- - Friday, August 12, 2016

1| At meeting with evangelicals, Donald Trump plays up his problem among Mormons

“I’m having a tremendous problem in Utah,” he said. “Utah is a different place. Is anybody here from Utah? I didn’t think so.” The audience laughed. No Democrat has won Utah since Lyndon Johnson (who sponsored the Johnson Amendment as a senator) in 1964, and Trump will probably get Utah’s six electoral votes, though Hillary Clinton is within striking distance and knows it. In fact, Bill Clinton was in Salt Lake City at a fundraiser on Thursday night. Trump also blamed evangelicals for Mitt Romney’s loss in 2012. “Honestly, you did not vote for Romney,” he said. “Had you voted for Romney, it would have been much closer…. You did not vote for Romney. Evangelicals, religion, did not get out and vote. And I don’t know why. Whatever the reason, I’m not sure why.”

2| Evangelicals form new group within United Methodist Church over homosexuality

A new evangelical grouping is set to form within the United Methodist Church. The group – the Wesleyan Covenant Association – is being formed in response to the ongoing debate within the denomination about sexuality.

The UMC is one of the biggest mainline denominations in America, with around 7 million members, and 4 million more worldwide. A special commission of the UMC is working on the issue of homosexuality at the moment. It is expected to report back soon and may recommend some changes to church rules on same sex marriage and gay clergy.

The Wesleyan Covenant Association says that it is forming at a time of “great uncertainty about the future of The United Methodist Church, the Wesleyan Covenant Association stands together as an alliance to advance vibrant, scriptural Christianity within Methodism.”

3| Cannes bans full-body “burkini” swimsuits | AP

***You can be topless on some French beaches. You can be nearly naked with skimpy swimsuits. But no full-body “burkini” — because of religion? This is not a good situation.

Denying individual liberty to wear a swimsuit — a very modest swimsuit! — cannot be the right answer to the atrocities the French have suffered as of late. And don’t miss the mayor’s explanation. Secularist swimwear?

Cannes Mayor David Lisnard issued an ordinance forbidding beachwear that doesn’t respect “good morals and secularism,” noting that swimwear “manifesting religious affiliation in an ostentatious way, while France and its religious sites are currently the target of terrorist attacks, could create risks of trouble to public order.”

A City Hall official said the ordinance, in effect for August, could apply to burkini-style swimsuits. Violators risk a 38 euro ($42) fine.

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