Democrats in the House of Representatives are holding a sit-in to force a vote on increased gun control. Currently, they're in their fifth hour of the sit-in. Led by Congressman John Lewis—who is no stranger to organizing and civil disobedience from the Civil Rights Movement—about 40 Democrats gathered on the floor calling for a vote—one that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan would have to call.
In the moments leading up to the sit-in, Lewis spoke passionately about gun control.
There comes a time when you have to say something, when you have to make a little noise, when you have to move your feet. This is the time. Now is the time to get in the way. The time to act is now. We will be silent no more.
Sometimes you have to do something out of the ordinary, sometimes you have to make a way out of no way.
We have lost hundreds and thousands of innocent people to gun violence. Tiny little children. Babies. Students. And teachers. Mother and fathers. Sisters and brothers. Daughters and sons. Friends and neighbors. And what has this body done? Mr. Speaker, not one thing.
Democrats chanted "I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired!" and "No bill, no break!"
The disturbance caused Representative Ted Poe, a Republican from Texas, to send the session into recess. Ryan could decide to have the floor cleared or sanction the group participating in the sit-in, or he could continue to wait it out.
The demonstration isn't being televised by C-Span because the House is in recess, but the Periscope feed of California Representative Scott Peters is being streamed on C-Span's website.
This comes, of course, just one week after Senator Chris Murphy led a 15-hour filibuster for a vote on gun control. Discuss
During an interview yesterday, Donald Trump discussed several political and policy issues facing the United States with conservative columnist and commentator Cal Thomas. Toward the end, their conversation turned theological.
Thomas even asked The Donald, “Who do you say Jesus is?” Here’s what he said:
Jesus to me is somebody I can think about for security and confidence. Somebody I can revere in terms of bravery and in terms of courage and, because I consider the Christian religion so important, somebody I can totally rely on in my own mind.
Last year, Trump made all kinds of news in Christian circles when he claimed that he is man who doesn’t need forgiveness from sin. Well, Thomas asked Trump about that, too. This time, however, Trump changed his tune a bit. He said:
I will be asking for forgiveness, but hopefully I won’t have to be asking for much forgiveness. As you know, I am Presbyterian and Protestant. I’ve had great relationships and developed even greater relationships with ministers. We have tremendous support from the clergy. I think I will be doing very well during the election with evangelicals and with Christians. In the Middle East — and this is prior to the migration — you had almost no chance of coming into the United States. Christians from Syria, of which there were many, many of their heads … chopped off. If you were a Muslim from Syria, it was one of the easiest places to come in (to the U.S.). I thought that was deplorable. I’m going to treat my religion, which is Christian, with great respect and care.
So there you have it, Jesus and thoughts on forgiveness from Donald Trump. Discuss
Liberty University’s board of trustees allegedly asked fellow board member Mark DeMoss to resign because his public disagreement with the school's president. He submitted a letter of resignation a few days later.
DeMoss rocked the university boat when he publicly criticized president Jerry Falwell Jr. for endorsing GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. DeMoss, now a PR executive, is no stranger to Liberty: From 1984 until 1991, he was Jerry Falwell Sr.’s chief of staff, and he served on the board for 25 years. The events surrounding DeMoss’s departure from Liberty are fuzzy, with a lot of he-said-she-said going on between him and the university. Each party maintains a different sequence of events, particularly about which side initiated DeMoss’s resignation. Blogger Warren Throckmorton interacted with both. After a fairly generic statement from the university, DeMoss told Throckmorton:
On March 1st a Washington Post article appeared in which I expressed my disagreement with Jerry Falwell Jr’s formal endorsement of Donald Trump. Jerry and a number of fellow Liberty University trustees expressed to me and to the other trustees their disapproval of my speaking publicly about the subject.
At our April 21 executive committee meeting the committee voted to ask me to resign from the committee I had chaired for many years. I agreed, and did so in remarks to the full board the following morning.
Subsequently, on Monday, April 25, I sent a letter to Jerry and the chairman of the board and the new chairman of the executive committee, tendering my resignation from the board I had served for 25 years.
Then, at the blogger’s request for comment, the university responded to DeMoss’s account:
Liberty University does not typically give details of the occurrences at its Board of Trustee meetings but since Mark DeMoss has contradicted the University’s response and offered a different version, here is a clarification:
While members of the Executive Committee individually asked Mark DeMoss to resign from the Executive Committee, no vote was ever taken by the Executive Committee to ask Mark DeMoss to resign. On Thursday, April 21, he was encouraged by members of the Executive Committee to remain on the Board and apologize to the Board. At the Board of Trustees meeting the following day, Mark DeMoss offered an apology to the Board and tendered his resignation from the Executive Committee. The Board of Trustees voted unanimously to accept the apology of Mark DeMoss in the Christian spirit of love and grace. Mark DeMoss sent an email with his resignation on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, four days after the Board of Trustees meeting. He was not removed from the Board of Trustees nor did the Board of Trustees ask for his resignation.
And there’s more: According to Throckmorton, DeMoss still rejects several aspects of Liberty’s latest statement. Specifically, he is adamant that he was not encouraged to stay and that he did not “tender” his resignation; he was “informed” about it.
It’s a strange saga that raises all kinds of questions about the Liberty University’s relationship to Falwell Jr.’s endorsement of Trump. At the very least, this highlights the messiness of the school’s affiliation. More broadly, this whole episode points to the growing rift among Christians concerning the controversial candidate. Is it a sign of more divisions to come? Discuss
The popular news site, Reuters, has a super interesting feature up right now. It’s an interactive “polling explorer” that shows the results of an on-going poll about the upcoming election. Respondents to the poll told Reuters their “selection for president, if the 2016 presidential election was between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.” Viewing the results, you can filter responses by several different demographic factors, like race, age, socioeconomic status, etc. When we isolated the results to include only those who identify as “born again Christians,” things got interesting.
The poll shows that 25 percent of these Christians say they will neither vote for Trump nor Clinton, and will vote for a third candidate or abstain from voting instead. What’s more, that percentage appears to be climbing: Those who chose “Other/Wouldn’t vote/Refuse” climbed 7 percent between May 3 to May 6 (the most recent available data) to 28.5 percent. Of course, we’ll have to watch this study during the next few weeks, but it’s starting to look like the angst among some Christian voters surrounding the 2016 election could end up being a major factor.
This week on the podcast, we talk with author and the former head of the White House's Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Joshua DuBois about why Christians need to stay engaged in politics. Eddie and Joy attempt to solve a truly confounding problem from a listener. We discuss some big DC Talk news and its life-changing implications for Eddie, discuss the latest from Radiohead and much, much more. Read More
Then there was only Trump. Barely 12 hours since Ted Cruz dropped out of the GOP presidential race, Ohio governor John Kasich has done the same, according to several sources. And that makes it official: Reality TV star and real estate mogul Donald J. Trump is running for the GOP nomination unopposed. The AP is reporting that Kasich will make an official announcement soon. Even though he lasted until what you could call a second-place finish, the governor never really caught on with voters. Even this morning's Kasich Star Wars Day video somehow couldn't help. Calling him “a conventional candidate in an unconventional race,” the The New York Timesreport suggests that Kasich's longevity was more of “a testament to his unbending refusal to drop out” than any momentum behind him as a candidate. Discuss