RAP Sheet

Can’t Have Your Cake, Gays Are Told, and a Rights Battle Rises

posted on December 17, 2014

At The New York Times, Michael Paulson reports on “a small number of wedding vendors across the country who are emerging as the unlikely face of faith-based resistance to same-sex marriage.” Though vendors have been refusing to serve gay couples for years, local governments have taken a hard stance on the issue, making efforts to punish vendors. The cases are largely being fought by the American Civil Liberties Union, which supports same-sex marriage, and the Alliance Defending Freedom, which opposes it.

Read at The New York Times

Hate on Trial: What the Case Against Scott Lively Really Means

posted on December 17, 2014

At Slate, Sarah S. Kilborne reports, “Anti-gay pastor Scott Lively will stand trial in federal court for crimes against humanity. He has tried for months to have the case dismissed on First Amendment grounds, but the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston has denied his last petition for dismissal.” Lively spoke at a seminar called “Exposing the Homosexuals’ Agenda” in Uganda in 2009, and Kilborne writes that Ugandan officials subsequently adapted his rhetoric in drafting the infamous “Kill the Gays” bill.

Read at Slate

Church of England Names Rev. Libby Lane as First Female Bishop

posted on December 17, 2014

At The New York Times, Alan Cowell reports, “The Church of England on Wednesday named the Rev. Libby Lane, a parish priest for 20 years in the north of England, as its first female bishop.” This comes just weeks after the Church took the final step to reverse centuries of canon law to begin what the archbishop of Canterbury called “a completely new phase of our existence.” Rev. Lane will be consecrated on January 26th.

Read at The New York Times

Pakistani Taliban Attack on Peshawar School Leaves 145 Dead

posted on December 16, 2014

Ihsanullah Tipu Mehsud and Salman Masood report in The New York Times, “Pakistani Taliban gunmen stormed into a military-run school in northwestern Pakistan on Tuesday, killing scores of teachers and schoolchildren and fighting an eight-hour gun battle with the security forces.” A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban confirmed that the group was responsible for the attack, saying that it was in retaliation for the military’s offensive against militants in the North Waziristan tribal district. “Innocent children in their school have no place in horror such as this,” Malala Yousafzai, teenage activist and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, said.

Read at The New York Times

Pastors Who Podcast

posted on December 16, 2014

Slate contributor Ruth Graham discusses the proliferation of Christian podcasts. “Whatever your theology, your denomination, your interests, or your appetite for cursing, there’s a Christian podcast for you,” Graham writes. Podcasts can be a way for Christians to receive a wider variety of teaching than they would from their local pastor—but it can also be an “out” for attending actual church. Trevin Wax, who wrote a blog post called “Your Podcast Is Not Your Pastor,” recently wrote in an email, “Thinking a podcast can substitute for a worship gathering means we’ve adopted an overly cognitive approach to church—as if the sole purpose of worship is to download the information in a pastor’s sermon into my brain.”

Read at Slate

Vatican Presses U.S. on Guantanamo Inmate Treatment

posted on December 16, 2014

The Associated Press reports, “The Vatican on Monday asked the U.S. to find an ‘adequate humanitarian solution’ for prisoners held at the Guantanamo Bay detention center.” The request was made to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry by the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin. The call to action reflects “Pope Francis’ vocal concern that prisoners be treated with dignity and not be subject to inhumane treatment.”

Read at The Washington Post

“A More Incisive Female Presence in the Church Is Needed”

posted on December 16, 2014

The Atlantic‘s Emma Green reports on the Vatican’s findings from its investigation of U.S. nun’s orders over concerns of “a certain secularist mentality.” The report concluded that “a more incisive female presence in the Church is needed.” Though many U.S. sisters awaited the Vatican’s findings with anxiety, “The report mostly focuses on the challenges facing American sisters and their contributions to Church life, rather than condemning them.”

Read at The Atlantic

Jihadi Siege in Sydney Ends in Gunfight

posted on December 15, 2014

At The Daily Beast, Courtney Subramanian, Lennox Samuels and Chris Allbritton report on the end of an Iranian gunman’s 16-hour siege in Sydney, Australia. The gunman took everyone inside of a café hostage, using some captives as shields and forcing others to hold flags against the windows. The gunman has been identified as Iranian self-styled cleric Man Haron Monis. Via his YouTube account, Monis asked “to please broadcast on all media that this is an attack on Australia by the Islamic State,” and to speak to Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Australia’s Muslim community is “devastated” by the situation.

Read at The Daily Beast

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