RAP Sheet

President Obama Mourns Kansas Tragedy: ‘We’re All Children of God”

posted on April 15, 2014

Adelle M. Banks of Religion News Service reports that President Obama at his annual Easter prayer breakfast called on people of all faiths to stop religious violence after a gunman killed three people at Jewish centers in Kansas City on the eve of Passover. “We’re all children of God. We’re all made in his image, all worthy of his love and dignity,” he said. “We see what happens around the world when this kind of religious-based or -tinged violence can rear its ugly head. It’s got no place in our society.”

Read at Religion News Service

Voices of Gratitude, Defiance at Boston Bombing Memorial

posted on April 15, 2014

Scott Malone of Reuters reports, “U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, other leaders and survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing shared messages of thanks and defiance on Tuesday at a tribute to the three people killed and 264 wounded in the attack exactly one year ago.” Biden, who also spoke at the memorial service of the slain officer after the attacks, said events like those at the marathon show the defiance of the American people. “We refuse to bend, refuse to change, refuse to yield to fear,” Biden said. “That is what makes us so proud of this city and this state, what makes me be so proud to be an American. It’s that we have never, ever yielded to fear.”

Read at Reuters

No Sign of Social Issues as Conservative Leaders Preach to Activists

posted on April 15, 2014

McKay Coppins of BuzzFeed reports that at a conference in New Hampshire last weekend–dubbed the unofficial start of the 2016 Republican primaries–conservative politicians such as Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Mike Huckabee competed for activists’ attention but surprisingly left social issues out of their pitches. None of the speakers attempted to play on religious sentiment and rally the crowd with condemnation of same-sex marriage or abortion, traditional culture war issues. “I’m a believer in traditional marriage. I believe that, you know, there is something important to life, and it comes from God,” Senator Paul said. “But I’m also a believer that a lot of the way our country was founded was upon federalism.”

Read at BuzzFeed

Shootings at Jewish Centers in Kansas City Leave 3 Dead

posted on April 14, 2014

Rick Jervis of USA Today reports, “A shotgun-wielding man opened fire at two Jewish sites in suburban Kansas City on Sunday, killing three people – including a teenager and his grandfather.” The shooting occurred on the eve of Passover, and police have arrested known anti-semite and former Ku Klux Klan leader Frazier Glenn Cross on charges of premeditated murder. “Everybody’s in shock,” said Overland Park Police spokesman Gary Mason. “These are things we don’t usually see.” 

Read at USA Today

Gay Marriage Fight Recalls ‘60s Mixed-Race Debate

posted on April 14, 2014

Brooke Adams of The Salt Lake Tribune explores how the same-sex marriage debate in Utah resembles the mixed-race marriage debate in the 1960s. Utah’s 10th Circuit Court heard arguments over same-sex marriage last Thursday, 47 years to the day that the Supreme Court heard arguments in the landmark Loving v. Virginia case, which overturned laws against interracial marriage. “Disagreement over how and whether Loving works as a framework for same-sex marriage plays out in dueling friend-of-the-court briefs filed in the Utah case at the 10th Circuit Court,” Adams writes.

Read at The Salt Lake Tribune

Abortion in Cases of Rape: New Rift in Old Debate

posted on April 14, 2014

David Crary of the Associated Press reports that despite numerous polls indicating that Americans support legal access to abortion in cases of rape, the issue remains divisive. The National Right to Life Committee recently cut ties with its Georgia branch over the issue, and a loose coalition of abortion-rights activists have grown frustrated with President Obama’s failure to allow foreign aid to be used to provide abortion for women raped in war. “I struggle when I hear members of the pro-life community argue about rape and incest exceptions,” said Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life. “I’m not saying give up on it, but let’s fight the battles we can win.”

Read at The Associated Press

Religion & Politics Named an Official Webby Nominee

posted on April 11, 2014

On April 8, the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences announced that Religion & Politics had been named a nominee for the 18th Annual Webby Awards in the Religion & Spirituality category. As a nominee, our work has been selected as one of the five best in the world in its category, and is competing for two of the Internet industry’s coveted awards: the Webby Award and the Webby People’s Voice Award. We’re honored to be nominated alongside an amazing group of websites, including Social Science Research Council’s Reverberations, Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, On Being, and Religion Dispatches. 

Vote for R&P in the People’s Voice Award here between now and April 24: http://pv.webbyawards.com/2014/web/general-website/religion-spirituality  

Read at The 18th Annual Webby Awards

Manischewitz Looks Beyond Seder Table to Broaden Appeal

posted on April 10, 2014

Susan Krashinsky of The Globe and Mail writes about Manischewitz’s attempts to broaden its appeal under new ownership. The 126-year-old brand, known for its matzo and kosher wine, gained a new CEO, Mark Weinstein, after being acquired by Bain Capital. Weinstein said of his marketing challenge: “I’ve seen other brands, they try to completely reposition themselves and they have not been successful, because they alienate the core customer. The strategy going forward is not to recreate the brand; it’s to take the brand and build upon it.”

Read at The Globe and Mail

States of the Union

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

Maine

A Spiritual Frontier Opens for Business.

By Brook Wilensky-Lanford

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THE TABLE

A setting to debate the issues of the day.

Should we teach religion in public schools? And if so, how?

How Should We Teach the Bible in Public Schools?

By Mark A. Chancey

The Dangers of Religious Instruction in Public Schools

By Annie Laurie Gaylor

We Must Teach about Religion in High Schools

By Joseph Laycock

To Teach or Not to Teach?

By Cynthia N. Dunbar

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R&P TWEETS

Meet Narendra Modi, the provocative and polarizing Indian prime minister candidate http://t.co/eb41GfzQYx

19 hours ago

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