RAP Sheet

“I Didn’t Come Here to Lose”: How a Movement Was Born at Standing Rock

posted on December 6, 2016

For Mother Jones, Wes Enzinna reports on the protests at the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota, which aim to block construction of a hazardous oil pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux’s water supply. Natives and protesters alike are praying, dancing in front of sacred fires, and relying on faith as they combat the construction. One protester named Tlaloc said, “An old Sioux prophecy says that a black snake will come to destroy the world at a moment of great uncertainty, unless the youth stop it.”

Read at Mother Jones

Both Feeling Threatened, American Muslims and Jews Join Hands

posted on December 6, 2016

The New York Times’ Laurie Goodstein reports, “Jolted into action by a wave of hate crimes that followed the election victory of Donald J. Trump, American Muslims and Jews are banding together in a surprising new alliance.” Groups such as the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council are leading the effort. In one show of unity at Drew University in New Jersey, 500 Muslim and Jewish women gathered on Sunday to study religious texts and practice self-defense.

Read at The New York Times

More Hotels Are Checking Out of the Bible Business

posted on December 6, 2016

The Los Angeles Times’ Hugo Martin reports that a new survey found that only 48 percent of hotels are offering religious texts in rooms, compared to 95 percent in 2006. Martin writes, “Among the reasons for the change, according to industry experts, is a need to appeal to younger American travelers who are less devout than their parents or grandparents and to avoid offending international travelers such as Muslims or Buddhists.” Atheist groups such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation have also been pushing for the removal of Bibles from hotel rooms.

Read at Los Angeles Times

Are Jews White?

posted on December 6, 2016

The Atlantic’s Emma Green discusses Jews’ ambiguous racial position as a white minority group. FBI hate crime statistics show that most religiously motivated hate crimes are committed against Jews, and Donald Trump’s anti-Semitic insinuations have only exacerbated Jewish vulnerability. Green writes, “As pro- and anti-Trump movements jockey to realize their agendas, the question of Jews and whiteness illustrates the high stakes—and dangers—of racialized politics. Jews, who do not fit neatly into American racial categories, challenge both sides’ visions for the country.”

Read at The Atlantic

Lost and Found

posted on November 30, 2016

Texas Monthly’s Katy Vine profiles refugee families in Amarillo, Texas, which takes in more refugees per capita than anywhere else in the state. Vine also follows Evelyn Lyles, a volunteer and committed Baptist, who guides the families as they resettle. Of Lyles, Vine writes, “She isn’t particularly interested in news headlines or political hand-wringing about refugees. Her calling is local and personal, a commitment to the biblical mandate to welcome the stranger, to look out from her front porch and see a neighborhood that goes deep and wide.”

Read at Texas Monthly

Why Electing Donald Trump Was a Triumph for the Prosperity Gospel

posted on November 30, 2016

For The Washington Post, Michael Schulson writes that the prosperity gospel has been unexpectedly elevated in the wake of Donald Trump’s victory. Several of Trump’s early faith advisors during the campaign—Paula White, Mark Burns, and Darrell Scott, among them—are prosperity gospel preachers. Schulson calls it a “a diffuse American Christian movement that links faith, positive thinking and material wealth.” He writes, “Trump’s affinity for the language and style of the prosperity gospel is part of a larger end run around traditional evangelical authorities, many of whom see the prosperity gospel as a kind of heresy, and many of whom were hesitant to embrace Trump’s candidacy.”

Read at The Washington Post

What Makes Today’s America Different From the Country That Incarcerated the Japanese?

posted on November 30, 2016

The Atlantic’s Emma Green interviews Anne Blankenship about her research into Japanese internment during World War II. Blankenship, a history professor at North Dakota State University and a former postdoctoral fellow at the Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, notes that the historical racial prejudice against the Japanese has parallels to President-elect Donald Trump’s proposed Muslim registry. Blankenship says, “There have always been unacceptable roots of discrimination. It has never furthered security. Increasing discrimination by registry or detention only feeds into the opposition.”

Read at The Atlantic

Baylor AD Who Resigned Amid Sexual-Assault Scandal Is Hired by Liberty

posted on November 29, 2016

The Washington Post’s Des Bieler reports that Liberty University has hired Ian McCaw as its new athletic director. McCaw recently stepped down from his position at Baylor University after it was revealed that the school mishandled reports of athletes committing sexual assault. “Both Liberty and Baylor both identify strongly with the Baptist faith,” Bieler writes. Liberty President Jerry Falwell Jr said of the hire, “Ian’s success really speaks for itself. You look at what Baylor was able to do during his tenure, it fits perfectly with where we see our sports programs going. This is an exciting time for us.”

Read at The Washington Post

States of the Union

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

Ohio

An Atheist Finds (Some) Reasons to Believe in Her Old Church.

By Sarah Stankorb

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THE TABLE

A setting to debate the issues of the day.

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