Hatched. Conservatives in Utah, including a robust contingent who self-identify as Tea Partiers, have forced six-term Sen. Orrin Hatch into his first-ever primary. "The Tea Party movement is alive in Utah," wrote Slate's Dave Weigel. "With representatives from FreedomWorks in the audience, delegates at the Utah Republican Convention managed to force Sen. Orrin Hatch into a June 26 primary. He got 59.2 percent of their votes against Dan Liljenquist, a 38-year-old state senator. Hatch needed 60 percent to avoid the primary. He couldn't do it. In two rounds of voting, he went from 2,243 votes to 2,313 votes. If he'd gotten 32 more votes, he would have wrapped this up." Hatch is still likely to win the nomination and go on to a seventh term, but there's no doubt that this result is a "shot across the bow" for moderate Republicans-including Indiana's Sen. Richard Lugar, who is facing primary opposition from Tea Party favorite Richard Mourdock in that state's primary on May 8.
Not getting over it. A pro-homosexual group in England called Stonewall put up ads in London that said, "Some people are gay. Get over it." So two conservative groups that help men and women overcome unwanted same-sex attractions made posters that said, "Post-gay and proud. Get over it!" The conservative groups hoped to put the posters on London's double-decker buses. But not so fast. The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said the ex-gay message is "clearly offensive" and banned the posters. How's that for being tolerant, inclusive, and open-minded?
Not so GLAAD. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation released a study this month saying that pro-homosexual voices are "under-represented in the mainstream media." The study says that "national television and print news media [display] a disproportionate reliance on anti-LGBT religious voices commenting on LGBT people and issues. Three out of four religious messages came from people whose religions have formal policies opposing LGBT equality." This bit of faux-science doesn't take into account that almost all religious traditions say homosexual behavior is immoral, so 25 percent of "religious messages" being pro-homosexual is actually a dramatic over-representation of this viewpoint. The report is particularly hard on evangelicals: "Whenever LGBT issues are discussed by religious voices in national media, outlets disproportionally quote or interview evangelical Christian individuals (34 percent) and organizations (50 percent) and the messages from those sources were overwhelmingly negative (76 percent)." To add insult to injury, the study was done in conjunction with the University of Missouri, so this bit of slander against evangelicals was at least in part taxpayer funded.
Well done, faithful servant. The tributes continue to pour in for Chuck Colson, who died on Saturday. The Washington Post, National Public Radio, Bloomberg, and The New York Times all ran lengthy obituaries. But one word of appreciation caught my eye, and that was from Dan Busby, the head of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. "From the inception of ECFA," Busby said in a statement released to the media, "Chuck had consistently been a passionate supporter of ministry transparency and integrity." That's true: Colson was the "gold standard" among Christian leaders when it came to financial dealings. The group he founded, Prison Fellowship, regularly received top grades for transparency and financial efficiency from MinistryWatch.com, and Colson himself did not collect royalties from his books. Rather, he took a relatively modest salary from the ministry and all royalties-including the $1 million Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion he received in 1993-went directly into the ministries he led.