RAP Sheet

Obama at National Prayer Breakfast: “Faith Is the Great Cure for Fear”

posted on February 4, 2016

CNN’s Laura Koran reports, “President Barack Obama addressed the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, speaking about the need to overcome fear through faith, just one day after making a historic visit to a Baltimore mosque where he delivered a message of religious inclusivity.” Koran writes, “Obama has spoken at the National Prayer Breakfast every year since he took office in 2009.”

Read at CNN

Obama, in Mosque Visit, Denounces Anti-Muslim Bias

posted on February 3, 2016

The New York Times‘ Gardiner Harris reports, “President Obama reached out to Muslims in the United States on Wednesday in an impassioned speech, embracing them as part of ‘one American family,’ implicitly criticizing the Republican presidential candidates and warning citizens not to be ‘bystanders to bigotry.'” Harris writes, “Citing Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, who he said had had their own copies of the Quran, Mr. Obama reminded his audience that Muslims had been a part of the United States since its founding.”

Read at The New York Times

IS Victims’ Advocate, Pontiff among Nobel Peace Prize Names

posted on February 3, 2016

Mark Lewis of the Associated Press reports, “A woman who champions the rights of Islamic State rape victims, Pope Francis and the Afghan women’s cycling team are among the known candidates for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize as the nomination window was set to close Monday.” The pontiff earned his nomination for his contribution to sustainable development and religious toleration. Desmond Tutu, a nobel laureate, also backed Pope Francis for the award.

Read at Associated Press

President Obama’s Mosque Visit Will Spotlight a New Generation of Muslim Americans

posted on February 3, 2016

Michelle Boorstein of The Washington Post writes about President Barack Obama’s first visit to an American mosque. Muslim leaders have pressed the White House for more than a decade for a presidential visit in order to challenge the stigma that exists around their community. White House Spokesman Josh Earnest said, “I think the president is quite interested in making sure that we’re affirming the important role that Muslims play in our diverse American society, and certainly affirming their right to worship God in a way that’s consistent with their heritage.”

Read at The Washington Post

ISIS, but Buddhist

posted on February 3, 2016

At The Atlantic, Nick Danforth writes that although the rise of ISIS may seem sudden, it is not unparalleled in history. In the 1920s, Russian Baron Roman Fedorovich von Ungern-Sternberg used his nation’s civil war to radicalize Buddhism, a religion known today for its commitment to peace. “Civil war provided the context in which both ISIS’s leaders and Ungern-Sternberg came to rely on systematic and highly visible atrocities to consolidate their rule, at a moment when years of savage, disorganized violence had desensitized populations,” writes Danforth. “Like ISIS, Ungern-Sternberg harnessed this violence to establish a modicum of order.”

Read at The Atlantic

Zika Tests Catholic Position on Birth Control

posted on February 3, 2016

At CNN, Elizabeth Cohen reports, “Zika-infected mosquitoes aren’t just causing medical problems, they’re creating a theological conundrum for the Roman Catholic Church.” If a pregnant woman contracts Zika, it greatly increases the probability that her child will have a developmental delay and a short lifespan. Although the Catholic Church has forbidden nearly every type of birth control, South American medical officials are recommending women do not become pregnant. “They’re going to have to really thread a fine theological needle,” said Daniel Ramirez, professor of history at the University of Michigan,

Read at CNN

The Great Democratic Age Gap

posted on February 2, 2016

At The Atlantic, Ronald Brownstein reports that an overwhelming margin of young voters favored Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton in Iowa, revealing a widening age gap in the Democratic Party. Clinton also lost the youth vote to Barack Obama in 2008, but this year, she edged to a narrow victory because a majority of Democratic voters are over 45. Brownstein writes, “The most powerful lesson from the Iowa caucus results is that Democrats are facing not just a generation gap, but a Grand Canyon-sized chasm.”

Read at The Atlantic

Ted Cruz’s Iowa Win Powered by Evangelicals, Conservatives

posted on February 2, 2016

Aaron Zitner of The Wall Street Journal reports, “A surge of evangelical Christians, along with support from the Republican Party’s most conservative voters, combined to give Sen. Ted Cruz his victory in Iowa’s GOP caucuses.” Entrance polls revealed that Cruz won more than one-third of the evangelical vote, a healthy lead over his closest competitors, Marco Rubio and Donald Trump. “Cruz built his campaign on opposition to abortion, gay marriage and compromise by Republican leaders in Congress,” Zitner writes. “That message produced a distinct uptick in evangelicals and other social conservatives attending Monday’s caucuses.”

Read at The Wall Street Journal

States of the Union

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


A French Teacher Lives Among the Cajuns.

By Max Perry Mueller

More from The States of the Union Project >


A setting to debate the issues of the day.


The 2016 election reveals tectonic shifts in the religious configuration of American partisan politics. https://t.co/t1os7QgY9l


More Tweets >

R&P Newsletter