RAP Sheet

Gary Hall, Dean of Washington National Cathedral, to Step Down

posted on August 19, 2015

In The Washington Post, Michelle Boorstein reports on the Very Rev. Gary Hall’s Tuesday announcement that he will step down from the helm of the Washington National Cathedral, which is located in D.C. and serves as the flagship of the Episcopal Church. During his three years at the cathedral, Hall’s activism sparked “debate about how political clergy should be,” especially at a church often seen as “America’s church,” Boorstein writes. She continues, “How do you stand for ‘America’s church’ when America isn’t sure what it wants in a church? How do you promote civic religion when the entire relationship between church and state is being renegotiated?”

Read at The Washington Post

Philadelphia Archdiocese Cancels LGBT Program Ahead of Pope Visit

posted on August 19, 2015

Reuters’ Laila Kearney reports that the Philadelphia Archdiocese has instructed a local parish to cancel a program for LGBT Catholics, which was scheduled to take place during Pope Francis’ U.S. tour. The pope will attend the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, and, while the program was not part of the World Meeting, it was designed to fill a void there. Now, organizer Francis DeBernardo says, “No speakers at the World Meeting will address the topic of gender identity, yet this is an issue that is being faced by more and more Catholic families and communities in the U.S.”

Read at Reuters

Without Romney Running, Rubio and Bush Make Early Inroads with Nevada Mormons

posted on August 19, 2015

At National Journal, Adam Wollner reports that Republican presidential candidates Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush are campaigning for the support of the large Mormon population in Nevada. “Todd Moody, a Las Vegas attorney who caucused for Romney and hasn’t yet settled on a 2016 candidate, said that he and many other Mormons are drawn to Rubio because of his focus on the family and conservative positions on social issues like abortion,” Wollner writes. GOP consultant Sig Rogich says LDS voters are drawn to Bush for similar reasons.

Read at National Journal

Top California Lawmakers Vow to Push Aid-in-Dying Bill

posted on August 19, 2015

Reuters’ Sharon Bernstein reports, “California lawmakers on Tuesday reintroduced a bill to legalize assisted suicide that had stalled amid opposition from the Catholic church and disability rights activists, as leaders among majority Democrats vowed to make its passage a priority.” The bill stalled in the assembly health committee in June, after resistance from Latino Democrats. However, supporters revived the measure during a “special session called over the summer to deal with healthcare issues.”

Read at Reuters

Calling In the God Squad to Save the Iran Deal

posted on August 18, 2015

POLITICO’s Nahal Toosi reports that, in response to the strength of opponents of the Iran nuclear deal, faith-based groups are lobbying lawmakers to support the deal before the congressional vote in September. “Over the weekend, the Rev. Al Sharpton called on black churches to mobilize in support of the nuclear deal,” Toosi writes. “This is a moral issue, and it is an issue of representatives having in mind their voting base,” Sharpton said.


Candidates from Both Parties Take On Planned Parenthood Controversy

posted on August 18, 2015

In The Wall Street Journal, Laura Meckler and Rebecca Ballhaus report that both Republican and Democratic presidential candidates have made statements on Planned Parenthood and the abortion debate. “The attacks help Republicans rally evangelicals and social conservatives in Iowa and a batch of Southern states that will hold primaries early next year,” Meckler and Ballhaus write. “Democrats paint Planned Parenthood’s opponents as being hostile to women’s health, a message that has appeal with female suburban voters.”

Read at The Wall Street Journal

Jihad and Girl Power: How ISIS Lured 3 London Teenagers

posted on August 17, 2015

In The New York Times, Katrin Bennhold reports on the radicalization of three teenage girls from London, and on the methods ISIS uses to recruit young women to its ranks. “The Islamic State has proved adept at appealing to different female profiles, using girl-to-girl recruitment strategies, gendered imagery and iconic memes,” Bennhold wrote. Sasha Havlicek, co-founder of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, says, “For the girls, joining ISIS is a way to emancipate yourself from your parents and from the Western society that has let you down.”

Read at The New York Times

Julian Bond, Longtime Civil-Rights Activist, Dies at 75

posted on August 17, 2015

The Wall Street Journal honors Julian Bond, a prominent civil-rights activist and chairman of the NAACP, who died Saturday in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Mr. Bond co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, led student protests in Georgia in the 1960s, and served in Georgia’s state Legislature for 20 years. “He advocated not just for African Americans, but for every group, indeed every person subject to oppression and discrimination, because he recognized the common humanity in us all,” Morris Dees, co-founder of the SPLC with Bond, said.

Read at The Wall Street Journal

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