The Dispatch‘s David French compares the right’s treatment of the faith of the Rev. Raphael Warnock, Georgia Senate candidate, to the left’s treatment of the faith of Amy Coney Barrett. He writes, “And now his religious beliefs are under fire, and the people taking aim at Warnock are some of the same individuals who rallied to defend Barrett from Democratic and media attacks on her faith.” He cites tweets from Republican senators who criticized a sermon clip from the preacher saying you cannot serve God and the military. French writes, “If Pastor Warnock would underfund the military, oppose him on that basis. If he would undercut support for veterans, oppose him on that basis. And his support for abortion rights is gravely wrong. But to whip up outrage because you didn’t like the way he preached a sermon about Matthew 6:24? Well then, I know some Republican senators who now aren’t that different from Dianne Feinstein. In their partisan zeal, they’ve made the same mistake.”
For Post Alley, Seth Dowland writes, “Diagnoses of evangelical voters have frequently cited the priority of abortion to explain their steadfast Republicanism. But that explanation has begun to break down. Abortion did not even crack the top five most important issues for Trump supporters in an August poll.” Instead, for other explanations, Dowland turns to Kristin Kobes du Mez’s book, Jesus and John Wayne, which explores evangelical notions of masculinity. Dowland, an associate professor of religion at Pacific Lutheran, is author of Family Values and the Rise of the Christian Right.
The New York Times‘s Elizabeth Dias and Ruth Graham report, “On Tuesday the Vatican released a massive report investigating how Theodore E. McCarrick, a disgraced former cardinal and archbishop of Washington, rose to the heights of the Catholic Church, despite leaders receiving reports that he had sexually abused minors and adult seminarians over the course of decades.” The report found that Pope John Paul II, now a saint, elevated McCarrick to cardinal, even though he had been warned about the cleric’s sexual misconduct. Dias and Graham write that the Vatican also “blames three American bishops for providing misleading information,” which contributed to McCarrick’s promotion.
ABC’s Matthew Vann and Ivan Pereira report that Joe Biden will be the nation’s second Catholic president, after John F. Kennedy. “During his victory speech Saturday night, Biden—who regularly attends Mass and has long been open about his faith—quoted Ecclesiastes 3:1-3 from the Bible. ‘To everything there is a season: a time to build, a time to reap, and a time to sow and a time to heal,’ he said. ‘This is the time to heal in America.'” He ended his speech by quoting the popular Catholic hymn, “On Eagle’s Wings.”
Kamala Harris, Daughter of Jamaican and Indian Immigrants, Elected Nation’s First Female Vice Presidentposted on November 9, 2020
The Washington Post‘s Chelsea Janes reports that Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris brings many “firsts” to her role. “Kamala Devi Harris, a daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, is set to become the highest-ranking woman in the nation’s 244-year existence, as well as a high-profile representation of the country’s increasingly diverse composition,” Janes writes. Her husband, Doug Emhoff, is also breaking barriers: “He will be the first Jewish person to be among the group of presidents, vice presidents and their spouses—and the first male spouse, ever.”
For Politico Magazine, Sonia Paul reports that Hindu nationalism is seeping into American politics through advocacy organizations and activists’ pressure on Indian American politicians. “These Hindutva advocates hope to use the ideology as a wedge issue for the roughly 1.9 million Indian American eligible voters in this country, who represent one of the fastest-growing and wealthiest immigrant groups in the United States,” she writes. Progressive Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna, who is Hindu, has faced criticism from Hindu activists. “I certainly will never bow my convictions because of a special interest lobby,” he told a town hall.
The Washington Post‘s Sarah Pulliam Bailey reports that the rise of Christian nationalism under Trump has led to the creation of Patriot Churches, “part of an evolving network of nondenominational start-up congregations that say they want to take the country back for God.” Three Patriot Churches formed in September in Virginia, Washington state, and Tennessee. A Sunday attendee in Tennessee told Pulliam Bailey, “When I hear patriot, it’s probably someone who is pro-gun, against mandated vaccinations, probably a Republican and opposes abortion. I fit those.”
The Associated Press’ Elana Schor writes, “Both President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden count endorsements from well-known faith leaders. But for clergy members who try to tackle thorny moral matters without overtly backing a candidate, the campaign has tested their ability to reconcile religious values and politics.” A white evangelical pastor in Nashville tells her that “’it drives some people crazy’ when he refuses to tip his hand politically.” For others, the choice is clearer. A Black Baptist pastor in Pennsylvania who endorsed Biden in his personal capacity told Schor that some “white churches ‘have the luxury to say, ‘Let’s just spiritualize everything and not get involved in politics.'”
The Washington Post‘s Chico Harlan and Michelle Boorstein report, “Pope Francis, in a new documentary, has called for the creation of civil union laws for same-sex couples, in what amounts to his clearest support to date for the issue.” In the documentary “Francesco” from Catholic News Agency, the pope said, “They’re children of God and have a right to a family.” Harlan and Boorstein write, “Priests in some parts of the world bless same-sex marriage, but that stance — and Francis’s new remarks — are a departure from official church teaching.”
The New York Times‘ Ruth Graham talks to conservative Christian women who see Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett as a role model. “Judge Barrett, for them, is a new kind of icon — one they have not seen before in American cultural and political life: a woman who is both unabashedly ambitious and deeply religious, who has excelled at the heights of a demanding profession even as she speaks openly about prioritizing her conservative Catholic faith and family,” Graham writes. “Judge Barrett has seven children, including two children adopted from Haiti and a young son with Down syndrome.” She adds, “To Judge Barrett’s fans, she is proof that women can be as ambitious maternally as they are professionally.”