RAP Sheet

The Breakup

posted on March 4, 2015

At Foreign Affairs, John B. Judis explores the history of U.S. attitudes toward Israel, arguing that levels of bipartisan support have in fact been declining for years. American support for Israel was largely bipartisan until the early 1980s to the early 2000s, Judis explains; it frayed as Israeli and American politics both turned more conservative and the Israel lobby in the U.S. gained power. Today, Israel and the U.S. still have a largely supportive relationship, Judis writes. “But with the fracas over Netanyahu’s visit, and the continuing battle over the Iran negotiations, the era of automatic bipartisan support for Israel’s government is drawing to a close, and with it, perhaps, the special relationship between the United States and Israel.”

Read at Foreign Affairs

Alabama Court Orders a Halt to Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

posted on March 4, 2015

In The New York Times, Campbell Robertson writes, “The Alabama Supreme Court on Tuesday night ordered probate judges around the state to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, ruling in direct opposition to a federal judge that the state’s ban on same sex marriage did not violate the United States Constitution.” The edict to stop distributing licenses for same-sex marriages has thrown couples and county-level judges into confusion, Robertson reports, as competing orders in favor of and against Alabama’s marriage ban have created patchwork opportunities for gay couples seeking licenses since the fight over the ban began in January. The case is likely to end in the Supreme Court later this year.

Read at The New York Times

Christian, or Feminist?

posted on March 4, 2015

At The Atlantic, Emma Green reviews Dianna E. Anderson’s book Damaged Goods, in which Anderson describes her seemingly paradoxical relationship with feminism and evangelicalism and attempts to reconcile the two. The dissociation in values between feminist and evangelical culture makes Anderson’s book inherently political in the era of the culture wars, Green argues, and yet neither feminism nor evangelicalism is a solely political affiliation. “In their own ways, both are orientations toward the world that provide people with guidance on how to be human, and how to treat other humans,” Green writes.

Read at The Atlantic

Afghan Policewomen Struggle Against Culture

posted on March 4, 2015

In The New York Times, Alissa J. Rubin describes the inequality, oppression, and stigma experienced by policewomen in Afghanistan. Often sexually harassed and coerced by colleagues and supervisors, Afghan policewomen are also threatened with violence and shame for violating community standards of morality by working. “The plight of women under the Taliban captured the Western imagination, and their liberation became a rallying cry,” Rubin writes, continuing: “Now, as Western troops and money flow out of Afghanistan, the question is just how much the encounter with the West and its values has really changed the country, and whether any of the foreign ideas about the status of women took hold.”

Read at The New York Times

Break-in at Y-12

posted on March 4, 2015

In The New Yorker, Eric Schlosser explores the history of the Catholic Plowshares operations against nuclear facilities, focusing on the recent break-in of three activists—including an 82-year-old nun—to the Y-12 National Security Complex known as the Fort Knox of Uranium. Plowshares operations were inspired by Dorothy Day, a socialist activist turned Catholic pacifist, and led by brothers and Catholic priests Philip and Daniel Berrigan, all of whom condemned the use and development of nuclear weapons. “Plowshares actions have not only revealed serious vulnerabilities in the security of America’s nuclear enterprise; they’ve also shed light on the inherent risks faced by every nation that possesses weapons of mass destruction,” Schlosser writes.

Read at The New Yorker

Danforth, in Eulogy, Decries “Whispering Campaign” Against Schweich

posted on March 3, 2015

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that former U.S. Senator John C. Danforth issued a harsh reproach of his own party while condemning the dialogue of political campaigns, implicitly blaming it for the suicide of Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Schweich. In his eulogy, Danforth said, “This campaign for governor started two years in advance of the 2016 election. And even at this early date, what has been said is worse than anything in my memory, and that’s a long memory. I have never experienced an anti-Semitic campaign. Anti-Semitism is always wrong and we can never let it creep into politics.”

Read at The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Israel’s Netanyahu Warns Obama Against Iran Nuclear Deal

posted on March 3, 2015

Dan Williams and Matt Spetalnick of Reuters report that in his speech before Congress today Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned a nuclear peace deal with Iran.  “This deal won’t be a farewell to arms, it will be a farewell to arms control … a countdown to a potential nuclear nightmare,” Netanyahu said.

Read at Reuters

Federal Judge Blocks Nebraska Gay Marriage Ban

posted on March 3, 2015

Reid Wilson of The Washington Post reports, “A federal district court judge has blocked Nebraska’s ban on same-sex marriage, setting a 38th state on the likely path to recognizing unions between gay couples.” Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson filed appealed the decision to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, joining Missouri, South Dakota and Arkansas in their appeals to reinstate their respective bans. The Supreme Court is set to weigh in on the issue as it is set to hear oral arguments this term.

Read at The Washington Post

States of the Union

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

Illinois

An Autoworker Reconciles God and Mammon

By Christopher D. Cantwell

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A setting to debate the issues of the day.

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