Once considered a conservative governor due to signing SB 1070, which toughened up illegal immigration laws, Arizona's Governor Jan Brewer has now destroyed that reputation. Last week, she called a surprise special session of the legislature, and allying with Democrats, bullied through Obamacare's massive expansion of Medicaid, known as AHCCCS in Arizona. The bullying tactics she used to coerce Republican legislators into voting for it were so appalling, they made national news and have prominent Republicans all over the state speaking out in outrage.
Brewer called legislators into the State Capitol at 5 p.m. last Tuesday, and kept them there until they passed the bill at 3:40 a.m. According to Arizona State Rep. Kelly Townsend (R-Mesa), a Tea Party leader, the 600-page bill was presented at the last minute to legislators, who were told they would be voting on it within a few hours – not enough time to thoroughly examine it. Legislators were instructed not to ask any questions, nor vote yes on any amendments. One of the amendments they were forced to turn down would have created a Pat Tillman license plate to benefit veterans and their families (fortunately it was added to another bill a couple of days later and passed).
Kelly sent a mass email to Republicans around the state after the debacle, blowing the lid off Brewer's underhanded tactics, which included this appalling story, "One Republican legislator whom I won't name told me that when they were in the Governor's office, they were offered help on their next reelection campaign and an assurance that they would win if they voted for the expansion." more >>
The secret to what ails both parties, and our politics, is a return to the 2000s, the days of compassionate conservatism and culture-war compromises.
One thing is always true in American politics: One party is in trouble, and the other is heading toward it. A big loss always forces a party toward despair and then attempts at renewal, while winning leads to complacency and overconfidence. I saw these dynamics play out while leading faith outreach for President Obama's reelection campaign and serving in the White House. During that time, I met hundreds of thousands of voters, and I learned how sincerely torn many of them are between our two political parties.
Despite cries from Beltway pundits that the American electorate is deeply and irreconcilably divided, the partisanship we see in Washington is a poor reflection of the character and values of the American people. This was clear to me on the campaign trail. I spoke with moderate Catholics who loved their Church, and disagreed with the Obama Administration's approach to the HHS contraception policy, but were motivated by their Catholic concern for the common good to support health reform. I met with Latino Christians who were uncomfortable with gay marriage, but also had trouble supporting a candidate who failed to see the conflict between family values and an immigration policy of self-deportation. I held events with young evangelicals who disagreed deeply with the president's stance on abortion rights, but could not reconcile spending their summer volunteering to serve the Third World poor with a vote for a candidate who suggests starting the foreign-aid budget at zero. more >>
In the early to late-mid nineteenth century, New York City was at the center of the abolitionist movement to abolish slavery and Christianity was at its epicenter. Today, a new abolitionist movement is emerging in the city, this time to abolish the global trade of women and children for sex, and committed Christians are still centrally involved key players.
Over 150 years ago, New Yorkers were motivated by outspoken religious leaders, religious groups, and organizations involved with the Underground Railroad. The fiery sermons of Brooklyn's anti-slavery preacher Henry Ward Beecher received international attention. His sister, Harriet Beecher Stowe, authored the best-selling novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, which became the longest running play at the time, rousing even those on the Bowery to participate in the abolitionist movement.
Today, there are more slaves than at any time in history – an estimated 27 million worldwide are trafficked for sex, the majority of whom are women; 2 million are children. Every hour 34 children are forced into prostitution in America. more >>
Anyone who doubts that the Republican Party can attract black voters need only looks south to Louisiana.
At a conference held in Baton Rouge at the end of May, called @Large and aimed to attract black conservatives, a black Democrat member of the Louisiana state legislature, Elbert Guillary, announced that he was switching party and becoming a Republican.
Less than two weeks later, just up the road in Central City, Louisiana, black Democrat city councilman Ralph Washington – who attended this same @Large conference, made the same announcement – he's becoming a Republican. more >>
The percentage of LGBT Americans who are religiously unaffiliated is over twice the percentage of the general population, according to a recently released study.
Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends released the findings Thursday, which stated that of those surveyed, 48 percent of LGBT Americans considered themselves without a religious affiliation; this compares to 20 percent of the general public.
"Lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender adults are, on the whole, less religious than the general public," reads Pew press release in part. "LGBT adults who do have a religious affiliation generally attend worship services less frequently and attach less importance to religion in their lives than do religiously affiliated adults in the general public." more >>
Christian human rights organization International Justice Mission has helped free 273 forced laborers in the nation of India this week in what is the second-largest anti-slavery operation that IJM has been involved in.
Working with local authorities, International Justice Mission was able to successfully remove slave laborers from two brick factories located in Chennai on Tuesday.
Saju Mathew, IJM director of Operations for South Asia, told The Christian Post about the history of the group's efforts regarding human trafficking. "IJM has been working with local authorities to fight human trafficking in South Asia since the organization was established in 1997, with IJM's first field office dedicated to combat labor trafficking opening in 2001," said Mathew. more >>