RAP Sheet

Mike Pence’s Journey: Catholic Democrat to Evangelical Republican

posted on July 21, 2016

The New York Times‘ Jonathan Mahler and Dirk Johnson profile vice presidential candidate Mike Pence, and his shift from being a Catholic Democrat to being a born-again, evangelical Republican. He grew up immersed in his local Catholic church and once considered becoming a priest. But in college, he had a conversion experience, and more recently he has attended an evangelical megachurch with his wife. Mahler and Johnson write, “His evangelical Christianity is now the driving force behind his political agenda, whether he is working to deny federal funds to Planned Parenthood or to make it legal for religious conservatives to refuse to serve gay couples.”

Read at The New York Times

Meet the Muslim Guy Who Took the Convention Stage and Prayed for Trump

posted on July 20, 2016

At The Washington Post, Abigail Hauslohner profiles Sajid Tarar, the Muslim immigrant who delivered a benediction at the Republican National Convention last night. Tarar, the founder of American Muslims for Trump, considers himself part of the anti-political-establishment bloc that supports the Republican nominee. Hauslohner writes, “Tarar isn’t entirely alone. The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim lobbyist group that has regularly accused Trump of encouraging ‘Islamophobia,’ said in March that it surveyed 2,000 Muslim voters, and that 11 percent said they supported Trump.”

Read at The Washington Post

Ben Carson Defends Connecting Hillary Clinton to Lucifer

posted on July 20, 2016

CNN’s Eugene Scott reports that Ben Carson defended linking Hillary Clinton with Lucifer at last night’s Republican National Convention. In an appearance on CNN, Carson again cited community organizer Saul Alinsky’s book Rules for Radicals, which mentions Lucifer in its dedication. Clinton wrote her undergraduate thesis on Alinsky. Scott writes, “Carson, who has endorsed Donald Trump, said Alinsky’s teachings matter given his influence in Clinton’s life.”

Read at CNN

RNC Breaks Precedent With Explicitly Partisan Prayer

posted on July 20, 2016

At Yahoo News, Amy Sullivan writes, “After telling attendees of the Republican National Convention that ‘Our enemy is not other Republicans but is Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party,’ a South Carolina pastor offered the most explicitly partisan prayer heard at a major party convention in modern times.” Pastor Mark Burns, a black minister from Easley, has been a staunch Trump supporter. Sullivan writes that “there is no precedent for a religious leader at any convention describing political opponents as ‘enemies.'”

Read at Yahoo News

Fethullah Gulen: The Islamic Scholar Turkey Blames for the Failed Coup

posted on July 18, 2016

At The Washington Post, Valerie Strauss profiles Fethullah Gulen, the man who Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is blaming for Friday’s failed coup attempt. Gulen is an Islamic scholar and movement leader who lives in seclusion in Pennsylvania. Strauss writes, “His followers have also opened many private schools around the globe, including more than 160 science-, math- and technology-focused public charter schools with different names in numerous states around” the United States. Strauss writes that the Gulen movement has denied involvement in the coup.

Read at The Washington Post

Attacker in Nice “Radicalized Very Quickly,” French Interior Minister Says

posted on July 18, 2016

CNN’s Peter Wilkinson, Jason Hanna, and Euan McKirdy write that Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, who killed 84 in a terrorist attack in Nice last week, was radicalized at such a speed that intelligence agencies were unaware he was a potential terrorist threat. Hanna and McKirdy write, “Earlier Saturday, a statement from ISIS’ media group, Amaq Agency, said that an ISIS ‘soldier’ carried out the attack in Nice.” ISIS did not explicitly take credit for the attack itself.

Read at CNN

United Methodist Church Elects First Openly Gay Bishop Despite Marriage Ban

posted on July 18, 2016

At The Guardian, Martin Pengelly writes, “The western district of the United Methodist church (UMC) elected an openly gay bishop on Friday, despite its ban on same-sex relationships.” The election of the Rev. Karen Oliveto makes her the UMC’s first openly gay bishop. Pengelly writes, “The leader of an evangelical group within the church said the result could lead ‘to the brink of schism.’”

Read at The Guardian

Where Is Mike Pence’s Faith?

posted on July 18, 2016

At Slate, Craig Fehrman writes that Mike Pence’s faith has evolved considerably throughout his life. In 1978, Pence became a born-again Christian after being raised in an Irish Catholic family. Fehrman writes, “During his time in Congress, Pence emerged as one of the most privately and publicly devout figures in Washington. But something changed when he ran for governor of Indiana. You could no longer get Pence to address his faith, past or present.”

Read at Slate

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