Signs and Wonders

Signs and Wonders 05.14

Newsworthy

Turning to life. Nancy Keenan, 60, has announced her resignation from NARAL Pro-Choice America. What's interesting about the announcement is the reason. She admitted that younger Americans are increasingly pro-life and that NARAL needs "new and younger leadership" to reach Millennials, people between 18 and 34. According to The Washington Post, NARAL's own 2010 survey of 700 Millennials showed 51 percent of pro-life voters under 30 consider abortion "very important" in elections, compared to only 26 percent of their peers who support abortion. According to the Guttmacher Institute, which tracks abortion-related data, states passed a total of 92 laws limiting abortion in 2011. The fact that Millennials will make up 40 percent of the electorate by 2020 bodes well for future pro-life legislation and candidates.

America evolving? Conventional wisdom among evangelical political activists is that we are slowly winning the fight for "hearts and minds" on abortion (see the item above) but losing it when it comes to marriage. But is that really true? It's certainly what the mainstream media wants us to believe. The New York Times, for example, published an article last week citing nine surveys conducted over the past year, showing that on average 50 percent of the people support same-sex marriage, while 45 percent oppose it. But much depends on how you ask the question, according to Greg Scott, director of national media relations at the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF). ADF did a survey in 2011, asking, "Do you support marriage as one man and one woman?" To that question, 62 percent of the respondents said "yes." By contrast, the polls The New York Times cited all use questions that include some version of "allowing" homosexuals to have certain "rights" or making marriage between them "legal." "Consistently, when Americans are asked the question about marriage, they give a consistent answer that marriage is the lifelong, faithful union of one man and one woman," Scott said.

The first gay president. It looks as though President Obama's recent endorsement of same-sex "marriage" has elevated him to the status of sainthood among those on the left, including the media elite. The latest issue of Newsweek has an image of him on the cover staring heroically into the distance with a rainbow-colored halo on his head. The headline: "The First Gay President." Openly gay and highly partisan political blogger Andrew Sullivan wrote the cover story. The New Yorker featured a drawing of the White House with rainbow colored columns on the front of its May 21 issue. But the rest of America is not convinced. Obama's most recent Gallup approval rating (May 10-12) was 46 percent, down from 49 a month ago.

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The economy, silly. Historically, it's been the economy, not social issues, that has decided presidential elections. This year likely won't be any different. As James Carville famously said, "It's STILL the economy, stupid." But Obama's activism regarding the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" last year and his position on same-sex marriage this year are changing the equation a bit. Also, figuring out what's going to happen next in the economy has become an exercise not unlike walking through a hall of mirrors at a cheap carnival-you never know how reality might be distorted next. A couple of examples: The Dow Jones Industrial had its best first quarter in a dozen years, then promptly tanked, down almost 500 points since the first of May. This week, look for most of the attention to be focused on Friday's Facebook IPO, though first-quarter GDP reports around the eurozone will also likely move the markets. Also likely to capture its share of headlines this week is political rhetoric surrounding JPMorgan Chase's announcement of a $2 billion loss from a hedging strategy gone bad. The blurring of the distinction between risk-management and risk-taking within banks is also affecting the share prices of banking giants Bank of America, which has lost more than 12 percent of its value in the past month alone.

Warren Cole Smith
Warren Cole Smith

Warren, who lives in Charlotte, N.C., is vice president of WORLD News Group and the host of the radio program Listening In. Follow Warren on Twitter @WarrenColeSmith.

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