October 6, 2011 |
The Supreme Court justices struggled Wednesday to resolve a profound church-state conflict concerning whether the nation's civil rights laws protect teachers at religious schools. It is an issue the high court has not ruled on before, and it left the justices divided and sounding uncertain over whether the Constitution's protection for religious liberty shields church schools from some, most or all anti-discrimination claims involving their employees. The Obama administration drew sharp rebukes from religious conservatives and liberals when it entered the case on the side of a teacher who was fired from an evangelical Lutheran school in Michigan.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 28, 2011 |
A San Fernando Valley doctor and evangelical minister who federal prosecutors said used bogus herbal medications to offer false hope to dozens of people suffering from diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's was found guilty Tuesday of nearly a dozen federal charges. Twenty-eight victims or family members of victims who died while taking the products testified against Christine Daniel, 57, who was found guilty Tuesday on four counts of mail and wire fraud, six counts of tax evasion related to income tax filings as well as one count of witness tampering.
September 10, 2011 |
For most of his two decades as a preacher, Iowa pastor Mike Demastus eschewed partisanship, telling colleagues and congregants that "religion and politics don't mix. " But there he was last month in Ames, making his way across the festive grounds of the Republican presidential straw poll, mingling with political operatives and candidates as he spoke openly about his preference for Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota. He wasn't alone. The straw poll drew a slew of previously apolitical Iowa pastors — a constituency increasingly heeding a call to speak out on politics.
September 6, 2011 |
Stan Craig, a Vietnam veteran and fundamentalist Baptist preacher here, winces at the idea of a female president. Yet he hesitated when he was asked recently to make a hypothetical choice between Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. "I probably would cast my vote for Michele," Craig said. His thinking: Romney is Mormon. Mormons, in Craig's view, are not Christian. "The devil wrote only one Bible," Craig said, "and Joseph Smith found it under a rock.
September 2, 2011 |
On a remote ranch more than 70 miles west of Austin, Texas, top evangelical leaders from around the country assembled last weekend for a private two-day retreat. It wasn't a religious revival that drew the group of 200, which included luminaries of the Christian right; it was the chance to hear the personal testimony of one man: Rick Perry. Inside an air-conditioned tent, the Texas governor and Republican presidential contender was grilled about his beliefs and his record in extraordinarily frank sessions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 31, 2011 |
The Rev. John Stott did not fill stadiums with the faithful like his longtime friend, Billy Graham , or give the invocation at a presidential inauguration, as megachurch pastor Rick Warren did for Barack Obama. Yet he was a giant of the evangelical world — perhaps the most influential evangelist most people have never heard of. Unassuming but erudite, the Anglican pastor who died at 90 Wednesday in Surrey, England, after several months of deteriorating health, wrote 50 books, including the 1958 classic "Basic Christianity," which sold more than 2.5 million copies.
July 4, 2011 |
In the two days she has traversed Iowa on a bus, Michele Bachmann has illustrated her strategy for the state's caucuses — stitching together the evangelical voters who held major sway in the 2008 voting and the "tea party" activists whose power has risen since then. Before hundreds of evangelical worshipers in a cavernous megachurch Sunday, Bachmann delivered a deeply personal speech tailor-made for their concerns, detailing how a miscarriage cemented her views on abortion and describing her personal connection to Israel and the moment she accepted Jesus Christ as her savior.
June 1, 2011 |
Things being what they are these days, and with Mitt Romney currently the front-runner in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, it's not too surprising that objections to the former Massachusetts governor's Mormon religion would resurface, particularly in Iowa, where evangelicals wield so much influence in the Republican caucuses. Romney was the target of both left- and right-wing Mormon-bashing in the last presidential campaign, proving once again that vulgar religious prejudice is one of the few areas of our national life where true bipartisanship still prevails.
May 22, 2011 |
Hours after President Obama gave a major speech on the Middle East, Rep. Michele Bachmann flooded Iowa with automated phone calls and posted an online petition calling his approach "an insult to Israel. " But Bachmann, a potential Republican presidential candidate, wasn't necessarily appealing to the state's tiny Jewish vote. Evangelical Christians were a richer target, voters who are staunchly pro-Israel and who might have been unnerved by Obama's call for a peace agreement based partly on boundaries in place before Israel's territorial gains in the 1967 war. Bachmann's move underscores the shifting politics surrounding Israel.
May 11, 2011 |
Newt Gingrich is entering the 2012 presidential race as a familiar face — a 20-year veteran of Congress who served a polarizing turn as House speaker before assuming a career as a prolific political commentator and author. But Gingrich, who officially announced his White House bid Wednesday, is bringing a decidedly different approach to this contest than he did to his previous stint in public office. In his speeches and campaign appearances, Gingrich is expected to lay out a political vision that intertwines fiscal and social conservatism, drawing from a newfound interest in religion he has infused into his work in recent years.