RAP Sheet

Rethinking History Class on Columbus Day

posted on October 12, 2015

At The Atlantic, Melinda D. Anderson writes on the importance of teaching the historical truth about Christopher Columbus and his impact on Native Americans in the United States. “One of the things that we discuss extensively in class is the whole notion of discovery and of course, Columbus is always at the center of this conversation,” said Jeff Ryan, an AP history teacher. “The story of Columbus through Native eyes can be viewed as difficult [but] we do have some evidence that shows Columbus behaved in ways that certainly are not worthy of celebrating. Exposing students to this interpretation is crucial.”

Read at The Atlantic

Chicago Archbishop Calls for Tough Gun Control Laws

posted on October 12, 2015

David Gibson of Religion News Service reports, “Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago, named by Pope Francis to that high-profile post a year ago, has issued a powerful call for tougher gun control laws in a move that may push the volatile issue further up the Catholic hierarchy’s agenda than it has been before.” Cupich, in an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune, argued that the Second Amendment has been distorted by a gun industry focused on making profits at the cost of increased violence. “We must band together to call for gun-control legislation,” he wrote.  “We must act in ways that promote the dignity and value of human life. And we must do it now.”

Read at Religion News Service

In N.H., a New Push to Engage Religious Voters

posted on October 12, 2015

Akilah Johnson of The Boston Globe reports that although New Hampshire is one of the least religious states in the country, its evangelical voters will be crucial in the upcoming Republican primaries. Due to the overcrowded field of presidential hopefuls, the small number of religious conservatives can swing the election in this pivotal, early-voting state. “You’re talking a couple thousand people,” said Bryan McCormack, executive director of Cornerstone, a conservative nonprofit. “In a presidential primary with 16 candidates, that’s enough for a win.”

Read at The Boston Globe

Gov. Brown Signs California Right-to-Die Measure

posted on October 7, 2015

Juliet Williams of ABC News reports that on Monday California Governor Jerry Brown signed off on a heavily debated right-to-die bill. The legislation would allow terminally ill patients in California to end their own lives, provided they are mentally sound, capable of taking the medication, and approved by two doctors and two witnesses. Williams writes, “Gov. Jerry Brown, a lifelong Catholic and former Jesuit seminarian, said he consulted a Catholic bishop, two of his own doctors and friends ‘who take varied, contradictory and nuanced positions.'”


Read at ABC News

Pastors Struggle to Bring Healing After Oregon Shooting

posted on October 7, 2015

In The Huffington Post, Gosnia Wozniacka and Tami Abdollah report that after the shootings in Oregon last week, “Pastors have been at the forefront of helping victims’ families cope with a grief that can seem unbearable.” Pastors in the area have held services, prayers, and done grief counseling. Associate Pastor Grant Goins of Roseburg Alliance Church said, “It’s important for us to just listen … We tell people it’s OK to cry, to give others a hug, to sing Amazing Grace.”

Read at The Huffington Post

Pope Francis Opens Vatican Synod on Family Issues

posted on October 5, 2015

Elisabetta Povoledo of The New York Times reports that Pope Francis opened a Vatican synod on family issues on Sunday by confirming the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. But he also called on the church to be sensitive to the needs of modern society. More than 300 clergy members will attend the synod, which is expected to engender lively debate over the aspects of marriage in the Catholic Church that have caused disputes in past, including divorce and same-sex couples. Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the synod, said, “The pope has invited the synod fathers to discuss with openness.”

Read at The New York Times

The Supreme Court’s New Term: Here’s What To Watch

posted on October 5, 2015

Nina Totenberg of NPR reports that as the Supreme Court begins its new term, many cases involving the nation’s most polemic social issues are set to be featured. Chief Justice John Roberts, who was appointed by George W. Bush, faces pressure from the right to vote conservatively, as Republicans view his favorable opinion of the Affordable Care Act as inconsistent with their ideology. Had President Bush appointed someone more conservative, Senator Ted Cruz said, “Obamacare would have been struck down three years ago, and the marriage laws of all 50 states would be on the books.”

Read at NPR

Planned Parenthood President Grilled at House Hearing

posted on September 30, 2015

CNN’s Tom LoBianco reports that a “heated and emotional” congressional hearing took place on Tuesday with testimony from Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards. Republicans want to cut the organization’s funding after edited videos surfaced that allegedly showed Planned Parenthood officials discussing fetal tissue sales. Richards testified that the videos are “a deliberate and systematic effort by (CMP Director) David Daleiden and other opponents of safe and legal abortion to infiltrate our health centers, try to entrap our staff into potentially illegal conduct, and create discredited, doctored videos designed to smear Planned Parenthood.”

Read at CNN

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