RAP Sheet

Danforth, in Eulogy, Decries “Whispering Campaign” Against Schweich

posted on March 3, 2015

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that former U.S. Senator John C. Danforth issued a harsh reproach of his own party while condemning the dialogue of political campaigns, implicitly blaming it for the suicide of Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Schweich. In his eulogy, Danforth said, “This campaign for governor started two years in advance of the 2016 election. And even at this early date, what has been said is worse than anything in my memory, and that’s a long memory. I have never experienced an anti-Semitic campaign. Anti-Semitism is always wrong and we can never let it creep into politics.”

Read at The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Israel’s Netanyahu Warns Obama Against Iran Nuclear Deal

posted on March 3, 2015

Dan Williams and Matt Spetalnick of Reuters report that in his speech before Congress today Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned a nuclear peace deal with Iran.  “This deal won’t be a farewell to arms, it will be a farewell to arms control … a countdown to a potential nuclear nightmare,” Netanyahu said.

Read at Reuters

A Thin Line of Defense Against “Honor Killings”

posted on March 3, 2015

In The New York Times, Alissa J. Rubin reports on the emergency women’s shelters in Afghanistan that provide a final line of protection from honor killings. “These shelters, almost entirely funded by Western donors, are one of the most successful — and provocative — legacies of the Western presence in Afghanistan, demonstrating that women need protection from their families and can make their own choices,” writes Rubin. “[A]llowing women to decide for themselves raises the prospect that men might not control the order of things, as they have for centuries. This is a revolutionary idea in Afghanistan — every bit as alien as Western democracy and far more transgressive.”

Read at The New York Times

A Death Row Inmate Finds Common Ground with Theologians

posted on March 2, 2015

In The New York Times, Mark Oppenheimer profiles Kelly Renee Gissendaner, a death row inmate scheduled to die on Monday, and her study of theology while in prison that included an unlikely friendship with German theologian Jürgen Moltmann. “Professor Moltmann, who has written of his own remorse at having fought in the German Army, offered his own idea of what awaits his friend,” Oppenheimer writes. “’If the State of Georgia has no mercy,’ he said, ‘she has received already the mercy of Heaven.'”

Read at The New York Times

Ordain Women’s Kate Kelly Loses Last Appeal; Husband to Resign from Mormon Church

posted on March 2, 2015

At The Salt Lake Tribune, Peggy Fletcher Stack reports that Kate Kelly, co-founder of the Ordain Women movement for opening the Mormon priesthood to women, has lost her last appeal to rejoin the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints. Kelly was excommunicated in June for apostasy and announced following the appeal that her husband would also leave the church. “I am disappointed in the outcome, but not surprised since the disciplinary process has been entirely opaque and inequitable from the get-go,” Kelly wrote in an Ordain Women news release, continuing, “Fortunately, men do not control my happiness, nor do they control my connection to God. I am proud of what I have done.”

Read at The Salt Lake Tribune

The Man in the Middle of Obama’s Showdown with Netanyahu

posted on March 2, 2015

At Foreign Policy, Yochi Dreazen and Colum Lynch report on Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador to the U.S. “While at Netanyahu’s side as his senior adviser—a title that, if anything, understated his importance—Dermer oversaw a portfolio that included speech writing, foreign affairs, polling, and divining Israel’s all-important relationship to the United States,” Dreazen and Lynch write. As ambassador, Dermer now seems to have forged close ties with primarily Republican lawmakers.

Read at Foreign Policy

North Carolina Senate Passes Opt-Out Measure for Officials Opposed to Gay Marriage

posted on February 26, 2015

Marti Maguire of Reuters reports, “The North Carolina state Senate voted on Wednesday to allow government officials to refuse to marry same-sex couples without fear of being fired, adding a new twist to the gay marriage debate in a region where such unions have faced strong opposition.” The vote came after many state magistrates actively opposed officiating the unions because it ran against their religious beliefs. While the courts have taken steps to provide special rights to some, we must not ignore the constitutionally protected rights of others,” said Republican State Senator Phil Berger, sponsor of the bill.

Read at Reuters

West Virginia Lawmakers Pass 20-Week Abortion Ban

posted on February 26, 2015

Matt Pearce of The Los Angeles Times reports, “West Virginia’s state Senate has approved an abortion ban at 20 weeks’ pregnancy.” The bill was approved by a strong margin in both houses, meaning the ban will likely be able to overcome a veto by Democratic Governor Earl Ray Tobin. “The politicians pushing this cruel measure are on the wrong side of public health, the wrong side of public opinion, and the wrong side of history,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Read at The Los Angeles Times

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