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Overheard (October 2019)

Asking whether someone is black, Hispanic or Asian cleaves the electorate into two groups. Those who answer “yes” lean Democratic; the others are split roughly evenly between the parties. Among those who are not black, Hispanic or Asian (mostly white people), the second most important question is whether the person considers religion important. If they answer “yes,” they are probably Republican.

Sahil Chinoy, in the article “Let us predict whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican.”

The New York Times, 8-8-19

I have my beliefs, you have your beliefs, but don’t use the machinery of government to impose them on others.

New Jersey Assemblyman John Burzichelli, sponsor of New Jersey’s law that allows patients to end their own lives under the care of a doctor, after opponents tried to have it reversed in court., 8-28-19

And Guatemala, suffering one of the greatest droughts in their recorded history, caused not by God nor by mother nature, but by you and me and all of us and our emissions and our excesses and our inaction in the face of the facts, and the science and the truth.”

Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, speaking at a rally in Texas.

Fox News, 8-27-19

For at least a century, the courts have repeatedly upheld the states’ compulsory vaccination laws. . . . The right to practice religion does not include liberty to expose the community or the child to communicable disease or the latter to ill health or death.

New York state Supreme Court Justice Denise Hartman, quoting the 1944 Supreme Court case Prince v Massachusetts, in upholding a law passed in June that ended religious exemptions to vaccinations., 8-26-19

With their focus on repeal of the Johnson Amendment and the right to say “Merry Christmas,” some evangelical leaders are tidying up the kitchen while the house burns down around them.

Michael Gerson, on the “massive sell-off of evangelicalism” among the young, in his column, “Why white evangelicals should panic.”

Washington Post, 8-29-19

What I have seen in the pro-life movement and elsewhere in evangelical culture is this ancient reliance upon the scapegoat mechanism, and the scapegoat is always the same — the female body. . . . The fact that white evangelicals still as a whole support Trump for a 2020 reelection with abortion as the flag over their crusade points to an important truth: Evangelicals are still obsessed with female bodies, controlling them and blaming them.

Andrea Lucado, in her article, “How the female body became the scapegoat for white evangelicals.”

Washington Post, 8-29-19