Chick-Fil-A and the lost art of political persuasion

Having established my theory that faith and politics are in perpetual tension, with each seeking in a strange way to emulate the other upon the American politicoreligious landscape, let's talk about persuasion.Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day has passed us by. Thousands of people who genuinely believe that gay marriage is (to put it mildly) Very Bad a Thing lined up to express their sentiment with an act of economic rebellion, voting with their wallets, to strike a symbolic blow at those they … [Read more...]

a minute of silence for Munich at the Olympics

What do the rings stand for?

in 1972, 11 Israeli atheletes were murdered by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September during the Olympic Games in Munich, Germany. Amkie Spitzer, the wife of one of the murdered athletes, began a petition at asking for a minute of silence at the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics to honor the 40th anniversary of that massacre: Silence is a fitting tribute for athletes who lost their lives on the Olympic stage. Silence contains no statements, assumptions or beliefs and … [Read more...]

the faith of politics

politics and religion

Welcome to Patheos' new Faith and Politics channel!I think the intersection of American politics and religion is a fascinating landscape, because in our founding documents these two realms are decreed to be separate, but in practice they have a strange synergy. Our faith and our politics feed off of and cross-pollinate each other in strange and interesting ways, unique to the world and history. I find the classic Yin Yang symbol of Chinese philosophy to be a fitting symbol for how faith and … [Read more...]

devastating Obama ad on Mitt Romney and outsourcing

This is probably the most effective ad I have ever seen:But frankly I wonder if it will really make any difference. The target is swing voters in swing states, who have been bombarded with spin from both sides. At this point, people have either made up their minds or are too confused to decide. I think the real tipping point in the polls won't happen until after the debates, which all happen in October.As far as policy substance goes, I found Ezra Klein's observations about Romney … [Read more...]

Why this liberal Obama voter won’t worry if SCOTUS strikes down the ACA

The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), moments prior to being struck down by the Supreme Court

"If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine...." -- Obi-wan Kenobi to Darth Vader The decision is due this Thursday - the Supreme Court is pondering the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") due to the inclusion of an individual mandate, and it's highly probable that the decision will be 5-4 strictly along party lines that the law is overturned, in full or in part.You know, I'm okay with that.This is not a fight I expected - I … [Read more...]

Wisconsin recall aftermath: democracy wins

We get knocked down, but we get up again. They're never gonna keep us down

The recall is over, and Scott Walker won. 2.4 million people voted, which was a historic, record turnout, far exceeding 2010 numbers (2.1m) though still short of the turnout for the presidential election in 2008 (2.8m).One of the enduring chants heard by the Wisconsin protesters was, "This what democracy looks like." That was always true, irrespective of the outcome of the recall election. Had Tom Barrett prevailed last night, there would have been well-deserved triumphalism on the part of … [Read more...]

On, Wisconsin!

june 5

Today is a historic day for Wisconsin, and the country: the first recall election in the post-Citizens United world. I will have commentary about the significance of the election itself tomorrow, but for today I just want to say: GET OUT AND VOTE! Participate in this amazing exercise of democracy, no matter what side of the fence you are on.If you're liberal like myself, and prefer a Governor who isn't under criminal investigation for corruption, please vote for Tom Barrett for Governor … [Read more...]

why does the State define marriage at all?

"Tattoo of Leviticus 18:22 forbidding homosexuality: $200 Not knowing that Leviticus 19:28 forbids tattoos: Priceless"

I like to call myself a "conservative Muslim liberal" with the word "Muslim" doing double-duty as a noun and an adjective. On religious matters I tend towards orthodoxy, whereas in politics I am more of an activist. This does makes for some interesting intellectual contortions at times, which is why Whitman's quote about contradictions and multitudes has always resonated with me. For the most part, however, reconciling these identities is intuitive and comes naturally for Muslim Americans of my … [Read more...]

Senator Harry Reid’s statement on marriage equality


After President Obama's historic declaration of support for marriage equality, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid issued a statement of his own. Recall that Senator Reid is a practicing Mormon - I think that this statement draws a careful line between his personal religious convictions and his liberal political principles.My personal belief is that marriage is between a man and a woman. But in a civil society, I believe that people should be able to marry whomever they want, and it’s no b … [Read more...]

principled pragmatism

Hello, Patheos community!This is exciting :) I'm grateful for the opportunity and the invitation to blog here at Patheos' Faith and Politics channel and figured I'd start things out with a "Hello, World". My aim here is to blog about politics rather than religion, though I approach the topic from my religious perspective, as an orthodox muslim and a social liberal. Reconciling these identities into a coherent narrative is a challenge, but I've been blogging for long enough that I think I've … [Read more...]