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EXCLUSIVE: Salvation Army Pulls Advertisements from Rush Limbaugh Show

May 16, 2012, 9:30 am | By Nick Sementelli

salvation armyEarlier this year, Rush Limbaugh’s hateful attacks on law student Sandra Fluke prompted an advertiser exodus of over 140 companies and organizations, a phenomenon that one radio company admits has already cost them millions of dollars.

Unfortunately, that list has not so far included the Christian social relief agency The Salvation Army whose advertisements for a local service center have been running during Limbaugh’s show on St. Louis station KMOX over the last few months.

Thankfully, after learning of the situation, both the national Salvation Army and the St. Louis area affiliate issued statements making clear the timing was not intentional and they do not want their ads running on Limbaugh’s show.

Major George Hood, National Community Relations and Development Secretary for The Salvation Army said:

Nationally, The Salvation Army does not advertise on the Rush Limbaugh Show. We have a limited advertising budget and the program does not fit into our media mix. All local advertising decisions are made at the local level.

And Will Becker, Communications Director of The Salvation Army St. Louis confirmed:

The Salvation Army Midland Division stands by the national Salvation Army’s statement. The ads that ran on local KMOX were not intentionally placed on The Rush Limbaugh Show and we have instructed the station to keep any of our future ads off of that program.

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FPL Daily News Reel: May 15, 2012

May 15, 2012, 4:16 pm | By Nick Sementelli

The FPL News Reel is a daily round-up of the top faith and politics stories in the news. You can sign up for the email version of the News Reel here, subscribe to the RSS feed here, and follow it on twitter at @FPLNewsreel.

Caring for Poor People: Should the Church Do It Alone?
By David Beckmann — Huffington Post, Opinion
In fact, all of the food churches and charities provide to hungry and poor people in the United States amounts to only about 6 percent of what the federal government spends on programs such as SNAP and school meals for students.

The Deadliness of Income Inequality
By Brian Fung — Atlantic
Growing income inequality in the United States has Americans talking about justice and economic fairness, but a new study suggests the burgeoning wealth gap is threatening more than just our pocketbooks. It might be raising our risk for an early death.

I’m not quitting the church
By E.J. Dionne Jr. — Washington Post, Opinion
[The Freedom from Religion Foundation] may not see the Gospel as a liberating document, but I do, and I can’t ignore the good done in the name of Christ by the sisters, priests, brothers and lay people who have devoted their lives to the poor and the marginalized.

On Second Thought, GOP Will Just Repeal Obamacare
By Jonathan Chait — New York Magazine
But, in a development that received almost no attention at all, Republicans quietly conceded last week that they aren’t going to replace Obamacare at all.

Source: Obama campaign hires faith outreach director
By Dan Gilgoff — CNN, Belief Blog
Michael Wear, who currently serves as executive assistant to the executive director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, will join the Obama campaign in Chicago as Faith Vote Director…

Pat Robertson: Romney’s faith not an issue
By Catalina Camia — USA Today, Opinion
Televangelist Pat Robertson said today Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith is becoming less of an issue with voters.

Immigration crackdown has some Alabama farmers cutting back crops
By Jay Reeves — Associated Press
Keith Dickie said he and other growers in the heart of Alabama’s tomato country didn’t have any choice but to reduce acreage amid fears there won’t be enough workers to pick the delicate fruit.

Colorado kills civil unions bill
By Tim Mak — Politico
Just days after President Barack Obama endorsed same-sex marriage, Republicans in the Colorado state Legislature on Monday defeated a bill recognizing same-sex civil unions.

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Did Paul Ryan’s Bishop Contradict the USCCB?

May 15, 2012, 10:23 am | By Nick Sementelli

In a recent interview with the Catholic television network EWTN, Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, WI (Rep. Paul Ryan’s local bishop), seemingly contradicted the USCCB’s clear critique of the Catholic congressman’s morally flawed budget plan.

While the conference (under the leadership of Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development Chairman Bishop Stephen Blaire) has been clear that Ryan’s budget fails a “basic moral test,” Bishop Morlino appears to let Ryan off the hook. Deferring to Ryan’s own excuse that he is exercising “prudential judgment,” Morlino describes him as someone “who makes his judgment in accord with all the teachings of the Church.”

Watch it:

Unfortunately, if Bishop Morlino actually means to say the Ryan budget is in accord with Cathoilc teaching, it would put him at odds with his fellow bishops who — as the USCCB made clear to Rep. Ryan – are represented by Bishop Blaire’s letters.

Their critique focuses not only on the specific cuts Ryan makes, but also his abandonment of the larger principle of shared sacrifice by the wealthy and the military.

It’s that imbalance — an imbalance that will do real harm to vulnerable families — that violates the bishops’ principles and puts the House GOP budget outside the range of acceptable options.

