RAP Sheet

Shimon Peres, Israeli Statesman and Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Dies at 93

posted on September 28, 2016

At The Washington Post, Robin Shulman reports that Shimon Peres has died at age 93 due to complications from a stroke. She writes, “Mr. Peres, who held nearly every high office in his country and whose influence spanned 10 U.S. presidencies, was the last of a generation of politicians who came of age as Israel did and helped guide it through regional conflicts and economic restructuring.” In 1994, Peres shared the Nobel Peace Prize for helping broker a short-lived peace process between Israelis and Palestinians.

Read at The Washington Post

Trump, Clinton to Trade Jokes Instead of Barbs at Al Smith Dinner

posted on September 28, 2016

Religion News Service’s David Gibson reports that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will attend the upcoming Al Smith Dinner on October 20. The New York dinner, hosted by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, is an annual fundraiser that benefits underprivileged youth and honors Alfred E. Smith, former governor of New York and the first Catholic presidential nominee. Gibson writes that the candidates will attend “to trade jokes (hopefully) rather than barbs in a custom that goes back more than 70 years.”

Read at Religion News Service

Has Pope Francis Failed?

posted on September 28, 2016

At The New York Times, Matthew Schmitz, who is an editor at First Things, examines why Pope Francis, despite his popularity, has failed to bring Catholics back to the church. Schmitz writes, “Francis is a Jesuit, and like many members of Catholic religious orders, he tends to view the institutional church, with its parishes and dioceses and settled ways, as an obstacle to reform.” Schmitz argues, “Such denunciations demoralize faithful Catholics without giving the disaffected any reason to return. Why join a church whose priests are little monsters and whose members like to throw stones? When the pope himself stresses internal spiritual states over ritual observance, there is little reason to line up for confession or wake up for Mass.”

Read at The New York Times

When U.S. Mormons Clash With Their Overseas Brothers and Sisters about a Key Issue: War

posted on September 28, 2016

The Salt Lake Tribune’s Peggy Fletcher Stack reports on a “culture clash” between Mormons from the U.S and New Zealand. Stack writes that “Mormons across the globe spar over the virtues and vices of war.” Nathan McCluskey, lifelong Mormon with a doctorate of political science, points out that American Mormons tend to support an interpretation of the Book of Mormon that “teaches us to defend our families, freedom and religion with the use of military force.” He adds, for the church in New Zealand, “pacifism is a greater manifestation of faith than militarism.”

Read at The Salt Lake Tribune

Evangelicals, Once Skeptical Of Trump, Have Rallied to His Side

posted on September 27, 2016

FiveThirtyEight’s Farai Chideya reports that “many evangelicals were initially skeptical of Trump, possibly because of his multiple marriages and combative and often vulgar campaign style, particularly concerning women.” However, that narrative has changed because of evangelical concerns over social issues and Supreme Court appointments, according to our own Religion & Politics editor Marie Griffith, whom Chideya interviewed. Griffith said, “Trump speaks to the profound fears animating so many white evangelicals today.”

Read at FiveThirtyEight

The Secret Costs of Islamophobia

posted on September 27, 2016

CNN’s Daniel Burke reports on the rise of Islamophobia. Burke notes that “Islamophobia seems to surge after attacks by Muslim extremists and during presidential campaigns, when candidates pledge to get tough on terrorists, often by singling out Muslims.” He reports that “anti-Muslim hate crimes surged nearly 70% last year, reaching a level of violence not seen since the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks,” according to a study from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.

Read at CNN

Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump Press Pointed Attacks in Debate

posted on September 27, 2016

At The New York Times, Patrick Healy and Jonathan Martin write on the “relentlessly antagonistic” debate between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump last night. They write, “Mr. Trump’s strongest moments came early in the evening, when he put Mrs. Clinton on the defensive over her support for free trade agreements that he argues have cost Americans jobs. But on issues of race and gender, Mr. Trump was less sure-footed.”

Read at The New York Times

Bomb Suspect Is in Custody, Officials Say

posted on September 19, 2016

The New York Times‘ Marc Santora and Al Baker report, “The police on Monday took into custody the man they believed to be behind the bombing in Manhattan over the weekend, according to law enforcement officials.” They write that suspect, 28-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami, “was identified on surveillance video near the locations of both the bomb that exploded in Chelsea and another device that did not detonate a few blocks away. He was described as a naturalized citizen of Afghan descent who had been living with his family in Elizabeth, N.J.”

Read at The New York Times

States of the Union

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

Louisiana

A French Teacher Lives Among the Cajuns.

By Max Perry Mueller

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