raynard jackson

From Virginia to Penn. to Arizona, secular stories traveling across US

It’s been an eventful week in secularism, and the Sex Politics And Religion Hour talks with experts about what are some of the goings on in Virginia, Arizona and Pennsylvania.

In Virginia, Republican Party members nominated E.W. Jackson to run for lieutenant governor in the upcoming gubernatorial race. Jackson is a reverend and an attorney, and he’s known for opposing gay rights, marriage equality and for being quite wrong on the purpose of the 3/5th’s compromise.

Host Jamila Bey spoke with GOP strategist and political commentator Raynard Jackson (no relation) to discuss the nomination of Jackson.

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Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, a Philadelphia-area couple who lost a second child to a curable infection when they chose faith healing over medicine for the 2-year-old boy has been convicted.

Bey spoke with activist Ernest Perce to discuss the conviction and a number of religiously motivated laws which are being proposed and even implemented in the commonwealth.

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Finally, in Arizona, a federal court overturned a 20-week ban on abortion procedures and a state lawmaker outed himself as an atheist by quoting Carl Sagan in lieu of offering a prayer before the legislature.

Bey spoke with Serah Blain, executive director of the Secular Coalition for Arizona, to discuss the stories.

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GOP making progress in outreach to African Americans, expert says

As the GOP continues to rebuild its image in the wake of an election that saw constituents of color and different ethnic backgrounds vote overwhelmingly for the Democratic Party, Republicans have started several outreach programs to gain popularity among these groups.

Most notably the issue of immigration has forced the GOP to re-evaluate its position on the matter with many politicians paying attention to the prominence of Latinos in the U.S.

However, the GOP is also focusing on outreach to African Americans.

The most recent step in this goal includes the hiring of Raffi Williams by the Republican National Committee to serve as the group’s deputy press secretary. Williams is the 24-year-old son of commentator Juan Williams.

The hiring is seen by some as a step in the right direction and now puts GOP chair Reince Priebus in the lead against President Barack Obama in terms of African American hires since his re-election.

Host Jamila Bey spoke with conservative political commentator Raynard Jackson to discuss the forward progress of the Republican Party in terms of its outreach to African Americans.