Though Santorum did not specify the dollar amount he and Vander Plaats discussed, multiple sources said he was soliciting as much as $1 million from Santorum and other candidates. ..... ABC News has learned that Vander Plaats tried to solicit money for his endorsement during the last presidential cycle too.
Progress Iowa has launched a petition calling on the Federal Elections Commission to investigate The FAMiLY LEADER for potential illegal campaign coordination. According to Erin Seidler, a spokesperson for the group:
Bob Vander Plaats’ solicitation of funds to promote his endorsement of Rick Santorum raises serious questions about further coordination between a political campaign and an outside group. Considering the possibility of illegal activity so close to Caucus Day, you can take Bob’s word there is no coordination or you can join us in telling the FEC to investigate if any illegal coordination is taking place.
Pastor Cary Gordon is warning Christian voters in Iowa not to trust Newt Gingrich. The attack, in the form of a three-minute satirical Web video....
[T]his is not the kind of thing that the GOP envisioned would happen when it encouraged the Religious Right to bend and break the perfectly reasonable IRS proscriptions against electioneering by churches. The abandonment of political restraint is evident. While Gordon's video release may be within the IRS guidelines as an act of an individual, he and his church were the subject of a complaint filed by American United for Separation of Church and State last year, for having violated its tax-exempt status in organizing (successful) electoral efforts against three Iowa Supreme Court judges. (The judges had ruled in favor of marriage equality.) Gordon said at the time:
"The orthodox Christian pastors of Iowa do not and cannot recognize, with regard to the definition of marriage, the imaginary authority of the Iowa Supreme Court. History has already shown who inevitably wins when state wages war against the authority of the church of the living God. So let the battle between state and church begin."
A central feature of my work over the last four months has been exposing the contradictory positions of Samuel Rodriguez, and a major goal of mine has been to see both secular and religious institutions come to grips with his extremism and distance themselves from his work. Of particular concern to me is Rodriguez's standing within evangelical institutions that I have considered centrist or progressive. Like many writers and commentators I have considered Christianity Today a reliable bell weather of the evangelical center.
J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami released the following statement in response to Republican Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s recent remarks about the Palestinians.
Newt Gingrich’s comments about the Palestinian people and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are ill-informed, irresponsible and frightening.
The former Speaker’s assertion that the Palestinians are an ‘invented’ people shows an appalling lack of understanding of the history of the Middle East in the last century following the break-up of the Ottoman Empire.
Gingrich further misunderstands the present-day politics of the Palestinian people, willfully blurring distinctions among Palestinian factions and demeaning the Palestinian Authority’s commitment to state-building, security cooperation with Israel and pursuit of a two-state solution.
Most dangerous, however, is the threat a Gingrich presidency could pose to the future of Israel and the region. Israel’s long-term security as a Jewish homeland and democratic state depends on the establishment of a Palestinian state living next door. Israel simply cannot retain control of all of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea and remain both Jewish and democratic.
This is a fact that Israeli Prime Ministers and US Presidents of all political persuasions have recognized for more than two decades. Achieving a two-state solution to the conflict is not simply essential to Israel, it’s also a fundamental American national interest. A truly pro-Israel President taking office in 2013 will do more, not less, to end this conflict in a two-state solution.
Newt Gingrich is recklessly pursuing political gain by throwing gasoline on the powder keg of the Middle East. The consequences will be dire not just for Israel but for the United States as well.
To us, the Speaker’s remarks are not what a pro-Israel politician should be saying. J Street calls on Speaker Gingrich to retract his comments and on other Presidential candidates – and the President himself – to push back strongly in the campaign to come against ideas like these that are far outside the mainstream of American foreign policy.
Lobbying and advocacy by religious groups in Washington have exploded in recent decades, increasing fivefold since 1970 to become a nearly $400 million industry, a new Pew report finds.
More than 200 groups are doing faith-related lobbying and advocacy in the nation’s capital, compared to fewer than 40 in 1970, according to the report. Put together, the groups employ at least 1,000 people.
The report, released Monday by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life, found that religious groups spend $390 million a year to influence U.S. domestic and foreign policy.
“About one-in-five religious advocacy organizations in Washington have a Roman Catholic perspective (19%) and a similar proportion is evangelical Protestant in outlook (18%), while 12% are Jewish and 8% are mainline Protestant,” according to the report, called "Lobbying for the Faithful: Religious Advocacy Groups in Washington, D.C."
The beleaguered man in the pulpit made headlines this year for charges that he was a sex predator of young men that he ministered to in his church. This preening man-of-the-cloth sent phone pics of his buff bod, spandex-clad bod to the young men he groomed to be his victims.
Long was sued in September 2010 lawsuit by former New Birth members Anthony Flagg, Spencer LeGrande, Jamal Parris and Maurice Robinson, who alleged the bishop used his influence, trips, gifts and jobs to coerce them into sexual relationships.