Minnery among the Dems

Sarah Pulliam, who’s blogging up a storm from the Democratic Convention for Christianity Today’s election blog, has a good q and a with Focus on the Family’s Tom Minnery. Minnery’s officially an unhappy camper, with no use for the Dems and little use for McCain. Grumble grumble.

McChabad

In a phone call with 40 Chabad rabbis from around the country, John McCain asks for their support by emphasizing that he will “put my country first. And I want to promise you that. I will put my country first.” That’s in contrast to Obama? Then McCain assures them, “I will do everything in my power to make sure that the United States of America and our closest friend and ally remain secure and peaceful and prosperous.”

Press Notes

Over at the Revealer, Jeff Sharlet is puffing Adele Oltman’s Nation piece on Obama and the Martin Luther Kings, Sr. and Jr. Read it if you must, but I wouldn’t take seriously its claim that Barack Obama is more like Daddy than Dr. King. The suggestion that Obama is advocating some kind of throwback to the days when black churches dominated their communities is just silly, and the suggestion that he is some kind of crypto-theocrat is nonsense. No American politician running for national office has spoken more clearly about the the importance of maintaining the principle of church-state separation. Ottman goes seriously astray in portraying Obama’s support for faith-based initiatives as contrary to the civil right’s leader’s view of things:I’m not sure King would have been comfortable with Obama’s expanded view of faith-based initiatives, which allows for churches to design social programs and make decisions about who has access to them. To the contrary, it was via Great Society programs initiated at the height of the civil rights movement that urban black churches began receiving public funds to undertake (via independent non-profits) a range of social services.

COMMENTARY: Catholics Dems and bishops in for a bumpy ride

c. 2008 Religion News Service (UNDATED) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is clearly confused about Catholic teaching on life issues. On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Tom Brokaw asked her: “When does life begin?” She answered, “We don’t know.” Pelosi said “that as an ardent, practicing Catholic,” this is an issue she’s studied for a long time. “And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition.” Pelosi is wrong, and some Catholic bishops have tried to correct the record. I don’t think the Democrats are worried.

10 Minutes with … Archbishop Charles Chaput

c. 2008 Religion News Service (UNDATED) Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver refuses to be quiet _ especially when it comes to Catholic politicians and abortion. The outspoken Franciscan has repeatedly told elected officials who support abortion rights they shouldn’t take Communion. And he’s quick to correct Catholics who compromise on the issue. Chaput’s new book, “Render Unto Caesar,” is a call-to-arms for fellow Christians to follow him into the political fray.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2008 Religion News Service Pelosi counters Catholic prelates’ criticisms on abortion (RNS) A spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has struck back against criticism from prominent Catholic prelates who accused the California congresswoman of misrepresenting church teachings about abortion. “While Catholic teaching is clear that life begins at conception, many Catholics do not ascribe to that view,” said Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly. Pelosi, the nation’s highest-ranking Catholic elected official, said on “Meet the Press” Sunday (Aug. 24) that the question of when life begins is “an issue of controversy” within the church.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2008 Religion News Service DENVER _ Democratic Party leaders are making an aggressive push for Catholic and evangelical voters, splashing attention on faith-focused ideas and gurus here at the Democratic National Convention. “They recognize that the Catholic piece is critical to electoral success,” said Dr. Patrick Whelan, a pediatrician at Harvard Medical School and executive director of Catholic Democrats, which counts 4,000 members. Whelan was one of several Catholics speaking at the convention’s interfaith gathering Sunday (Aug. 24), which also featured Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, a Catholic, and anti-death penalty activist Sister Helen Prejean.

Pentecostals leading Democrats’ faith outreach

c. 2008 Religion News Service (UNDATED) As the Democratic National Convention unfolds in Denver, the prominence of African-American Pentecostals within the Democratic Party is gaining a national spotlight. Leah Daughtry, the CEO of the Democratic National Convention Committee, leads a small Pentecostal church in Washington. Joshua DuBois, religious outreach director for Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, is an associate minister in a small Pentecostal denomination based in Cambridge, Mass. “There’s always been a group of African-American Pentecostals who’ve been involved in the political arena for most of the 20th century,” said the Rev. David Daniels, a Church of God in Christ minister and a professor of church history at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago.

Archbishop Charles Chaput

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver refuses to be quiet-especially when it comes to Catholic politicians and abortion. The outspoken Franciscan has repeatedly told elected officials who support abortion rights they shouldn’t take Communion. And he’s quick to correct Catholics who compromise on the issue. Chaput’s new book, “Render Unto Caesar,” is a call-to-arms for fellow Christians to follow him into the political fray. As the Democrats hold their national convention in his backyard, Religion News Service caught up with Chaput to talk politics and theology.

Dems make faith push at convention

DENVER-Democratic Party leaders are making an aggressive push for Catholic and evangelical voters, with faith-focused ideas and leaders getting extra attention here at the Democratic National Convention. “They recognize that the Catholic piece is critical to electoral success,” said Dr. Patrick Whelan, a pediatrician at Harvard Medical School and executive director of Catholic Democrats, which counts 4,000 members in 15 chapters nationwide. In addition to daily benedictions, the convention has hosted two “faith caucus” panel discussions, with the Rev. Jim Wallis, the evangelical leader of Sojourners/Call to Renewal, prominent at both. “The Democrats have turned an important corner,” Wallis said. “For a long time the Democrats have been perceived as being secular and being even hostile to religion.”

Decoded diary shines new light on Methodist pioneer

LONDON-A secret, coded diary kept by one of Methodism’s founding fathers for 20 years has been deciphered by an Anglican priest in Britain, illuminating historical efforts to keep Methodists in the Church of England.