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‘War Memorial’ Cross Sparks Controversy In Iowa Community

Some members of an Iowa town are angry over an Americans United complaint regarding a Christian-themed veterans’ memorial on public property.

In August, AU asked officials in the town of Knoxville, a small city of about 7,000 south of Des Moines, to remove a display of a silhouetted soldier kneeling before a cross because it does not honor all veterans. The plywood cutout was made by a resident and placed in a public park without city leaders’ permission, but the town has chosen to leave the homemade display in place. Read more

Religious Right Grills GOP Presidential Candidates During Iowa Forum

A group of Republican presidential hopefuls recently gathered in Iowa, each hoping to woo and win Religious Right activists ahead of the 2016 election.

At an event hosted by Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition in April, nine potential and declared candidates, including U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas), former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), tried to win the support of far-right social conservatives.   Read more

Politicking Problems: Iowa Pastors Are Campaigning For Presidential Candidates

Election season is still in its early stages, but eyes are already on Iowa. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) have already declared their candidacy for the presidency; Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Louisiana’s Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Florida governor Jeb Bush are also expected to declare shortly to compete for the GOP nomination. (And let’s not forget Ben Carson, another favorite of social conservatives.) Read more

Iowa Inquisition: Should Judges Enforce ‘God’s Law’?

Four candidates vying to represent Iowa in the U.S. Senate declared their support for the notion of biblical law during a forum last week. The event, hosted by a Religious Right outfit called the Family Leader, was held at Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, Iowa, and moderated by controversial right-wing blogger Erick Erickson.
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Alternative Universe: Iowa Presidential Forum Exposes Religious Right Disconnect From Reality

I spent two hours Saturday evening in front of my computer watching the Religious Right’s “Thanksgiving Family Forum.” The event, which took place at First Federated Church, a large fundamentalist congregation in Des Moines, featured six of the leading Republican presidential candidates – U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, former U.S senator Rick Santorum, Gov. Rick Perry, businessman Herman Cain and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Read more

Pulpits Aflame With Politics?: Religious Right Prepares For 2012 Elections

I’m often asked what the Religious Right is up to these days. Some people, noting the death of the Rev. Jerry Falwell in 2007 and the aging of leaders like Pat Robertson and Donald Wildmon, assume the movement is slowing down.

Unfortunately, that’s just not the case.

Religious Right groups and their allies in the Tea Party are giddy from their electoral successes in 2010. They’re gearing up for another round in 2012. Much of what is happening is occurring below the radar and doesn’t necessarily capture headlines. But it’s very real. Read more