FROM Erik Eckholm
Southern Baptist Convention Elects Its First Black President Since this morning, when we first recorded our broadcast of To the Point, the Southern Baptist Convention elected its first black president . The Rev. Fred Luter said, "That I can be president of the largest Protestant denomination in the country is unbelievable." He is a black preacher from New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward. The denomination he'll be leading was born before the Civil War in defense of slavery. Resisting integration, it was a bastion of white supremacists through the civil rights movement and into the 1990's.
The Southern Baptist Convention Makes History The Southern Baptist Convention , born before the Civil War in defense of slavery, was a bastion of white supremacists through the civil rights movement and into the 1990's. It was only twenty years ago that America's largest Protestant denomination apologized for "institutionalized racism" and resistance to civil rights. Now it's poised to choose its first African American President this week in New Orleans. Is this a one-time event or recognition of the need to reach out to blacks, Latinos and Asians in a changing America? Note: After we taped today's feature, Luter was elected SBC president
Abortion Rights and New State Restrictions Last week in Kansas, a federal judge intervened to prevent enforcement of new rules that would have shut down two of that state's three abortion clinics. His injunction will stay in effect until a trial is held. In Nebraska, Idaho, Indiana, Oklahoma, Alabama and South Dakota, legislatures have also enacted tough new restrictions for legal abortions in the past year, with hopes of reaching a newly conservative US Supreme Court. Will abortion become an issue in next year's presidential campaign? Will claims about "fetal pain" change public opinion?
Abortion: From State Houses to the Courts, Presidential Campaign Last week, Kansas came close to shutting down all but one of the state's three abortion clinics before a federal court intervened. The injunction will stay in effect until a trial is held. The Kansas legislature joins those of Nebraska, Idaho, Indiana, Oklahoma, Alabama and South Dakota in recently enacting new abortion restrictions in the past year, and anti-abortion supporters also have a litmus test for presidential candidates. The laws are designed to reach the US Supreme Court, more conservative than it was 40 years ago, to modify or even overturn Roe v. Wade . We hear more about new rules, and the argument over when a fetus begins to feel pain.
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
In Janesville, WI, Middle America meets the new American dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn't prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. We hear what's happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.