Image via REUTERS/Randall Hill/RNS

The run-up to the Feb. 1 Iowa caucus has shifted from who is toughest on ISIS or immigration or Obamacare to an all-out scramble to court evangelicals — an estimated 60 percent of Republican caucus likely voters. However, a new report from the Public Religion Research Institute shows that evangelicals may be sharing their November election clout with a different voting bloc. PRRI found about one in four Iowans identify as evangelical but a similar percentage say they have no religious identity, the nones.

the Web Editors 10-16-2013
Photo courtesy Sarah Trone Garriot.

An Ecumenical group of pastors and lay leaders in the greater Des Moines area. Photo courtesy Sarah Trone Garriot.

People around the country have taken notice of the #FaithfulFilibuster and want to lend their voices. From Pastor Sarah Trone Garriot in Des Moines, Iowa: "Since we couldn't be in Washington to join you, a few of us pastors got together and visited our Iowa Representative's office." 

After reading through select Bible verses, the group read the following statement: 

To the Honorable Representative Tom Latham:

We believe that the recent government shutdown is not just a failure of the process of governance.  This shutdown is born of the failure to follow Jesus’ commandment to “love our neighbor.” (Luke 10:25-37)  

We have witnessed hard hearts as our elected representatives squander their time and energy to attack one another and create failure.

We have witnessed our elected representatives acting without mercy when it comes the poor, the vulnerable, the sick, and the stranger.

As Americans, we are at our best when we come together to work for the common good.  This shutdown, and the divisive behavior that gave birth to it, is an insult to our nation.  We can do better.

[contined at the jump]

Beau Underwood 08-15-2013
Rep. Steve King, photo by republicanconference /

Rep. Steve King, photo by republicanconference /

In the New Testament book of James, we are cautioned about the power of our tongues. “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth comes praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be” (3:9-10). 

This is a lesson that Iowa Congressman Steve King apparently needs to learn. On Sunday, Rep. King appeared on Meet the Press and stood by his outrageous assertion that:

“For every [undocumented immigrant eligible for the DREAM act] who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

Given the absurd and offensive nature of his statements, strong criticism swiftly followed. The Washington Post’s fact checker awarded it “Four Pinocchios,” which is a rating that is only applied to “whoppers.” House Speaker John Boehner previously denounced the comments as “offensive” and out of line with our society’s values. 

Rep. King is known as an ardent opponent of immigration reform and has made controversial statements in the past, so his latest remarks are neither shocking nor a surprise.

But they should be.

Jack Palmer 12-19-2011

North Korean Leader’s Nukes, Threats Stoked World Fears; Extension of Tax Cut Stalls in House as GOP Objects; Christian Group Recalls Pink Bible; For Times Such As These: The Radical Christian Witness of the New Monastics; ‘People’s year’ gives hope that the tide is turning; Speaker targets immigration law; Vaclav Havel, Czech’s Velvet Revolution Leader, Dead at 75; Paul Leads Iowa, Gingrich drops to 3; Mitt Romney’s Dream World: Cutting Billions Out of Medicaid Will Not 'Hurt the Poor'.

the Web Editors 12-16-2011

Our friends at the Huffington Post have had some fun with video sound bites from yesterday's GOP debate.

Favorite line comes from Texas Gov. Rick Perry who said, "I am the Tim Tebow of the Iowas caucuses."

So, for your Friday afternoon viewing pleasure, we give you "Last Republican Debate of 2011: Out of Context":


God's Politics 12-14-2011
The angel Moroni from atop the Los Angeles Mormon temple. Via

The angel Moroni from atop the Los Angeles Mormon temple. Via Wylio

Newt Gingrich’s Iowa political director resigned yesterday after less than a week on the job for disparaging comments he made about the Mormon faith, referring to the religion as a “cult.”

The Gingrich campaign released a written statement last night about Bergman’s resignation.

“Craig Bergman agreed to step away from his role with Newt 2012 today,” the statement said. “He made a comment to a focus group prior to becoming an employee that is inconsistent with Newt 2012’s pledge to run a positive and solutions orientated campaign.”

the Web Editors 10-24-2011

Vatican Meets OWS: 'The Economy Needs Ethics'; Lack Of Jobs Leaves More Suburban, Middle Class Sliding Into Poverty; Rick Perry Challenges Opponents' Abortion Stances At Iowa Faith & Freedom Dinner; Rick Perry Talks Iraq And His 'Love Affair' With Guns; Ask Candidates For Office About Poverty; Bachmann Gives 'Faith Testimony' At An Iowa Church; Evangelical Voters Hold Sway In Iowa

Jeannie Choi 08-12-2011

'Sunlight behind clouds 1, Cumbria, 2010' photo (c) 2010, John Davey - license:'s a little round up of links from around the Web you may have missed this week:

  • Sandwich coasters are fun.
  • Voters put corn kernels into jars with their favorite Republican presidential candidates.
David Vasquez 08-06-2010
Often when I ask my kids to clean the toy room, one of them will sit in the couch, arms crossed, and claim that she has already cleaned out all "her" toys, and the remaining ones are all her brothe
David Vasquez 08-03-2010
Abraham and Sarah left all that was familiar and dear to them to follow the promise of a better future.
Jennifer Kottler 07-15-2010
Every so often I read something in print, and I think to myself, did he/she really say that?
David Vasquez 05-28-2010

In this simple statement from his poem Mending Wall, modern American poet Robert Frost voices the deep concern with how human fear leads to building walls that separate us from others.

Marilyn Anderson 03-19-2010

I never doubted that I was a descendant of immigrants. Shortly after World War II, students were asked to fill out forms listing their nationality. For several years, I laboriously spelled out "Norwegian" until a teacher tapped me on the shoulder and told me it was more correct to write "American."

Jim Wallis 06-11-2009
The time has come for comprehensive immigration reform. After several failed attempts in past years, the president has promised it and the White House is showing a clear commitment to it.
Allison Johnson 05-12-2009
Today marks the first anniversary of the Po
Allison Johnson 07-15-2008

Catholic social teaching tells us the dignity of the human person is the foundation and measure of a moral society. If the U.S. were put to this test based on our treatment of immigrants, how would we fare? If the recently released evidence from the heartland of Postville, Iowa is any indicator, I'd venture to say we're in danger of [...]

Jim Wallis 01-04-2008

Last night, Iowa voted for change - dramatic change