Election night winners & losers: Todd Akin, Roy Moore and gay marriage

What does a religion blogger do after an election that seemingly lasted two years without a break?

Roy Moore reclaimed a seat on the bench in Alabama. (The Associated Press)

Blog about the winners and losers, of course! For this, I am leaning heavily on a terrific rundown by the Religion News Service. See their complete take here.

Let’s get to it, shall we:

Todd Akin (loser): The Missouri Republican stubbornly refused to depart the race after his “legitimate rape” comments offended many people across the spectrum. The Republican Party tried to force him from the race to no avail. Although it appeared Akin regained his footing somewhat, he was handily defeated by Sen. Claire McCaskill. In his concession speech, Akin said God “makes no mistakes.”

So there’s that.

Gay marriage (winner): For the first time ever, gay marriage won at the ballot box, in Maine, Maryland and Minnesota. The issue was closely watched by both sides of the debate here in Pennsylvania. I will have a Sunday story in the York Daily Record on that local reaction to the results. As the RNS noted, Minnesota’s notable because it’s the first time voters rejected a state constitutional amendment to keep gays and lesbians from getting married. Southern Baptist Al Mohler tweeted it as “a fundamental moral realignment of the country.”

Archbishop William Lori (loser): The point man on the Catholic bishops’ Religious Liberty campaign, the Baltimore archbishop was in charge of the Catholic Church campaign to defeat Obama based on his contraception mandate. Also, Lori’s campaign to defeat Maryland’s gay marriage amendment failed.

Roy Moore (winner): I’ve written about Moore before and considered him a dinosauer of a bygone era. But the combative “Ten Commandments” judge who lost his seat as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court in 2003 for refusing to remove his 5,200-pound granite monument will return to the same office, winning 52 percent of the vote.

Billy Graham (loser): The legendary evangelist turns 94 today, but his latter-day unsuccessful pseudo-endorsement of Mitt Romney now threatens to tarnish his legacy, the RNS reports. The elder Graham perhaps helped deliver his native North Carolina back to the GOP this time around, and helped pass a statewide ban on same-sex marriage in May, but his national reach was limited. Plus he has a lot of evangelicals really fuming.

Hawaii (winner): Again, from the RNS: The state that gave us our first black president is now sending the first Buddhist (and first Asian-American woman) to the U.S. Senate, Mazie Hirono, and the first Hindu to the House, Tulsi Gabbard. Both are Democrats.

About John Hilton

I grew up in Susquehanna County, Pa. and graduated Syracuse University with a dual degree in journalism/political science in 1998. After working for nearly three years for a weekly paper in upstate New York, I came to southcentral Pennsylvania. I spent 13 years as a reporter and editor for The Sentinel in Carlisle and joined the York Daily Record as religion reporter in September 2011.
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