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Links on R&P from around the web

Sessions Cites Bible Passage Used to Defend Slavery in Defense of Separating Immigrant Families

posted on June 15, 2018

The Washington Post‘s Julie Zauzmer and Keith McMillan report, “Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday used a Bible verse to defend his department’s policy of prosecuting everyone who crosses the border from Mexico, suggesting that God supports the government in separating immigrant parents from their children.” Sessions cited Romans 13, a verse from the Apostle Paul about obeying the government. In U.S. history, the verse was invoked by British loyalists during the American Revolution and by Southern defenders of slavery in the lead-up to the Civil War, according to historian John Fea.

Read at The Washington Post

Why Southern Baptists Giving Mike Pence a Platform is So Controversial

posted on June 13, 2018

The Washington Post’s Michelle Boorstein reports on the controversy over Vice President Mike Pence’ appearance at the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting. One pastor, Garrett Kell, submitted a failed proposal to replace Pence’s address with a time for prayer. “No vote count was taken, but many in the convention hall estimated that 30 to 40 percent of attendees had voted for Kell’s measure,” Boorstein writes.

Read at The Washington Post

American Indians Fear U.S.-Mexico Border Wall Will Destroy Ancient Culture

posted on June 13, 2018

Reuters’ Ellen Wulfhorst reports that American Indian tribes along the U.S.-Mexico border are resisting President Trump’s proposed border wall. For the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Indians, the water of the Rio Grande is sacred and a wall would sever access to it. “When people are cut off from their land, from their sacred lands and their ceremonies, the culture dies. Their spiritual vitality is weakened,” says Christopher McLeod, director of Sacred Lands Film Project. “A border and a wall are not just symbols. They’re very physical insults.”

Read at Reuters

Atrocities Under Kim Jong-Un: Indoctrination, Prison Gulags, Executions

posted on June 13, 2018

The New York Times’ Maya Salam and Matthew Haag report on human rights abuses in North Korea under Kim Jong-Un. According to the UN, the North Korean government represses Christianity because it “provides a platform for social and political organization and interaction outside the realm of the state.” Salam and Haag write that “the Christian group Open Doors ranked North Korea the worst nation in the world for Christians.”

Read at The New York Times

ICE Came for a Tennessee Town’s Immigrants. The Town Fought Back.

posted on June 11, 2018

The New York Times’ Miriam Jordan reports on a recent U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid in Tennessee that detained 97 factory workers. The town rallied around the affected families, and a local Catholic church became a crisis response center. “As a minister of the Gospel, my concern is for affected families and especially the innocent children. These people are my neighbors and live in my community,” says David Williams, a Baptist pastor in town. “Our congregation as well as the community is divided on the issue. I try to keep it humanitarian, not political, and certainly not racial!”

Read at The New York Times

Why Nabra?

posted on June 11, 2018

For Slate, Sally H. Jacobs reports from Reston, Virginia, one year after the rape and murder of Nabra Hassenen. The Muslim teenager was abducted and killed after leaving her mosque during Ramadan, in what police say was a road rage incident. “The police can say whatever they want, but I believe with all my heart that it was a hate crime,” says Nabra’s father, Mohmod Hassanen. Jacob writes, “The uniquely horrifying aspects of Nabra’s death, how she was torn from her friends during the most sacred time of the year, have only made the debate that much more fraught.”

Read at Slate

At Christian Colleges, a Collision of Gay Rights and Traditional Values

posted on June 8, 2018

For The New York Times’ Laura Pappano reports on how conservative Christian colleges are dealing with LGBTQ rights on campus. Pappano writes, “Unlike their elders, many students want to use their love for Jesus not to uphold traditional values, but to engage with and change the world, pushing Christian campuses to a careful openness.” Pappano notes that some students remain religious and gay and have joined together to fuel what she calls an “L.G.B.T.Q Christian movement.”

Read at The New York Times

American Muslims on Trump’s Iftar: Thanks, But No Thanks

posted on June 8, 2018

CNN’s Daniel Burke reports on the reactions of American Muslims to the White House’s announcement it will hold its first iftar—the evening dinner that breaks the Ramadan fast. “We do not need an iftar dinner,” Imam Yahya Hendi, the Muslim chaplain at Georgetown University, told Burke. “Rather, we need to get the respect we highly deserve.” The tradition of White House iftars started during the Clinton administration, but the Trump administration declined to host one last year.

Read at CNN

Choosing Life with Down Syndrome

posted on June 8, 2018

Slate’s Ruth Graham reports on the debate surrounding abortion and Down syndrome. Due to advances in testing for pregnant mothers, termination rates have dramatically risen for Down syndrome diagnoses, which has parents and pro-life activists alarmed. Graham writes, “The stakes for this debate are clear: It’s a conversation not just about parental testing but about personhood, about whether Down syndrome should be considered a condition or a disease.”

Read at Slate

The Sin of Silence

posted on June 8, 2018

For The Washington Post, Joshua Pease reports on the epidemic of sexual abuse within evangelical churches and institutions. He profiles Rachel Denhollander, who helped bring down Larry Nassar, the doctor convicted of abusing her and hundreds of women. Denhollander has used her public platform to speak out on sexual abuse within evangelicalism as well, noting how her own former church and others have mishandled it. Pease writes, “It was a word of warning for a community that, writ large, has been complicit in minimizing and enabling rape, molestation and emotional abuse within its walls.”

Read at The Washington Post