Obama Romana

Yesterday Rome spoke on The 100 Days and found that they were…not as bad as feared. According to the front-page story in L’Osservatore Romano, President Obama has operated with laudable caution, including on matters of ethics and morals. Notably, the pope’s paper found reason to praise the administration’s proposed guidelines for funding stem cell research […]


Today’s Gallup poll on The First Hundred Days suggests that Obama has shrunk his religion gap. Whereas 41 percent of weekly worship attenders and 61 percent of seldom or never attenders supported him just before the election, now the numbers are 69  57 percent and 57 69 percent respectively. Thus the gap between the two […]


Defending the Obama approach to torture, Tom Friedman claims that 1) prosecuting the malefactors (up to and including George W. Bush) would “rip our country apart”; and 2) torturing was justified because only torture was capable of deterring al Qaeda, an enemy like no other we have ever had. The first claim is guesswork, but […]

Mighty Righty

A decade ago, conservative syndicated columnist Cal Thomas won some liberal props for criticizing the religious right in Blinded by Might, a book he wrote with Grand Rapids megachurch pastor Ed Dobson. Thomas and Dobson were old comrades-in-arms of Jerry Falwell–Thomas VP of the Moral Majority and Dobson associate pastor of Falwell’s Thomas Road Baptist […]

Religious dropouts

In today’s release of the follow-up to its 2007 Landscape Survey, Pew offers an answer to the intriguing question: Which major Christian tradition is most likely to have its members drop out of religion. (Pew calls these folks “unaffiliated,” we at ARIS call them Nones–I won’t argue the point here.) The answer, in the immortal […]

Little Faith-based

Over at CT Politics, Douglas Koopman is unhappy with the Obama administration’s faith-based initiative so far. A political science prof at Calvin College, Koopman is one of those center-right evangelical types who was disappointed at the politicizing of the Bush effort but nevertheless remains an enthusiast of the approach. His is not the clearest exposition […]

Is the Center the New Left?

You’ve got to admire the Audacity of Jim. As Ted Olsen over at Christianity Today Politics details in chapter and verse, Wallis of Sojourners has made a career of keeping his distance from the Religious Left–portraying himself, like God, as someone  who stands at the radical center. So now to have a minion send around […]

Nones, NE and NW

Yesterday, the Connecticut legislature set its good housekeeping seal of approval on the state Supreme Court’s decision allowing same-sex marriage, adjusting state law to bring it into line with the ruling. A probably unnecessary provision, borrowed from Vermont, was written in to give religious organizations–but not individuals–the right to refuse gay couples facilities and services. […]

Hire me this

Pastordan is a bit befuddled by Michelle Boorstein’s God in Government post reporting that the Advisory Council of the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships (OFANP) is not, after all, going to take up the thorny faith-based hiring issue. Since I reported a month ago that the Council was going to take it up, let […]