8 thoughts on “News/Politics 6-10-17

  1. I don’t know if anyone linked this already, but The Atlantic published a good article on the topic of Sanders’ foray into the religious litmus test.

    Article VI of the U.S. Constitution states that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” On Wednesday, Senator Bernie Sanders flirted with the boundaries of this rule during a confirmation hearing for Russell Vought, President Trump’s nominee for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget.

    Sanders took issue with a piece Vought wrote in January 2016 about a fight at the nominee’s alma mater, Wheaton College. The Christian school had fired a political-science professor, Larycia Hawkins, for a Facebook post intended to express solidarity with Muslims. Vought disagreed with Hawkins’s post and defended the school in an article for the conservative website The Resurgent. During the hearing, Sanders repeatedly quoted one passage that he found particularly objectionable:

    Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned.

    “In my view, the statement made by Mr. Vought is indefensible, it is hateful, it is Islamophobic, and it is an insult to over a billion Muslims throughout the world,” Sanders told the committee during his introductory remarks. “This country, since its inception, has struggled, sometimes with great pain, to overcome discrimination of all forms … we must not go backwards.”

    Later, during the question-and-answer portion of the hearing, Sanders brought this up again. “Do you believe that statement is Islamophobic?” he asked Vought.

    “Absolutely not, Senator,” Vought replied. “I’m a Christian, and I believe in a Christian set of principles based on my faith.”

    Where Sanders saw Islamophobia and intolerance, Vought believed he was stating a basic principle of his belief as an evangelical Christian: that faith in Jesus is the only pathway to salvation. And where Sanders believed he was policing bigotry in public office, others believed he was imposing a religious test. As Russell Moore, the head of the political arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, said in a statement, “Even if one were to excuse Senator Sanders for not realizing that all Christians of every age have insisted that faith in Jesus Christ is the only pathway to salvation, it is inconceivable that Senator Sanders would cite religious beliefs as disqualifying an individual for public office.”

    The exchange shows just how tense the political environment under Trump has become. But it’s also evidence of the danger of using religion to deem someone unfit to serve in government…..

    https://www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/529614/

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Interesting.

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/06/09/christians-faced-widespread-harassment-in-2015-but-mostly-in-christian-majority-countries/

    “Due in part to the large number of Christian-majority countries, Christians were actually harassed mostly in Christian-majority countries. In some of these countries, the Christian majority was itself harassed, often by the government. For example, in Nicaragua – where an estimated 59% of the population is Catholic – the Catholic Church reported that the government monitored its emails and telephone conversations and granted financial support for churches based on the clergy’s political affiliation. The church also reported that the Nicaraguan government used Catholic traditions and symbols when promoting political agendas, saying it undermined the church’s religious authority.

    In other Christian-majority countries, Christian minority denominations were targeted. For example, in Eritrea – where Eritrean Orthodox Christianity is the dominant faith – Jehovah’s Witnesses reported being unable to obtain official identification documents because of their faith. In addition, the majority of religious prisoners in Eritrea in 2015 were Protestants, namely Pentecostals and evangelical Christians.

    While Christians were harassed in countries far beyond the Middle East and North Africa, they faced significant harassment in this region, too. In Syria, for example, Christians reported that tolerance within society was on the decline as extremist groups gained influence.”

    Like

  3. I was reading a book last night about the OMS (One Missionary Society) and their forays into Columbia circa 1950s. I was astonished, horrified, at the persecution the Protestants received from the Catholic Church there. People were killed, regularly stoned, the government closed all their schools and so forth. Nasty.

    Sure, 500 years ago with the Reformation, but during my lifetime? I’ve become, obviously, too used to ecumenicism in the US. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  4. 😦

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/10/politics/pence-cat-dies/index.html

    ___________________________________

    (CNN) After a news-filled week in Washington, Vice President Mike Pence privately handled a loss at home: the death of their family cat, Oreo.

    Second lady Karen Pence tweeted photos of the family pet, adding, “Rest in peace Oreo. You touched a lot of hearts in your little life.” The photos included shots of the Vice President in a tuxedo holding the black-and-white feline, who moved with the family to the vice president’s residence on the grounds of the Naval Observatory after the election.

    An aide to the vice president said Oreo was 13 years old and was especially endeared to the Pence’s youngest daughter, Audrey, who is 23.

    In a White House absent of pets and animals, the second family has filled the void with several family pets, including a bunny, Marlon Bundo, which is also black and white and has garnered a national following and even appeared at official White House events.

    Oreo and Pickles, the other family cat, lived in the governor’s mansion in Indianapolis while Pence was governor of the state. The whole family moved to the Naval Observatory in January. …
    ________________________________

    Liked by 1 person

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