This column was originally published in The Atlantic.
In the closing days of 2013, Representative Steve King summed up the year in religion and politics well. After a year in which Christian leaders and organizations mobilized to pressure Congress on immigration reform, King was ready to take off his gloves: "We might lose [the immigration] debate in this country because of the sympathy factor, and it's also added to by a lot of Christian groups who misread the scripture, and I'm happy to take on that debate with any one of those folks."
As a frequent speaker at "values voter" conferences, King must have felt odd positioning himself in direct opposition to Christians. Then again, 2013 was a year defined by Christian leaders seeking to realign themselves politically to meet the challenges of a new century and changing culture. more >>
Hundreds of University of Missouri students showed up at the school's Mizzou Arena Saturday to block members of Westboro Baptist Church from protesting Michael Sam, who played defensive end for the school during his college career and who recently announced he is gay ahead of the 2014 NFL draft.
Photos on social media show the students forming a line around the Mizzou Arena Saturday before their university tipped off their home game against Tennessee. Sam and the rest of the Mizzou team were being honored during the game's halftime for their Cotton Bowl Championship win against Oklahoma State.
After the students formed a line around the arena, they reportedly linked arms, turned their backs to the Westboro Baptist protesters, and sang the school's Alma Mater until the protesters eventually dispersed before the game began. Westboro had previously announced its plans for protesting the game due to Sam's sexuality. The controversial and extreme religious group is known for its aggressive protesting style that often involves picketing funerals of soldiers and includes vulgarity and name-calling. more >>
U.S. President Barack Obama is placing pressure on Uganda President Yoweri Museveni not to sign a controversial anti-gay bill that could make "aggravated homosexuality" punishable by life imprisonment, warning that such a law could strain relationships between the two countries.
Obama said in a statement on Sunday that as a people, the U.S. stands for the protection of fundamental freedoms and universal human rights, and that is why he is so "deeply disappointed that Uganda will shortly enact legislation that would criminalize homosexuality."
"The Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda, once law, will be more than an affront and a danger to the gay community in Uganda. It will be a step backward for all Ugandans and reflect poorly on Uganda's commitment to protecting the human rights of its people," Obama warned. "It also will mark a serious setback for all those around the world who share a commitment to freedom, justice and equal rights." more >>
The New York Times has finally found a victim of Islamic aggression in Nigeria worth reporting on: homosexuals. In a big spread complete with pictures appearing last week, the NYT's Adam Nossiter wrote "Wielding Whip and a Hard New Law, Nigeria Tries to 'Sanitize' Itself of Gays."
While it's all well and good to expose the persecution of any group, why does the NYT remain silent about the much more endemic and savage jihad to "sanitize" Nigeria of Christians-a jihad that has seen countless Christians butchered and countless churches destroyed?
A 2012 meeting of Nigerian church heads concluded that "the pattern of these killings [of Christians] does suggest to us a systematic ethnic and religious cleansing." more >>
A San Diego council member has become the first openly gay Republican to include his same-sex partner in a campaign advertisement.
Carl DeMaio, who is currently attempting to win the Republican primary, and challenge Democrat Rep. Scott Peters, has featured footage of his partner, Johnathan Hale, and himself at a pride parade in 2012 in a campaign spot that was released on Thursday.
GOP campaign officials and Elizabeth Wilner, who tracks campaign ads for the nonpartisan firm Kantar Media, told The Wall Street Journal that to their knowledge this was the first political advertisement from either party which included a politician's gay partner. more >>
States that ban same-sex marriage either by law or by constitutional amendment made up the top 10 best states for business, according to CNBC.
In recently released numbers, the annual report found that in 2013 the top 10 states for business were, in order, South Dakota, Texas, North Dakota, Nebraska, Utah, Virginia, Colorado, Georgia, Wyoming and Idaho.
The highest ranked state on the list for 2013 with legalized same sex marriage was Iowa, at number 11, and number 50 on the list, Hawaii, recently legalized gay marriage. more >>