RAP Sheet

Ferguson Area Clergy Lead Peaceful Protest

posted on November 25, 2014

Ben Kesling of The Wall Street Journal reports that hours after some protests turned violent after the Michael Brown decision, faith leaders lead a sunrise prayer vigil, contrasting sharply with images of looting and burning cars the night before. Pastors in bright orange vests with the word “clergy” on the back, marched in front of the building where the county prosecutor announced the grand jury’s decision. The Reverend David Gerth, the march’s organizer, said, “Violence happened last night, but that’s not by design.”

Read at The Wall Street Journal

Clergy Greet Grand Jury Announcement With Prayer And Calls For Peace

posted on November 25, 2014

At the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Lilly Fowler recounts the reaction from West Side Missionary Baptist Church and the St. Louis religious community after a grand jury did not indict the police officer who killed Michael Brown. Four hours before the announcement, more than 25 clergy members participated in a conference call with Governor Jay Nixon to express their concern about the aftermath of the decision. “I implore each of you: Choose peace! Reject any false and empty hope that violence will solve problems,” St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson said. “Violence only creates more violence. Let’s work for a better, stronger, more holy community— one founded upon respect for each other, respect for life, and our shared responsibility for the common good.”

Read at St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The Curious Case of Jesus’s Wife

posted on November 24, 2014

In The Atlantic, Joel Baden and Candida Moss report on the significance of Jesus’ potential wife — and why most scholars believe the texts indicating Jesus’ marital status are fake. Baden and Moss write, “Today we can also see the question of Jesus’s marital status, and the related question of women’s role in the Church, refracted through a variety of apocryphal sayings and stories in which Jesus and the apostles alternately condemn, encourage, and control female leaders.” Documents about Jesus’ wife may have been forged for a variety of reasons: money, public shaming of academia, or to provide a foundation for contemporary beliefs about women in religion.

Read at The Atlantic

Greater St. Mark Family Church Among Those Offering “Safe Place” in Ferguson

posted on November 24, 2014

The Washington Post‘s David Montgomery reports, “A network of church and clergy in the greater St. Louis area — the Metropolitan Congregations United for St. Louis — has been playing an active role in community organizing since Brown was killed.” Sanctuary churches for demonstrators are opening their doors 24/7 as “sacred spaces” where protestors can meet or pray. “It’s important for the community and the rest of the world to know that God is a God of justice,” Reverend Dietra Wise Baker, co-leader of the clergy caucus of the metropolitan congregations, said.

Read at The Washington Post

Pope Demands Just Distribution of World’s Bounty

posted on November 20, 2014

Nicole Winfield of the Associated Press reports, “Pope Francis demanded a more just distribution of the world’s bounty for the poor and hungry Thursday, telling a U.N. conference on nutrition that access to food is a basic human right.” Francis has frequently spoken out about the plight of the elderly and impoverished, eschewing many of the papal luxuries in favor of more humble lifestyle in the Vatican. “We ask for dignity, not for charity,” Francis told the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

Read at ABC News

Clergy, Interfaith Activists Aim To Prevent “Religious War” Among Israelis And Palestinians

posted on November 20, 2014

The Huffington Post’s Jaweed Kaleem and Paul Brandeis Raushenbush report that after a recent increase in violence in Jerusalem, religious leaders are ramping up their effort to prevent the bloodshed from escalating. Clergy from Judaism, Christianity and Islam came together on Wednesday on the site where weeks earlier a Palestinian tried to kill an Israeli activist advocating for Jewish access to the Al-Aqsa mosque. “Our conflict has become both a national one and a religious one. Religious extremism, with the help of the mainstream media, is carrying the day,” said Rabbi Ron Kronish, director of the Interreligious Coordinating Council of Israel. “We need more moderate voices to speak out.”

Read at The Huffington Post

The “Caliphate’s” Colonies: Islamic State’s Gradual Expansion into North Africa

posted on November 19, 2014

For Spiegel, Mirco Keilberth, Juliane von Mittelstaedt, and Christoph Reuter discuss the effects of ISIS’ expansion into Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt. “Should Islamic State (IS) manage to establish control over a significant portion of Libya, it could trigger the destabilization of the entire Arab world.” ISIS emerged in Libya as a group of fighters returning from Syria. Eventually, hundreds of citizens and some local governments proclaimed their loyalty to the “caliph.”  A young Libyan activist said, “Eastern Libya is hardly any different from Syria or Iraq.”

Read at Spiegel Online International

Sexual Revolution Is Destroying Families, Russell Moore Tells Vatican Conference

posted on November 19, 2014

Religious News Service’s Josephine McKenna reports, “Prominent U.S. evangelicals Russell Moore and Rick Warren blasted the sexual revolution at a Vatican conference Tuesday.” Moore claims that the sexual revolution imposes a new patriarchy that enables men to “pursue a Darwinian fantasy of the predatory alpha male” for “power, prestige and personal pleasure.” Pope Francis made similar comments at the conference: “This revolution in manners and morals has often flown the flag of freedom, but in fact it has brought spiritual and material devastation to countless human beings.”

Read at Religion News Service

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