FPL Daily News Reel: May 7, 2012

May 7, 2012, 12:44 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.

House GOP plan cuts social programs to stave off Pentagon cuts
By Andrew Taylor — Associated Press
The Republicans who control the House are using cuts to food aid, health care and social services like Meals on Wheels to protect the Pentagon from a wave of budget cuts come January.

Historic campaign collision of race and religion likely to arouse both pride and prejudice
By Associated Press
Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney, an African-American and a white Mormon, representatives of two groups and that have endured oppression to carve out a place in the United States. How much progress has America made against bigotry? By November, we should have some idea.

New form of Christian civic engagement
By Jonathan Merritt — USA Today
Christian Millennials are now coming of age and recognizing the flawed strategies and broken agendas embraced by their forebears.

Do as I Do, Not as I Say
By T. M. Luhrmann — New York Times
If Democrats want to reach more evangelical voters, they should use a political language that evangelicals can hear. They should talk about the kind of people we are aiming to be and about the transformational journey that any choice will take us on.

Muslim Organizer Uses Faith to Unite Coalitions of Religions
By Samuel G. Freedman — New York Times
A Muslim trained by a Jewish agency to work with a coalition largely composed of Christian churches, Ms. Ali is not just the poster child for monotheism. She forms part of a vanguard of faith-based community organizers who have been selected in part for their religious devotion and then trained to cross denominational lines in pursuit of common cause.

Are Americans in Rome behind the nuns crackdown?
By David Gibson — Religion News Service
Now it turns out that conservative American churchmen living in Rome — including disgraced former Boston Cardinal Bernard Law — were key players in pushing the hostile takeover of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

Love Does No Harm to a Neighbor
By Rev. Fred L Hammond — A Unitarian Universalist Minister in the South
No harm. That is the criteria in which to obey the laws of government, the Bible states. Yet, HB 56 does do harm to our neighbors.

Biden’s support for gay marriage matches most Catholics’ views
By Dan Gilgoff — CNN, Belief Blog
Feelings about gay marriage correlate to various religious traditions and levels of religiosity…It’s worth noting the dramatic recent shifts on the issue among Roman Catholics, whose ranks include Biden.

Focus on the Family withdrawing religious-liberty ballot initiative
By Electa Draper — Denver Post
Minnery said many of the church and religious organizations that would back a religious-liberty measure have had more urgent matters to deal with this election cycle.

Mormon-Bashing Bryan Fischer says He’s “More Mormon” than Mitt Romney
By Joanna Brooks — Religion Dispatches
What Fischer is trying to do is to find in Mormon doctrine some claim that will help him embarrass Romney for bringing Richard Grenell (who is gay and out) onto his foreign policy team.

Muslim woman wins $5 million verdict from AT&T for discrimination
By Carey Gillam — Reuters
A Kansas City woman who converted from Christianity to Islam has been awarded $5 million in punitive damages by a jury who found the telecommunications giant AT&T created a “hostile work environment” after her conversion…

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FPL Daily News Reel: May 4, 2012

May 4, 2012, 12:24 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.

Creating a New Progressive Ecumenical Church Relationship
By Rev. Chuck Currie — Huffington Post, Opinion
…this is needed because we must serve as a count weight to those who would and will misuse our Christian faith to promote agendas of hate and discrimination.

The ban on torture is absolute
By Linda Gustitus — The Hill, Congress Blog
…the truth is, it’s morally corrupting of society as a whole, and it violates the most fundamental values of a civilized world that each person must be treated as having worth and dignity or we risk the worth and dignity of us all.

4 Years Later, Race Is Still Issue for Some Voters
By Sabrina Tavernise — New York Times
Researchers have long struggled to quantify racial bias in electoral politics, in part because of the reliance on surveys, a forum in which respondents rarely admit to prejudice.

Immigration law protesters detained outside Alabama Senate door
By Kim Chandler — Birmingham News
The Rev. Angela Wright…said the group were individuals “who felt moved by faith and conscience to speak out against all the moral and human suffering caused by Alabama’s immigration laws.”

