FPL Daily News Reel: May 22, 2012

May 22, 2012, 4:10 pm | Posted by

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.

The GOP’s immoral budget
By John Gehring — The Hill, Congress Blog
Conservatives who talk a big game about family values should be held accountable when their economic policies undermine human dignity.

Churches tread lightly on politics in 2012 election
By G. Jeffrey MacDonald — Religion News Service
With the 2012 election less than six months away, congregations are getting the message that Americans want religion out of politics. But that doesn’t mean they plan to keep mum in the public square.

Federal lawsuits by Catholic dioceses, groups seek to stop HHS mandate
By Nancy Frazier O’Brien — Catholic News Service
Forty-three Catholic dioceses, schools, hospitals, social service agencies and other institutions filed suit in federal court May 21 to stop…a mandate that would require them to cover contraceptives and sterilization in their health plans.

Did the Catholic organizations have to sue over the health care mandate?
By E.J. Dionne Jr. — Washington Post, Opinion
…the Catholic community is split because many of us who initially backed the bishops cannot understand why they did not respond to the administration’s olive branch. Many bishops seem to want this fight.

Obama and Romney offer differing views of God
By Lisa Miller — Washington Post, On Faith
People always ask, “What would Jesus do?,” but in America today, it’s impossible to know. And that’s because there are (at least) two prevailing views of God at work in our public and political conversation.

Alabama governor signs bill tweaking immigration law
By Kelli Dugan — Reuters
The revised law also maintains a section from the original law that requires school systems to account for the immigration status of students unable to provide valid proof of residency.

Adam Taylor: Hunger, Nutrition, and the G8
By PBS Religion & Ethics Newsweekly
World Vision’s vice president for advocacy and government relations says the leaders attending this weekend’s G8 summit in Washington should invest in agricultural and nutrition programs to lift people out of poverty because “it’s the right thing to do, it’s the moral thing to do, and it’s the smart thing to do.”

Limbaugh takes post-Fluke ratings hit
By Dylan Byers — Politico
Limbaugh’s detractors attribute the losses to a rejection of the show following his controversial comments about the Georgetown law student.

LAPD modifies surveillance program of Muslims
By David Finnigan — Religion News Service
After lobbying from Muslim and Sikh leaders, the Los Angeles Police Department has agreed to modify its information-gathering program on suspicious activities after the New York Police Department came under fire for spying on local Muslims.

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FPL Daily News Reel: May 15, 2012

May 15, 2012, 4:16 pm | Posted by

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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FPL Daily News Reel: May 14, 2012

May 14, 2012, 5:29 pm | Posted by

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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FPL Daily News Reel: May 10, 2012

May 10, 2012, 1:52 pm | Posted by

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.

The Poor Should Not Bear the Burden of a Deficit They Didn’t Cause
By John Gehring — US News and World Report, Debate Club
We should not pit national security against economic security. An effective military and a responsive government that doesn’t turn its back on vulnerable families are both achievable if we move beyond false choices.

Group collects 23,000 signatures calling for Jenky to apologize
By Pam Adams — Peoria Journal-Star
Faithful America, an online religious community focused on social justice issues, is the latest group to ask Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky to apologize for remarks…connecting President Barack Obama’s policies to some of the world’s most nefarious dictators.

President Obama Cites ‘Winds of Change’ in Same-Sex Marriage Shift
By Robin Roberts, Devin Dwyer and Rick Klein — ABC News, Good Morning America
As for his personal evolution on the issue, Obama cited New York state, which approved gay marriage in June 2011, as an example of how compromise could be reached with religious groups, many of which oppose same-sex unions.

Will gay marriage force Romney on to culture war footing?
By Greg Sargent — Washington Post, The Plum Line
The papers are filled with articles gaming out whether Obama’s big announcement yesterday puts him at political risk, but the other question is this: Will it force Mitt Romney on to a culture war footing when he’d rather be talking about the economy?

CNN Hosts Hate Group Leader To Explain Obama’s Gay Marriage Support
By David Badash — The New Civil Rights Movement
CNN has again tapped Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, to explain to the public President Barack Obama‘s evolution on same-sex marriage. CNN is available in over 100 million U.S. homes. The Family Research Council is a certified anti-gay hate group.

