RAP Sheet

Questions Linger after Tenured Wheaton College Professor Agrees to Leave

posted on February 9, 2016

Elizabeth Dias of TIME reports that questions remain over Wheaton College’s handling of the Larycia Hawkins case, even after the tenured professor and school agreed to part ways by mutual consent. Hawkins, who came under fire for posting on social media that Christians and Muslims worship the same God, received support from her fellow faculty members. “We are left wondering why the president’s reconciliation with Dr. Hawkins does not include her remaining on our faculty,” said Gary Burge, professor of the New Testament. “Was this ‘reconciliation’ predicated on her willingness to leave? And we wonder: what is the relationship between reconciliation and restoration?”

Read at TIME

A Year After Slayings of Muslims, Community Seeks Dialogue, Harmony

posted on February 9, 2016

The Charlotte Observer’s Martha Quillan reports that North Carolina Muslim and community leaders are still seeking productive dialogue, as the first anniversary of the murder of three Muslim students approaches on Wednesday. Given the rise of extremist groups abroad, leaders are concerned about a lack of understanding and communication. “There is so much rhetoric, fencing with words,” said Farris Barakat, brother of one of the victims. “There should be so much more that we agree on.”

Read at The Charlotte Observer

Fallout From Grand Jury Decision Energizes Abortion Rights Opponents

posted on February 9, 2016

At NPR, Wade Goodwyn reports that anti-abortion activists are galvanized
after the recent Houston grand jury decision to indict David Daleiden. Daleiden, who allegedly took incriminating videos of Planned Parenthood staff, is facing charges of tampering with government evidence. “The only thing we’re going to accept right now is an apology,” said Terry Yates, Daleiden’s lawyer.

Read at NPR

President Obama: Religious Freedom Keeps Us Strong

posted on February 8, 2016

At Religion News Service, Barack Obama writes on his visit to the Islamic Society of Baltimore, his first visit to a mosque as President. Obama writes, “I want every Muslim American who may be wondering where they fit in to know that you’re right where you belong — because you’re part of America, too. You are not Muslim or American. You are Muslim and American. And I want all Americans to know that across our country and around the world, Muslim communities are standing up for peace and understanding as well.”

Read at Religion News Service

The Progressive Roots of the Pro-Life Movement

posted on February 8, 2016

At The Atlantic, Emma Green writes about a new book from scholar Daniel K. Williams, which takes a new look at the pro-life movement before the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. In Defenders of the Unborn, Williams argues that although Catholics lead the charge against abortion, their arguments were often framed in liberal ideology. “The debate about abortion was a conflict over gender, even though most pro-lifers of the late 1960s and early 1970s had been slow to recognize this fact,” Williams writes in his book. “It was not a conflict of men against women, as some pro-choicers believed; instead, it was a debate between two different groups of women.”

Read at The Atlantic

Democratic Candidates Discuss the Importance of Their Faith

posted on February 8, 2016

Eugene Scott of CNN reports, “The Democratic presidential candidates discussed the role that faith plays in shaping their principles at Wednesday’s CNN Democratic Town Hall.” Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton emphasized her Methodist roots, while Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders explained his presidential bid in the context of his Jewish faith. “You know, everybody practices religion in a different way. To me, I would not be here tonight, I would not be running for president of the United States if I did not have very strong religious and spiritual feelings.”

Read at CNN

In Historic Move, Pope to Meet with Leader of Russian Orthodox Church

posted on February 8, 2016

At The New York Times, Elisabetta Povoledo and Jim Yardley report, “Pope Francis will travel to Cuba on Feb. 12 for a historic meeting with the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, the first meeting between a pope and the Russian patriarch.” The meeting is the result of a concerted effort by the Church to reconcile the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches that split nearly 1,000 years ago. In a statement, the Russian Orthodox Church said, “It is necessary to put aside internal disagreements and unite efforts for saving Christianity in the regions where it is subjected to the most severe persecution.”

Read at The New York Times

Evangelical Voters Mobilize for New Hampshire Presidential Primary

posted on February 8, 2016

Jennifer Levitz and Heather Haddon report, “With the nation’s first presidential primary election less than a week away, pastors across New Hampshire are hoping to surprise the Republican establishment by turning out many thousands of religiously minded voters who have mostly ignored the political world.” State clergy are hoping for a repeat of what happened in Iowa, as Senator Ted Cruz drew out many evangelical caucus-goers to lead him to a surprise win. “I have high hopes here,” said Bryan McCormack, executive director of Cornerstone Policy Research and Action. “I’ve never seen this type of activity from the faith community regarding voting,”

Read at The Wall Street Journal

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