Political columnist Kirsten Powers has earned the respect of the Evangelical community. The story of her conversion was an unambiguous home run. She's also responsible for helping raise attention about the atrocity of the Kermit Gosnell case.
She's a sharp, intellectually honest thinker who does a good job of keeping conservative evangelicals on their toes. I don't know Kirsten well, but in October, I was honored to moderate a panel with her and other leading thinkers on the subject of religious liberty.
Her most recent column, though, doesn't fit with her commendable work on international religious freedom. Conflating theological categories, her column missed the concern that Evangelicals have over the creeping hostility to religious liberty, particularly in the context of gay rights. more >>
The upper house of the Indiana Legislature passed on Monday a measure to amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage. The proposal, however, won't go before voters until at least 2016.
In a vote of 32 to 17, the Indiana Senate passed House Joint Resolution 3 after a three-hour session.
HJR 3 was originally stated that "Only a marriage between one (1) man and one (1) woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized." However, it was amended to exempt civil unions and with the change in its text became ineligible for the upcoming November ballot. more >>
Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said in a recent interview that he doesn't believe same-sex marriage is a political issue of winners or losers, but rather an issue of principles. In recent weeks, same-sex marriage bans have been struck down by federal judges in three states, although the Republican Party maintains a steadfast opposition to gay marriage legalization.
When asked by NBC's David Gregory on Sunday morning's "Meet the Press" if he thinks Republicans have lost their fight in the gay marriage debate, Romney responded that it's not an issue of winners or losers.
"I don't know if you have to worry about who wins and who loses a particular fight," Romney, former Massachusetts governor, told "Meet the Press." "I think you stand for various principles. You communicate those to the American people, and they either support those or not." more >>
There seems to be a rising chorus-even among some on the right-that marriage is over and we need to give up on the civil institution of marriage. I'm reminded of the blonde starlet, Mae West. This Hollywood celebrity was asked why she didn't marry one of the handsome young men who always followed her around. "Marriage is a great institution," said Mae, "but I'm not ready for an institution."
Married or not, Mae West understood marriage better than some federal judges and some policy analysts.
When we hear them say, "let's privatize marriage," what they are really saying is let's abandon the children. And let's abandon America's future. One of the most poignant and powerful stories from the Civil War era tells us that freedmen and women walked to Tennessee in 1866-66 to have their slave marriages recorded and recognized in law. Many of these ex-slaves were illiterate-kept so by unjust enactments. Many of them had to walk barefoot. But so great was their yearning for marriage that they made that great sacrifice. more >>
On February 6, President Ronald Wilson Reagan would have been 113 years old. The anniversary of Reagan's birthday always has a way of irking the left and inspiring the right, with liberals quick to demonize our 40th President for his perceived inaction on AIDS and advocates on the right making similarly unfounded assertions that Reagan was a hardline social conservative. Both are false claims.
Of course, a picture is worth 1,000 words, then a moving picture-as Reagan well knew, both during his time as an actor and as a politician-is worth a million. That's why Liberty Education Forum, the organization for which I serve as Executive Director, used the anniversary of Reagan's birth as a symbolic date on which to debut our new video which uses the words of Regan's farewell speech to the nation to remind the country-especially conservatives-that the time to get on the right side of history on gay rights is now.
Liberty Education Forum is the sister think tank of Log Cabin Republicans, an organization that may well never have grown to the national prominence it has were it not for Reagan's bold stand against the Briggs Initiative, a referendum-not unlike 2008's controversial Proposition 8-that asked California residents to vote on whether to make it illegal for openly gay individuals to teach in California public schools. Briggs looked to pass by a margin of 2-1; after Reagan's historic op-ed against Briggs, sentiment flipped and the measure failed by the same ratio. more >>
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 >>