like a spa.
12:12 PM, Jan 23, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Louisiana governor and potential presidential candidate Bobby Jindal said it was a "shame" that House Republican leaders had to put aside a bill banning abortions occuring after the 20th week of pregnancy. Speaking on Fox News Thursday night, the Republican said, "it shouldn't take a lot of political courage to stand up and say we are going to end late-term abortions in America."
4:08 PM, Jan 22, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
Late Thursday, the White House released via Twitter President Obama's annual statement commemorating the anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade.
7:21 AM, Jan 16, 2015 • By JERYL BIER
"Abortion stops a beating heart" has long been a poignant rallying cry for the pro-life movement. Abortion rights advocates often characterize the unborn as an impersonal "clump of cells" that a woman may choose to do with whatever she wants.
4:58 PM, Oct 7, 2014 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
North Carolina senator Kay Hagan's position on abortion is the target of a new $620,000 TV ad campaign that is being launched today by the Women Speak Out PAC:
10:30 AM, Sep 5, 2014 • By MARK STRICHERZ
For months, Senate candidate Cory Gardner has been attacked as an extremist on the issues of abortion and Obamacare's contraception mandate. His response has been to disavow his support for a 2010 personhood amendment in Colorado and to support over-the-counter access to birth control. But a few Colorado social conservatives believe that the Republican congressman is missing an opportunity to push back against the real extremism of his Democratic opponent, incumbent senator Mark Udall.
7:15 AM, Jul 8, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Lucy Flores is the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor in Nevada. And as Benjy Sarlin reports for MSNBC, she's known in part for taking an unconventional approach to abortion--she talks openly about her own decision to have an abortion at the age of 16.
Here's how she first brought up her abortion, according to Sarlin:
Hosted by Michael Graham.3:50 PM, Jun 26, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with frequent contributor Adam White on today's Supreme Court rulings.
Not exactly.8:01 AM, Jun 18, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Democratic senator Mark Udall of Colorado appears in a new TV ad targeting Republican congressman Cory Gardner for his opponent's "beyond troubling" record on birth control and abortion. "Because this really matters, it's important you hear this directly from me," says the Colorado Democrat at the beginning of the 30-second spot. "My opponent, Congressman Gardner, led a crusade that would make birth control illegal, sponsored a bill to make abortion a felony, even in cases of rape and incest."
The ad features images of women and a young girl. Watch it below:
The demise of the pro-life Democrat.Apr 28, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 31 • By MARIA SANTOS
Kristen Day has just sent an email thanking a Democratic state representative in Michigan for supporting a bill banning abortion funding in Obamacare. He’s grateful for her note—she’s only the second person to thank him. “It’s a really lonely road, to be a pro-life Democrat,” she remarks.