All posts tagged “Latino

comment 0

Repaso: Voting questions; Latinos & the environment; conservatives & immigration; evangelicals overseas; Lancaster, PA

1. Four important voting questions
Gideon Strauss suggests four questions that gospel-motivated citizens should consider when voting, but that his 11-year-old self wouldn’t have considered: Will this candidate help rehumanize American political life? Will this candidate help Americans of differing convictions to coexist more peaceably? Will this candidate help American communities and institutions toward a more symphonic justice? How does this candidate talk? These are important considerations in an election year.

2. Latinos and environmental stewardship
A Fox News Latino article takes a look at Latino support for legislation related to climate change, indicating that in addition to immigration, education and jobs, Latinos are also very concerned about environmental issues:

A 2010 study by Yale and George Mason universities found 66 percent of Latinos considered climate change a “high” or “very high” priority for the president and Congress to address, compared to 48 percent of non-Latino whites… Latinos viewed several forms of environmental damage, including air pollution and toxic waste, as a more pressing issue than whites did… Quintero said Latinos are less likely to question climate change because they have more contact with countries in Latin America that lie closer to the equator, where the repercussions are more evident. “The reason that Latinos believe and see the reality of climate change is because they live it,” Quintero said. “These impacts are very real and they’re costing lives and they’re costing jobs.”

3. Conservative evangelicals and immigration
Ali Noorani writes for CNN about a recent conference in Alabama focused on immigration from a biblical perspective and changes taking place among ordinary conservatives and evangelicals:

If you think all conservatives support a deportation-only approach to immigration, think again. Last week, hundreds of conservative evangelicals gathered in Alabama to engage in a reasonable, respectful discourse on immigration. You read that right. Less than a year after Alabama enacted the strictest immigration law in the land, evangelical students, pastors and national faith leaders gathered at Samford University in Birmingham for “a Christ-centered conversation on immigration” called the G92 South Immigration Conference… A fundamental shift is occurring among conservatives toward a new consensus on immigrants and America. These are the early steps in a march by Americans of all political stripes fed up with partisan attacks on immigrants and immigration — a groundswell ready and willing to skewer political extremism from either side of the aisle.

4. U.S. evangelicals’ overseas focus
Karl Zinsmeister writes in Philanthropy Magazine about how evangelicals in the U.S. are becoming more and more actively involved in overseas ministry, looking at different denominations and faith-based NGOs. The piece covers a lot of interesting ground, but here’s an interesting blurb:

While smart government agencies and secular NGOs often hire local workers to help them navigate crucial cultural nuances, Christian aid generally takes place in close partnership with indigenous church members. Those partners, who are both local and motivated by religious conviction, are especially good at opening doors, establishing trust, and mobilizing communities. That’s why AIDS care, health clinics, schooling, and similar assistance provided by Christian philanthropists and volunteers is frequently more transformational than aid delivered by other organizations. (Recognizing this advantage, some governments and NGOs seek out partnerships with religious philanthropies—as happened with AIDS assistance during the Bush administration.)

5. Lancaster, PA does it again
Yep, a new study shows that well-being is higher in the Lancaster metro area than in any other metro area in the country. Though I no longer live there, that finding makes me happy. It really is a great little city. Daniel Klotz has good analysis at his Lancaster, PA Blog.

Repaso is intended as a thought-provoking compilation of news and commentary from the past week related to the intersections of faith, development, justice and peace. As always, I welcome your thoughts on any of the links and ideas in this roundup!

[Photo credit: storiesofusa.com]

comment 0

The GOP’s Latino problem

The 2010 US census had some  important things to teach us about our country’s Latino/Hispanic population. Basically, it’s growing, and it’s growing fast:

[T]he Hispanic population increased by 15.2 million between 2000 and 2010 and accounted for more than half of the total U.S. population increase of 27.3 million. Between 2000 and 2010, the Hispanic population grew by 43 percent, or four times the nation’s 9.7 percent growth rate.

