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Links on R&P from around the web

U.S. Limits Devices for Passengers on Foreign Airlines from Eight Countries

posted on March 21, 2017

The New York Times’s Ron Nixon reports, “Passengers on foreign airlines headed to the United States from 10 airports in eight majority-Muslim countries have been barred from carrying electronic devices larger than a cellphone under a new flight restriction enacted on Tuesday by the Trump administration.” Homeland Security officials said that the ban is due to intelligence reports that illustrate extremist groups’ threat to the United States. The ban applies to airports in “Amman, Jordan; Cairo; Istanbul; Jeddah and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia; Kuwait City; Casablanca, Morocco; Doha, Qatar; and Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.”

Read at The New York Times

Southern Baptist Leaders Stand by Moore after His Apologies

posted on March 21, 2017

Religion News Service’s Adelle M. Banks reports that Russell Moore will remain head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), after he apologized for criticizing Southern Baptists’ support of Donald Trump. The executive committee of the ERLC, the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Church, released a statement on Monday. Banks writes, “The decision followed a months-long saga over Moore’s fate that split the denomination between his supporters, who tended to include younger Southern Baptists and minorities, and members of an older generation who often are more interested in ties with the Republican Party.”

Read at Religion News Service

In “Turbulent Times,” 500 Rabbis Look for Ways to Resist and Cope

posted on March 21, 2017

Religion News Service’s Lauren Markoe reports on the annual convention of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. This year’s conference, held this week in Atlanta, focuses on fighting America’s growing anti-Semitism and supporting interfaith solidarity. Rabbi Mona Alfi of Congregation B’nai Israel in Sacramento, said, “What my community is concerned with is not just the uptick in anti-Semitism but the uptick in xenophobia and the ostracizing of particular groups.”

Read at Religion News Service

Catholic Bishops: Proposed Obamacare Replacement Contains “Serious Flaws”

posted on March 21, 2017

America’s Michael O’Loughlin reports, “Catholic bishops expressed concern on Friday over what they dubbed ‘serious flaws’ in a Republican-sponsored bill that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.” Bishop Frank J. Dewane, head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops committee on domestic justice, criticized the American Health Care Act in a letter to Congress: “Proposed modifications to the Medicaid program, a vital component of the social safety net, will have sweeping impacts, increasing economic and community costs while moving away from affordable access for all.”

Read at America

Tomb of Jesus is Restored in Jerusalem

posted on March 21, 2017

NPR’s Daniel Estrin reports, “A restoration team Monday announced the completion of a historic renovation of one of Christianity’s holiest sites — the shrine that, according to tradition, houses the tomb of Jesus.” The shrine, called the Edicule, is located in Jerusalem at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Estrin writes of the restoration, “The marble layers were put back in place, but one change was made in the shrine’s inner sanctum: A small window was cut into one of the walls. Now, for the first time, visitors can get a glimpse of what’s behind: the original rock wall of what tradition says is Jesus’ tomb.”

Read at NPR

The Restless Ghosts of Baiersdorf

posted on March 20, 2017

For Longreads, Sabine Heinlein reports on Baiersdorf, Germany’s tenuous relationship with Judaism. Heinlein, who grew up in Baiersdorf, writes that the town’s deep-seated Jewish population disappeared during the Holocaust. “In 1933, when Hitler came to power, Baiersdorf was poor and with few opportunities,” she writes. “Hitler promised change — and change was what the little town wanted. Residents were quick to adorn Main Street with Swastika flags.” The town has largely not recovered; to this day, “Germany hasn’t established an open discourse about race and racism.”

Read at Longreads

Travel Ban Dampens Persian New Year Celebration

posted on March 20, 2017

The New York Times’s Jennifer Medina reports that many Iranian-Americans will not be with their families this year for Nowruz, the Persian New Year celebration, due to concerns about the Trump administration’s travel ban. Minoo Yousefi, an Iranian-American in Los Angeles, home to the largest Iranian diaspora in the world, said, “This is supposed to be a time of celebration, but I am so anxious.” Medina writes, “For many members of the diaspora, this is the first time since arriving in the United States after the Iranian revolution of 1979 that they feel that they cannot risk leaving the country for fear they will not be allowed to return.”

Read at The New York Times

What is Neil Gorsuch’s Religion? It’s Complicated

posted on March 20, 2017

CNN’s Daniel Burke reports that Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee was raised Catholic, but currently attends a progressive Episcopal Church with his family. Some conservatives are concerned that Judge Neil Gorsuch is a “secret liberal,” due to his ambiguous faith. Burke writes, “The Catholic and Episcopal churches may differ on politics, but their worship services can be quite similar, and a number of Catholics worship at Episcopal parishes without formally changing their religious identity.”

Read at CNN

Hawaii Judge Declines to Narrow Travel Ban Injunction

posted on March 20, 2017

POLITICO’s Josh Gerstein reports, “A federal judge in Hawaii who issued a temporary restraining order against key parts of President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban last week has turned down a Justice Department request to narrow the injunction.” U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson’s ruling stops both the Trump administration’s travel ban on six Muslim-majority countries as well as the 120-day halt on refugee admissions. Gerstein writes, “The Sunday ruling clears the way for the Trump administration to appeal Watson’s initial decision to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.”

Read at POLITICO

The Texas AG Sued to Keep a Bible Quote in School. Now He’s Troubled by Muslim prayers.

posted on March 20, 2017

The Washington Post‘s Avi Selk reports that the Texas attorney general’s office has voiced concerns about Muslim students using a classroom to pray at Liberty High School. On Friday, the attorney general’s office sent a letter to the school stating that the “prayer room” caters to the needs of Islam students. Selk points out, “Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has often criticized what he calls anti-Christian discrimination in Texas schools.”

Read at The Washington Post