October 1, 2012 |
If Mitt Romney wins the Nov. 6 election, would he become our most religious president? It's an odd question, but one that has come up in recent days after writer Nicholas Lemann said as much in a profile of Romney that ran in the New Yorker magazine. “If elected,” Lemann wrote, “Romney, scion of an old, distinguished Mormon family (his ancestors had a direct connection to Joseph Smith and Brigham Young), would arguably be the most actively religious president in American history.” There are a couple of key qualifiers there -- the use of the words “arguably” and “actively.” Still, the claim begs a question -- in fact, more than one. What president would Romney displace from the title of most religious?
October 18, 2012 |
There's been a lot of talk about where faith-based groups stand on the issues and the candidates in the presidential campaign, but not so much about the faithless. Now the Secular Coalition for America, an advocacy group for atheists, has issued a report card on the candidates that knocks both major party candidates for injecting religion into politics, but expresses a clear preference for President Obama over Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Romney gets a grade of F overall for stated positions that advocate a lowering of the wall between church and state and that suggest his Mormon faith plays a strong role in his political decision-making.
March 16, 2008 |
Illinois Sen. Barack Obama on Saturday lamented the rhetorical skirmishes that have recently turned the Democratic presidential campaign into a contest over race and gender. "The forces of division have started to raise their ugly heads again," he said at a town hall meeting at a high school in Plainfield, Ind. Obama did not name his rival, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, or mention the recent string of barbs traded between the two campaigns.
March 7, 2010 |
One of the overlooked details of the forever-fight over the widely-debated conservative leanings of the Fox News Channel (besides that a third of its viewers are Democrats) is that it was Fox that broke the then-shocking story in 2000 of candidate George W. Bush's 24-year-old DUI charges. Why, you wonder, would an old Maine story matter, regardless of the source? The breaking story of Bush's unrevealed 1976 DUI charges in Maine came just four days before the 2000 election. The Bush-Cheney ticket was tied then in national polls with the Democrats' Gore-Lieberman ticket and was, in fact, ahead in Maine.
June 23, 2012 |
Republicans from time to time have accused President Obama of playing identity politics. Here's the problem: The electorate remains confused about his identity. The problem is most famously manifested in persistent conspiracy theories, driven by conspiracy-loving “birthers,” about Obama's birthplace and citizenship. But voters remain muddled about his religion as well, as a new Gallup poll confirms. The poll released Friday shows that just 34% of Americans can identify Obama as a Christian or, more specifically, as a Protestant.
May 8, 2008 |
Gleanings from the Indiana and North Carolina primaries: * Momentum remains an elusive -- perhaps nonexistent -- dynamic in the Democratic presidential race. After Hillary Rodham Clinton's decisive win in April's Pennsylvania primary, and amid the problems plaguing Barack Obama over the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., the wind seemed at the New York senator's back. Instead, Tuesday's results left the Clinton campaign becalmed, at best.
May 2, 2008 |
Barack Obama and friends would like to believe that a little steam is beginning to come out of the furor surrounding the explosive views of the candidate's onetime pastor and spiritual advisor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Appearing on NBC's "Today" show Thursday, Obama defended his handling of the controversy over Wright -- who had suggested the U.S. government could have brought on the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and planted the AIDS virus among African Americans.
May 21, 2008
Re "The 800-lb. president," and "The polarizing pastor," editorials, May 17 Both editorials discuss how connections with unpopular people will affect John McCain and Barack Obama. But they yield very different opinions on whether this is fair. In McCain's case, The Times points out instances of the GOP candidate trying to sound more moderate to distance himself from the president and counter claims that he is "nothing but Bush's smarter brother," as The Times puts it. "Buyer beware" seems to be the theme.
April 24, 2008 |
Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, on Wednesday urged GOP officials in North Carolina to remove a new television ad that brands Democratic candidate Barack Obama as "too extreme for North Carolina." "We asked them not to run it.
May 7, 2008
Re "Jeremiah's jeremiad," Opinion, May 1 Rosa Brooks misses the greater point of the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.'s attacks. Wright is not simply bitter about slavery and Jim Crow and the Tuskegee experiment. His sermons' message is that man should put his faith in God, not governments. "Governments fail," Wright points out. God does not. God is above governments, and faith in God is rewarded by God, not by governments. To a congregation that must wonder why the same God that has favored white America has allowed so much harm to blacks, Native Americans and Asians, Wright reminds them that governments are the work of man and not God. Governments can do wrong as easily as right, and their victims are not being penalized by God but by the earthly failure of man. Governments and policy, of course, can change, but God is eternal.