RAP Sheet

POLL: White Evangelicals Have Warmed To Politicians Who Commit “Immoral” Acts

posted on October 24, 2016

Danielle Kurtzleben of NPR reports that a majority of religious Americans believe that a candidate who has committed immoral acts can still perform their job effectively, according to a new PRRI/Brookings poll. The biggest change came from white evangelicals. Kurtzleben writes, “In 2011, 30 percent of white evangelicals said that ‘an elected official who commits an immoral act in their personal life can still behave ethically and fulfill their duties in their public and professional life.’ Now, 72 percent say so — a far bigger swing than other religious groups the poll studied.”

Read at NPR

Clinton, Trump Trade Jokes at Al Smith Catholic Fundraiser

posted on October 24, 2016

America’s Michael O’Loughlin reports on last Thursday’s Al Smith Dinner. Cardinal Timothy Dolan hosted the dinner, which raised nearly $6 million for the impoverished youth of New York. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump gave lighthearted speeches. O’Loughlin writes, “Both candidates traded barbs, but the crowd booed Mr. Trump a handful of times after his comments sounded less like jokes than political attacks on his opponent.”

Read at America

Anti-Semitic Posts, Many from Trump Supporters, Surge on Twitter

posted on October 19, 2016

The New York Times’ Jonathan Mahler reports that the Trump campaign has ushered in a rise of anti-Semitism on Twitter, according to a new report by the Anti-Defamation League. Mahler writes, “The words appearing most frequently in the Twitter biographies of the attackers were ‘Trump,’ ‘nationalist,’ ‘conservative’ and ‘white.’” Jonathan Greenblatt, head of the ADL, said, “This is not just about anti-Semitism directed against Jews. The bigger story is the threat to free speech and the threat to a free press.”

Read at The New York Times

UNESCO Adopts Controversial Jerusalem Resolution

posted on October 19, 2016

The Associated Press’ Thomas Adamson reports, “UNESCO’s executive board on Tuesday approved a resolution that Israel says denies the deep historic Jewish connection to holy sites in Jerusalem—and that has angered Israel’s government and many Jews around the world.” The resolution, called “Occupied Palestine,” creates rules for the preservation of Jerusalem’s holy sites such as the Western Wall. However, in a controversial move, the resolution only uses the Islamic name, al-Haram al-Sharif, for the hilltop compound it seeks to regulate.

Read at Associated Press

State of the Art: A Q&A With the Smithsonian’s New Religion Curator

posted on October 19, 2016

At Religion News Service, S. Brent Plate interviews Peter Manseau, the new curator of American religious history at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. As the first permanent curator of religion at the institution, Manseau said, “In all this, my hope is to tell stories about religion that feel inclusive and welcoming, framing the nation’s diverse religious history as a part of everyone’s American experience.” Manseau’s first project is an exhibition called “Religion in Early America,” which “tells the story of what religious freedom, diversity, and growth meant in the Colonial period until the 1840s.”

Read at Religion News Service

In 1993 We Interviewed Hillary Clinton About Religion and Politics. Here’s What She Said.

posted on October 19, 2016

The Washington Post’s Martha Sherrill reports on a 1993 interview the newspaper did with Hillary Clinton about religion and politics. Clinton discussed her lifelong Methodism and its connection to her commitment to social service: “I’ve tried to lead an integrated life and so the spiritual, the emotional, the psychological, and physical, and all of that – I’m not there, I don’t want to mislead you. But I’m trying very hard to have that be the primary purpose of my life. I want to feel as though I’ve led a coherent, integrated life. And the spiritual part of my life is a very important element to me in defining who I am and what I care about.”

Read at The Washington Post

The White Flight of Derek Black

posted on October 17, 2016

The Washington Post’s Eli Saslow reports on Derek Black’s journey away from white nationalism. The son of the founder of the website Stormfront, Black began spending time with Orthodox Jews in a Shabbat group while attending New College in Florida. Shortly after graduation, he wrote a letter to the Southern Poverty Law Center: “I have resolved that it is in the best interests of everyone involved to be honest about my slow but steady disaffiliation from white nationalism. I can’t support a movement that tells me I can’t be a friend to whomever I wish or that other people’s races require me to think of them in a certain way or be suspicious at their advancements.”

Read at The Washington Post

The Professor Wore a Hijab in Solidarity — Then Lost Her Job

posted on October 17, 2016

In The New York Times Magazine, Ruth Graham writes about Larycia Hawkins’s struggles at Wheaton College. In January, Hawkins left her tenured position at the evangelical school; she had written a Facebook post that announced she would wear a hijab during the season of Advent in support of Muslims. Graham writes, “Through my conversations with more than 20 current and former faculty members before and after Jones recommended Hawkins be fired, the portrait that emerged was of a campus splitting along just about every internal seam and along its outer borders.”

Read at The New York Times Magazine

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