This article was first published in the State of the Faith Newsletter. Sign up to receive the newsletter in your inbox every Monday evening.
It’s been almost a week since Election Day, but we’re still awaiting final results in a number of races.
However, there has already been plenty of reporting on the role of religion in the 2022 midterms, and I wanted to highlight a few of my favorite pieces here.
I’ve organized the links by their main topic and attempted to summarize the lessons they hold. So without further ado, here are four religion-related takeaways from midterms, drawn from seven different stories.
Faith groups do not speak with one voice on abortion. They also disagree on where to go from here.
Opponents of abortion rights had a difficult election day. Voters in three states enshrined the right to access abortion care in the state constitution, while voters in two others denied efforts to restrict access.
Believers were among those who mourned these results, but they were also among those who celebrated them. As Associated Press research has shown, even Catholics, taught by their church that abortion is morally wrong, are sharply divided on what abortion policies should look like.
Here are three stories about religion, abortion and the 2022 midterms:
Muslim Americans are running for office — and winning — at historic rates.
Muslim Americans are still routinely discriminated against in the United States because of their religion and race, but this year’s midterm results show they are overcoming those barriers and connecting with voters.
More than 80 Muslim candidates have won their races this year, up from 71 in 2020, according to Religion News Service.
Jewish voters remain closely aligned with the Democratic Party, largely because of concerns about anti-Semitism.
Election Day came amid growing concerns about anti-Semitism, and polls showed many Jews blame former President Donald Trump and other Republican leaders for the rise in hate, according to Religion News Service.
It is therefore not surprising that a large majority of Jewish voters once again sided with the Democratic candidates.
In the Georgia Senate runoff, religion has a unique role to play on both sides.
The second round of the Georgia Senate election pits a Baptist minister against a former NFL star. Each candidate uses religion to connect with their supporters, although they do so in very different ways.
“Those are two completely different views of the world and what our biggest problems really are,” Reverend Ray Waters, a Georgia voter, told The Associated Press.
Here are two stories about the important religious contest between Reverend Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker.
Fresh off the press
The connection between faith and youth mental health, explained
Term of the Week: Haaland vs. Brackeen
Last week, the Supreme Court considered the future of the Indian Child Welfare Act, a policy that requires the government to prioritize placing Native American children who end up in state custody in Native American foster homes. . The couple who brought the case, called Haaland v. Brackeen, argues that the law, passed in 1978, promotes racial discrimination.
“Lawyers for the Brackeens argue that the law discriminates against Native American children as well as non-Native families who wish to adopt them because it determines placements based on race. But tribes say they are political entities, not racial groups,” The New York Times reported.
Although Haaland v. Brackeen is not a religious freedom case, it is religiously significant, since one of the outcomes the Indian Child Welfare Act sought to prevent was the forced conversion of Native American children. “It’s absolutely about culture/religion,” Robert Miller, a law professor at Arizona State University, told Religion News Service.
During oral argument on November 9, Justice Neil Gorsuch, an expert in Indigenous law, raised a different but related faith-based concern. He questioned whether overturning the Indian Child Welfare Act would threaten other legal protections available to Native Americans because of their status, including religious freedom protections.
“Gorsuch … expressed concern that if the Supreme Court struck down ICWA on the grounds that it was beyond the power of Congress, other laws intended to benefit Native Americans – on topics ranging from health care health and environment to religious freedoms – would also be at risk,” SCOTUSblog reported.
Supreme Court experts believe the court is narrowly divided in this case. A decision is expected by the end of June.
What I read…
If you read my article on youth and faith, you’ll see some insights from Is Perlman, a student at Columbia University who became more – not less – involved in religion as a student. During our interview, I told Perlman that the change surprised me, given the widespread belief that students almost always stray from their childhood faith. But it turns out that the data does not support this hypothesis. Research shows that Americans with a college degree or higher are more likely than others to align themselves with a religious tradition, according to a new report from the Religion News Service.
Neumann University in Pennsylvania recently partnered with Catholic nuns to increase housing options for students. Now 40 young men and women call the convent home (paywall). “The sisters and students now make a habit of meeting up for nature walks, swapping travel tips, planning knitting lessons, the occasional dinner party, and marveling at life. let the other lead,” reported the Wall Street Journal.
Looking for TV recommendations? The Peacock streaming service has just released a miniseries called “The Calling” featuring a detective who relies on his Jewish faith to solve crimes.