Roundup: Richard Cizik Resigns from National Association of Evangelicals, Democratic Party Courts Religious Leaders


Richard Cizik Resigns from National Association of Evangelicals
Recently,
Kyle from Right Wing Watch asked, "Is Richard Cizik [vice-president of
the National Association of Evangelicals] trying to lose his job?"
Well, yesterday he resigned.  The Washington Post’s Jacqueline Salmon explains,

Asked by Terry Gross in a Dec. 2 interview on NPR’s Fresh Air whether
he had changed his position on same-sex marriage, Cizik responded: "I’m
shifting, I have to admit. In other words, I would willingly say that I
believe in civil unions. . . . We have become so absorbed in the
question of gay rights and the rest that we fail to understand the
challenges and threats to marriage itself — heterosexual marriage.
Maybe we need to reevaluate this and look at it a little differently."

The remark, anathema to most evangelical Christians, who believe
that the Bible permits marriage only between a man and a woman, caused
an uproar in the group and in other evangelical organizations.

 


Meanwhile, Lifenews.com blames it all on Cizik’s support of "pro-abortion presidential candidate Barack Obama:

The vice-president of the National Association
of Evangelicals has resigned his position following significant criticism
after he announced he voted for pro-abortion presidential candidate
Barack Obama. Richard Cizik has spent 28 years as an executive with
the Christian organization.

 


Democratic Party Courts Religious Leaders

On Religion Dispatches,
Sarah Posner chronicles the emergence and influence of the "religious
industrial complex" within the Democratic Party. Writes Posner,

By 2008, the constellation of organizations and initiatives that had
cropped up inside the Beltway began cultivating the public personae of
a new generation of religious leaders. Pastor Dan Schultz of the Street
Prophets blog calls this constellation the "religious industrial complex."
Within this constellation, many believe, is the new generation of
"broader agenda" religious leaders who hold the key to electoral
success: swing Catholic voters, weekly churchgoers, and evangelicals.

 

 

Posner
also profiles the "religious left groundswell," led by Rev. Debra
Haffner of the Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice and
Healing.  She writes,

"There’s a tremendous need," Haffner added, "to recognize
that there are progressive religious leaders who stand and support
sexual justice. There is a tremendous need for somebody besides white
men to represent the progressive religious voice." Haffner’s position
is not without a groundswell of support in faith communities; more than
2200 ordained clergy, for example, endorsed the Religious Institute’s
call for marriage equality, and more than 3000 religious leaders have
endorsed the Religious Declaration on Sexual Morality, Justice, and
Healing, which calls for comprehensive sexuality education, full
inclusion of women and sexual minorities, and reproductive health and
justice.

 

Contemplating the Future of Reproductive Freedom in America

In Democracy Journal,
Gloria Feldt examines the history and future of Roe and, more broadly,
of women’s reproductive freedom in America (also on Feldt’s personal site).  Feldt writes,

After decades of defending Roe, the Women’s Movement must now face the question it so has long avoided: the value of a woman and her life. Roe
was a meaningful and necessary advance, but its grounding in privacy
rights portended that it could not stand forever. It is well past time
for the women’s movement, not just policy makers, to set a bold new
agenda based on justice and human rights and secure the policies and
social support that make rights meaningful.

Later,

No other civil right is divisible by popular will.
Americans either have the right to freedom of religion or they don’t.
We don’t vote on this state by state. Why is it so different when it
comes to women’s rights to their own bodily integrity?


Dr. Rachel Phelps to Appear on Talk of The Nation

Thanks
to Lauren on Feministe for filling readers in on why Dr. Rachel Phelps,
medical director of Planned Parenthood of Syracuse, New York, didn’t
appear on Talk of the Nation on Wednesday.  Medical Students for Choice
had advertised the appearance in part because Phelps was going on the
show in reaction to a lengthy Washington Post article that profiled a
pro-choice medical student who decided not to pursue training to become
an abortion provider.  Apparently TOTN told Phelps she could only
appear on the show with an anti-choice physicians.  Phelps refused;
Medical Students for Choice complained to the show; and Phelps will now
indeed be on on Monday. Be sure to tune in!

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