RAP Sheet

Meet the Evangelicals Trying to Make the GOP Care About Refugees

posted on February 24, 2017

Vox’s Sarah Wildman reports on the evangelicals who are advocating for the United States to accept refugees and immigrants. World Relief is an organization working to resettle refugees and is part of the National Association of Evangelicals. Wildman profiles Jenny Yang, vice president of advocacy and policy for World Relief, who wrote in a Christianity Today op-ed, “Jesus taught us to love radically, unconditionally, and sacrificially. Our enemy is not someone who is of a different religion or culture or ethnicity; the real here enemy is fear.”

Read at Vox

“Every Person Deserves to Rest in Peace”: American Muslims Raising Money to Repair Vandalized Jewish Cemetery

posted on February 22, 2017

The Washington Post’s Colby Itkowitz reports, “After the desecration of a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis over the long holiday weekend, an incident in which more than 150 headstones were toppled or damaged, two American Muslim activists started a fundraiser to help pay for needed repairs.” The fundraiser, created by Tarek El-Messidi and Linda Sarsour, raised more than $80,000 as of Wednesday afternoon. El-Messidi, the creator of Celebrate Mercy, a nonprofit that uses the Prophet Muhammad’s teachings to encourage charity, said, “This is really a human issue. But out of this horrible election cycle, something beautiful has come out of it and [Muslims and Jews have] bonded together to support each other and stand up to this hate.”

Read at The Washington Post

Trump Speaks Out Against Anti-Semitism

posted on February 21, 2017

The New York Times’ Julie Hirschfeld Davis reports, “President Trump on Tuesday said anti-Semitism is ‘horrible,’ and ‘painful,’ speaking out for the first time about a rising tide of incidents and threats targeting Jewish people and institutions since he was inaugurated.” The president made the statement at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Trump’s Tuesday morning comments come after he chastised a reporter last week during a news conference for a question about the his response to rising anti-Semitism.

Read at The New York Times

Up to 200 Headstones Damaged at Jewish Cemetery, Director Says

posted on February 21, 2017

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘s Ashley Lisenby reports that up to 200 headstones were vandalized in a Jewish cemetery in University City, Missouri, over the weekend. Lisenby writes, “Police are investigating the vandalism, which happened sometime over the weekend. No arrests had been made, as of Tuesday. Asked whether the incident is being investigated as a hate crime, Detective Lt. Fredrick Lemons II said police were keeping all options open.”

Read at St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Trump, Meeting With Netanyahu, Backs Away From Palestinian State

posted on February 15, 2017

The New York Times’ Peter Baker and Mark Landler report, “President Trump said on Wednesday that the United States would no longer insist on a Palestinian state as part of a peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians, backing away from a policy that has underpinned America’s role in Middle East peacemaking since the Clinton administration.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, who visited the White House on Wednesday, indicated that he was pleased with Trump’s statement. Baker and Landler write, “The Palestinians are highly unlikely to accept anything short of a sovereign state, and a single Israeli state encompassing the Palestinians would either become undemocratic or no longer Jewish, given the faster growth rate of the Arab population.”

Read at The New York Times

Trump Retains LGBT State Department Official, Frustrating Christian Conservatives

posted on February 15, 2017

Religion News Service’s Lauren Markoe and David Gibson report, “The State Department announced Monday (Feb. 13) that it would retain Randy Berry, the special envoy for the human rights of LGBTI persons.” The announcement angered many religious conservatives who believed Trump would reinstate traditional family values to the government. Tony Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council and an outspoken Trump supporter, said, “Keeping Berry only signals to the world that the extreme agenda of the Obama years is still deeply entrenched in the State Department.”

Read at Religion News Service

This Undocumented Immigrant Just Announced that She Is Seeking Sanctuary at a Church. Now She Waits.

posted on February 15, 2017

The Washington Post’s Sarah Pulliam Bailey profiles Jeanette Vizguerra, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who is seeking sanctuary in the First Unitarian Society of Denver. Bailey writes, “Propelled by President Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric during the campaign and the election in November, the number of churches and other houses of worship that have declared themselves sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants like Vizguerra has doubled to an estimated 800 over the past year, according to leaders of the loosely-knit movement.” 

Read at The Washington Post

Neo-Nazis Came for this Small Town. Can You Keep Them from Coming for Yours?

posted on February 15, 2017

Buzzfeed’s Anne Helen Petersen travels to Whitefish, Montana, the home town of alt-right figurehead Richard Spencer. In December, Whitefish gained national attention when Andrew Anglin, the editor of white nationalist site Daily Stormer, called for the targeting of Jews in the town after Spencer’s mother had an altercation with a real-estate agent. Some residents of Whitefish have resisted the town’s white supremacist movement. As Petersen writes, “Businesses posted ‘Love Lives Here’ stickers in their windows and images of menorahs, printed by the local newspaper in homage to the nationally publicized fight against anti-Semitism in Billings, Montana, during the ’90s.”

Read at BuzzFeed

States of the Union

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


An Atheist Finds (Some) Reasons to Believe in Her Old Church.

By Sarah Stankorb

More from The States of the Union Project >


A setting to debate the issues of the day.


Judith McDaniel reflects on her role in the Sanctuary movement of the 1980s. https://t.co/kOmUmu3WMt


More Tweets >

R&P Newsletter