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 9, 2012

May 9, 2012, 2:35 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.

Catholic Bishops Send Letter Criticizing House GOP’s Cuts To Food Assistance, Other Safety Net Programs
By Travis Waldron — Think Progress
[Tuesday], the Bishops sent another letter to members of Congress slamming the GOP’s attempts to cut similar programs in a reconciliation package that will set spending levels for the next fiscal year.

Paul Ryan and the second coming of Compassionate Conservatism
By Suzy Khimm — Washington Post, Wonkblog
At Monday’s budget markup, Republicans firmly rejected the notion that the cuts will actually hurt the poor. “Taking food from children? Not true,” declared Rep. Marlin Stutzman, a freshman Republican from Indiana, sitting at the paper-clogged table where the House committee was finalizing its version of the sequester replacement.

Evidence of a party ‘beyond redemption’
By Steve Benen — MaddowBlog
Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) isn’t the first mainstream Republican to be driven from office by a right-wing primary challenger, but his primary defeat last night is arguably the most shocking — and says the most about the radicalization of today’s Republican Party.

Richard Lugar Loses GOP Indiana Senate Primary by Landslide
By Lloyd Grove — Daily Beast
…as the returns rolled in, the Senate’s longest-serving Republican was losing in a humiliating landslide to Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock—the candidate… bankrolled by Washington’s socially conservative and free-market, tax-hating business lobbies.

North Carolina adds ban on gay unions to its constitution
By Lynn Bonner and Jay Price — Raleigh News and Observer
Marriage rights for gay couples has been a topic of national debate this year, and North Carolina’s amendment and the campaigns for and against it drew international attention.

Amendment One, North Carolina Gay Marriage Ban, Passes Vote
By Martha Waggoner — Associated Press
North Carolina approved a constitutional amendment Tuesday defining marriage solely as a union between a man and a woman, becoming the latest state to effectively slam the door shut on same-sex marriages.

Iowa diocese’s decision on scholarship for gay student causes uproar
By Barb Arland-Fye — Catholic News Service
A gay student at Prince of Peace Catholic School in Clinton has been chosen to receive a scholarship from an Iowa organization that promotes tolerance, but controversy has erupted over presentation of the award.

Immigrant Abuse Runs Rampant in Border Patrol
By Miguel De La Torre — Ethicsdaily.com
A study conducted by No More Deaths, based on 4,130 interviews with 12,895 individuals held in Border Patrol custody from fall 2008 to spring 2011, paints a disturbing portrait of the depth of human rights abuses presently occurring in this country.

The Rev. Patrick Conroy, U.S. House chaplain, talks about conflict and his unusual congregation
By Nancy Haught — Religion News Service
Conroy, 61, was a theology teacher at Jesuit High School here when the opportunity to be House chaplain arose. He was sworn in May 25 as the chamber’s 60th chaplain. In a recent interview, he talked about the challenges of his job and issued a challenge of his own to American citizens. His answers have been edited for length and clarity.

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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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