Pema Levy of Talking Points Memo reports that evangelicals and social conservatives want Republicans to “to make the fight against same-sex marriage an election-year priority,” but “the GOP establishment is resisting.”
CNN.com’s Religion Editor Dan Gilgoff documents the Mormon community of Washington, D.C., writing, “The nation’s capital has become a Mormon stronghold, with Latter-day Saints playing a big and growing role in the Washington establishment.” There are “13,000 active members within a 10-mile radius of Washington, though the area’s Mormon temple serves … 148,000 Latter-day Saints” from up and down the East Coast.
At Buzzfeed, McKay Coppins reports on Mitt Romney’s commencement speech at Liberty University on Saturday. “Mitt Romney did his best to speak the language of the true believers,” Coppins writes. ‘It’s a dialect in which he’s conversational, if not fluent.” Of Romney, he notes: “In less than 20 minutes, he managed to name-check more than a half-dozen key Christian figures, including C.S. Lewis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Chuck Colson, Billy Graham, and, of course, Jerry Falwell.”
In City Journal, Nicole Gelinas reviews Michael Sandel’s new book What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets, which “examines where markets and morals conflict.” Gelinas writes: “For the most part, Sandel convincingly argues that employing markets where morals or other considerations should reign can sometimes corrode behavior rather than correct it.”
In USA Today, Dennis Cauchon reviews how Black church ministers around the country spent Sunday reacting to Obama’s support for same-sex marriage, noting “the result was conflicted.” He closed the article with a quote from Keith Ogden, a Baptist pastor in Asheville, N.C.: “I support my president and love my president, but I think he is wrong.”
In the blog of The New York Review of Books, Garry Wills asks, “Why do some people who would recognize gay civil unions oppose gay marriage?” He continues, “Certain religious groups want to deny gays the sacredness of what they take to be a sacrament. But marriage is no sacrament.” He goes on to document the lack of “sacramental” history of marriage in the Bible.
At The Huffington Post, Amanda Terkel reports that “Obama’s decision to announce his support for marriage equality on Wednesday was a tightly kept secret, even within the White House. He consulted with a very small group of advisers—just six or seven people.” But once the interview aired, Terkel reports Valerie Jarrett called leaders at the Human Rights Campaign and Obama personally called the Rev. Joel Hunter, one of his spiritual advisors, who pastors a church in Florida. (NB: Joel Hunter is a National Advisory Board member of the Danforth Center on Religion & Politics, the home of this journal.)
The Oregonian conducts a Q&A with Father Patrick Conroy, chaplain to the U.S. House of Representatives. When asked if the House was “the most reviled congregation in the country,” as The New York Times put it, he answered: “Well, I was a chaplain at San Quentin (prison, California), too—and I’m not making a comparison there.”
In an exclusive interview, The Washington Post’s Sarah Kliff reports that NARAL President Nancy Keenan plans to step down. Keenan tells Kliff: “There’s an opportunity for a new and younger leader. Roe v. Wade is 40 in January. It’s time for a new leader to come in and, basically, be the person for the next 40 years of protecting reproductive choice.”
At GQ, Marin Cogan covers the press conference of Rep. Robert Dold, a freshman Republican from the suburbs of Chicago. On Wednesday, Dold introduced a bill meant “to prevent members of his own party from stripping federal funding for Planned Parenthood.” He told Cogan, “I think we need to put people before politics and progress before partisanship.”