Hurricane Sandy, the role of government and the preferential option for the poor

FEMA stands as a model of programs that help people in crisis — and everyone can see the proper role of government in this situation. But that’s what programs like food stamps and unemployment benefits do as well. In Catholic social teaching, “the preferential option for the poor” says we must always give the fragile wellbeing of the powerless — the poor, the sick, prisoners and immigrants — first consideration over advantages for the comfortable. [Read more…]

Integrity and sound judgment: Re-elect Barack Obama

As I mentioned last week, integrity is my top criterion in choosing a leader. Sound judgment is also critical. We never know what a president will face, so how they make decisions and lead is all we have to go on. While I have been disappointed in several areas, overall President Obama has been a principled, honest and intelligent leader. His actions have been reasonable and at times, if anything, too moderate. Barack Obama has been and will be a better president than Governor Romney. Now that we’ve just barely managed to climb out of the hole Bush dug us into, I look forward to seeing President Obama preside over the rest of the recovery, the end of the war, and the full rollout of Obamacare. He deserves that, and our country will be better for it. [Read more…]

Annie Turner — The three crucial issues this election

There are three issues I see as crucial to this election, and none of them are being adequately addressed by either candidate: climate change, wealth inequality and war. All three issues affect the poor and marginalized of our world far more strongly than they do privileged folks who are more protected. [Read more…]

The key election issues my faith gives me

I answer this week’s #PatheosElection question: What are the key issues for people of your tradition to consider as they approach this election? Or as I put it, since the phrase “people of my tradition” raises its own set of questions: what issues my faith makes key for me. [Read more…]

Anne Lindley — The Good Samaritan and the Social Safety Net

As a Christian, I believe Jesus was not kidding when He said “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Jesus talks about offering meat and drink, providing clothes, helping the sick. How about us? What should we do for our sisters and brothers? What kind of a social safety net should we try to provide in our country? This election gives Christians the chance to show what we believe Jesus meant. [Read more…]

Jacob Slichter — What are the key issues in your tradition this election?

Musician and writer Jacob Slichter, the drummer for Semisonic, answers the question: What are the key issues for people of your tradition to consider as they approach this election? [Read more…]

Candidate Charlie Fuqua says stoning disobedient children would make an example of them

For years my go-to Bible quote to show the absurdity of still living by tribal law has been Deuteronomy 21:18-21, which says that rebellious children should be stoned to death. Meet Republican candidate for the Arkansas legislature Charlie Fuqua, a full-blown Christian Reconstructionist who has caught national attention because his e-book “God’s Law”, published this Spring, says stoning children may not be such a bad idea. [Read more…]

The End of Dinesh D’Souza

I can’t say I’m sorry that anti-Obama propagandist and torture apologist D’Souza has been taken out of commission. The direct cause: he’s sleeping with a younger woman while separated but not yet divorced from his wife. While I find it frustrating that some conservative evangelical leaders were OK with his deceitful propaganda but are drawing the line at his having sex outside of wedlock, I say good riddance. [Read more…]

Voting on faith

As someone who was raised atheist and has gone through several religions during my spiritual journey, I don’t have a strong identification as something, and I have a deep respect for the common ground between most faiths. So when I consider the faith of a political candidate, it is not a question of denomination or even religion, but of where their beliefs point. [Read more…]

Faith in pluralistic America’s politics — those who use it, misuse it and attack it

There is much that’s wrong with faith in politics today, but not just in how it is abused; also in how it is attacked. And there is plenty that’s right about it too. America is a unique experiment in building a secular pluralistic democracy that isn’t hostile towards religion. Religious affiliation and participation in America is high compared with other democracies, and I think that’s wonderful. I think the extreme secularists have it completely wrong when they see religion as the problem, especially when secularism is responsible for many of the problems. I welcome the inclusion of religion in the political sphere within the bounds set up by our founders. [Read more…]