RAP Sheet

Obama, Evangelical Leaders Discuss Immigration Overhaul

posted on April 16, 2014

Jared A. Favole of The Wall Street Journal reports, “President Barack Obama met with evangelical leaders at the White House Tuesday to discuss overhauling the immigration system, part of an effort to keep pressure on Congress to act.” The oval office meeting included leaders from several different faiths including Russell Moore from the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Church and Noel Castellanos of the Christian Development Association. Obama’s spokesman, Jay Carney, said, “Today’s meeting that the president had with faith leaders demonstrates and reinforces the fact that there is a broad, unusually broad, coalition that supports that effort, that supports comprehensive immigration reform.”

Read at The Wall Street Journal

Hobby Lobby’s Steve Green Launches a New Project: A Public School Bible Curriculum

posted on April 16, 2014

David Van Biema of Religion News Service reports that an Oklahoma school board has agreed to beta-test the first year of the Museum of the Bible Curriculum created by Hobby Lobby president Steve Green. If successful, the four-year public school elective that teaches the Bible’s narrative, history, and impact on human society would galvanize the movement to teach religion in public schools. However, the Oklahoma ACLU said they would review the curriculum “to ensure no students … have their right of religious liberty compromised.”

Read at Religion News Service

Obama Attorneys: Cross Atop California War Veterans Memorial Is ‘Appropriate’

posted on April 16, 2014

Chelsea J. Carter of CNN reports, “The United States will defend against efforts to remove a giant cross atop a war memorial in Southern California over claims it violates the constitutional separation of church and state, according to a petition filed this week with the U.S. Supreme Court.” Since the lawsuit was originally brought forth in 1989, the city of San Diego has twice tried to sell the property as numerous groups, including the ACLU, objected to the symbol. “The United States remains fully committed to preserving the Mount Soledad cross as an appropriate memorial to our nation’s veterans,” the Justice Department petition said.

Read at CNN

New York Drops Unit That Spied on Muslims

posted on April 16, 2014

Matt Apuzzo and Joseph Goldstein of The New York Times report, “The New York Police Department has abandoned a secretive program that dispatched plainclothes detectives into Muslim neighborhoods to eavesdrop on conversations and built detailed files on where people ate, prayed and shopped.” The department’s decision signals a possible end to some of the post-9/11 intelligence-gathering practices that critics said harmed national security by sowing mistrust of law enforcement in Muslim communities. “In the future, we will gather that information, if necessary, through direct contact between the police precincts and the representatives of the communities they serve,” said Stephen Davis, chief spokesman of the department.

Read at The New York Times

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

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We Must Teach about Religion in High Schools

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To Teach or Not to Teach?

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