RAP Sheet

Religion & Politics Named an Official Webby Nominee

posted on April 18, 2014

On April 8, the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences announced that Religion & Politics had been named a nominee for the 18th Annual Webby Awards in the Religion & Spirituality category. As a nominee, our work has been selected as one of the five best in the world in its category, and is competing for two of the Internet industry’s coveted awards: the Webby Award and the Webby People’s Voice Award. We’re honored to be nominated alongside an amazing group of websites, including Social Science Research Council’s Reverberations, Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, On Being, and Religion Dispatches. 

Vote for R&P in the People’s Voice Award here between now and April 24: http://pv.webbyawards.com/2014/web/general-website/religion-spirituality  

Read at The 18th Annual Webby Awards

The Pope in the Attic: Benedict in the Time of Francis

posted on April 18, 2014

In the May issue of The Atlantic, Paul Elie writes a portrait of Benedict, who in retirement lives in close proximity to Pope Francis. “And so it has come to pass that, in his 88th year, he is living at the Mater Ecclesiae, served by four consecrated laywomen and his priest-secretary, with a piano and a passel of books to keep him occupied,” Elie writes. “Here he watches the Argentine, prays for him, and keeps silence—a hard discipline for a man who spent his public life defining the nature of God and man, truth and falsehood.”

Read at The Atlantic

Gov. Bobby Jindal to Keynote Liberty University’s Commencement Ceremony

posted on April 18, 2014

Sarah Pulliam Bailey of Religion News Service reports that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has been selected to be the next commencement speaker for Liberty University. In a statement, Liberty President Jerry Falwell Jr. said, “Many believe (Jindal) could hold the highest office in the land someday. He’s a committed Christian. Mat Staver (Liberty Law School dean) said he heard him speak and he sounded like a Baptist preacher.”

Read at Religion News Service

Meet the Preacher Behind Moral Mondays

posted on April 18, 2014

At Mother Jones, Lisa Rab profiles Reverend William Barber II, the founder of the “Moral Monday” movement. What began as a modest protest against North Carolina Republicans who wanted to enact stricter election laws, block Medicaid expansion, and cut unemployment benefits has now turned into weekly demonstrations across the South. During one Moral Monday in February, Barber said, “Make no mistake—this is no mere hyperventilation or partisan pouting. This is a fight for the future and soul of our state.”

Read at Mother Jones

Jews ordered to Register in East Ukraine

posted on April 17, 2014

USA Today reports that Jews in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk were ordered to “register” with Ukrainians seeking to become part of Russia. The article states, “Jews emerging from a synagogue say they were handed leaflets that ordered the city’s Jews to provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee ‘or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated.’” Olga Resnikova, a Jewish Donetsk resident, said, “We don’t know if these notifications were distributed by pro-Russian activists or someone else, but it’s serious that it exists. The text reminds of the fascists in 1941.”

Read at USA Today

U.N. to Question Vatican Again on Clergy Sex Abuse

posted on April 17, 2014

The Associated Press reports that a second U.N. committee will be holding a hearing in early May “to question Vatican officials on failures to stop clergy sex abuse.” This is the second time Vatican officials have been called to testify before the U.N., following a hearing in January. The article notes, “Last Friday, Pope Francis said he took personal responsibility for the ‘evil’ of clergy sex abuse, sought forgiveness from victims and said the church must be even bolder in efforts to protect children.”

Read at The Associated Press

How the President Got to “I Do” on Same-Sex Marriage

posted on April 17, 2014

Jo Becker of The New York Times writes an in-depth, investigative piece on the “evolution” of the president’s stance on same-sex marriage. Becker details the anxiety the White House felt towards the issue during election season and how Biden’s expressed support for gay marriage prompted a statement from Obama, albeit “calibrated and incremental.” To Becker, David Axelrod said, “The politics of authenticity — not just the politics, but his own sense of authenticity — required that he finally step forward. And the president understood that.”

Read at The New York Times

Obama, Evangelical Leaders Discuss Immigration Overhaul

posted on April 16, 2014

Jared A. Favole of The Wall Street Journal reports, “President Barack Obama met with evangelical leaders at the White House Tuesday to discuss overhauling the immigration system, part of an effort to keep pressure on Congress to act.” The oval office meeting included leaders from several different faiths including Russell Moore from the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Church and Noel Castellanos of the Christian Development Association. Obama’s spokesman, Jay Carney, said, “Today’s meeting that the president had with faith leaders demonstrates and reinforces the fact that there is a broad, unusually broad, coalition that supports that effort, that supports comprehensive immigration reform.”

Read at The Wall Street Journal

States of the Union

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


A Spiritual Frontier Opens for Business.

By Brook Wilensky-Lanford

More from The States of the Union Project >


A setting to debate the issues of the day.

Should we teach religion in public schools? And if so, how?

How Should We Teach the Bible in Public Schools?

By Mark A. Chancey

The Dangers of Religious Instruction in Public Schools

By Annie Laurie Gaylor

We Must Teach about Religion in High Schools

By Joseph Laycock

To Teach or Not to Teach?

By Cynthia N. Dunbar

More from The Table >


What the show Cosmos gets wrong about religion—and science http://t.co/WTfC4nAEM7

16 hours ago

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