Where’s the Religious Right? Christian conservatives and their core issues were everywhere in 2000 and 2004 during George W. Bush’s two runs to the White House. This election cycle, as the Politico reports, the religious right is feeling left out. “In 2004, there was great emphasis on marriage, on value voters,” said
Tony Perkins, president of the influential Family Research Council in the Politico story.
“And now you see [Republicans] running from those values issues." While members of the GOP continue to assure leaders of the Christian conservative political movement that their issues, including gay marriage and abortion rights, will garner more attention in the general election Politico compares the 2006 GOP agenda to the 2008 version and finds a different story:
Former Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) pushed several items out of
the 2006 agenda in the wake of the Terri Schiavo euthanasia imbroglio:
a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a
woman, prohibitions on gambling and human cloning, and a law requiring
that women seeking abortions be told that the procedures can cause
fetal pain. Among the items on the 2008 agenda: lower gas prices, a family-friendly
workweek, health care for all, reductions in college tuition and better
care for troops and veterans.
While the national platform moves to a more "pragmatic" set of issues conservative members of the GOP are still fighting on the moral values fronts at the state level, some at all costs. Conservative Missouri governor Matt Blunt is considering calling a special session to force the state’s legislature to consider an anti-abortion bill that did not garner enough support to reach a vote during four months of debate. Gov. Blut did the same thing in 2005 "largely to force consideration of an anti-abortion proposal that had
not passed in the regular session. It cost taxpayers more than $90,000
and lasted over a week."
Catching Up on Contraception The debate over access to contraception is being fought all over the globe as rising population pressure and questions about its morality and a person’s right to reproductive freedom, choice and planning bring increasing attention to the issue.
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Proposed legislation in Michigan would require insurance coverage of contraception, require pharmacists to dispense emergency contraception despite personal or religious views and require hospitals to make emergency contraception available to rape victims.
In the Philipines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, historically a staunch opponent of contraception, said last week that the country will have to turn to "birth control at home and friendly ties with the world’s top rice exporters" to avert its food crisis.
In Canada the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities ruled last week
that emergency contraception will be available over-the-counter. The decision makes Canada the fifth country in the world that allows
women to purchase a single dose of Plan B without speaking to a pharmacist
first, joining Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden and India.
More Hagee Last week McCain endorser Pastor John Hagee apologized to Catholics for calling their church "the great whore" and "the false cult system." Yesterday The Carpetbagger Report highlighted a You Tube video of a radio sermon given by Hagee in the late 1990’s in which he stated that God sent Hitler as a tool of force to fulfill his will that the Jews move back to the land of Isreal. Carpetbagger concludes with this thought:
I’m trying to imagine what the reaction would be if Obama sought out a pastor,
accepted his endorsement, campaigned alongside him, defended him from criticism,
and then we learned that this same pastor thought Hitler was fulfilling God’s
will. I have a hunch reporters might ask Obama if he’d be willing to repudiate
such a person.
Check out the video, at the end is series of other controversial and misleading statements from Hagee including, "Your daughter can get an abortion at public school without telling you but she can’t get an asprin without your approval."