U.S. pastors seek political office in 2016

One Sunday two years ago, Pastor Rob McCoy, who believes in banning abortion and gay marriage and putting prayer back in schools, stood at the pulpit of his California mega church and announced he was endorsing a political candidate: himself.

CHR Comment: The American Renewal Project, organized by David Lane, seeks to have 1,000 conservative, evangelical pastors run for local political offices. The goal is to support a local, grass roots effort to change the cultural and political direction of the United States toward more conservative, traditional, and Christian values. However, the movement may face the risk of having churches lose their tax exempt status, according to reporter Michelle Conlin.

Source: For God and country: more U.S. pastors seek political office in 2016 | Reuters

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Religion in the American Culture Wars

Muslims, like Catholics and Mormons, fall victim to our persistent fear of those who worship differently.

CHR Comment: Professor Stephen Prothero of Boston University gives his views on the role that religion has played in American life and politics. He mentions the suspicions Protestants had about Roman Catholics and Mormons as a lens through which to see how conservative Christians are speaking about Islam today.

Source: Trump’s religious bigotry is as American as apple pie: Column

Praying During Times of Tragedy

Why do Christians keep offering prayers every time there is an act of terror, civil unrest or a natural disaster? To many in our world, praying to God at times like these seems foolish and even ina…

CHR Comment: Recent political comments about turning to prayer in times of tragedy sparked this helpful article on why Christians turn to God in prayer. The article illustrates that prayer is not inaction but a most appropriate action for a Christian to take.

Source: Praying During Times of Tragedy

Prayer Described as Inaction

The front cover of New York’s ‘Daily News’ for Thursday takes a strong stance against how some politicians are reacting to the San Bernardino shooting with calls for prayer instead of tighter gun control laws.

CHR Comment: Christians may too easily say, “I am praying about it” or “I will pray for you” instead of “fixing” things, as the front cover of New York Daily News complains (see second link below). Yet ruling out prayer as part of the solution is also unhelpful. Underneath the headlines are differing views about the problems of gun violence and mass shootings in America. One group sees gun laws as the source of the problem or part of the solution. Another group sees mental health care as the trigger to the problem. By faith, Christians may view prayer as sincere action and seek God’s guidance on what they should do to address this very real issue in modern life.

Source: ‘Daily News’ provokes with cover on Calif. shooting: ‘God isn’t fixing this’

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/gop-candidates-call-prayers-calf-massacre-article-1.2453261

African American Christians and Donald Trump

Donald Trump sounded enthusiastic following a meeting with black pastors in New York on Monday amid controversy over whether they plan to endorse the billionaire businessman’s presidential bid.

CHR Comment: African American Christian leaders have sharply different views of presidential candidate, Donald Trump. The conservative-liberal divide so far focuses on things that Trump says rather than on specific decisions or treatment of minorities, such as questioning his fairness in business dealings or philanthropy.

Source: Donald Trump enthused after meeting with black pastors – CNNPolitics.com

Church Attendance Plunges after Nepal Becomes a Secular State

Christians mostly welcomed new constitution. Nepal’s main trading partner did not.

CHR Comment: Due to political changes and parliament representation, India has blocked the transport of fuel into Nepal. As a result, fewer Nepalese are able to travel to church as easily as before. Attendance at some congregations has been cut in half.

Source: Church Attendance Plunges after Nepal Becomes a Secular State… | Gleanings | ChristianityToday.com

Ben Carson Advisor, Retired U.S. Army Major General Robert Dees

He’s a plainspoken outsider and a former neurosurgeon. Ben Carson has lurched to the front of the pack in the race to be the GOP’s presidential nominee. But his foreign policy ideas are raising questions.

CHR Comment: Although the article is supposed to be about Carson’s worldview, it turns to focus on Maj. Gen. Dees whom Carson met at church. The writer describes Dees’s views on Christian outreach and comments about Islam.

Source: The world according to Dr. Carson | Public Radio International

Ben Carson Requests Prayer for Donald Trump

U.S. presidential candidate Ben Carson recommended praying for rival Donald Trump after the real-estate mogul and television personality, in a 95-minute rant in Iowa, likened him to a child molester, Carson’s business manager said on Friday.

CHR Comment: Carson’s demeanor is helpful and positive in this stormy political season. The question is whether this approach is what voters are looking for.

Source: Carson’s comeback to Trump’s insults: ‘Pray for him’ | Reuters#ZBQpkGF8FbQ6xkuc.97

New German Biography Casts Hitler in Different Light

A new biography of Hitler by a prominent German historian is likely to stir controversy with its argument that the Nazi leader’s political acumen has been underestimated and that the belief in his hypnotic grip over Germans is inflated.

CHR Comment: Longerich characterizes Hitler as a gifted political opportunist. The article notes that the rise of National Socialism created tensions in the churches. Some churches were drawn into supporting the Nazis, such as the Deutsche Christen Movement, while others resisted, such as the Confessing Church.

Source: New German Biography Casts Hitler in Different Light – NBC News