# Religion

Kim Reynolds and religion

John Kearney is a retired philosophy professor who taught at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has lived in Waterloo, Iowa for the past six years.

Governor Kim Reynolds’ position on the abortion issue seems to be inextricably linked to her religious beliefs. Prior to signing House File 732 at the Family Leadership Summit in July, she thanked the team at the Christian conservative organization The FAMiLY Leader: “You have lifted me up in prayer, grounded me in God’s word, and reminded me that He is always in control.”

Later in her prepared remarks for the bill signing, the governor said: “We read in Scripture that the Author of life wants to give ‘a future and a hope’ to all his children. Who are we to stand in his way?” 

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Book Review: The Hidden History of American Democracy

Paul Deaton is a lifelong Democrat living in Johnson County whose first political work was for Lyndon Johnson’s presidential campaign.

Is democracy the default state of humanity? In The Hidden History of American Democracy: Rediscovering Humanity’s Ancient Way of Living, author Thom Hartmann presents the case that democracy is our default state, overcome only by the intrusion of dictators, popes, and kings using the power of great wealth, control of media, or the force of arms and technology. He explains where society has gone astray and what we can do to restore democracy.

The Hidden History of American Democracy is the ninth volume in Hartmann’s Hidden History series. Like its predecessors, it is accessible and easily readable, especially for readers immersed in the issues it covers. Hartmann creates a narrative grounded in historical documents, yet the interpretation seems fresh and modern.

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The six-week abortion ban and freedom of religion

Janice Weiner is a Democratic state senator representing Iowa City and a member of the Iowa Senate State Government Committee, where Republicans ran the bill that received final approval as House File 732.

During the time-limited debate on Iowa’s six-week abortion ban on July 11, the Iowa Senate—predictably—ran out of time. You can’t say everything that truly needs to be said, argue all the inaccuracies and vague language and failures and exceptions that sound good on paper but have shown themselves, across this country, to be paper tigers, in a matter of hours.

One important argument that fell on the “time certain” cutting room floor: freedom of religion. I’ve reorganized the freedom of religion portion of my constitutional arguments speech into this article.

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Hypocrisy of "pro-lifers" who are anti-LGBTQ

Steve Corbin is emeritus professor of marketing at the University of Northern Iowa and a freelance writer who receives no remuneration, funding, or endorsement from any for-profit business, nonprofit organization, political action committee, or political party.    

The prefix “pro-“ means to support a cause. The noun “life” is defined as an organism composed of cells that can grow, learn and respond to stimuli preceding death. It stands to reason that a pro-lifer would be a radical proponent that from cell development until death—everyone—is supported. Everyone!

Many right-wing evangelicals and conservative Catholics boast of being pro-life. MAGA Republican die-hards fondly recall a January 2020 March for Life rally, where then President Donald Trump thanked participants for “making America the pro-family, pro-life nation.”

Simply stated, you cannot be pro-life unless you also support the 7.2 percent of babies who grow up to be LGBTQIA and—by the way—are living under the same canopy of heaven and with God’s divine grace.

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A house divided cannot stand

Bruce Lear lives in Sioux City and has been connected to Iowa’s public schools for 38 years. He taught for eleven years and represented educators as an Iowa State Education Association regional director for 27 years until retiring.

While running for the U.S. Senate in 1858, Abraham Lincoln quoted a portion of Mathew 12:25, which has been translated as, “A House divided against itself cannot stand.” 

He was talking about slavery, but 165 years later, our country and some of our cherished institutions still haven’t grasped that united is better than divided.

There’s an adage that the two subjects you don’t discuss in polite company are religion and politics.  But those two topics are now hard not to mention together because both are immersed in culture wars.

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Sending out ripples

Kurt Meyer writes a weekly column for the Nora Springs – Rockford Register, where this essay first appeared. He serves as chair of the executive committee (the equivalent of board chair) of Americans for Democratic Action, America’s most experienced liberal organization.

Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

Robert Kennedy, June 1966

The waters of our civil society are a bit choppy right now. Why? It’s undoubtedly a blend of currents of varying strengths, crossing at various points. The result: social tension, a sense of heightened anxiety, probably the birth pangs of significant societal change, which seems almost inevitable.

I’m looking today at the results of a recent poll commissioned by the Wall Street Journal and the National Opinion Research Center.

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