RAP Sheet

Baylor AD Who Resigned Amid Sexual-Assault Scandal Is Hired by Liberty

posted on November 29, 2016

The Washington Post’s Des Bieler reports that Liberty University has hired Ian McCaw as its new athletic director. McCaw recently stepped down from his position at Baylor University after it was revealed that the school mishandled reports of athletes committing sexual assault. “Both Liberty and Baylor both identify strongly with the Baptist faith,” Bieler writes. Liberty President Jerry Falwell Jr said of the hire, “Ian’s success really speaks for itself. You look at what Baylor was able to do during his tenure, it fits perfectly with where we see our sports programs going. This is an exciting time for us.”

Read at The Washington Post

Native American Spirituality Central in the Anti-Pipeline Protest

posted on November 29, 2016

For America, Emily McFarlan Miller of Religion News Service reports on the spiritual movement stemming from the protests at the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota. Miller writes, “The movement started April 1 with a nearly 30-mile prayer ride on horseback from Sitting Bull’s burial site in Fort Yates, N.D., to the Sacred Stone Camp site. That prayer has continued in the camps since then: communal prayers in the morning and evening and at mealtimes; prayers in vigils and in songs; prayers while sage, cedar and tobacco are burned. And the Standing Rock Sioux have invited all people to join.”

Read at America

Religious Thoughts Trigger Reward Systems Like Love, Drugs

posted on November 29, 2016

CNN’s Jacqueline Howard reports that a recent study from the journal Social Neuroscience found that religious experiences can trigger brain responses that are similar to that from love, music, or drugs. To conduct the study, researchers gave 19 Mormons brain scans while they took part in spiritual exercises such as reading Scripture or listening to religious speeches. Jordan Grafman, director of brain injury research at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, said, “Reinforcing your beliefs makes you feel a little bit better and secure,” and may activate the brain’s reward systems.

Read at CNN

Fidel Castro, Jesuit-Influenced Marxist Revolutionary

posted on November 28, 2016

Religion News Service’s Jerome Socolovsky reports, “Despite carrying out repressive measures against the church in the wake of the Cuban Revolution, and then being excommunicated, Castro, who died Friday (Nov. 25), saw himself as leading a struggle with some of the same noble aims as those of Christianity — including humility and concern for the poor.” Even as the leader was critical of the church, Socolovsky writes that Castro welcomed popes to Cuba, and he had said “he was deeply influenced by Catholic teaching.”

Read at Religion News Service

Seeking Custody and Answers: Sister of San Bernardino Shooter Hopes to Adopt Abandoned Niece

posted on November 28, 2016

The Washington Post’s Eli Saslow reports from California on the sister of one of the San Bernadino shooters, who is trying to adopt her orphaned niece, even as the child remains in state custody. Saira Khan also struggles with the terrorism her brother and his wife committed. “Should they somehow have known? Did they miss out on clues?” Saslow writes. He continues, “Saira had begun confiding mostly in a therapist, saying that she felt distrusted, misunderstood, secluded, alone — all of which brought her back to thinking about her niece, whom Saira considered the most alone of all. When are we going to tell her about her parents?’ Saira said now.”

Read at The Washington Post

South Dakota is Getting its Only Full-Time Rabbi — and Becoming the 50th State for Chabad

posted on November 28, 2016

The Washington Post’s Julie Zauzmer reports that Rabbi Mendel Alperowitz is moving from Brooklyn to South Dakota to set up the state’s first Chabad House, a hub of Orthodox Jewish outreach that will now be present in 50 states with its South Dakota opening. The state has no full-time rabbi, but it has a small, close-knit Jewish population with fewer than 500 Jewish residents and three synagogues. Alperowitz says, “That’s our goal in moving there: to make sure there isn’t one Jew in the state that feels lonely.”

Read at The Washington Post

With Child

posted on November 21, 2016

Harper’s Magazine’s Kiera Feldman reports on the difficulties women face in getting abortions in South Dakota, which has some of the nation’s most restrictive abortion laws. Feldman follows one woman as she considers her options. She writes, “South Dakota law requires facilities that provide abortions — including medication abortions — to obtain a special license from the Department of Health. Yet for patients like Ashley, the problem isn’t merely that the law makes it hard for doctors to perform the procedure; it is that few in Rapid City would be willing to.”

Read at Harper's Magazine

The Cardinal Who Is Trying to Save Chicago

posted on November 21, 2016

The Atlantic’s Emma Green reports that Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago is focusing on revitalizing the city and its parishes, which have been plagued by gun violence, poverty, and poor education systems. Cupich, who was just made cardinal on Sunday, said, “There are a lot of places that don’t have good music, that don’t have a lot of lay involvement, don’t have a lot of volunteerism. They have huge deferred-maintenance issue. So how can we use our resources in a prudent way that makes what remains vibrant, vital, and sustainable for the future?”

Read at The Atlantic

States of the Union

Writers tell us stories about where they discovered religion and politics in their states.


An Atheist Finds (Some) Reasons to Believe in Her Old Church.

By Sarah Stankorb

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A setting to debate the issues of the day.


"I grew up believing in a kind of Wonder Bread, Rust Belt Jesus—a standard bearer promising a better life." https://t.co/j8pLaPkHLm


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