RNS photo courtesy Library of Congress

Secession theology runs deep in American religious, political history

(RNS) Ever since President Obama won re-election, more than 700,000 Americans have petitioned the White House to let their respective states secede. Observers say those leading the charge are framing it in terms that suggest a deep-seated religious impulse for purity-through-separation is flaring up once again. This time, it’s playing out on a political stage. By G. Jeffrey MacDonald.

RNS photo courtesy US Central Command and Department of Defense

With Petraeus, echoes of that other warrior David

(RNS) It’s tempting to view the sex scandal surrounding former Gen. David Petraeus through a religious lens. Even before his fall from grace, some Pentagon colleagues compared Petraeus to the biblical King David – another proud and powerful warrior. By Daniel Burke. 

COMMENTARY: All politics (should be) local

NEW YORK (RNS) The better a restaurant owner knows the customers, the more focused the menu can be. It's the same with politics; when it's local, candidates tend to know their people or at least know their interests, lingo, worries and hopes. This is the level at which democracy tends to work best. By Tom Ehrich.

COMMENTARY: Of Protestants, politicians and power

(RNS) It would be an error to underestimate or write off the Protestant influence in the American political arena. But with the rapid demographic and sociological changes now underway, get ready for Hindus, Jews, Hispanics, Buddhists, Muslims, gays, women, atheists and many other groups to head up future presidential tickets. By A. James Rudin.