Nation - Word&Way



Two of the most influential evangelical Christian magazines in the country named new leaders last week. Russell Moore, the former Southern Baptist ethicist, was named editor in chief at Christianity Today. Lynn Vincent, a motorcycle-riding Navy veteran and New York Times best-selling author, was recently named executive editor at World Magazine.

The Christian flag that became the focus of a free speech legal battle that went all the way to the Supreme Court was raised — briefly — outside Boston City Hall on Wednesday to cheers and songs of praise. The flag-raising took place about three months after the Supreme Court ruled the city discriminated against a group's “religious viewpoint” in 2017.

In this edition of A Public Witness, we interrogate the encroaching secularism Samuel Alito fears. Then we cross-examine recent Supreme Court rulings to identify how Alito’s logic is already at work. Finally, we appeal the verdict rendered by some in the media that Alito and other justices are taking the high court in a “pro-religion” direction. 

House Democrats are asking the IRS to review the tax-exempt status of a prominent conservative advocacy group recently reclassified as a church, arguing the organization may be exploiting the designation to avoid scrutiny. Lawmakers say that while the FRC often appeals to faith and advocates for a “biblical worldview,” the status change “strains credulity.”

Oregonians will be voting on one of America’s strictest gun control measures on the ballot this November. Spearheaded by interfaith leaders, more than 1,000 volunteers secured the necessary signatures to get the measure on the ballot.

In this issue of A Public Witness, we look at the enduring influence of White evangelicals within the GOP power structure, the early stages of the 2024 presidential campaign, and what it tells us to expect in the months and years ahead. 

The Interfaith Alliance is one of a constellation of nonprofit organizations on the political left, promoting religious pluralism and democracy. This week the alliance announced that the Rev. Paul Raushenbush, an interfaith leader, journalist and American Baptist minister, would become its new president and CEO, replacing Rabbi Jack Moline.

As theologians and politicians proudly declare this allegiance, it marks a critical shift in the public debate about Christian Nationalism and its dangers to democracy and Christianity. So, we look at the growing trend of people calling themselves a “Christian Nationalist” and consider why this is occurring.

At the close of its recent term the Supreme Court ruled on the cases of Carson v. Makin and Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, rekindling controversy over one of the most enduring issues in American history: religious liberty. Another of this term’s blockbuster decisions, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, underlines the fact that religious beliefs and actions in the public realm matter.

In this issue of A Public Witness, we take you on a road trip to Maryland to understand the dynamics of an internal fight for the soul of the Republican Party. Then we look at the efforts to strengthen Christian Nationalism’s political potency by Republicans and Democrats from other states.