Monthly Archives: February 2012
A Muslim, a Catholic, and a Mormon walk into a White House: Theological Racism in the 2012 Presidential Race
As the Republican presidential primaries ramp up for Super Tuesday, religion has, once again, become a central topic of public discourse. Presidential hopeful, Rick Santorum, has been the most vocal and controversial in the last couple weeks, but Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have also gotten into the theological bashing. This explosion of religious rhetoric erupted after the Obama Administration faced off against the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops on issues of contraceptive healthcare coverage.
As public attention grew, advocates on both sides of the issue, both religious and secular, as well as Catholic and people from other traditions, turned this topic into two interestingly similar, yet distinct headlines: Obama’s War on Religion vs. Republicans’ War on Women. While a great analysis of these competing headlines is valid and needed, I am interested in deconstructing a new term that has been bouncing around in my head ever since I heard some recent remarks by Rick Santorum about Obama’s religious identity: theological racism. Read the rest of this entry
As the 2012 presidential campaign season heats up, race is once again slowly seeping into the unhealed wounds of this country’s troubling history. President Barack Obama will face a Republican Party that has been salivating at the thoughts of dethroning him from what they have considered an illegitimate presidency since Day 1. And while there are certainly some issues that need to be worked out regarding who the republican opponent will be in November, the groundwork for a nasty political season is already being laid.
Race was clearly a prominent issue in the 2008 presidential election, when conservative groups and even politicians implicitly and explicitly targeted Obama’s multiracial identity for malevolent purposes. Whether through the Birther movement, racist poster signs, or linking then Senator Obama’s character to his relationship to his predominantly black religious community on the south side of Chicago, it is evident that this country is by no means in a post-racial age. However, when considering the racial issues that may arise or may continue beyond the election regarding unresolved racial issues, I think it is towards a different demographic that we should look that is equally, if not more, perpetuating the racism that plagues both this campaign and country, in general. Read the rest of this entry
On Tuesday, a critical victory came in the national movement toward LGBT equality, as a federal appeals panel ruled that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. Prop 8, which was a voter created amendment to the California state constitution, has been the face of the marriage equality fight for the past several years since its passage in November of 2008.
For some time now, it seems as if the road to marriage equality will not be from a top-down approach (federal legislative action), but rather as a slow, meticulous journey from liberal state to liberal state, to moderate to moderate, and perhaps one day to more conservative states, as well. This has been relatively successful. In the last eight years since Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage, a total of six states plus D.C. now have laws on the books affirming equality. On Monday, Washington state will become the seventh state to tie the equality not. However, now that Prop 8 has been struck down, and as the dust settles from the celebrations that span from San Diego to San Francisco and throughout the rest of the country, a greater, meta-discourse is found in its wake. Read the rest of this entry
This morning, both religious and civil leaders gathered in Washington, D.C., for the annual National Prayer Breakfast. As is customary, the President of the United States was invited to reflect on how his religious convictions have guided him throughout his time in office. President Obama’s remarks tapped into two profound realities at the intersection of civil government and religious faith.
- Religious and moral commitments cannot be separated from one’s deliberation regarding a particular course of action he or she might take.
- The religious practice of our elected officials is oftentimes suppressed and even discouraged
The National Prayer Breakfast provides an opportunity to experience this rare encounter of open engagement between faith and public life. Read the rest of this entry