‘Pro-Choice’ Christian Politician Who Chose Life

‘Pro-Choice’ Christian Politician Who Chose Life

Grace Panetta writes for 19th News that Democratic Rep. Hillary Scholten, an evangelical Christian who represents Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District, has taken a unique public position as a “pro-choice Christian who chose life.” During a speech on the House floor, Scholten stated “I reject the idea that if I embrace the sanctity of life, I also must be forced to invite the federal government to regulate it.” Panetta highlights increasing partisan polarization along religious lines, citing PRRI research that finds Christians went from 85% to 62% of the Democratic Party coalition between 2006 and 2022, while Christian Republicans experienced a smaller decrease from 94% to 85%. Melissa Deckman, PRRI’s CEO, said that Democrats face “strong headwinds” trying to win back white evangelicals at the national level but could gain ground among white non-evangelical Protestants and Catholics.

How the Republican Party Has Shifted Against Transgender Rights

Aaron Blake for The Washington Post reports that “increasingly, Republicans say that society has gone too far in accepting transgender people and that certain rights should be restricted.” An NBC poll from this past weekend found that 79% of Republicans saying that society had gone “too far” in accepting transgender people which is 30 points higher than NBC’s poll two years earlier. While about 1 in 10 Democrats said society had gone too far in accepting trans people in 2020, that number was almost 2 in 10 in the most recent NBC poll. Data from PRRI shows that in 2016, less than half (44%) of Republicans favored restricting transgender people to bathrooms for the gender they were assigned at birth. This number jumped to 74% in 2022. PRRI also finds that Americans who know someone who is transgender are notably less likely to support restrictive bathroom policies (39%) than those who don’t know any transgender people (60%).

Black Turnout Dropped Sharply in 2022 Midterms, Census Survey Finds

Scott Clement and Lenny Bronner for The Washington Post report that turnout in last year’s midterm elections fell from 2018’s century-high point of 50% to 46.6% in 2022. Census data released yesterday suggest the drop was concentrated among younger voters, college graduates, and Black voters. The authors underscore that the 11-point turnout gap between white and Black voters is the largest in any presidential or midterm election since at least 2000: Black voter turnout dropped by nearly 10 percentage points, while white voter turnout slipped by 1.5 points. Meanwhile, turnout decreased among both Hispanic and Asian and Pacific Islanders by about 5 percentage points each, though it was higher among both groups than in midterm elections before 2018. Voters under age 30 showed up to the polls at much lower rates than 2018, though this age group turned out at a much higher rate than any midterm election from 2002-2014.

LA’s Atheist Street Pirates Go National in Efforts To Remove Illegal Religious Signs

Alejandra Molina for RNS reports that a small group of atheists tracking and removing religious signs from public streets in Los Angeles, dubbed the Atheist Street Pirates, has grown to a small network across the U.S. The executive director of  Atheists United, Evan Clark, created a public Google map databasein which members tracked signage they encountered during commutes. Molina highlights that today, the map has about 1,000 markers for religious signage that has been reported, tracked, or removed in such states as Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, Illinois, and Kentucky. Dan Barker, a Christian minister turned atheist, noted the right to free speech, but he said this kind of religious signage — without a permit — does not belong on the “public property that belongs to all of us.” PRRI data shows that 39% of Democrats and 15% of Republicans belong to non-Christian religions or are religiously unaffiliated.

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Read the Washington Post article “Black Turnout Dropped Sharply in 2022 Midterms” here.