RAP Sheet

Suspect in Quebec Mosque Attack Quickly Depicted as a Moroccan Muslim. He’s a White Nationalist.

posted on January 31, 2017

The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald reports that after a shooting at a mosque killed six in Quebec City on Sunday, media outlets were quick to depict the shooter as Muslim, even though he was a white nationalist. Greenwald points out that authorities went as far as arresting a Moroccan individual for the crime, who turned out to be a worshipper at the mosque. Greenwald writes, “The actual shooting suspect is 27-year-old Alexandre Bissonnette, a white French Canadian who is, by all appearances, a rabid anti-immigrant nationalist.”

Read at The Intercept

White House Says LGBT Protections For Federal Workers Will Remain

posted on January 31, 2017

The New York Times’ Juliet Eilperin and Sandhya Somashekhar report, “The White House vowed Tuesday to keep the Obama administration protections extended to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers, a statement said, apparently responding to reports that the orders would be reversed.” The executive order, signed by Obama in 2014, bars discrimination in federal hiring on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and has a provision that requires companies doing business with the government to have policies preventing LGBT discrimination. Eilperin and Somashekhar point out, “The issue of gay rights is particularly fraught for Vice President Pence, who as governor of Indiana signed a controversial measure expanding religious liberties in a way that gay rights groups said opened the door to legalized discrimination.”

Read at The New York Times

Congregation Surveys Mosque for First Time Since Fire

posted on January 31, 2017

For Victoria Advocate, Kathryn Cargo reports that members of the Victoria Islamic Center are beginning to survey the damage of their mosque, which was burned to ruins on Saturday. Imam Osama Hassan, a leader of the mosque pointed out that, despite the destructive blaze, many of the Qurans remain intact. He said, “You can see where it burned, but the words, you can read them. It’s amazing how God protects his book.” Investigators have not determined the cause of the fire, but a charity account set up to raise funds for rebuilding the mosque has raised nearly one million dollars.

Read at Victoria Advocate

How Distrust of Unbelievers Runs Deep in American History

posted on January 31, 2017

For The Conversation, the Danforth Center’s own Leigh E. Schmidt writes that Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama has expressed doubts about the moral code of the non-religious throughout his career. Schmidt explains that American politicians have a history of distrusting the non-religious; John Adams said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.” Schmidt writes of Sessions, “He sees religion (especially his Protestant version of it) as having been integral to the welfare of the republic and considers secularism as corrosive of that anchoring synthesis.”

Read at The Conversation

How the Catholic Mood About the Trump Administration Shifted in Just a Week

posted on January 31, 2017

America’s Michael O’Loughlin reports that Catholic leaders across the country are speaking out against Trump’s push to put stringent limits on U.S. immigration. Although many Catholics are pleased with Trump’s pro-life stance on abortion, they find that his proposal to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and his order to bans refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries show a lack of care for human life. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo said, “Welcoming the stranger and those in flight is not one option among many in the Christian life. It is the very form of Christianity itself.”

Read at America

Trump Fires Acting Attorney General Who Defied Him

posted on January 31, 2017

The New York Times’ Michael D. Shear, Mark Landler, Matt Apuzzo, and Eric Lightblau report, “President Trump fired his acting attorney general on Monday night, removing her as the nation’s top law enforcement officer after she defiantly refused to defend his executive order closing the nation’s borders to refugees and people from predominantly Muslim countries.” Trump replaced Sally Q. Yates, who previously served under Obama, with Dana J. Boente, a District attorney from Virginia who has said that he is willing to sign off on Trump’s executive order regarding refugees. Boente will act as the attorney general until Congress confirms Trump’s nominee, Senator Jeff Sessions from Alabama.

Read at The New York Times

Christian Leaders Nearly Unanimous in Opposing Trump’s Muslim Ban

posted on January 30, 2017

Slate’s Ruth Graham reports that thousands of faith leaders across the country are speaking out against the executive order signed by President Trump on Friday that bans immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Graham writes, “The president of World Relief, a humanitarian organization affiliated with the National Association of Evangelicals, said, ‘Any limitation against any vulnerable population is to fly in the face of human dignity, of people made in the image of God.”’ Graham writes of Christian ministries, “In explaining their concern for asylum-seekers, many cite the words of Jesus when he condemned those who failed to treat ‘the least of these’ with the same respect they would give him.”

Read at Slate

Canadian PM Says Mosque Shooting a “Terrorist Attack On Muslims”

posted on January 30, 2017

For Reuters, Kevin Dougherty reports, “Six people were killed and eight wounded when gunmen opened fire at a Quebec City mosque during Sunday night prayers, in what Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called a ‘terrorist attack on Muslims.”’ Police said an arrest had been made. The shooting comes after Trudeau announced Canada would welcome stranded refugees impacted by U.S. President Donald Trump’s ban of refugees and immigrants from seven predominately Muslim countries.

Read at Reuters

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

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How an Orthodox Rabbi Became an Unlikely Ally of the Christian Right https://t.co/djpez1MBKr


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