religion

Administration Denies Notion Jerusalem Embassy Isolates U.S. in Region
Trump to address Monday’s opening ceremony via video, official says

President Donald Trump listens to introductions as he waits to speak to supporters at a rally on Friday in Elkhart, Indiana. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Senior administration officials on Friday dismissed the notion that President Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has isolated the United States in the region.

The officials also told reporters on a morning conference call that an ample number of U.S. lawmakers are expected to attend a Monday afternoon event at the Jerusalem facility to mark its official opening. They did not, however, name names.

Opinion: We Just Can’t Shake That Old-Time Religion
Nation’s anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic fervor not that far in the past

Recently ousted House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy speaks during a memorial service in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall on Sept. 27, 2017. His removal by Speaker Paul D. Ryan set off a small furor. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

“Bless your heart” is a phrase I got to know well when I moved from the Northeast to the South several years ago. Though often spoken in soft, sympathetic tones, there was nothing blessed about the sentiment. And when those three syllables were delivered in an email, usually after I wrote a column a reader did not like, they landed like a punch to the gut.

Oddly enough, it was commentary on faith and values that elicited quite a bit of high dudgeon, topped only by the historically reliable topic of race, which, like religion, carries the taint of a North versus South, “them” against “us” spiritual split.

Pompeo Vows ‘Tough Diplomacy,’ Return of State’s ‘Swagger’
Trump cryptically touts U.S. activities that are ‘not even a glimmer in your eye’

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., right, meets with Mike Pompeo in the Capitol on March 19. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Flanked by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo promised Tuesday to conduct “tough diplomacy” and told employees at the agency he wants to restore its “swagger.”

Trump and Pence made the short trek to Foggy Bottom on Wednesday morning for a ceremonial swearing-in of Trump’s second secretary of State. The president hailed Pompeo’s experience — as well as his own business school performance — while cryptically alluding to unspecified “things” the U.S. government is doing around the globe.

Lawmakers Worried About Religious Freedom After Chaplain Ouster
Democrats raise questions about anti-Catholic sentiments from Republicans

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., said there’s only division coming out of Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s decision to fire House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Update 8:45 a.m. | A spokesman for Rep. Mark Walkertold USA Today that the congressman was stepping down from the group searching for a new House chaplain.

Emotions are running high in the House as members grapple with Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s decision to fire House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy. And religious tensions started to spill into public view last week before lawmakers departed Washington for a one-week recess.

What is a House Chaplain and What do They Do?
Background of the job and what’s up with Rev. Patrick Conroy, explained

Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives, blesses the walnut tree during the tree planting ceremony in memory of Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., on Wednesday, April 18, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Paul Ryan’s move against Rev. Patrick Conroy caused political ripples as many speculated he requested the Reverend’s retirement because of a prayer he gave before the tax code.

Conroy, Congress’s Jesuit Priest, is the first Chaplain to leave his 2-year elected position mid-term in decades.

100 Years of Past Chaplains and Their Denominations
Here’s which Christian sects have been in the Capitol chambers recently

House Chaplain Patrick J. Conroy, Sens. Ben Cardin, D-Md., center, and Roy Blunt, R-Mo., attend a swearing-in ceremony for the new Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rev. Patrick Conroy submitted a letter of resignation April 15 at Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s request.

Rep. Marcy Kaptur, said she was surprised that Ryan, who is Catholic, would try to oust the Roman Catholic priest. 

Trump to NBC: Replace ‘Alex’ Baldwin With Darrell Hammond
Actor says playing president on ‘Saturday Night Live’ has become ‘agony’

Actor Alec Baldwin told the Hollywood Reporter he would vote for anyone — even Mitt Romney — rather than President Donald Trump, who he portrays on “Saturday Night Live.” (NBC.com)

President Donald Trump, the former “Apprentice” host and producer, slipped on his television executive cap Friday morning by suggesting NBC swap Alec Baldwin’s “Saturday Night Live” impression of him for Darrell Hammond’s.

Trump lashed out at Baldwin hours before he is slated to depart for Charlotte, North Carolina, for the funeral of Rev. Billy Graham. On Wednesday, during a ceremony at the Capitol where Graham lied in honor, the president urged all to “say a prayer for our country, that all across this land the Lord will raise up men and women like Billy Graham to spread a message of love and hope to every precious child of God.”

Graham Lies at Center of Politics He Both Embraced and Eschewed
Biographer: Nixon ‘used’ reverend, making him leery of most politicians

President Donald Trump touches the casket of the Rev. Billy Graham as he lies in honor in the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Capitol Rotunda went mostly silent late Wednesday morning, with just the precise footsteps of eight military pallbearers echoing and camera shutters fluttering. The servicemembers moved slowly but with purpose as they placed Billy Graham’s brown casket on a stand covered by a black cloth.

The towering and sometimes polarizing American religious figure — hailed for his sermons and criticized for anti-Semitic remarks once caught on tape — had arrived to lie in honor in a building that symbolizes the politics he both embraced and eschewed.

Opinion: After Billy Graham, the Deluge
Graham walked a fine evangelical line. Now his son is veering toward partisanship

Billy Graham speaks in 2004 as part of his “Heart of America” crusade. After his death on Wednesday, evangelicalism is at a crossroads, Curtis writes. (Larry W. Smith/Getty Images file photo)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It’s difficult to ever imagine another faith leader being dubbed “America’s Pastor.” That’s because of the person Billy Graham was and the current political, social and cultural divisions in our country. And there is also the question of whether pluralistic America wants, needs or should have a pastor — now, then or ever.

Graham was never the universally revered and uncontroversial figure that many of those who now praise him remember. But in reviewing the legacy of a man who lived through much of a century that defined American change and who died at the age of 99 on Wednesday in his home in the North Carolina mountains, it is important to give him his singular, flawed due.

Analysis: Response to Abuse Charges Dulls Trump’s Religious Message
President urges Americans to be generous to all, but he’s silent on Porter matter

President Donald Trump, seen here at his State of the Union address, told the audience at the National Prayer Breakfast “we praise God for how truly blessed we are to be American.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump on Thursday merged his “America first” governing philosophy with his religious views, saying Americans should feel lucky God placed them here.

But Trump’s religious-based message about being generous to one another and following God’s path to become “heroes to everybody” aligns imperfectly with how he and his staff have handled on-the-record allegations of domestic abuse by one of his closest aides.