The Constitution provides that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." But, as Gary Scott Smith of Grove City College writes in his new book, Religion in the Oval Office, "Throughout American history many citizens have viewed strong faith as an asset, if not a requirement, for politicians, especially presidents."
The biography of faith, such as it is, of the Republican presidential candidate who has led the polls for six months starts with First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Queens. That is the church Donald Trump's parents attended and in which he was baptized.Read more
A top aide to Hillary Clinton is attacking Donald Trump for his proposal for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States."
Huma Abedin, formerly Clinton's bodywoman and currently her campaign's vice chair, sent an email to supporters pushing back at Trump. "I'm a proud Muslim," the subject line of the email stated.
"Donald Trump is leading in every national poll to be the Republican nominee for president. And earlier today, he released his latest policy proposal: to ban all Muslims from entering our country," Abedin continued.
I'm a proud Muslim -- but you don't have to share my faith to share my disgust.
Trump wants to literally write racism into our law books.
With the war in Syria becoming ever more complex and murderous, it’s worthwhile to revisit a guiding principle of Barack Obama: The use of American military power is likely to do more harm than good in the Middle East, and even in the region’s violent struggles, soft power is important, if not decisive, in resolving conflicts. If Islamic militancy is to be defeated, better ideas, advanced by Muslims, backed up if necessary by Muslim soldiers, must be the principal means.Read more
Tonight's Democratic presidential debate promises to focus heavily on gun control. But it wasn't too long ago that the leading Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, touted her own gun usage and asserted that Americans don't "cling to guns."Read more
On Monday, President Obama asked Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marilynne Robinson about her faith:
“How do you reconcile the idea of faith being really important to you and you caring a lot about taking faith seriously with the fact that, at least in our democracy and our civic discourse, it seems as if folks who take religion the most seriously sometimes are also those who are suspicious of those not like them?”Read more
Say this for President Obama: His troll game is strong. During his opening remarks welcoming Pope Francis, he abandoned his “freedom to worship” language and instead said: “People are only free when they can practice their faith freely.” And that, “We in the United States cherish our religious liberty.” The Little Sisters of the Poor surely appreciated this.Read more
Because presidential politics are as much about in-group signaling as actual policy, Ben Carson is locked in a media-generated controversy about whether or not he’d be down with having a Muslim president. Carson was asked about this deeply-important question on Meet the Press. He said no.Read more
Department of Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson says that the Islamic State wants to be viewed as Islamic, but they aren't.
During an interview at the Aspen Security Forum, the interviewer asks if Johnson and DHS are missing the religious dimension of the terrorism we face by denying that it's inspired by Islam. "I couldn't disagree more," Johnson says.
Disagree with what?Read more
The lone bright spot last week was the release of Ryan Anderson's much-anticipated (by me, at least) book on Obergefell and the future of marriage.Read more
Ever since the environmental movement began it has had a religious fervor: Like God, Earth is always capitalized, and there is an annual celebration, Earth Day, rather like holidays celebrated by other religions. Of course, the dogmas of green religionists have changed over time: Prophecies of a new Ice Age gave way to forecasts of global warming, and those to a more all-purpose fear of climate change. Fair enough.Read more
Justice Anthony Kennedy, while dictating one of the most sweeping social changes in history in his opinion in the Obergefell v. Hodges case that legalized same-sex marriage across America, waxes magnanimous towards foes of the expansion of the millennia-old definition of marriage.Read more
Speaking Tuesday at the 45th Annual Washington Conference of the Council of the Americas, Secretary of State John Kerry said that "countries are far more likely to advance economically and socially when citizens have faith in their governments and are able to rely on them for justice and equal treatment under the law." Kerry said that a "new kind of relationship" with Latin American countries, emphasizing democracy and human rights, will contribute to "our common agRead more
Secretary of State John Kerry has often spoken to the Muslim world during his tenure, particularly during the past year as negotiations with Iran have intensified and conflict with the Islamic State has escalated. But what Kerry has not said during the past twelve months is also significant. A review of the secretary's official remarks and statements noting special dates on Islamic, Perisan, and Arab calendars shows a sharp contrast to his relative silence on Christian and Jewish occasions.Read more
During President Obama's tenure, religious Americans have been increasingly marginalized by an administration that can be intolerant or at least unaccomodating of beliefs that conflict with its policies, regulations, or legislative goals. Perhaps most notably, President Obama campaigned by expressing support for traditional marriage, more than once citing his Christianity as the basis for his position, a position he later "evolved" away from. This has not stopped the president, however, from invoking scripture in support of other items on his agenda.Read more
In an effort to sign up as many consumers as possible for insurance under the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare), the Obama administration has gone to extraordinary lengths to partner with churches and other faith-based groups, even publishing sample church bulletin inserts, flyers, and scripts for announcements, as well as "talking points." These materials are part of the "Read more
On March 24, World Vision, one of the nation’s best-known Christian relief and development nonprofits and one of the world’s largest charities, announced that it would no -longer exclude from employment, on its stateside staff of 1,100, Christians who are in legal same-sex marriages. Two days later, having heard from church partners and supporters who disagreed with the decision, the board rescinded it. Thus, as before, no one in a same-sex marriage may work for World Vision.Read more
Ben Carson is warming to the idea of running for president. Since the famous brain surgeon retired last year from Johns Hopkins Hospital, he’s been speaking around the country to enthusiastic audiences. And they’ve affected his thinking about seeking national office.Read more
This week, the Supreme Court affirmed a New York town council's tradition of beginning its meetings with a prayer. In Town of Greece v. Galloway, the court held, by a bare majority, that the First Amendment's Establishment Clause does not prohibit such prayers led by local clergymen, even when the prayers tend to be Christian.Read more
'Time was when the whole of life went forward in the family,” the historian Peter Laslett once wrote, “in a circle of loved, familiar faces. . . . That time has gone forever. It makes us very different from our ancestors.” Laslett was writing in 1965, as he lamented the decline of the family over the course of England’s industrial age. But even then, after a century and a half of upheaval, families in Great Britain and the rest of the West were relatively large, divorce was rare, and illegitimacy was frowned upon.Read more
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