RAP Sheet

Religion & Politics Named an Official Webby Nominee

posted on April 24, 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 Religious Left is Struggling. Can the Cause of Economic Justice Help it Rise Again?

posted on April 24, 2014

Michelle Boorstein of The Washington Post discusses a recent report released by the Brookings Institution analyzing the progressive left. It said, “[T]here’s a strong case that the current moment looks far more like the era leading up to civil rights activism than to the period that ushered in the religious right. Just as the civil rights movement spoke to a widespread desire in the nation to perfect the post-war social contract to include African-Americans, so do new social movements on behalf of greater equality and mobility speak to a broadly felt need for a new social contract … Economic justice may prove to be the fertile ground of this era.”

Read at The Washington Post

Ga. Governor Signs “Guns Everywhere” Into Law

posted on April 23, 2014

USA Today reports on the signing of the “Safe Carry Protection Act” into law, otherwise known as Georgia’s “guns everywhere bill.” The article notes, “The new law, which goes into effect July 1, allows licensed gun owners in Georgia and visitors from 28 other states to bring a gun into a bar without restrictions and carry a firearm into some government buildings that don’t have security measures. It also allows school districts to decide whether they want some employees to carry a firearm and religious leaders to decide whether to allow licensed gun owners to tote to their church, synagogue or mosque.”

Read at USA Today

Lawsuit Says FBI Uses No-Fly List in Bid to Recruit Muslim Informants

posted on April 23, 2014

The Washington Post reports on a lawsuit filed on behalf of four Muslim men that accuses the FBI of placing and keeping them on a no-fly list after they declined to spy on their local Muslim communities. Awais Sajjad, a lawful permanent resident of the U.S., alleges that he was barred from boarding a plane to Pakistan due to his status on the no-fly list, and, when questioned by the FBI, was offered citizenship, compensation, and removal from the list in exchange for his work as an informant. When he declined, they kept him on the list. One of the co-plaintiffs, Naveed Shinwari told a similar story and said, “I am very frustrated. It has been a horrible experience. It’s very depressing. You feel helpless.”

Read at The Washington Post

Justices Question Constitutionality of Ohio’s Ban on Campaign Lies

posted on April 23, 2014

Jack Torry of The Columbus Dispatch reports that, during oral arguments, the majority of Supreme Court justices expressed doubt about Ohio’s law banning false statements in election campaigns, which would hand a major victory to anti-abortion activists. The dispute started in 2010, when the Ohio Elections Commission denied a billboard advertisement stating that a candidate supported the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions by backing the Affordable Care Act. Justice Stephen G. Breyer asked, “Why can’t a person say … there are things I want to say politically and the Constitution says that the state does not have the right to abridge my speech?”

Read at The Columbus Dispatch

Poll: Big Bang a Big Question for Most Americans

posted on April 23, 2014

Seth Borenstein and Jennifer Agiesta of the Associated Press report that a slim majority of Americans, 51 percent, question the validity of the Big Bang theory. The Associated Press-GfK poll notes that as faith in a supreme being rises, more doubt is expressed about various scientific concepts such as climate change and the age of the earth. “The poll highlights ‘the iron triangle of science, religion and politics,’ said Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.”

Read at Associated Press

Army Approves “Humanist” as Religious Preference

posted on April 23, 2014

At Religion News Service, Adelle M. Banks reports that the Army has now recognized humanism as a belief system in the U.S. military. This move makes it easier for humanists to organize within the ranks and possibly opens the door to introducing humanist chaplains. “This is a big victory,” said Jason Torpy, president of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers. “This is one part, and the easiest part, of a very long list of other reforms that have to happen before we have equality, not just belief or no belief but theistic belief and nontheistic belief like ours.”

Read at Religion News Service

Seven Georgians Challenging State’s Gay Marriage Ban

posted on April 23, 2014

Larry Copeland of USA Today reports, “Seven people filed a federal class-action lawsuit Tuesday challenging Georgia’s ban on same-sex marriage.” Georgia is one of the last states in the nation to face a challenge to its ban on gay marriage, which was ratified by 76 percent of voters in the state in 2004. Tara Borelli, senior attorney, said, “This lawsuit is really about these loving couples trying to protect their families in the same way that different-sex couples can do.”

Read at USA Today

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 >


New Brookings report: The Religious Left is struggling. Can the cause of economic justice help it rise again? http://t.co/bIYxBhtz4G

8 hours ago

More Tweets >

R&P Newsletter