Essential Reads on Faith, Politics & Culture
For the past 25 years, the Democratic party has refrained from calling for taxpayers to essentially fund abortions. This year marks a turning point: The party's platform directly calls for a repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits direct use of federal funds for abortions. Michael and Dr. Russell Moore have co-authored a bipartisan USA Today op-ed, urging the Democratic party to reverse course.
Kristin Du Mez, professor at Calvin College, is working on a religious history of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Her article is packed full of insights into the religious and political formation of Clinton--including how a religious magazine helped nudge Clinton away from the Republican party, which she first affiliated with as a young college student.
It's worth pairing that article with David Gibson's piece on whether the Clinton campaign will finally engage in faith outreach, especially given Trump's outspoken detractors within various faith communities.
Many veterans of Mr. Bush's administration stayed away from the RNC last week, refusing to endorse or even vote for Trump. Trump represents, in many ways, a repudiation of the conservatism of President Bush and a fork in the road for the GOP. If Trump wins, as Ari Fleischer, Mr. Bush’s first White House press secretary, puts it, Trump will "have created a new template of success for Republicans. But if he loses, it will reset the party back more in the direction of President Bush.”
For a more in-depth perspective, read Ezra Klein's interview with Yuval Levin, one of the foremost conservative intellectuals, on the future of the GOP party, the two-sided coin of liberalism, and our inability to have values-arguments.
Tim Kaine is a safe bet for a VP, which reflects Clinton's confidence that she can beat Trump without pulling out any wild cards. Kaine is a center-of-the-road Democrat, who grew up in the midwest as a white, Catholic man. He also speaks Spanish fluently, which he learned from his time helping Jesuit missionaries in Honduras for nine months. Read Michael's Twitter-thoughts on Kaine here.
The old culture war used to be between "liberalism" and "traditionalism." But Mark Sayers, pastor of Red Church in Australia, argues that there is a third and more radical force: progressivism, which "attempts to achieve some of the social goals of Christianity—especially the elimination of oppression, violence, and discrimination—while moving decisively beyond it" and "deconstructing inherited sacred orders and traditions." Sayers argues that any effort to build cultural bridges to remain "relevant" in the climate of progressivism will be futile; the church's response should be resilience, not relevance.
Thank you for reading!
Michael’s book, Reclaiming Hope: Lessons Learned in the Obama White House About the Future of Faith in America is available for pre-order now on Amazon,IndieBound, Books-A-Million, and Barnes & Noble.