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FPL Daily News Reel: May 14, 2012

May 14, 2012, 5:29 pm | By Nick Sementelli

The FPL News Reel is a daily round-up of the top faith and politics stories in the news. You can sign up for the email version of the News Reel here, subscribe to the RSS feed here, and follow it on twitter at @FPLNewsreel.

Obama’s case for gay marriage shows that invoking faith isn’t just for conservatives anymore
By Amy Sullivan — Washington Post, Opinion
This new bipartisan politics of religion is a good thing — both for religion and for politics. For several decades, the right has held a monopoly over what it means to be religious in the United States, not to mention Christian or evangelical.

Unions That Divide: Churches Split Over Gay Marriage
By Laurie Goodstein — New York Times
Mr. Obama’s declaration last week that he supports same-sex marriage prompted ministers around the country to take to their pulpits on Sunday and preach on the issue.

Mitt Romney Makes Appeal To Evangelicals At Liberty University
By Evan McMorris-Santoro — Talking Points Memo
…speaking before a staunchly conservative audience placed him back in politically volatile territory, forcing him to focus on both same-sex marriage and “religious freedom”.

DNC makes appeal to evangelical community ahead of Romney’s Liberty speech
By Dan Merica — CNN Belief Blog
According to Harkins, issues like poverty, immigration and health care are important to evangelical voters, and he believes the president’s stance on these issues will win him votes.

Ryan budget still an issue in congressional races
By Ed O’Keefe — Washington Post
…the Ryan plan has been embraced by the GOP establishment as an article of faith, and it is likely to be a key issue in this fall’s congressional elections.

Obama Versus Romney Offers a Clash of Capitalisms
By Jonathan Alter — Bloomberg View, Opinion
…discerning voters need to understand the deep philosophical distinctions between Mitt Romney and Barack Obamaeven if they don’t lend themselves to campaign slogans or barbs.

7 Religion Stories to Watch in the 2012 Battleground States
By Joanna Brooks — Religion Dispatches
While more than a few reporters are heading to Utah these days to chase the Romney-Mormon angle (never mind that the state is definitely Not In Play), religion also promises to play a role in the battleground states this November. Here is a first look at potential stories to watch.

Injustices of Stop and Frisk
By New York Times, Editorial
The data also show that the police are significantly more likely to use force when they stop blacks and Hispanics than when they stop whites. This means minority targets are more likely to be slammed against walls or spread-eagled while officers go through their belongings. Even when victims are unhurt, they are likely to develop a deep and abiding distrust of law enforcement.

Student loan debt may prevent many U.S. Catholics from entering religious orders
By Jerry Filteau — National Catholic Reporter
“In essence, they’re too poor to take the vow of poverty,” commented the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, which conducted the study.

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Michigan Islamophobic Activists Rally for Anti-Shariah Law

May 11, 2012, 12:04 pm | By Nick Sementelli

Roughly 150 anti-Islam activists held a rally at the Michigan statehouse yesterday in support of a proposed law to prevent the implementation of foreign law in U.S. courts. The bills in the House and Senate copy similar legislation in other states commonly referred as “anti-sharia” laws.

Like these other laws, the Michigan legislation (HB 4769 and SB 701) are misguided responses to the imagined threat of “Islamic lawfare” — a conspiracy theory that Muslims are attempting to overthrow the U.S. Constitution by subversively introducing sharia law in the United States.

With the House bill currently stuck in committee, the sponsor of the legislation, Grandville Republican Dave Agema, used the rally to urge the legislature to move the proposal forward.

The legislation is being pushed by the right-wing American Public Policy Alliance, who provided the language for the law based on their “American Laws for American Courts” (ALAC) model legislation — the same model behind similar laws passed in Tennessee, Louisiana and Arizona.

As the Center for American Progress’s Fear Inc. report identified, the ALAC legislation was designed by David Yerushalmi, one of the key “misinformation experts” behind the entire anti-Islam industry who has said that ” the Muslim peoples, those committed to Islam as we know it today, are our enemies.”

The Michigan bill is opposed by a diverse group of religious and community organizations concerned about its impact on private contract law often used by various religious groups. Six organizations signed onto a statement directly responding to Thursday’s rally, which said:

All who reside in Michigan have the fundamental right to practice their sincerely held, bona fide religious beliefs, as long as those do not violate the U.S. and Michigan constitutions and laws. Agema’s bill could not only adversely affect Michigan Muslims, but also followers of other religions, including Judaism and Christianity, for whom courts routinely order reasonable accommodations for the observance of religious laws.

The signers were The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee – Michigan, The Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services, The Council on American-Islamic Relations – Michigan, The Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice, Jewish Voice for Peace – Detroit and National Action Network – Detroit.

The Michigan Catholic Conference is also opposing the bill for the same reasons, framing it as “an attack on religious liberty itself.”

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