Growing divestment campaign among churches targets biggest US banks
By Dennis Sadowski — Catholic News Service
Religious congregations have withdrawn about $40 million nationwide from the country’s largest banks, including Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup, said Tim Lillienthal, lead organizer with the PICO National Network, the largest faith-based organizing network in the United States.

Keep down the rates of student loans
By Alan Kalish — Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Opinion
As a college president, I know firsthand how important it is that something be worked out. We must educate our young people in order to have a productive workforce.

Is Wall Street Meeting God’s Expectations?
By David Weidner — Wall Street Journal
There is just one problem. Almost everyone I asked, religious, academics and atheists, said that Matthew, and by extension, God, wasn’t talking about money.

Methodists Keep Stricture on Homosexuality
By Laurie Goodstein — New York Times
The United Methodist Church at its convention in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday voted against changing long-contested language in its book of laws and doctrines that calls homosexuality “incompatible with Christian teaching.”

N.C. black pastor treads carefully on gay marriage
By Yonat Shimron — Religion News Service
Most black churches consider homosexuality a sin, and have resisted any attempt to reinterpret biblical passages condemning it. But some pastors are finding ways to skirt — for now — the theological issue, and support equal treatment of gays and lesbians as a legislative concern.

Mark Silk, a commentator on religion and politics who keeps above the fray
By Lisa Miller — Washington Post
One of the smartest commentators on American politics and religion is someone you’ve probably never heard of.

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FPL Daily News Reel: May 3, 2012

May 3, 2012, 3:27 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.

Defense trumps poverty in Republican House
By David Rogers — Politico
…here come the House Republicans, marching into the sunlight by shifting billions from poverty programs to the Pentagon, all within hours of adopting an entirely new round of tax cuts for those earning more than $1 million a year.

The Catholic vote is the 2012 bellwether
By Chris Cillizza and Rachel Weiner — Washington Post, The Fix
…new polling from Gallup suggests that it’s Catholics who could well be the best bellwether of whether President Obama or former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney will be elected president this November.

The “Catholic Vote” is Tautological
By Jamelle Bouie — The American Prospect
A clear look at the data shows that there is no such thing.

Dolan and Bishops Urge Albany to Raise Minimum Wage
By Thomas Kaplan — New York Times
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan and New York State’s bishops are calling on the Legislature to increase the minimum wage, adding an influential source of support to a proposal that has divided lawmakers along party lines.

Father Tom Reese vs. Paul Ryan (and Stephen Colbert)
By E.J. Dionne Jr. — Washington Post, Opinion
I signed the letter not only because — this won’t surprise readers of my column — I agreed with its criticism of Ryan’s approach to budget issues but also because the letter welcomed Ryan to Georgetown. All universities, including Catholic universities, should be open to a wide range of views, and I’m glad Ryan came last week.

Walker To Christian Right Supporters: Pray For Me — And Help Out The Campaign
By Eric Kleefeld — Talking Points Memo
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker spoke to a crowd of political and spiritual true believers Wednesday night — seeking to mobilize support from…Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition.

Move Your Money: Faith Leaders, Activists To Target Wall Street Banks Throughout Month Of May
By Travis Waldron — Think Progress
Throughout the month, a diverse group of activists will push customers to move their money from Wall Street to community banks and credit unions…

The Lower Floor
By Linda Greenhouse — New Yok Times, Opinionator
Poring over the argument transcript and the briefs, what finally came through as most deeply troubling was this: the failure of any participant in the argument, justice or advocate for either side, to affirm the simple humanity of Arizona’s several hundred thousand undocumented residents.

Evangelist Billy Graham backs marriage amendment
By Associated Press
His complete statement is contained in a full-page ad slated to appear in 14 North Carolina newspapers throughout the weekend.

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FPL Daily News Reel: May 2, 2012

May 2, 2012, 1:40 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.

A departure from the Catholic Church’s mission
By Bill Ritter Jr — Denver Post, Opinion
Do we really want more children going to bed hungry, or an immigrant mother denied prenatal care simply because the organization providing the care is associated with another organization that does not meet a conservative litmus test?

Paul Ryan’s Christian Budget Cuts
By Stephen Colbert and Fr. Thomas Reese — The Colbert Report, Satire
Barack Obama and the Catholic Church wage war on Paul Ryan’s deeply Christian Republican House budget.

