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.”
In his May 9 column, The New York Times’ Nicholas D. Kristof documents poverty on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. He writes: “As many as two-thirds of adults may be alcoholics, one-quarter of children are born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, and the life expectancy is somewhere around the high 40s … Less than 10 percent of children graduate from high school.” The high rate of alcoholism led to Kristof’s previous column, in which he criticized Anheuser-Busch for supplying alcohol to the reservation.
In the May/June issue of Moment magazine, columnist Letty Cottin Pogrebin writes about her unplanned pregnancy in 1959 at the age of 19, when she contemplated suicide rather than carry the baby to term. Ultimately, she chose to have an abortion, illegal at the time. She writes, “Memories of that terrible time have returned during this election season,” along with “recent efforts to impose government control over women’s health and reproductive decisions.”
Daniel Burke of Religion News Service provides a Storify list of responses from religious leaders in light of President Obama’s same-sex marriage endorsement, in which he cited his Christian faith.
In Thursday’s much-talked about article, The Washington Post’s Jason Horowitz documented Romney’s teenage years at the Cranbrook School, including an incident when Romney allegedly bullied a classmate who was gay. “In a subsequent interview Thursday morning with Fox News Channel, Romney said he didn’t remember the incident but apologized for pranks he helped orchestrate that he said ‘might have gone too far,’” Horowitz writes. Post editors are also conducting a reader poll, asking, “Is Mitt Romney’s high school bio relevant to his 2012 campaign?”
Yesterday afternoon, during an interview with ABC News, President Obama declared, “I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” The announcement came the day after North Carolina passed a constitutional amendment defining marriage “as between one man and one woman.” The President explained that he had reached this decision in large measure because of the teachings of his Christian faith. “The thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the golden rule—you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated,” he said. “And I think that’s what we try to impart to our kids, and that’s what motivates me as president.”
Wycliffe Bible translators has responded to criticism of its Bible translation intended for Muslim readers by asking the World Evangelical Alliance to evaluate the translation for theological accuracy. According to Wycliffe president and CEO Bob Creson, the impetus for the investigation arises from the potentially misleading characterization of central Biblical events, including the Immaculate Conception, and even the concept of the Christian God. As Creson explains, “There is sometimes a misunderstanding [in Islamic culture] when you translate directly or use common terms [such as] ‘Son of God’ that God the Father actually had a sexual relationship with Mary to produce his Son, Jesus.”
Salt Lake Tribune’s Peggy Fletcher Stack reports that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) has recently purchased the property at the site of the Haun’s Mill Massacre, where an anti-Mormon mob killed sixteen early converts to Joseph Smith Jr.’s young religious movement. The seller of this property is the second-largest church of the Mormon movement, the Community of Christ.
Out in the Mojave desert there is a small, white cross that has stood at the center of controversy for the last decade. Now a tentative land-swap agreement will end the legal, and political, fight. Erected in 1934 by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the World War I memorial cross is situated on public lands, namely the Mojave National Preserve, to the consternation of some separation of church and state advocates. Christianity Today’s Morgan Feddes reports that “the plan gives the acre of land where the cross has been located to two veterans’ groups in exchange for five acres of private property in the Mojave National Preserve.”
A new poll released Wednesday shows that Americans support for the war in Afghanistan is at an all-time low. AP-GfK poll indicates that “only 27 percent of Americans say they back the war effort, and 66 percent oppose the war.”