RAP Sheet

Religious Leaders Object to Religious Objections Law

posted on April 27, 2016

Nassim Benchaabane of the Associated Press reports, “Dozens of Methodist leaders are objecting to Mississippi’s new religious objections law, saying it violates their religious principles.” Clergy voicing their opposition said they were inspired by the 28 Methodist ministers in the 1960s who spoke out against segregation. “LGBT people have always been a part of the church,” said Pastor Bruce Case of Madison, Mississippi. “They’re our friends and fellow churchgoers. This law is unnecessary and just feels mean-spirited to me.”

Read at Associated Press

When Religion and the LGBT Collegiate Athlete Collide

posted on April 27, 2016

Erik Brady and Scott Gleeson of USA Today report on the tension between LBGT student-athletes, religious universities, and the NCAA. While the Department of Education states that Title IX extends protection to gay and transgender students, several religious schools are seeking an exemption to this policy. “The NCAA wouldn’t tolerate a no-blacks, racist policy,” says Cyd Zeigler, co-founder of Outsports.com, “but it has no problem tolerating a homophobic policy.”

Read at USA Today

Salah Abdeslam, Suspect in Paris Attacks, Is Extradited to France

posted on April 27, 2016

The New York Times‘ Aurelien Breeden reports, “Salah Abdeslam, who is thought to be the only direct participant in the November Paris Attacks to have survived, was handed over to France by Belgium on Wednesday.” Abdeslam is also implicated in the Brussels attacks, and will be held in isolation until his trial. The French Justice Minister Jean-Jacques Urvoas said Abdeslam would be guarded by a team that specialized in the detention of “people known to be dangerous.”

Read at The New York Times

Unfriendly Climate

posted on April 26, 2016

In Texas Monthly, Sonia Smith profiles Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech who is also an evangelical Christian trying to persuade her fellow believers on the effects of climate change. Hayhoe frames her argument in biblical terms, appealing to those most likely to doubt her. “The poor, the disenfranchised, those already living on the edge, and those who contributed least to this problem are also those at greatest risk to be harmed by it,” Hayhoe says. “That’s not a scientific issue; that’s a moral issue.”

Read at Texas Monthly

The Mercy Girls

posted on April 26, 2016

At Slate, Jennifer Miller investigates Mercy Multiplied, a Christian counseling organization founded by Nancy Alcorn and supported by a host of prominent evangelicals. The network’s facilities treat young women with mental illnesses, but in recent years a group of them have alleged that the organization mistreated them and mishandled their care, leaving them worse off than before they enrolled. Miller writes that “the booming field of strictly Christian counseling is almost entirely unregulated by the medical and psychological establishments, in part due to a lack of consensus among Christians about what ‘Christian counseling’ should look like. It is here that a program like Mercy can flourish, by harnessing Christian skepticism of the country’s secular mental health system while simultaneously taking advantage of that system’s language and regulatory holes.”

Read at Slate

Abortion Doctors Would Lose Medical Licenses Under New Oklahoma Bill

posted on April 25, 2016

At The Washington Post, Niraj Chokshi reports on a new Oklahoma bill heading to the state’s governor; if made law, doctors who perform abortions would lose their medical licenses. While it easily passed the legislature, it is unclear whether the Republican governor will sign the bill into law. “This is our proper function, to protect life,” said the bill’s sponsor, state Senator Nathan Dahm.

Read at The Washington Post

The Spirituality of Snoopy

posted on April 25, 2016

At The Atlantic, Jonathan Merritt writes on the faith of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz and how it permeated his work. “Schulz was a devoted Christian; unshell the Peanuts and you’ll find the fingerprints of his faith,” Merritt writes. “By mixing Snoopy with spirituality, he made his readers laugh while inviting them into a depth of conversation uncommon to the funny pages.”


Read at The Atlantic

China’s Xi Warns Against Religious Infiltration From Abroad

posted on April 25, 2016

The Associated Press reports, “Chinese President Xi Jinping says that China must be on guard against nefarious religious influences from abroad.” His comments come at a time when China is restricting religious freedom, enacting bans of veils and beards while removing religious imagery across the country. “We must resolutely guard against overseas infiltrations via religious means and prevent ideological infringement by extremists,” Xi said at a Beijing conference on religion and the state.

Read at Associated Press

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