Money Movers
By Benjamin J. Dueholm — Christian Century
…what poll respondents and disgruntled motorists don’t seem to appreciate is that redistributing wealth is what all public budgets do.

In Afghanistan, President Obama signals end to the war
By Michael Memoli — Los Angeles Times
Speaking to a war-weary nation from the epicenter of the fight against terrorism, President Obama signaled the end of what he called “a decade under the dark cloud of war.”

In Deeds, Nuns Answer Call of Duty
By Jim Dwyer — New York Times
“No bishop or anyone told them what to do,” said Sister Camille D’Arienzo, a leader among religious women and an author. “It’s the conscience element. The gospel call. The solidarity among ourselves. It can’t be shattered. We’ve been around too long.”

Student-loan debt delays dream of becoming nun
By Eve Tahmincioglu — MSNBC
Hefty student loan debt is hampering the career dreams of many graduates whether they’re looking to enter religious vocations or work for corporate America.

Obama’s Jewish support rises over past six months, AJC poll finds
By Ron Kampeas — Jewish Telegraphic Agency
The poll, released Monday, shows Obama with 61 percent of the Jewish vote, as opposed to 28 percent for Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who is the likely Republican nominee.

Study shows Mormonism is fastest-growing faith in half of U.S. states
By Kevin Eckstrom — Religion News Service
Mitt Romney may or may not become the first Mormon to move into the White House next year, but a new study shows that Mormonism is moving into more parts of the country than any other religious group, making it the fastest-growing faith in more than half of U.S. states.

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FPL Daily News Reel: May 1, 2012

May 1, 2012, 11:46 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.

A Moral Case for Tax Fairness in America
By Rev. Otis Moss III — Huffington Post, Opinion
Crumbling bridges, underfunded public schools and fraying safety-nets for the most vulnerable at a time of soaring wealth for the top 1% are a shameful testament to skewed tax policies and backwards budget priorities.

Let’s Focus On Policy, Not Just Theology
By Amy Sullivan — Religion & Politics
When a politician makes their personal faith a part of his political persona, it is not just appropriate but imperative that journalists and voters press them to go deeper.

2012 ‘May Day’ Protests Planned From Coast to Coast
By Alan Farnham and Susanna Kim — ABC News
Occupy protesters and labor and immigration activists are participating in a “May Day” general strike across the country on Tuesday, encouraging workers and students not to show up for work or school. Protest organizers said they intended to show the “1 percent” what life without the “99 percent” would look like.

Faith groups plan for loan reform campaign
By Zoe Ryan — National Catholic Reporter
As part of a nation-wide economic campaign, Kansas City-area religious groups last night celebrated accomplishments and mapped out the next steps in their effort to reform predatory lending and the minimum wage in Missouri.

Trayvon case spurs other investigations around the country
By Frances Robles — Miami Herald
Relatives of people killed in questionable shootings around the country are looking to the Trayvon Martin case for cues on how to get answers from law enforcement.

Osama Bin Laden anniversary: Torture apologists try again to justify the unjustifiable
By Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite — Washington Post, On Faith
For as long as the torture apologists continue to try to justify the unjustifiable, we in the faith community will continue to call them on it and insist that that the United States abide by the law.

Bigotry on the Ballot
By New York Times, Editorial
North Carolina already has a law barring same-sex marriage, but the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature is not satisfied. It devised a measure to enshrine this obvious discrimination in the State Constitution and placed it on the ballot of the state’s May 8 primary election — a test of tolerance versus bigotry that ought to be watched closely nationwide.

Lessons from the Defeat of the Oklahoma Personhood Bill
By Sarah Morice-Brubaker — Religion Dispatches
Why did SB-1433, the Oklahoma personhood bill, die? Until very recently, most people watching the bill expected it to pass.

A GOP witch hunt for the zombie voter
By Eugene Robinson — Washington Post, Opinion
Republicans are waging the most concerted campaign to prevent or discourage citizens from exercising their legitimate voting rights since the Jim Crow days of poll taxes and literacy tests.

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