As the presidential primary season begins, candidates are looking for ways to stand out. Competing for the harshest rhetoric on immigration seems, sadly, to have become the preferred strategy for several candidates.
After Donald Trump dominated media attention with his immigration policy proposal — calling for mass deportation of all undocumented immigrants, a border wall to be paid for by the Mexican government, a moratorium on legal migration of immigrant workers, and an end to the 14th Amendment's provision of birthright citizenship — several other candidates have attempted to join him in the spotlight by announcing that they, too, support elements of this plan.
We believe candidates who seek to advance their campaigns by denigrating immigrants and proposing unworkable policies are making a grave mistake, both morally and politically. more >>
Currently ranked among the top ten most conservative states in the U.S., and the most conservative state in 2013 according to Gallup, Alabama is now seeking to raise revenue from the consumption of pornographic material and adult entertainment to fund essential services through a 40 percent state excise tax.
A WKRG report said the Alabama House Ways and Means Committee passed the proposed "porn tax" in a 10-4 vote last Wednesday as part of an effort to meet a $200 million budget shortfall before October 1.
Rep. Jack Williams, R-Vestavia Hills, said the whopping tax would apply to gross "receipts from the sale of sexually oriented materials." more >>
Conservative radio host Glenn Beck says if he can raise $10 million before Christmas he's willing to risk prison time to get Syrian Christian refugees into the U.S. without the requisite permission.
"Stop asking for permission! Stop thinking we need permission. … I asked if my audience could raise $10 million before Christmas to bring the Christians in from Syria. We will vet them ourselves. I have former CIA people that are going over, and they're vetting everybody right now. We can save more people by Christmas than Oscar Schindler saved, OK?" said Beck in recent interview with The Daily Caller.
"I refuse to be the church that stood and said, 'Sing louder when the trains with Jews go by.' Our churches have gone dead inside," Beck added. "I will so gladly grace a jail for the justice cause of saving people's lives. I don't need your permission at all to do the right thing! That's who we need to be now! Forget about Washington! You don't need permission to do the right thing." more >>
Hillary Clinton's much publicized visit to Foundry United Methodist Church yesterday brought back many memories. My first assignment with the Institute on Religion and Democracy 20 years ago was to research and publish an article on Foundry's then controversial pastor Phil Wogaman, a longtime liberal theologian who had taught at Wesley Seminary. He was an old time Social Gospel modernist, skeptical of biblical miracles but confident about perfecting society through state power.
My subsequent report on Wogaman's theology and politics was picked up by columnist Cal Thomas, which led to longtime Foundry members Bob and Elizabeth Dole, then in a presidential campaign, publicly quitting Foundry. I actually attended Foundry on the Sunday of Elizabeth Dole's final attendance. The church bulletin advertised a critique of the Republican "Contract With America." Wogaman afterwards mentioned me in his response to the Thomas column from the pulpit, with the Clintons present. Later he covered the episode in his memoir, as I did in my own book.
During that time IRD's office was across the street from Foundry Church, fueling suspicions of ongoing surveillance. Memories! more >>
British Comedian John Oliver has said he's been forced to shut down his satirical prosperity gospel church, Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption, after viewers mailed sperm as their "seed" donations.
The former "Daily Show" regular posted a message on the website of his now defunct church explaining the reasoning behind its closure.
"We have still, miraculously, not broken any laws by promising you untold riches in return for sending us money. We're also not closing down because you all kept sending us actual seeds, even though we explicitly told you not to," wrote Oliver. more >>
The Family Research Council will honor Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, who was jailed six days for being in contempt of federal court after refusing to issue marriage licenses due to her biblical opposition to same-sex marriage, as the recipient of this year's "Cost of Discipleship Award" later this month.
FRC, a social conservative activist group, announced Monday that the 49-year-old Rowan County clerk will be honored with the award at the organization's 10th annual Values Voter Summit on Sept. 25 in Washington, D.C.
Davis follows in the footsteps of last year's award winner, Sudanese mother Mariam Ibraheem, who was sentenced to death on charges of apostasy for marrying a Christian man, and was forced to give birth while her legs were chained in a Khartoum prison. more >>