NY Times: The Catholic roots of Obama’s activism

Ahead of the president’s meeting with Pope Francis, a little backstory, from The New York Times:  In a meeting room under Holy Name Cathedral, a rapt group of black Roman Catholics listened as Barack Obama, a 25-year-old community organizer, trained them to lobby their fellow delegates to a national congress in Washington on issues like [Read More...]

Pope Francis invited to address joint session of Congress next year

From The Washington Post:  Congressional leaders have invited Pope Francis to address a joint session of Congress during his expected visit to the United States next year. Francis, who marked his first anniversary as leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics today, is reportedly planning to visit the U.S. next year in order to attend a global conference [Read More...]

California’s Jerry Brown credits Dominican nuns and the Jesuits in his re-election announcement

An alert reader sent this my way, from the governor’s announcement, which was posted on his website today: At this stage of my life, I can say–without any hesitation–that I am prepared and excited to tackle these challenges and the many others that lay before us. In fact, there is nothing I would rather do. [Read More...]

Obama at prayer breakfast: “Religion strengthens America”—UPDATED

From The New York Daily News:   President Obama and the First Lady joined thousands from the Washington elite early Thursday for the National Prayer Breakfast, an event that hit a decidedly more spiritual tone in 2014 than the highly politicized spirit at the 2013 occasion. The first couple was joined by Vice President Joe Biden [Read More...]

When did presidents start saying “God bless America” at the end of speeches? You might be surprised.

From Huffington Post:  “God bless America” has become the expected way for U.S. presidents to end official speeches. But that wasn’t always the case, explain David Domke and Kevin Coe, authors of the book The God Strategy: How Religion Became a Political Weapon in America. The first president to say it was Richard Nixon, who dropped [Read More...]

Michael Grimm: “I lost my cool and I apologized…”

This story has been getting a lot of attention this morning. It’s the response of Staten Island congressman Michael Grimm after an interview on local TV following the State of the Union: Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm physically threatened NY1 political reporter Michael Scotto at the conclusion of an interview in the Capitol Rotunda following [Read More...]

BREAKING: Supreme Court grants temporary reprieve to Little Sisters of the Poor

From Politico:  The Obama administration cannot enforce the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage requirements against a Catholic nuns’ order for the time being, if the nuns tell the government they object to providing that coverage, the Supreme Court ruled Friday afternoon. The Supreme Court’s action could defuse for the time being a showdown between religious employers [Read More...]

WH: Obama to meet Pope Francis in March

Details:  President Obama will meet with Pope Francis on March 27, capping a European trip that will take him to the Netherlands, Belgium, and Italy. “The President looks forward to discussing with Pope Francis their shared commitment to fighting poverty and growing inequality,” said a statement from White House press secretary Jay Carney. During his [Read More...]

Comparing Cuomos: What a difference 30 years makes

“Remember that, we embrace men and women of every color, every creed, every orientation, every economic class. In our family are gathered everyone from the abject poor of Essex County in New York, to the enlightened affluent of the gold coasts at both ends of the nation. And in between is the heart of our [Read More...]

Great moments in fundraising: church withdraws from GOP gun raffle honoring Lincoln, MLK

Details:  A Greek Orthodox church in Portland on Friday yanked permission for the Multnomah County Republican Party to hold a Lincoln Day fundraising dinner tied to a controversial gun raffle. The Multnomah County GOP received national attention earlier this week when it announced it would raffle off an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle in honor of “two great Republicans” [Read More...]