Southern Baptist Convention President, Ronnie Floyd, sent a letter to President Barack Obama on Sunday, asking him to "lead forward" in the fight against the Islamic State and "take necessary actions now" to bring an end to the suffering of millions who've been displaced, abused and killed as a result of ISIS' uprising.
The letter, which was also signed and supported by 16 former presidents of the convention, assured Obama that he has the "unequivocal support of the vast majority" of America's largest Protestant denomination in getting the United States more actively involved in ending ISIS' reign and the persecution of what the Scripture calls "the least of these."
"Since ISIS is a continuing threat to world peace in a way unknown to us since the Nazis of World War II, we humbly call upon you to use the influence and power of your distinguished office to take the necessary actions now in this urgent hour to bring an end to these human atrocities," Floyd's letter to Obama states. "The abuse, brutalization and murder of children, women, and men that is occurring before the world calls our country to lead forward to bring this to an end." more >>
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.— Appearing as a guest speaker on a criminal justice reform panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday, Kansas Republican Gov. Sam Brownback explained how Kansas' provision of mental healthcare and private mentors for its prisoners have played a significant role in cutting the state's prison system recidivism rate in half.
Brownback, who was elected governor in 2010 after serving as a U.S. senator, told the audience that reducing states' crime rates and corrections spending can be easily accomplished if state prisons provided more to their prisoners than just a place to live and food to eat until they're released back into society.
"I think we have gotten stuck in the old mantra that 'If you do the crime, you do the time,'" Brownback said. "When I first ran [for Congress] in the 1990s, that is one of the mantras that I put up. The problem of it was that at some point in time you find that [the time] is done then you got a guy coming out and we were having 60 percent recidivism rates. That is what we were having in our state — 60 percent recidivism rates." more >>
Population shifts resulting from Syria's four-year long civil war have profoundly changed Syria and its three Arabic-speaking neighbors: Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. (Turkey and Israel have changed too, but less so.) Ironically, amid tragedy and horror, as populations adapt to the brutal imperatives of modern nationalism, all four countries are becoming a bit more stable. That's because the fighting has pushed peoples to move from ethnic-minority status to ethnic-majority status, encouraging like to live with like.
Before looking at each country, some background:
First, along with the Balkans, the Middle East contains the most complex and unsettled ethnic, religious, linguistic, and national mix in the world. It's a place where cross-border alliances deeply complicate local politics. If the Balkans set off World War I, the Middle East might well spark World War III. more >>
A Republican lawmaker was forced to clarify a controversial post she wrote on social networking site Facebook after critics deemed it to be "racist."
In January, Tennessee's House majority floor leader, Rep. Sheila Butt, called for the formation of "a Council of Christian Relations and a NAAWP in this Country," which left critics up in arms.
The post was in response to an open letter from the Council on American-Islamic Relations — an organization that the United Arab Emirates has labeled a terrorist group — urging potential presidential candidates to reach out to American Muslim voters in a bid to help tackle Islamophobia. Some interpreted the acronym NAAWP to mean the National Association for the Advancement of White People, which was an organization was founded by former Klu Klux Klan leader David Duke. more >>
In a new national survey, the Pew Research Center reports an ironic public perception: Democrats are viewed, in general, more favorably than Republicans, while the same survey indicates that the public agrees more with the Republicans on certain particular issues (including, according to the Pew media release, "double-digit leads over the Democrats on terrorism, foreign policy and taxes"). In other words, people are buying into the rhetoric of the Democrats, while at the same time, they agree with critical public policies advocated by the Republicans.
The major finding of the survey is intriguing and puzzling. "Majorities say the Democratic Party is open and tolerant, cares about the middle class and is not 'too extreme.' By contrast, most Americans see the GOP lacking in tolerance and empathy for the middle class, and half view it as too extreme."
The perception that the GOP cares less about the middle class than the Democrats is especially troubling for the Republican Party because demographic and economic data is clear that Democrat policies have been disastrous for the middle class. There is a huge gap between public perceptions and the reality of life in the middle class during the Obama presidency. Thomas B. Edsall's December 2014 column in The New York Times asks, "Have Democrats Failed the White Working Class?" more >>
National Harbor, Md. — Two marriage experts argued that feminism and gay rights are contributing to the problem of fatherlessness at a Conservative Political Action Conference panel.
Father's Day may one day be considered hate speech because saying that children need fathers has become offensive to the gay rights agenda, Heather Mac Donald, the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal, argued on the Friday panel, "The Future of Marriage in America."
The panel was moderated by Kate Bryan of the American Principles Project. Mac Donald was joined by Wade Horn, former assistant secretary for Children and Families, and Jennifer Marshall, vice president of the Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity at The Heritage Foundation. more >>