RAP Sheet

Anti-Semitic Posts, Many from Trump Supporters, Surge on Twitter

posted on October 19, 2016

The New York Times’ Jonathan Mahler reports that the Trump campaign has ushered in a rise of anti-Semitism on Twitter, according to a new report by the Anti-Defamation League. Mahler writes, “The words appearing most frequently in the Twitter biographies of the attackers were ‘Trump,’ ‘nationalist,’ ‘conservative’ and ‘white.’” Jonathan Greenblatt, head of the ADL, said, “This is not just about anti-Semitism directed against Jews. The bigger story is the threat to free speech and the threat to a free press.”

Read at The New York Times

UNESCO Adopts Controversial Jerusalem Resolution

posted on October 19, 2016

The Associated Press’ Thomas Adamson reports, “UNESCO’s executive board on Tuesday approved a resolution that Israel says denies the deep historic Jewish connection to holy sites in Jerusalem—and that has angered Israel’s government and many Jews around the world.” The resolution, called “Occupied Palestine,” creates rules for the preservation of Jerusalem’s holy sites such as the Western Wall. However, in a controversial move, the resolution only uses the Islamic name, al-Haram al-Sharif, for the hilltop compound it seeks to regulate.

Read at Associated Press

State of the Art: A Q&A With the Smithsonian’s New Religion Curator

posted on October 19, 2016

At Religion News Service, S. Brent Plate interviews Peter Manseau, the new curator of American religious history at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. As the first permanent curator of religion at the institution, Manseau said, “In all this, my hope is to tell stories about religion that feel inclusive and welcoming, framing the nation’s diverse religious history as a part of everyone’s American experience.” Manseau’s first project is an exhibition called “Religion in Early America,” which “tells the story of what religious freedom, diversity, and growth meant in the Colonial period until the 1840s.”

Read at Religion News Service

In 1993 We Interviewed Hillary Clinton About Religion and Politics. Here’s What She Said.

posted on October 19, 2016

The Washington Post’s Martha Sherrill reports on a 1993 interview the newspaper did with Hillary Clinton about religion and politics. Clinton discussed her lifelong Methodism and its connection to her commitment to social service: “I’ve tried to lead an integrated life and so the spiritual, the emotional, the psychological, and physical, and all of that – I’m not there, I don’t want to mislead you. But I’m trying very hard to have that be the primary purpose of my life. I want to feel as though I’ve led a coherent, integrated life. And the spiritual part of my life is a very important element to me in defining who I am and what I care about.”

Read at The Washington Post

The White Flight of Derek Black

posted on October 17, 2016

The Washington Post’s Eli Saslow reports on Derek Black’s journey away from white nationalism. The son of the founder of the website Stormfront, Black began spending time with Orthodox Jews in a Shabbat group while attending New College in Florida. Shortly after graduation, he wrote a letter to the Southern Poverty Law Center: “I have resolved that it is in the best interests of everyone involved to be honest about my slow but steady disaffiliation from white nationalism. I can’t support a movement that tells me I can’t be a friend to whomever I wish or that other people’s races require me to think of them in a certain way or be suspicious at their advancements.”

Read at The Washington Post

The Professor Wore a Hijab in Solidarity — Then Lost Her Job

posted on October 17, 2016

In The New York Times Magazine, Ruth Graham writes about Larycia Hawkins’s struggles at Wheaton College. In January, Hawkins left her tenured position at the evangelical school; she had written a Facebook post that announced she would wear a hijab during the season of Advent in support of Muslims. Graham writes, “Through my conversations with more than 20 current and former faculty members before and after Jones recommended Hawkins be fired, the portrait that emerged was of a campus splitting along just about every internal seam and along its outer borders.”

Read at The New York Times Magazine

Donald Trump Reveals Evangelical Rifts that Could Shape Politics for Years

posted on October 17, 2016

The New York Times’ Laurie Goodstein reports that Donald Trump has become a divisive figure among evangelicals. Despite his lewd comments about women and lack of traditional values, many older evangelicals still support Trump due to stated opposition against abortion and same-sex marriage. In regards to younger evangelicals, Goodstein writes, “Many support criminal justice reform and the aims of the Black Lives Matter movement. While ardently opposed to abortion, some are inclined to be more accepting of same-sex marriage.”

Read at The New York Times

For Clinton, a Daily Dose of Faith Along with Politics

posted on October 17, 2016

The Associated Press’s Jocelyn Noveck reports on Hilary Clinton’s lifelong Methodism and close relationship with the Rev. Bill Shillady of the United Methodist City Society. The two met when Clinton’s family began attending Shillady’s United Methodist church in 2002. For the past two years, Shillady has been emailing Clinton a passage of Scripture, commentary, and a prayer each morning. As Clinton works through a tumultuous campaign, Shillady said, “Some of the recent writings have definitely been about standing firm in the faith and being bold and courageous and things of that sort.”

Read at The Associated Press

States of the Union

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


A French Teacher Lives Among the Cajuns.

By Max Perry Mueller

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A setting to debate the issues of the day.


See @kelly_j_baker on the Klan and the rise of the alt-right https://t.co/oHKp78i36p https://t.co/qS7JvNFVcx

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