And no, they’re not primarily entering the country illegally:

Analysts [of the census] seized on data showing that the growth was propelled by a surge in births in the U.S., rather than immigration, pointing to a growing generational shift in which Hispanics continue to gain political clout and, by 2050, could make up a third of the U.S. population.

While the Latino population in the US is largely Catholic and evangelical and tends to be politically conservative on social issues, in 2008 Latinos voted for Obama by a two to one margin.

The GOP really needs the Latino vote if it is going to win in November (and beyond), though you wouldn’t know it by listening to the party’s presidential hopefuls. None of the candidates have done much to woo Latinos; instead their extreme rhetoric, particularly on immigration, has only served to further ostracize the Latino electorate. Romney won the Florida primary with strong Latino support, but should he be the party’s nominee in the fall, that victory might not mean much — the political motivations of Florida’s large (and highly influential) Cuban-American population is hardly representative of the US Latino population as a whole, especially in key swing states like Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona.

Fortunately (both for the GOP and for the sake of civility in the public square), there are Republicans who recognize the problem and are urging their colleagues to stop making matters worse. In an op-ed for the Washington Post (which I shared on January 27), former Florida governor Jeb Bush wrote:

[W]e need to think of immigration reform as an economic issue, not just a border security issue. Numerous polls show that Hispanics agree with Republicans on the necessity of a secure border and enforceable and fair immigration laws to reduce illegal immigration and strengthen legal immigration. Hispanics recognize that Democrats have failed to deliver on immigration reform, having chosen to spend their political capital on other priorities. Republicans should reengage on this issue and reframe it.

A second Florida Republican has spoken up as well. It’s up-and-coming Senator Marco Rubio, a Cuban-American with strong support from his own demographic, but who also understands the broader issues impacting the country’s Latinos (and there’s been speculation that he could be a GOP running mate in November).

During his keynote address at the Hispanic Leadership Network’s conference in Miami just days before the Florida primary, Rubio was interrupted by DREAM Act supporters who had come in protest. Here’s the video of the speech, including the disruption and repeated pleas from Rubio for the protesters to be allowed to stay, followed by what I think is one of the most sensible articulations of the need for immigration reform I’ve heard from a Republican. I can’t say I vouch for Rubio on everything, but I do respect him for this:

[Photo credit: buschap/Flickr (Creative Commons) via SCPR.org]

comment 1

Repaso: The future of aid; US military in Latin America; GOP & Hispanics; 100 best employers; faith-work issues; and Accord Network videos

1. The future of aid
Reuters AlertNet has a really cool multimedia feature running right now with stories, videos, polls, infographics and more exploring the future of humanitarian aid. I could spend hours exploring everything there.

2. New US military bases in Latin America
The Just the Facts blog (focused on Latin America and US foreign policy toward the region) has a Google Map showing all the new military bases the US built in Latin America in 2009-10, paid for with money from the counternarcotics budget. Seeking to curb the drug trade may be necessary, but given the region’s history (and US military involvement behind the scenes and otherwise), this is something worth keeping an eye on.

3. The GOP and the Hispanic vote
Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida and current brother of W, has an op-ed in the Washington Post, encouraging Republicans to consider how they might earn the Hispanic vote – something none of the GOP front-runners seem particularly interested in doing:

[W]e need to think of immigration reform as an economic issue, not just a border security issue. Numerous polls show that Hispanics agree with Republicans on the necessity of a secure border and enforceable and fair immigration laws to reduce illegal immigration and strengthen legal immigration. Hispanics recognize that Democrats have failed to deliver on immigration reform, having chosen to spend their political capital on other priorities. Republicans should reengage on this issue and reframe it.

4. 100 best companies to work for
Yesterday I went to hear Christopher J.H. Wright speak on the topic of “Saints in the Marketplace.” In a nutshell, he emphasized the fact that God created work, that he audits it, governs it, and redeems it. I’ll post full thoughts on the talk next week, but in the meantime, here are some great examples from Fortune of businesses that create great places to work. When thinking Christianly about business, this certainly isn’t the only indicator to look at, but it’s one worth highlighting and affirming for sure.

