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Links on R&P from around the web

Catholics’ Presidential Pick Differs by Ethnicity, Religiosity

posted on May 4, 2012

A new Gallup poll reports that overall, America’s Catholic voters are evenly split between supporting President Obama and supporting his all-but-certain GOP challenger, Mitt Romney. Yet when ethnicity is factored into the numbers, Gallup finds that Obama is overwhelmingly winning the Hispanic vote while Romney enjoys majority support of non-hispanic Catholic voters. 

Read at Gallup

Berean Baptist Pastor’s Remarks Latest Flash Point in Heated Same-Sex Marriage Debate

posted on May 4, 2012

Gregory Phillips of the Fayatteville Observer reports that Brennen (North Carolina) Baptist Church’s Sean Harris recently gave a sermon in which the pastor called on parents to punish their sons who display “effeminate behavior,” even authorizing them “to punch boys with limp wrists.” According to Phillips, Harris’ remarks, for which he has since apologized, have sparked the latest controversy in the heated debate in North Carolina over whether to amend the state’s constitution to define heterosexual marriage “the only legally recognized domestic union in the state.”

Read at The Fayatteville Observer

The Israel Lobby’s GOP Past

posted on May 4, 2012

Though “Jewish voters are a reliable Democratic bloc,” Tablet’s Lee Smith takes us back into recent history: when Republicans, not Democrats, led America’s support for Israel. In his review of Sonja Schoepf Wentling and Rafael Medoff’s new book, Herbert Hoover and the Jews: The Origins of the “Jewish Vote” and Bipartisan Support for Israel, Smith finds, “Republicans’ reasons for [supporting Israel]…haven’t changed much over the last 60-plus years. Some were moved by pity or guilt over the West’s failure to prevent the Holocaust; others, perhaps a majority, embraced Zionism because of their Christian faith; and yet others … believed ‘that a Jewish state would serve a pro-American bulwark against Soviet penetration in the Middle East.’”

Read at Tablet

Pat Robertson: America ‘Belongs to Jesus’

posted on May 4, 2012

The Raw Story’s David Edwards reports that for Pat Robertson, one day of national prayer isn’t enough. As part of the Christian Broadcasting Network’s (CBN) annual “Week of Prayer” on Wednesday, Robertson told a group of followers that “America started as a Christian nation, it didn’t start as a heathen nation, it belongs to Jesus Christ … it’s his country.” Robertson also stated that he believes CBN has been ordained by God “to reaffirm His [original] claim over this land.”

Read at The Raw Story

Why the Right Can’t Win the Gay Marriage Fight

posted on May 3, 2012

In the April issue of The American Conservative, Editor Daniel McCarthy argues the increasing acceptance of gay marriage signals the end of the 2000-year era when the Church determined the meaning of marriage and family (with monogamous heterosexuality as the organizing unit of family life). He notes the widespread acceptance of homosexuality marks a profound, and, most likely, irreversible change in Western Culture. “Same-sex marriage will not lead to civilizational collapse,” McCarthy writes. It has “shocked conservatives,” he concludes, “[b]ut this innovation has moved so far so quickly only because it is not at all out of step with the institutions and ideas of our time.”

Read at The American Conservative

Muslim Americans and Republicans: Enemies, Allies or Friends?

posted on May 3, 2012

Omar Sacirbey asks a tough question at Common Ground News Service: what happened to the once strong political coalition between Muslim Americans and Republicans, a relationship now “beset with stereotypes and a lack of trust and communication?” The answer, he writes is more than 9/11. And while mutual suspicion and stereotypes, dominate (Republicans as “hopelessly Islamophobic” and Muslims as some kind of “Fifth Column”), Scaribey suggests that bridges (perhaps Libertarian bridges) are being built between these two communities.   

Read at Common Ground News Service

Gingrich: Campaign Was a “Truly Wild Ride”

posted on May 3, 2012

Newt Gingrich suspended his campaign Wednesday. Katrina Trinko gives a re-cap of his speech. “Suspending the campaign does not mean suspending citizenship,” Gingrich said. He added his year on the campaign trail had been a “truly wild ride.” 

Read at National Review

No Revolution Without Religion

posted on May 3, 2012

Nathan Schneider, Killing the Buddha’s senior editor, writes that if the Occupy Movement is to survive, it will need an organizing ideology, namely “faith.” “By ‘faith,’ writes Schneider, “I mean religion—the more organized the better.” The Occupy Movement’s demographics, mostly white, urbane, perhaps even post-religion, means that it is “not entirely surprising that [Occupy is] often blind to the fact that there is no force more potentially revolutionary in U.S. history or in the country today than religion.”

Read at Killing The Buddha

Koovagam Festival 2012: India’s Largest Hindu Celebration Of The Transgender Community

posted on May 3, 2012

This week in the Indian village of Koovagem, thousands of hijras, men who identify as women, along with eunuchs and cross-dressers (both men and women), gather for the countries largest annual celebration for transgender people. Transgender Indians have a powerful advocate: the Hindu deity Aravan. During the two-day festival, the Koovagem participants are ceremonially married to Aravan, and participate in beauty pageants and singing concerts. 

Read at The Huffington Post

Study Shows Mormonism is Fastest-Growing Faith in Half of U.S. States

posted on May 3, 2012

Kevin Eckstrom, RNS editor (and R & P board member), reports that Mitt Romney’s Church is gaining members at the same time the world’s most famous Mormon is trying to win more votes. The 2010 Religious Congregations and Membership Study reports that Mormons, along with Muslims, are replacing Catholics and mainline Protestants in both demographic and geographical influence across the country. Eckstrom writes that this new statistical data, compiled every 10 years and based mostly on congregational self-reporting, found that “Romney’s Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reported 2 million new adherents and new congregations in 295 counties where they didn’t exist a decade ago.” 

Read at Religion News Service