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 longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.