Mourdock Republicans, embracing dangerous austerity
By E.J. Dionne Jr. — Washington Post, Opinion
Lugar was regularly described in the course of his reelection campaign as a “moderate.” But he is not a moderate, and never has been. He is a conservative who happens to be civil. Lugar earned a lifetime rating of 77 percent from the American Conservative Union. If being more than three-quarters to the right puts you in the “middle” of the political spectrum, it’s a very skewed measure.

One in six voters still think Obama’s a Muslim: Why?
By Lauren Markoe — Religion News Service
While Americans across the board get the president’s religion wrong, the religious group that most often thinks Obama is Muslim is white evangelical Protestants (24 percent). American unaffiliated with a religious group make the error least often: just 7 percent identify Obama as Muslim.

Anti-Sharia rally set in Lansing
By Oralandar Brand-Williams — Detroit News
Its sponsor, Michigan Rep. Dave Agema (R-Grandville), said the bill is aimed at barring the implementation of foreign laws. While the law does not mention Sharia or Islamic law, local Muslim activists and others say the bill is aimed at Muslims.

Kansas protestors rally against ‘Religious Freedom Act’
By Adam Strunk — Wichita Eagle
Those gathered in front of the Capitol, however, cited language within the bill that would allow renters, business owners and citizens to deny services to those who violate their religious tenets.

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FPL Daily News Reel: May 8, 2012

May 8, 2012, 11:51 am | Posted by

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.

House Bill Offers Aid Cuts to Save Military Spending
By Jonathan Weisman — New York Times
The Republican-led House this week will lay bare the choice between social programs and Pentagon spending in an age of austerity when it takes up legislation to slice $261 billion from food stamps, Medicaid, social services and other programs for struggling Americans over the next decade to stave off more than $50 billion in military spending cuts scheduled to take effect next year.

GOP: Shield Pentagon, cut poverty programs
By David Rogers — Politico
Setting the stage for an emotional floor fight Thursday, House Republicans pushed ahead Monday evening with plans to protect increased defense spending without raising taxes, largely by cutting more from domestic programs, including aid to the poor.

Austerity as a bridge to nowhere
By Eugene Robinson — Washington Post, Opinion
It is obvious that deficits, debt loads and entitlement spending have to be brought under control — but equally obvious that the necessary adjustments should be made when the economy is going great guns, not when it’s gasping for air.

Desmond Tutu: ‘We need to be able to listen’
By Desmond Tutu — Washington Post, On Faith
“Because we live in a pluralistic, global world we need to be able to listen to other viewpoints, place ourselves in the shoes of others, and respond fairly, magnanimously and pragmatically. I am not speaking theoretically, but practically. These are concepts that apply between nations and regions, but equally in communities and among neighbors.”

Conservative Catholics blast upcoming appearance by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at Georgetown University
By David Gibson — Religion News Service
The flagship Jesuit university has announced that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, a Catholic who has angered conservatives and bishops for overseeing the Obama administration’s contraception insurance mandate and other controversial policies, will address the policy institute’s graduating class at commencement on May 18.

Liberals Steer Outside Money to Grass-Roots Organizing
By Nicholas Confessore — New York Times
…in interviews, donors and strategists involved in the effort said they also did not believe they could match advertising spending by leading conservative groups like American Crossroads and Americans for Prosperity, and instead wanted to exploit what they see as the Democrats’ advantage in grass-roots organizing.

Alabama state senators could vote today on immigration law revisions
By Kim Chandler — Birmingham News
…legislative leaders and lawyers met for more than 11 hours last week discussing how much to change various sections of Alabama’s law — including the “reasonable suspicion” section that would allow police officers to question and detain suspected illegal immigrants.

Amendment 1 vote in NC could ban gay marriage
By Associated Press
The national debate over gay marriage turns its attention South on Tuesday, as North Carolina could be on the verge of becoming the next state to pass a constitutional amendment defining marriage as solely between a man and a woman.

Biden comments on same-sex marriage expose internal White House divisions
By Peter Wallsten and Dan Eggen — Washington Post
As more top officials in his administration speak out in favor of same-sex marriage, Obama is facing increasing pressure to take sides in one of the most emotional and polarizing social policy debates of the modern era.

No guarantee Colorado civil unions bill will get a final vote
By Lynne Bartels — Denver Post
Today is D-Day for a civil unions bill that has turned the waning days of the legislative session into a dramatic roller-coaster ride for social conservatives determined to stop it and champions who believe history is on their side.

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