RAP Sheet

Anti-Extremists: We Don’t Want Trump’s Cash

posted on February 14, 2017

The Daily Beast’s Katie Zavadski reports, “Four community organizations have declined $2 million in funding over concerns that a ‘countering violent extremism,’ or CVE, program under Trump would unfairly put Muslim communities under surveillance.” The Department of Homeland Security has spent a decade building trust in communities in order to have them engage in the program. “Three weeks into the Trump administration, some worry it was all a waste,” Zavadski writes. Under Trump, the program is expected to focus solely on Islamic extremism, rather than also combat extremism like white nationalism. 


Read at The Daily Beast

CIA Memo: Designating Muslim Brotherhood Could “Fuel Extremism”

posted on February 14, 2017

POLITICO Magazine’s Blake Hounshell and Nahal Toosi report that a CIA memo warns the Trump administration that designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization “may fuel extremism” and damage diplomacy in the Middle East. The document reads that “a US designation would probably weaken MB leaders’ arguments against violence and provide ISIS and al-Qa’ida additional grist for propaganda to win followers and support, particularly for attacks against US interests.” President Trump and his chief strategist Steve Bannon, have signaled that the Brotherhood is a terrorist organization and should be treated as such by the U.S. government.

Read at POLITICO Magazine

These Conservative Christians Are Opposed to Trump—and Suffering the Consequences

posted on February 14, 2017

The Atlantic’s Emma Green reports some Christians are being pushed out of their faith-based organizations for speaking out against Donald Trump. Green writes, “America’s divided political environment has made many religious organizations sensitive about what their employees say and do.” Catholic musician Audrey Assad, the daughter of a Syrian refugee, said she has gotten pushback from Christian leaders for opposing Trump’s stances on refugees. “A lot of Christians who are in public positions are afraid, even if they oppose things like the Trump administration or things that it’s doing right now,” she said. “They’re afraid to alienate their base.”

Read at The Atlantic

For Religious Conservatives, Success and Access at the Trump White House

posted on February 13, 2017

The New York Times’ Jeremy W. Peters reports how the Religious Right has found favor in President Trump’s White House. The new administration has made moves to limit federal funding for abortion and allow persecuted Christians to enter the country. Peters writes, “Mr. Trump has given many conservative Christian leaders his personal cellphone number. He has solicited their advice for filling key positions. He has invited them to the White House. And he has staffed his cabinet with many people of deep Christian faith, like Ben Carson, a Seventh-day Adventist, and Betsy DeVos, who was raised in the Calvinist tradition.”

Read at The New York Times

Beyonce, Chance the Rapper, A Tribe Called Quest Bring Religion to Grammys

posted on February 13, 2017

Religion News Service’s Emily McFarlan Miller reports, “From the depiction of the divine mother in Beyonce’s imagery to Busta Rhymes’s jab at President Trump’s ‘Muslim ban,’ religion took center stage at the 2017 Grammy Awards.” When Chance the Rapper won the award for best new artist during Sunday’s broadcast, he said, “Glory be to God. I claim this victory in the name of the Lord.” McFarlan Miller writes, “Later, he exuberantly performed his songs ‘How Great’ — featuring the chorus of Christian artist Chris Tomlin’s ‘How Great Is Our God’ — and ‘All We Got’ with Kirk Franklin, Tamela Mann and a white-robed gospel choir.” Beyonce’s performance featured similar religious themes, including references to the Virgin Mary and Kali, a Hindu goddess.

Read at Religion News Service

The Looming Conflict between Trump’s Immigration Sweeps and Religious Freedom

posted on February 13, 2017

The Washington Post’s Philip Bump reports that in the wake of President Trump’s anti-immigrant policies, churches face tough decisions when they act as places of refuge for the vulnerable. Typically ICE agents have not raided places of worship or other sensitive locations, and Bump notes that churches have historically acted as sanctuaries as illustrated in the Bible. But, he writes, “Since sanctuary isn’t a legal doctrine, those who offer it to immigrants in the country illegally are putting themselves at risk under statutes outlawing the harboring of undocumented immigrants.”

Read at The Washington Post

Trump’s Vow to “Destroy” Johnson Amendment Could Wreak Havoc on Charitable World

posted on February 13, 2017

For The Conversation, Philip Hackney and Brian Mittendorf write that if President Trump acts on his vow to remove the Johnson Amendment, charities could see a significant decline in contributions. They write, “Many fear that blurring the lines between goals intended to serve the general public and those aimed at special interests would undermine public trust in charities and ultimately even put the charitable deduction at risk.” They point out that Congress seems reluctant to remove the entirety of the amendment.


Read at The Conversation

How Russia Became the Leader of the Global Christian Right

posted on February 13, 2017

For POLITICO Magazine, Casey Michel reports on Russia’s growing Christian extremism. Michel writes, “Not only have Russian banks funded groups like France’s National Front, but Moscow has hosted international conferences on everything from neo-Nazi networking to domestic secessionists attempting to rupture the U.S.” He further notes that the World Congress of Families, a socially conservative American organization with strong ties to Russia, has been a source of inspiration for far-right Russian lawmakers.

Read at POLITICO Magazine

States of the Union

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


An Atheist Finds (Some) Reasons to Believe in Her Old Church.

By Sarah Stankorb

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How an Orthodox Rabbi Became an Unlikely Ally of the Christian Right https://t.co/djpez1MBKr


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