(CNN) – First lady Michelle Obama made an impassioned pitch for black churchgoers to embrace political action on Thursday in a speech to the country's oldest black religious denomination.
"To anyone who says that church is no place to talk about these issues, you tell them there is no place better," Obama said at a conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Nashville, Tennessee.FULL STORY
(CNN) – Bias against a Mormon presidential candidate hasn’t budged in 45 years, with 18% of Americans saying they would not vote for a well-qualified candidate who happened to be Mormon, according to a Gallup Poll released Thursday.
The survey points up potential challenges for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who is vying to be the first Mormon in the White House.FULL STORY
(CNN) – The Obama administration's key Catholic ally on its controversial plan to require health insurers to provide free contraceptive coverage is dropping support for the plan, potentially complicating the president's relations with Catholics in an election year.
The Catholic Health Association, which comprises 2,000 Catholic hospitals, health systems and related organizations, said Friday that although it had initially supported what the White House called a compromise on the contraception issue, it is now "deeply concerned" about the plan and says the White House "has not relieved our initial concerns."FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) – Just as it confronts fallout with some religious communities over President Barack Obama’s newly expressed support for same-sex marriage, the Obama re-election campaign is hiring a religious outreach director, an activist close to the campaign said Monday.
Michael Wear, who currently serves as executive assistant to the executive director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, will join the Obama campaign in Chicago as Faith Vote Director, according to James Salt, a Catholic activist who is close to the Obama campaign and White House.FULL STORY
(CNN) - U.S. President Barack Obama's endorsement of gay marriage on Wednesday outraged conservative Christian leaders, who vowed to use it as an organizing tool in the 2012 elections, but the move is also activating the liberal base, raising big questions about who gains and loses politically.
"It cuts both ways – it activates both Democratic and Republican base voters," said John Green, an expert on religion and politics at the University of Akron. "The most likely effect is that it makes an already close election even closer."FULL STORY
(CNN) - Apparent White House division over gay marriage – with Vice President Joe Biden saying Sunday that he is “absolutely comfortable” with the idea, going further than President Obama has on the issue – mirrors a nation that is evenly divided on the matter. Recent polls show that about half of Americans favor legalized gay marriage, while half oppose it, with support for the idea gaining significant ground over the past 15 years.
Pew’s latest polling on the issue, conducted late last year, found that 46% of Americans support favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, while 44% are opposed. Support for gay civil unions is substantially higher, with a clear majority of Americans supporting such arrangements.FULL STORY
(CNN) – To call Mia Love a minority is an understatement. She’s a black woman who won an upset primary race to become the Republican candidate in Utah’s 4th Congressional District. If elected, she’d be the first black Republican congresswoman in the House of Representatives.
Love, who has attracted lots of national Republican support, also stands out because of her religion: She’s a Mormon. The politician is a poster child for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ campaign to present a more diverse face to a historically very white church.FULL STORY
(CNN) - The Roman Catholic Church announced a major campaign Thursday aimed at bringing attention to what it said were growing threats to religious liberty in the United States, including the pending White House rule requiring health insurance companies to provide free contraceptive coverage to employees of Catholic organizations.
An official with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said the initiative would stretch out over the course of a few years and that it would include everything from encouraging priests to address religious liberty concerns in church to sending inserts for church bulletins.FULL STORY
(CNN) – A top evangelical leader who is close to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign says the candidate's Mormon faith will be even more of an issue in the general election than it has been in the primary, predicting that the focus on Romney's faith will present a challenge to Romney.
Richard Land, the public policy chief for the Southern Baptist Convention, said Wednesday that he expects that the news media will make Mormonism more of an issue in an attempt to get independent voters to support President Barack Obama.FULL STORY
(CNN) – Evangelical activist Michael Farris was not exactly surprised that Rick Santorum suspended his campaign on Tuesday. But that doesn't mean that Farris, a longtime political organizer, knows what he's supposed to do now.
"Right now my choice is to sit on my hands and do nothing or to actively try to find some alternative" to Mitt Romney, Farris said in an interview shortly after Santorum's announcement.FULL STORY