By Luciana Lopez DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) - Republican presidential hopefuls in Iowa and elsewhere have recently begun sounding a call to arms to Christian conservatives, describing what they say is an urgent threat to religious liberty. Citing high-profile dust-ups over religious freedom bills in Indiana and Arkansas, the contenders are painting a vivid picture of faith under fire. “In the past month, we have seen religious liberty under assault at an unprecedented level,” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas said on Saturday at a forum sponsored by the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition outside Des Moines.
Eight months ago, the future of the civil rights movement that convulsed Ferguson, Mo., remained an open question. The protests in Baltimore this weekend are the latest proof that something has already changed. In the end, it seems, it has not mattered that the groups that came together in Ferguson have not been able to spawn an organized national movement of the scope that Martin Luther King Jr. did in the 1960s. This past week, that trend has added the name Freddie Gray to the list of black men whose deaths have recently brought attention to the issue of police violence.