5. Faith-work distortions and possibilities
Lukas Naugle, who I recently met over a cup of coffee here in Phoenix to discuss business and the common good, has an essay in Comment about the integration of faith and business, and some of the common pitfalls of those trying to connect the two. It’s a great read, and a hugely important topic, specifically taking a look at two books on the subject.

[I]t can be tricky for an average businessperson to figure out how he or she should do business for the glory of God and the common good. Folks who run into this problem exist in many places—I have met them over coffee, investment pitches, and at conferences. Of course, there are some very positive stories and examples out there, but those who haven’t gained a full-orbed view of the integration of faith and business are still the majority, and they come in various shapes and sizes. Here are some of the faith-work Frankenstein’s monsters I’ve met.

6. Accord Network’s forum videos now online
The Accord Network, serving Christian groups working in the fields of relief and development, has posted videos from a number of the presentations at its Developing Excellence Forum, held last November in Baltimore. Main session speakers include Scott Todd (Compassion International, 58: Campaign), Peter Greer (HOPE International), and Tony Hall (former US ambassador). Additionally, videos from the Transformational Development Summit, sponsored by my friends at Eastern University, include Bryant Myers (Fuller Seminary, World Vision International), Stephan Baumann (World Relief), and others. It’s a wealth of good stuff.

Repaso is intended as a thought-provoking compilation of news and commentary from the past week related to the intersections of faith, development, justice and peace. As always, I welcome your thoughts on any of the links and ideas in this roundup!

[Photo credit: cnrc.navy.mil]

comment 0

Repaso: Mayan apocalypse, LatAm’s economy, faith predictions, Alabama & immigration, Anne Lamott on writing, 16th century social media

1. Mayans weigh in on the end of the world
We’ve all heard about the supposed ancient Mayan prediction that the end of the world would come in 2012. Kevin Rushby with the Guardian has an interesting piece taking a look at the Mayans of today, and how rumors of an impending apocalypse have been greatly exaggerated. Rushby focuses largely on the Mayan religious landscape, including a look at the historical roots of their religious syncretism born out of a survival instinct:

The Mayans have had to survive for a long time as underdogs and they have done it by accommodation. When the Spanish came in 1523, plotting total cultural destruction, the indigenous people (Mayan is a catch-all term for several related languages and peoples) responded with guile. Images of Catholic saints were stuffed with old Mayan gods; parts of temples were incorporated into churches; at Nuestra Señora de la Merced in Antigua Guatemala you can see how Mayan masons carved symbols of maize and hummingbirds into the church facade.

2. The rise of Latin America’s economy
Al Jazeera English has a 25-minute feature on Latin America and how it has fared remarkably well in the midst of our current global economic woes. The show touches on mining in Peru and the rise of middle-class consumerism in Brazil. It’s encouraging to see much of the region rising out of poverty, but obviously the situation is not 100% rosy, and it will be interesting to see how these trends shape the region in non-economic terms:

3. Faith/religion trends for 2012
CNN’s Belief blog asked 15 faith leaders to offer their predictions for the coming year. Among them is Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, representing Latinos/Hispanics in the US:

America’s evangelical community will have its hands full addressing both a presidential election and offering a biblical response to “end of days” Mayan prophecies surrounding 2012. With the economy emerging as the primary issue for the November election, America’s born-again community will have an opportunity to contextualize an alternative narrative to the polarizing elements from both the right and the left by reconciling the righteousness message of Billy Graham with the justice platform of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. By offering compassionate, truth-filled solutions and focusing on the message of grace, love, reconciliation and healing, evangelicals will demonstrate that the greatest agenda stems neither from the donkey nor the elephant but rather from the lamb.

