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Links on R&P from around the web

Pelosi: Democratic Candidates Should Not be Forced to Toe Party Line on Abortion

posted on May 3, 2017

The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty reports, “The Democratic Party should not impose support for abortion rights as a litmus test on its candidates, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Tuesday, because it needs a broad and inclusive agenda to win back the socially conservative voters who helped elect President Trump.” On abortion, Pelosi said, “It’s kind of fading as an issue. It really is.” Pelosi’s comments contrast with previously made comments by Democratic National Committee Chairman Thomas Perez, who said that abortion rights are “nonnegotiable” for Democrats.

Read at The Washington Post

Legal Fight Could Make Kentucky Only State With No Abortion Clinic

posted on May 2, 2017

The New York Times’s Sheryl Gay Stolberg reports, “As states across the nation enact increasingly aggressive restrictions on abortion, perhaps nowhere has the political climate shifted as much as here in Kentucky, where the E.M.W. Women’s Surgical Center, a squat tan brick building on Market Street, is the state’s sole abortion clinic.” Gov. Matt Bevin has threatened to close the clinic for a lack of licensing, but a judge issued an emergency order blocking the closing as part of an ongoing court battle. Stolberg writes that E.M.W. is guarded by volunteers in orange vests, who escort patients through protesters.

Read at The New York Times

How Two Mississippi College Students Fell in Love and Decided to Join a Terrorist Group

posted on May 2, 2017

The Atlantic’s Emma Green profiles Jaelyn Young and Muhammad Dakhlalla, college students who were dating when they planned a trip to join ISIS. They were apprehended at the airport, and they pleaded guilty to terrorism charges last year. Dakhlalla and Young, a Muslim convert, were allegedly radicalized on the internet, and they spoke to an FBI agent posing as an ISIS recruiter. Green writes, “Details from court documents submitted by the FBI allege Jaelyn and Moe talked about ISIS in disturbingly casual ways—a sign either that they were fully aware of what they were getting themselves into, or that they were living in a total state of unreality.” after talking to an FBI agent posing as an ISIS recruiter

Read at The Atlantic

Why White Evangelicals Are “Splintering” Politically

posted on May 2, 2017

NPR’s Danielle Kurtzleben interviews Frances FitzGerald, the author of The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America, a new book that explores the history of the evangelical movement. FitzGerald says, “‘Evangelicals’ in a way was made a category by Billy Graham after this split between the liberals and the conservatives, and he divorced himself from the fundamentalists and created the term—or re-created the term ‘evangelical’ to describe conservative protestants who were not fundamentalists.” She adds, “There is now a progressive party within evangelicalism that is, was, and still remains anti-abortion and so forth but is also socially justice-minded in a way, going back to those in the 19th century.”

Read at NPR

Five Men File Sex Abuse Lawsuit against Boy Scouts, Mormon Church

posted on May 2, 2017

For The Salt Lake Tribune, Rebecca Boone reports, “Five men who say they were sexually abused as kids while in the Boy Scouts of America are suing the organization and the Mormon church because they say both groups fraudulently presented the Boy Scouts as a safe, wholesome activity for boys.” The lawsuit alleges that while on a Boy Scouts camping event, which was supported by the Mormon church, one of the plaintiffs was abused by a scoutmaster who was already accused of inappropriate behavior. LDS Church spokesman Eric Hawkins said, “We have only recently learned about this legal action, and will take time to understand it fully and to respond as appropriate.”

Read at The Salt Lake Tribune

Guns and Religion: How American Conservatives Grew Closer to Putin’s Russia

posted on May 1, 2017

The Washington Post’s Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger report on the shift among American conservatives toward Russia. They write, “On issues including gun rights, terrorism and same-sex marriage, many leading advocates on the right who grew frustrated with their country’s leftward tilt under President Barack Obama have forged ties with well-connected Russians and come to see that country’s authoritarian leader, Vladimir Putin, as a potential ally.”

Read at The Washington Post

Methodist High Court Rejects First Openly Gay Bishop’s Consecration

posted on May 1, 2017

The New York Times’s Laurie Goodstein reports, “The United Methodist Church’s highest court has ruled that the consecration of its first openly gay bishop violated church law, compounding a bitter rift over homosexuality that has brought the 13-million-member denomination to the brink of schism.” The church’s Judicial Council, which announced the 6-to-3 vote on Friday, maintains that Bishop Karen P. Oliveto of Denver, who was elected last summer, “remains in good standing.” Bishop Bruce R. Ough, president of the United Methodist Church’s Council of Bishops, said, “This ruling really does nothing to resolve the tension and impatience and anxiety in our system. It’s not clear-cut enough.”

Read at The New York Times

Meet Hasan Minhaj: The Muslim Comedian Who Roasted Trump in Front of Reporters

posted on May 1, 2017

For The Washington Post, Kate Shellnutt reports that Hasan Minhaj became the first Muslim to headline the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner on Saturday. Minhaj, a comedian for “The Daily Show,” asked the audience, “Who would have thought, with everything going on in the country right now, that a Muslim would be standing on this stage?” Shellnutt writes, “The Comedy Central star joins a new generation of young performers like Aziz Ansari (“Parks and Recreation,” “Master of None”) and Riz Ahmed (“The Night Of,” “Rogue One”) who aim to reclaim their Muslim heritage from post-9/11 stereotypes and instead offer a richer view of navigating two cultures.”

Read at The Washington Post

Beyond Alt

posted on May 1, 2017

New York magazine profiles the far right, documenting the white supremacist, Islamophobic, and misogynist counterculture that has increasingly used the internet to spread its message in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidency. The authors write, “To many on the radicalized right, social progress is a zero-sum game in which minority groups and women have been winning at the expense of the previous kings of the castle.” They add, “The alt-right’s fixation on the dangers of radical Islam has a kind of poetic irony to it: Like ISIS, it is fringe extremist, punkish, and digital in its pursuit of medievally brutal goals, more focused on blowing up the existing system than creating a new one.”

Read at New York

Reverend Resistance

posted on April 26, 2017

For Esquire, Tommy Tomlinson profiles the Rev. William Barber II, the leader of the progressive Christian activist group, the Repairers of the Breach. Since 2013, Barber has led rallies and peaceful protests in North Carolina known as Moral Mondays, which aim to challenge Republican leadership on issues of social justice. In a November sermon, Barber said of the Bible, “I can’t find anything in the book that says your major concern ought to be tax cuts for the wealthy and giving money to private schools and making sure people have gun rights. But I can find in Deuteronomy that you’re supposed to care for the stranger and the poor.”

Read at Esquire