Pope Francis and the Republican Presidential Hopefuls: A Widening Divide

(Reposted with Permission from the Author)With Pope Francis increasingly focused on economic inequality, protecting the environment, compassion towards immigrants and peace through diplomacy, it's perhaps appropriate to ask: have Republican presidential candidates taken steps to follow his example on these four issues?1. Economic InequalityOn economic inequality, Pope Francis has called for ending an economy that kills. Pope Francis believes such an economy has been perpetuated by a "throwaway culture." But what exactly constitutes an economy that kills?Is it when the United … [Read More...]

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Feeling the Bern? Maybe.

I’m intrigued by Bernie Sanders. When he initially announced his presidential bid for 2016, I thought this must be a publicity stunt, an attempt to promulgate his left-of-everyone political brand. One need not be a political science professor to see that he should be too liberal to be a truly viable presidential candidate. Surely, I thought, he can’t remain in the race for too long, and I awaited his inevitable fall.But Sanders is defying expectations, amassing more supporters than almost any other candidate in the field. Just a few days ago, he addressed a crowd of almost 28,000 in Los … [Read More...]

Reforming Prison and Loving the Sinner

Despite the recent influx of political attention given to criminal justice reform these past few weeks, discussions about how criminal justice reform could be accomplished should be especially important to Christians. I am relieved that more people are now sounding the alarm for what they see as an over-incarcerated and mistreated population.Earlier this month, I attended a discussion hosted by Justice Fellowship with Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Tim Scott (R-SC). Both senators discussed the … [Read More...]

Are Pope Francis’ views on climate change costing him supporters?

Like millions of other Christian environmentalists, I had been eagerly anticipating the release of “Laudato Si” Pope Francis’ encyclical on environmental ethics. I have long been an adherent of the notion of Creation Care, or the practice of environmental stewardship as a moral imperative. These are firm convictions and causes close to my heart and which are deeply rooted in my being as a person of faith. I couldn’t wait to read what this exciting pontiff whose papacy is still so relatively fresh … [Read More...]

Blessed are the Peacemakers: A Deal with Iran

Last week President Barack Obama delivered what could become the most significant foreign policy victory of his Presidency: a nuclear peace deal with Iran. Speaking of the historic peace deal, President Obama remarked,  “[A]fter two years of negotiations, the United States, together with our international partners, has achieved something that decades of animosity has not -- a comprehensive, long-term deal with Iran that will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” After several weeks of high … [Read More...]

Why Walker Won’t Win

(Below is a modified version of a piece recently published in the International Policy Digest. Publishing permission has been granted by the author.)Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s ideology is too partisan and inconsistent, and both his major initiatives and image have been unpopular at the state and national level. These factors may not ban him from a Republican presidential nomination, but it certainly bans him from a successful national campaign. Here’s why Walker simply cannot win … [Read More...]

No more tears for the Confederate Flag

I got a call late on Wednesday, June 17. The ring jolted me out of sleep into a confused, nearly panicked state. When I answered, the voice on the other end told me there had been a shooting in Charleston, that it had happened at a black church, historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (Mother Emanuel), and that a state senator was believed to be a victim. Could that really be? What are the right words in that moment? Even now, I’m not sure there are any. I hung up and knelt down be … [Read More...]

Calling thinkers, opinion makers and artists: FaithfulDemocrats Needs You!

Haven't we been silent long enough? In an effort to expand our community, Faithful Democrats is looking for writers, bloggers, artists and those who love a good meme. With upcoming national events such as the Pope's visit to the United States and the 2016 campaigns, we need additional voices and regular commentators. We want diversity in age, race, gender, sexual orientation and faith tradition. Those interested should write Editor Joseph Gidjunis: faithfuldem@gmail.com and briefly share … [Read More...]

Verses vs. Verses: Same-sex marriage dialogue continues post-SCOTUS decision

The June 26, 2015 SCOTUS decision on same-sex marriage didn't settle the issue. Last month, NYT’s Laurie Goodstein wrote a profile on Matthew Vines, a young, gay Christian writer and activist who works to elucidate an alternative understanding of the LGBTQ community to Christian conservatives (primarily Evangelicals). After coming to terms with his own sexuality, Vines left Harvard in 2010 to study what the Bible says about same-sex relationships and how modern Christians could offer a message o … [Read More...]

Pope’s Encyclical: Authentic Human Development Has a Moral Character

(Reposted with permission.)Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment isn't an earth-shattering document. It's instead a timely reminder that humanity has collective rights and responsibilities. As Catholics, the right to life and the responsibility to protect and promote life are of paramount concern. Pope Francis realizes attacks to life come in a variety of forms. Inflicting harm on our common home is one such threat to life.Through the encyclical on the environment, Pope Francis … [Read More...]


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