4. Churches and the problem with “welcoming the stranger”
The Los Angeles Times has a lengthy feature on one particular Southern Baptist Church in Alabama, which is seeking to navigate the difficult tension between anti-immigrant legislation in the state and its responsibilities as a faith community. The Get Religion blog also has an interesting analysis on the piece’s coverage of the religious angle in the story.

5. Anne Lamott on writing
Legendary writer and memoirist Anne Lamott had an essay in Sunset a couple of years ago (HT Michael Hyatt) with her best tips for writers, including how we use our time:

I’ve heard it said that every day you need half an hour of quiet time for yourself, or your Self, unless you’re incredibly busy and stressed, in which case you need an hour. I promise you, it is there. Fight tooth and nail to find time, to make it. It is our true wealth, this moment, this hour, this day.

6. 95 theses & 140 characters
The Economist has a fascinating take on Martin Luther and how earlier forms of “social media” had a lot to do with the success of the Reformation:

It is a familiar-sounding tale: after decades of simmering discontent a new form of media gives opponents of an authoritarian regime a way to express their views, register their solidarity and co-ordinate their actions. The protesters’ message spreads virally through social networks, making it impossible to suppress and highlighting the extent of public support for revolution. The combination of improved publishing technology and social networks is a catalyst for social change where previous efforts had failed. That’s what happened in the Arab spring. It’s also what happened during the Reformation, nearly 500 years ago, when Martin Luther and his allies took the new media of their day—pamphlets, ballads and woodcuts—and circulated them through social networks to promote their message of religious reform.

Repaso is intended as a thought-provoking compilation of news and commentary from the past week related to the intersections of faith, development, justice and peace. As always, I welcome your thoughts on any of the links and ideas in this roundup!

[Photo credit: Datadirect.com]

Repaso: Evangelical Latinos & immigration reform, Bakke on cities, Calvin & Hobbes, Occupy Wall Street

1. Evangelical Latinos and immigration reform
CBN News has a story and video segment on immigration reform and the role evangelical Latinos may play in the 2012 presidential elections:

“Arguably, immigration reform may very well be the most important issue in America’s evangelical setting today,” Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, explained. Rodriguez said the fastest growing segment of America’s evangelical church is in the immigrant community.

2. The city as a window on the world
One of the great pioneers of urban ministry in North America as we know it has been Ray Bakke. Here’s a great piece he wrote for Response, the magazine of Seattle Pacific University, his alma mater:

I watched in shock as the evangelical church moved out of Chicago just as I was moving in. Whole congregations relocated as immigrants and rural minorities flocked to the cities. Evangelicals were pulling their kids out of schools and running for the suburbs. Nothing influenced me and the course of my life so much as the failure and flight of Christians and churches from the cities. Most of them claimed to have right views of the Bible and theology and a long history of cross-cultural missions overseas. But the Great Commission had challenged us to take the gospel “to the ends of the earth.” And now “the ends of the earth” were coming to the city!

3. Occupy Calvin and Hobbes
Chris Blattman on his blog shared this Calvin and Hobbes comic (click on it to enlarge):

4. Gerson on Obama’s risky embrace of #OWS
Okay, for the sake of nuance here’s another take on Occupy Wall Street, from the always astute Michael Gerson:

The reaction to Occupy Wall Street reveals a gap of perceptions in America. Many liberal politicians, along with many in the media, see tent cities and clashes with the police as evidence of idealism. Many others, however, define idealism as something different from squatting in a park — as voting, walking precincts, volunteering in the community, supporting good causes and persuading their neighbors. These citizens may even share the discontents of Occupy Wall Street while rejecting its methods and culture. No presidential campaign would willingly choose the high-risk strategy of identifying with a controversial, half-formed, leftist protest. But unable to take credit for economic recovery, Obama may have no other choice. He needs an economic dragon to slay, even if he once fed and tended it.

Repaso is intended as a thought-provoking compilation of news and commentary from the past week related to the intersections of faith, development, justice and peace. As always, I welcome your thoughts on any of the links and ideas in this roundup!