religion

LGBTQ Equality Act passes House, pushing back on Trump’s religious freedom policies
Democrats and advocacy groups are attempting to counteract these policies through the courts and legislation

Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., poses with a rainbow flag at the House steps after the vote to pass the Equality Act on Friday, May 17, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Growing tensions over the Trump administration’s policies that aim to strengthen religious freedom protections for health care workers have led to a partisan tug-of-war playing out in the House.

The Trump administration has tried to strengthen religious liberty protections through numerous policies over the past several months. Those include providing federal funds to religiously affiliated foster agencies who don’t allow LGBT people to adopt children and broadening religious and moral exemptions for employers who do not want to cover birth control.

Abortion politics: Will Doug Jones’ opposition to Alabama ban hurt him?
Jones is a top GOP target, but state ban with no rape exception could also fire up Democrats

Sen. Doug Jones has spoken out against a bill in Alabama that would essentially ban abortion. It could both hurt and help his election chances, strategists say. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Abortion politics could put pressure on endangered Alabama Democratic Sen. Doug Jones as his state pushes the strictest limits in the country, while presidential contenders seek to use new state abortion bans to rally core supporters.

Conservative state legislatures around the country have pushed curbs on abortion this year in an effort to turn back the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision guaranteeing a national right to abortion.

Geraldo Rivera — of all people — defends Rep. Tlaib over Holocaust comments
Democratic congresswoman’s original comments have been taken out of context ‘in a grotesque way,’ Republican Fox News commentator says

Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera defended comments about the Israel-Palestine conflict made by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Fox News correspondent and liberal  commentator Geraldo Rivera on Tuesday flew to the defense of Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who said on a podcast aired last week that the notion of Palestinians providing a haven for Holocaust victims after World War II has a “calming effect” for her.

Rivera, the prominent talk show host, echoed the Michigan Democratic freshman’s assertions that she has been taken out of context by people eager to unfairly smear her as an anti-Semite.

Movie night: The Catholic priest who shepherded civil rights
Political Theater bonus: Episode 72

The Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, center left, with Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil-rights protesters in the 1960s.(Courtesy O’Malley Creadon Productions)

A documentary about the late Notre Dame president Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, a real life “Forrest Gump” who challenged presidents and popes in the last half-century, resonates in today’s turbulent times, the director of the film tells CQ Magazine managing editor Mike Magner, who grew up hearing about Father Ted’s work and causes. The film, directed by Patrick Creadon, explores the challenges Father Ted faced with Republican and Democratic administrations in advancing civil rights. 

Show Notes:

Rep. Clay Higgins’ ‘Cajun John Wayne’ videos draw criticism ... again
The video follows 3 fires at black Baptist churches in ten days

Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., reprised his role as a “Crime Stoppers” tough guy this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Clay Higgins reprised his role as a tough-talking sheriff’s deputy nicknamed “Cajun John Wayne” this week condemning fires that engulfed three predominantly black Louisiana churches. But the Republican drew criticism for rebuking the violence without acknowledging his past inflammatory statements and endorsements of anti-government militia groups.

Fires at the Baptist churches in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, are prompting fears that they were the targets of arson in a racist hate crime. Investigators have been cautious in their public statements, but acknowledged Sunday that the blazes are connected. 

When you want to HR 1 but have to anti-hate first
Podcasts for all the news, plus marijuana and daylight saving too!

Bipartisan Buds? Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, and Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, hold a news conference Thursday outside the Capitol to discuss the introduction of two bipartisan marijuana bills. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Not disrespect intended to the Senate, but the action was in the House this past week, dominated by debate about a resolution condemning anti-Semitism and bigotry and passage of a sweeping overhaul of campaign finance, election and ethics laws. And we have a podcast for each topic! We also have a cool story and video about pot and more. 

HR 1. Democrats love it. Republicans hate it. K Street really hates it. The White House wants to veto it. 

Seems like everyone’s talking religion on Capitol Hill — here’s the breakdown
Catholics are plentiful, Jewish Republicans — not so much

Rep. Ilhan Omar’s comments about Jews prompted an animated discussion on Capitol Hill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Religion has been a contentious topic on Capitol Hill in recent weeks.

Minnesota Democratic freshman Ilhan Omar posted several tweets that critics described as anti-Semitic. House Democrats, in response, passed an anti-hate resolution on Thursday after several days of debate. And on Friday, President Donald Trump controversially declared that the Democratic Party is “anti-Jewish.”

GOP Rep. Walter Jones dies at 76
North Carolina Republican congressman’s change of heart against the Iraq War put him at odds with his party

Republican Rep. Walter B. Jones initially voted for, and then opposed, the 2003 Iraq war. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Walter B. Jones Jr., an independent Republican resolute in his commitments to ending U.S. wars and diminishing the role of government, died Sunday, He was 76. 

Jones died in Greenville, N.C., according to a statement from his office. He had been absent from the Capitol with an undisclosed illness since September. He moved into hospice on Jan. 26 after suffering a broken hip.

Rep. Hank Johnson compares Trump to Hitler in a foreboding speech
Georgia Democrat referred to Trump as an ‘authoritarian, racist, anti-immigrant strongman’

Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., said democracy "teeters on the brink of failure" in an intense speech on Tuesday. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Hank Johnson warned his constituents against creeping authoritarianism in an intense speech peppered with historical references Tuesday, likening the political moment that brought President Donald Trump to power to the rise of Adolf Hitler.

“Our democracy teeters on the brink of failure,” the Georgia Democrat said at an event held by the Atlanta NAACP earlier this week. “Americans elected an authoritarian, racist, anti-immigrant strongman to the nation’s highest office.”

Are White Evangelicals the Saviors of the GOP?
Key voting group has remained virtually unchanged in its political preferences

President Donald Trump attended a worship service at the International Church of Las Vegas in October 2016. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Amid all the talk about shifting demographics and political changes over the last decade, one key voting group has remained virtually unchanged: white evangelicals.

According to one evangelical leader, a record number of white evangelicals voted in the 2018 midterms after an inspired turnout effort.