Religious Right groups have argued for a long time that a president has to do more than oversee the economy, direct international relations and run the Executive branch. He or she is also expected to set a moral example. During the presidencies of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, Religious Right groups frequently complained – unfairly, in the view of many Americans – that these two men had failed in that regard.
Let’s engage in a thought experiment: Pretend that it’s May of 2009, and Barack Obama, who has been president for a few months, has just shared some highly classified intelligence with the Russians. Let’s say this material has damaged America’s standing with our allies, exposed sources to possible retaliation and jeopardized the war on terror.
What do you think the leaders of Religious Right groups would be saying? My guess is they’d be calling for his impeachment, if not outright imprisonment.
Political analysts have postulated a number of theories to explain the victory of Donald J. Trump in the presidential election: Hillary Clinton failed to energize the Democratic base, Trump tapped into a vein of hidden supporters, angry Rust Belt voters rose up, etc.
But some activists in the Religious Right have their own explanation: It was divine intervention.
The American Pastors Network (APN) issued an email press release Wednesday with the subject line, “No Other Explanation – God Worked a Miracle, as Christian Voters Spoke Loud and Clear.”
Donald Trump has announced that he plans to put Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on his ticket. This selection signals that Trump, a controversial real estate mogul and reality TV star, is continuing his aggressive courting of the Religious Right, in the hopes of achieving victory this fall.
Whether it will work remains to be seen. In the meantime, here are some things to keep in mind about Pence:
Over the weekend, Americans United joined thousands of people here in Washington, D.C., at Capital Pride. We had an informational booth there and were pleased to meet with many people who support our mission.
Inevitably, the tragic murders of 49 people and the wounding of dozens more at a gay club in Orlando early Sunday morning weighed on the minds of many. But the horrific attack didn’t deter people from attending D.C.’s event. AU was pleased to be there and considered it an opportunity to show our support for the LGBTQ community at this difficult time.
The Washington Post over the weekend published a rather silly column online by Judd Birdsall, managing director of the Cambridge Institute on Religion & International Studies, asserting that opponents of same-sex marriage had reacted gracefully to Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court.
When the Religious Right started to become a prominent force in American politics in the late 1970s, its advocates had a major impact on the country’s largest Protestant denomination: the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).
Younger readers may be surprised to read that the SBC, which claims 16 million members, used to be fairly moderate on social issues. It strongly supported the separation of church and state, citing historical Baptist leaders like John Leland and Isaac Backus.
The role of the Religious Right in the Republican Party and national political life is under a lot of scrutiny these days.
Everyone from Ralph Reed and Richard Land to Billy Graham and Tony Perkins did everything in their considerable power to steer the election to Mitt Romney and other Republican candidates, and they failed miserably. These folks even lost a string of referenda on issues such as taxpayer funding of religion, reproductive rights and marriage equality.
Notorious Southern Baptist lobbyist Richard Land has announced his retirement. I’d break out the champagne, but I fear that this is a mere change of personnel, not policy.
The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) was once a staunch supporter of church-state separation. But in 1979, fundamentalists orchestrated a takeover that moved the nation’s largest Protestant denomination in exactly the opposite direction.