RAP Sheet

Trump to be Sworn in on Lincoln, Family Bibles

posted on January 19, 2017

For Religion News Service, Holly Meyer reports, “When President-elect Donald Trump takes his oath of office on Inauguration Day, his hand will rest on his family Bible and the Abraham Lincoln Bible.” The Presbyterian president-elect is keeping with tradition, as many presidents have sworn in using a Bible, though the Constitution does not require it. “So some presidents have chosen something other than the Christian holy book, or went without,” Meyer writes. “The sixth president, John Quincy Adams, a lawyer, took the oath on a law book. Teddy Roosevelt didn’t use a book after William McKinley’s assassination, and Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in on a Roman Catholic missal found aboard Air Force One in the aftermath of John F. Kennedy’s assassination.”

Read at Religion News Service

The “Alt-Right” Hates the Jews. But It Also Loves Them — and Israel.

posted on January 18, 2017

The Forward’s Sam Kestenbaum reports on white nationalists’ simultaneous hate and admiration of Jews. Some members of the so-called “alt-right”—white nationalists who embrace xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia—see Zionism in a positive light as they hope to create their own white-ethno state by emulating the creation of Israel. Alt-right leader Richard Spencer said in a speech at Texas A&M, “Jews exist precisely because you did not assimilate … I want my people to have that same sense of themselves.”

Read at The Forward

She Loved Him, and He Died in the Holocaust. Now Her Son is Bringing His Music Back to Life

posted on January 18, 2017

The Boston Globe’s Malcolm Gay tells the story of Robert Berkowitz, the son of Holocaust victim and Hungarian composer Lajos Delej. Berkowitz and his mother, Pauline Herzek, who survived the Holocaust, have been working to rekindle Delej’s musical legacy by rediscovering his forgotten compositions. Berkowitz, who is scheduled to play his father’s pieces in the California Chamber Orchestra later this year, said, “That conduit of love that extended from Delej to my mother, and then from my mother to me — does it not carry something that could be communicated in music?”

Read at The Boston Globe

Catholic Bishops Urge Congress to Delay Obamacare Repeal

posted on January 18, 2017

America’s Michael O’Loughlin reports that U.S. Catholic bishops sent a letter to Congress asking for a pause in efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act until Congress can find an alternative. The January 18th letter comes after President-elect Donald Trump’s repeated calls to repeal the act. At a conference earlier this month, O’Loughlin writes, “Sister Carol Keehan, head of the Catholic Health Association, called health care ‘a basic human right,’ and she urged ‘a united voice’ from Catholic leaders to say it is ‘intolerable’ for the tens of millions of Americans who receive health insurance through Obamacare to risk losing their coverage.”

Read at America

How Betsy DeVos Used God and Amway to Take Over Michigan Politics

posted on January 17, 2017

POLITICO Magazine‘s Zack Stanton writes on President-elect Trump’s pick for education secretary, Betsy DeVos. DeVos, an outspoken supporter of charter schools, belongs to a family of wealthy Christian who have emphasized charitable giving and political activism for generations. Stanton writes, “After years operating behind the scenes, Betsy DeVos is set to become the public face of education policy in America—an advocate of private Christian education helming the largest public-education agency in the country.”

Read at POLITICO Magazine

Inauguration Boycott Grows as Donald Trump Meets Martin Luther King III

posted on January 17, 2017

The Guardian’s Joanna Walters reports, “More than 30 members of Congress will boycott Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday, amid escalating outrage over alleged connections between the president-elect’s team and Russia and disparaging remarks about civil rights veteran John Lewis.” Despite the growing list of inauguration boycotters, Martin Luther King III met with Trump on Monday. Reacting to the tension between John Lewis and the president-elect, Martin Luther King III said, “Things get said on both sides in the heat of emotion. And at some point in this nation we’ve got to move forward.”

Read at The Guardian

F.B.I. Arrests Wife of Killer in Orlando Mass Shooting

posted on January 17, 2017

In The New York Times, Adam Goldman and Alan Blinder report that the F.B.I. arrested the wife of Omar Mateen, the man who was responsible for the June terrorist attack in an Orlando nightclub that killed 49. The F.B.I. charged her with obstructing an investigation and aiding and abetting by providing material support. Noor Salman says that she was unaware of her partner’s plans to carry out a mass shooting in a show of allegiance to the Islamic State.

Read at The New York Times

U.S. Abortion Rate Falls to Lowest Level Since Roe v. Wade

posted on January 17, 2017

NPR’s Sarah McCammon reports, “The abortion rate in the United States fell to its lowest level since the historic Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalized abortion nationwide, a new report finds.” The drop in abortion rate can be at least partially attributed to drops in the rate of unintended pregnancies, low teen pregnancy rates, and new state restrictions on abortion. President-elect Donald Trump’s plan to cut funding for Planned Parenthood will likely restrict access to contraceptives for many, which some worry could trigger a rise in abortions.

Read at NPR

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