David Jackson writes for USA Today.
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Republicans Hope to Find 'Missing' Evangelical Voters
From the multi-station cafeteria to the gift shop to the theater-style sanctuary, worshipers at Prestonwood Baptist Church believe — or hope — that next year’s election will see something new: long-lost evangelical voters.
“So many don’t vote — it just makes me sick,” said Marjoray Wilemon, a retiree from Arlington, Texas, who has seen a lot of politics in her 94 years.
“I hope that some people will realize what kind of bad shape we’re in.”
Republican Candidates Make Their Appeals to Religious Conservatives
A half-dozen Republican presidential candidates hit all the hot buttons Oct. 18 while speaking to an influential audience: Religious conservatives, the kinds of voters who could decide many GOP primaries next year.
“It’s time for us to bring God back to our country,” retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson told a campaign forum at Prestonwood Baptist Church near Dallas.
From opposition to abortion and gay marriage, to support for Israel and the fight against the Islamic State, Carson and other Republican candidates — Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum, and Mike Huckabee — drew repeated ovations at the event co-sponsored by the Faith & Freedom Coalition.
Poll: 29 Percent of Americans Still Think Christian Obama Is Muslim
Despite a Hawaii birth certificate and repeated professions of his Christian faith, fairly large numbers of Americans still believe President Obama is a Muslim born outside of the United States.
True, 80 percent of Americans do believe Obama was born in the U.S., according to a new CNN/ORC poll, but 20 percent do not.
Of that total, 9 percent claim there is “solid evidence” Obama was born elsewhere, while another 11 percent said it is just their suspicion, CNN reported.
Obama Backs Efforts to End Ex-Gay Therapy for LGBT Teens
President Obama is lending support to efforts to end “conversion therapy” that seeks to change the sexual orientation of gay, lesbian, and transgender youth.
Responding to a petition on the White House website calling for a ban on conversion therapy, Obama writes that “tonight, somewhere in America, a young person, let’s say a young man, will struggle to fall to sleep, wrestling alone with a secret he’s held as long as he can remember. Soon, perhaps, he will decide it’s time to let that secret out.”
Obama adds: “What happens next depends on him, his family, as well as his friends and his teachers and his community. But it also depends on us — on the kind of society we engender, the kind of future we build.”
The White House petition, which has more than 120,000 signatures, calls for enactment of “Leelah’s Law to Ban All LGBTQ+ Conversion Therapy.”
Obama: Alleged War on Islam Is ‘An Ugly Lie’
President Obama said Feb. 19 that governments across the globe are obligated to confront the “warped ideologies” that lead to terrorism, “especially their attempt to use Islam to justify their violence.”
National leaders must also dispute claims that there is a clash of civilizations in the world, the president said during a second-day speech at the White House Summit on Confronting Violent Extremism.
“The notion that the West is at war with Islam is an ugly lie,” Obama said. “And all of us, regardless of our faith, have a responsibility to reject it.”
Obama also addressed summit delegates on Feb. 18 in a session devoted to discussing how local communities can help dissuade young people from following the path of violent extremism.
Obama: No Religion Responsible for Terrorism
President Obama said Feb. 19 he doesn’t use terms like Islamic extremism because doing so would promote the false idea of a Western war with Islam, which would help extremists recruit more terrorists.
“No religion is responsible for terrorism — people are responsible for violence and terrorism,” Obama told delegates at the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism.
Obama also said military force alone will not defeat terrorism, and the nation must work with local communities to reduce the influence of those who advocate violent extremism.
“They are not religious leaders,” Obama said. “They are terrorists.”
He also said: “We are not at war with Islam — we are at war with people who have perverted Islam.”
Bill Clinton Urges Supreme Court to Overturn Gay Marriage Law He Signed
It’s not every day you see an ex-president ask the Supreme Court to strike down a law he signed.
The justices must decide whether the Defense of Marriage Act “is consistent with the principles of a nation that honors freedom, equality and justice above all, and is therefore constitutional,” Clinton writes in The Washington Post.
Obama to Use Lincoln, King Bibles for Swearing-In
WASHINGTON — President Obama will take the oath of office with two Bibles that once belonged to a pair of civil rights icons: Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr.
King’s “traveling Bible” was provided by his family, while the Lincoln Bible is from the Library of Congress and was used during the 16th president’s inauguration on March 4, 1861; Obama also used the Lincoln Bible during his first inauguration in 2009.
The Lincoln and King good books will be used during this year’s public swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 21, the Presidential Inaugural Committee announced. King’s Bible will be stacked atop Lincoln’s.
“President Obama is honored to use these Bibles at the swearing-in ceremonies,” said Steve Kerrigan, president and CEO of the inaugural committee. “These Bibles are rich in tradition and reflect the great American story that binds our nation.”