RAP Sheet

It’s Official: Cruz Announces 2016 Candidacy

posted on March 23, 2015

The Washington Post’s Katie Zezima and Robert Costa report that Texas Republican Ted Cruz has announced his bid for the White House. Cruz, who spoke at Liberty University on Monday morning, is the first competitor to formally declare his 2016 candidacy. Speaking at the university is part of a strategy situating Cruz in rivalry with other popular conservative contenders, the authors write. “He has assiduously courted evangelicals and other social conservatives as part of an attempt to build a coalition of conservatives frustrated with Republican Party elders in Washington.”

Read at The Washington Post

Zaytuna College Recognized as First Accredited Muslim College in the US

posted on March 19, 2015

Kimberly Winston of Religion News Service reports that Zaytuna College has become the first Muslim College to be accredited in the United States. Zaytuna, which has been in existence for five years, was originally founded as a seminary, but is now a college that offers a degree in Islamic law and theology. “Being accredited puts us at the same table” as other accredited colleges and universities, said Colleen Keyes, vice president of academic affairs. “It makes us equal partners.”

Read at Religion News Service

Gay and Mennonite

posted on March 19, 2015

Emma Green of The Atlantic discusses the implications that a gay rights debate could have on the Mennonites, a religion that emphasizes harmony and peace. “The irony is that Mennonites are known around the world for the peace-making work that they’re doing,” said pastor Cindy Lapp, head of a Mennonite Church that was disciplined for accepting gay and lesbian members. “Yet within the Mennonite church denomination, we just struggle so much to figure out how can we bring those same principles to bear.”

Read at The Atlantic

Utah Shows the Way on Gay Rights

posted on March 19, 2015

In The Wall Street Journal, William A. Galston writes that while Utah is one the most conservative and Republican states in the country, it has found a working solution to potentially divisive issue. The state has adopted several bills allowing same-sex marriage and banning discrimination, which have been met with approval Mormons. “[I]n a society which has starkly diverse views on what rights should be protected, the most sensible way to move forward is for all parties to recognize the legitimate concerns of others,” the LDS Church said in a statement.

Read at The Wall Street Journal

Can You Change a Woman’s Mind in the Walk Up to an Abortion Clinic?

posted on March 19, 2015

At The Atlantic, Diana Pearl writes on the increase in protests near abortion clinics after the Supreme Court struck down a law forbidding protestors standing too near to the clinic. However, there is no indication that protesters are now more effective at persuading women not to get an abortion. Pearl writes, “There’s no evidence that activists are succeeding in changing women’s minds. What is succeeding is the one thing the Supreme Court intended: People who believe abortion is murder are able to share that message with those who least want to hear it.”

Read at The Atlantic

Netanyahu Sweeps to Victory in Israeli Election

posted on March 18, 2015

The Washington Post’s William Booth reports, “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party won a clear and decisive victory in Israel’s parliamentary elections, paving the way for him to serve a record-breaking fourth term as prime minister, according to an almost complete vote count Wednesday.” Though the White House pledged Tuesday to support whoever won the Israeli premiership, the reelection of Netanyahu is likely to displease both Iran and the Palestinian Authority.

Read at The Washington Post

Largest Presbyterian Denomination Gives Final Approval for Same-Sex Marriage

posted on March 18, 2015

In The New York Times, Laurie Goodstein writes, “After three decades of debate over its stance on homosexuality, members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted on Tuesday to change the definition of marriage in the church’s constitution to include same-sex marriage.” The departure of several conservative congregations from the church following a 2011 vote allowing gay and lesbian ordination may have enabled Tuesday’s change, Goodstein reports. Marriage is now defined in the church as being between two people.

Read at The New York Times

Jeb Bush, 20 Years After Conversion, Is Guided by His Catholic Faith

posted on March 18, 2015

In The New York Times, Michael Paulson explores the importance of faith to potential 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush. “Twenty years after Mr. Bush converted to Catholicism, the religion of his wife, following a difficult and unsuccessful political campaign that had put a strain on his marriage, his faith has become a central element of the way he shapes his life and frames his views on public policy,” Paulson writes. Now, as the Republican primary approaches, Bush’s faith also functions as an appeal to evangelical voters.

Read at The New York Times

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