RAP Sheet

In Ferguson, Nation of Islam Members Push for Peace

posted on August 26, 2014

At Religion News Service, Lilly Fowler reports on the Nation of Islam’s helping hand in Ferguson, Missouri, during protests after the death of Michael Brown. Though Nation of Islam members helped control crowds and protected businesses from looters, many protesters find their presence “problematic,” Fowler writes. St. Louis Alderman Antonio French, however, praised the group’s efforts, saying that members had “a relationship with these young guys that few others do. Their presence makes us feel better about being able to keep the peace.”

Read at Religion News Service

Forget Priesthood — Some Mormon Feminists Seek a Middle Way

posted on August 26, 2014

In The Salt Lake Tribune, Peggy Fletcher Stack reports on “LDS women pushing for change.” Melissa Wei-Tsing Inouye, a New Zealand Mormon, wrote in an online essay that “neither the formal leadership… nor the informal influence of women within the community are immediately apparent.” Feminist Mormon women “have embraced a careful approach short of ordination, trying to help the church they love navigate the gender storm that seems to building all around,” Stack writes.

 

Read at The Salt Lake Tribune

Michael Brown’s Father Asks for Calm on Day of Funeral

posted on August 25, 2014

At the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Steve Giegerich reports on Michael Brown Sr.’s request for calm on the day of his son’s funeral. Brown, father of 18-year-old Michael Brown who was shot in Ferguson, Missouri, told an audience at PeaceFest 2014 in Forest Park, “Please, please take a day of silence so we can lay our son to rest.” The Rev. Al Sharpton echoed Brown’s sentiments, saying, “Mum is the word until Michael Brown is laid to rest. Then, justice.”

Read at St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Friends of Israel

posted on August 25, 2014

In The New Yorker, Connie Bruck reports on the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) clashes with the Obama Administration over the recent violence in Gaza. The main conflicts are the expansion of Israeli settlements and peace agreements between the Israelis and the Palestinians. A former AIPAC official noted that “the U.S. has its own foreign policy, and, while it is extremely friendly to Israel, it will only go so far.” Yossi Beilin, a former official in the Labor government, said that AIPAC “doesn’t represent the majority of Jews in America, who are so Democratic and liberal.”

Read at The New Yorker

U.S. Republicans Pressure Obama to Step Up Action against ISIS

posted on August 25, 2014

Reuters’ David Morgan reports on Republicans’ call for the Obama administration to be more aggressive in defeating ISIS. Representative Mike Rogers said, “We have the capability to defeat (ISIS). We now have to have the political will and we have to have the policy to do it.” Republicans have long been critical of Obama’s security policies, “including accusations that the president has shown a lack of leadership against terrorism,” Morgan writes.

Read at Reuters

Administration Offers Contraception Compromise for Religious Employers

posted on August 25, 2014

At The Wall Street Journal, Louise Radnofsky reports on the Obama administration’s new compromise with religious businesses, universities and charities, allowing employers to give responsibility of contraception coverage to the government. “Now that the administration has bent over backwards to accommodate religiously affiliated non-profits, it’s time for these organizations to put this issue behind them,” Sen. Barbara Boxer (D., Calif.) said. However, Radnofsky writes that on Friday, “Catholic bishops … indicated the new rules make only minor changes and are insufficient.”

Read at The Wall Street Journal

Bishop: Slain US Journalist Foley Opened Our Eyes

posted on August 25, 2014

The Associated Press reports on a Catholic mass held in honor of slain U.S. journalist James Foley. “Foley was living his faith by bringing images to the world of people suffering from war and oppressive regimes,” Bishop Peter Libasci said. The mass included a letter of condolences from Pope Francis.

Read at The Washington Post

Militant Group Says It Killed American Journalist in Syria

posted on August 20, 2014

In The New York Times, Rukmini Callmachi reports, “The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria posted a video on Tuesday that it said showed the beheading of James Foley, an American journalist who was kidnapped in Syria nearly two years ago.” In the video, a masked ISIS fighter said that Foley’s execution “is in retaliation for the recent American airstrikes ordered by President Obama” against ISIS.

Read at The New York Times

States of the Union

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

Maine

A Spiritual Frontier Opens for Business.

By Brook Wilensky-Lanford

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