In essence, we have struggled to understand the work and responsibility of Christian compassion in issues of healthcare and policy. Should this responsibility be shared by all and secured by the government, or should it primarily be the domain of people of faith and those moved by a higher calling to mercy and healing? With the new GOP Health Care Bill, and the ongoing debates about healthcare in America, Christians across the aisle struggle to evaluate how well we are doing at caring for the disenfranchised and the sick.
The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal by Republican leaders of a federal court ruling that removed ballot restrictions in North Carolina, due to the restrictions being discriminatory along the basis of race, reports Bloomberg News.
“Many of the findings of the commission’s year-long investigation were disturbing, and led commission members to question whether the death penalty can be administered in a way that ensures no innocent person is put to death,” according to the in-depth report.
Randall Marshall, the legal director of the ACLU of Alabama, expressed the ACLU of Alabama’s opposition to both Briarwood’s request and a bill that would give churches in Alabama permission to hire armed congregants and protect them legally if they shoot anyone.
“It’s our view this would be plainly unconstitutional,” said Randall Marshall.
The two major streams of Christian engagement on war are pacifism and just war theory, which comes out of Catholic social teaching. The pacifist response to Syria strikes is clearly opposed. As for the just war analysis, it takes a little explaining, but reaches the same conclusion.
Sen. Todd Gardenhire, a Chattanooga Republican and the bill's sponsor in the Senate, notes that the state has already invested in the students by paying for their K-12 education, and that some have lived in Tennessee as long as their counterparts who are U.S. citizens. Yet they are required to pay three times what other in-state students pay to attend college, he said.
The centerpiece of President Trump’s religious freedom agenda, and the carrot he often dangled in front of Christian leaders as he sought their support during the campaign, was a pledge to overturn a 1954 law that says houses of worship can lose their tax-exempt status if they engage in partisan campaigning.
But a new survey of evangelical leaders — mainly pastors whose flocks were crucial to Trump’s victory in November — shows that close to 90 percent of those asked opposed the idea of clergy endorsing politicians from the pulpit.
Since winning the election with strong support from conservative evangelical voters, President Trump has invited their leaders to the White House, and banned government funding for groups that support or perform abortions overseas.
But he has yet to move on one item that many of them care about.
No one has been named to direct the Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, which, since 2001, has linked government with a broad range of religious groups.
In Trump’s first nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, abortion foes were convinced they had the jurist who would fulfill Trump’s campaign promise to appoint justices who would deliver the reversal they have worked decades to achieve. But now, after last week’s hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, some are voicing concern that Gorsuch might not be such a reliable anti-Roe vote after all.
A U.S. federal judge in Virginia ruled on March 24 that President Donald Trump's travel ban was justified, increasing the likelihood the measure will go before the Supreme Court, as the decision took an opposing view to courts in Maryland and Hawaii that have halted the order.
U.S. District Court Judge Anthony Trenga rejected arguments by Muslim plaintiffs, who claimed Trump's March 6 executive order temporarily banning the entry of all refugees and travelers from six Muslim-majority countries was discriminatory.
On Feb. 17, by a 52-46 vote, the U.S. Senate confirmed Scott Pruitt as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt’s nomination by President Donald Trump to head the agency was decried by many as soon as it was announced, due to Pruitt’s history of opposition to the standards of the agency he now leads; Pruitt even sued the EPA 14 times.
The world seems to be witnessing increasing levels of violence, fear, and hatred that challenge us each day. There are ongoing debates about how or whether to welcome immigrants and refugees to the United States; news headlines remind us about the plight of Syria and about the horrors of the Islamic State.
In such times, talk about mercy may seem more like wishful thinking. But mercy matters – now more than ever.
The position for which Betsy DeVos has been nominated — secretary of education — is one of the least powerful in the Cabinet, in terms of its budget and position in the line of succession to the presidency.
And yet, after a confirmation hearing in which she struggled to answer questions, some Senate offices have received more calls opposing DeVos than any other nominee.
All 48 Democratic senators and two Republicans — Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen. Susan Collins – opposed her when her nomination came to a vote on Feb. 7. Vice President Mike Pence cast a tie-breaking vote.
Bills criminalizing peaceful protest have been introduced to state legislatures in five U.S. states, reports The Intercept. The five states are Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Washington. The bills have been proposed by Republican lawmakers.
The bills proposed in Iowa, Minnesota, and North Dakota aim to effect highway protests. The bill introduced in North Dakota, if passed, would give motorists the legal right to kill with their vehicles any protesters standing in the road, if the protester is struck accidentally.
Republican South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will be a rare woman on Donald Trump’s Cabinet-level team, and one of the few persons of color.
Knowing little about her foreign policy positions, given that she has little to no international experience, what should we expect from Haley once she is confirmed to be ambassador to the United Nations?
On Dec. 11, a bipartisan group of senators — including Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, and Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer and Jack Reed — released a joint statement announcing their intent to investigate whether Russia swayed, or attempted to sway, the 2016 U.S. presidential election to elect Donald Trump.
On Dec. 12, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced his support for their efforts and stated that the Senate intelligence committee should lead the investigation, reports Politico.
On Nov. 29 the Dutch Parliament’s House of Representatives voted for a ban on burqas and niqabs, making it illegal for face-covering clothes to be worn in some Dutch public places by Muslim women, reports Reuters. The House's vote, if supported by a vote of the Dutch Parliament's Senate, would make the Netherlands the latest country to institute some sort of ban on burqas.
On Nov. 26, Art Sisneros, a Texas presidential elector and Republican, announced in a blog post his resignation from the Electoral College and the reason behind his decision. “I do not see how Donald Trump is biblically qualified to serve in the office of the Presidency,” Sisneros wrote.
“The picture is mixed,” said Besheer Mohamed, a senior researcher at the Pew Research Center who specializes in religion.
“On the one hand, its seems clear that Muslims are a pretty small part of the population. On the other hand, they are concentrated in some states and metro areas that might increase their voting powers in those specific areas.”