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Links on R&P from around the web

Joint Effort to Repair Vandalism at Jewish Cemetery Could Lead to More Trust, Muslim Activist Says

posted on March 9, 2017

Read at St. Louis Post-Dispatch

What Islam Could Teach Donald Trump about Democracy and Freedom

posted on March 9, 2017

At The Washington Post, David Decosimo, professor of theology at Boston University, writes, “President Trump is driven by the idea that Islam is a threat to what makes us American.” But, he argues, Trump could learn about the American values of freedom and equality from Islam and Muslims. Decosimo writes, “For Islam and the American founders alike, freedom is about protection from arbitrary power and rule by law, not the caprices of men. Theirs is a vision where citizens stand not in slavish deference to masters but on equal terms with all.”

Read at The Washington Post

Hawaii Sues to Block Trump Travel Ban; First Challenge to Order

posted on March 9, 2017

The New York Times’s Vivian Yee reports, “President Trump’s revised executive order barring citizens of six predominantly Muslim countries from traveling to the United States confronted its first legal challenge late Tuesday, the day after it was signed, when the State of Hawaii asked a federal judge to block it temporarily.” The Trump administration’s updated travel ban removes travel restrictions from Iraqis, green card holders, and lawful permanent residents of the United States. In the court papers, lawyers for the state wrote, “Given that the new executive order began life as a ‘Muslim ban,’ its implementation also means that the state will be forced to tolerate a policy that disfavors one religion.”

Read at The New York Times

What Do Mormons and Muslims Have in Common?

posted on March 8, 2017

For POLITICO Magazine, Stephen Prothero writes that the Trump Administration has repeatedly refused to acknowledge Islam as a real religion, despite its clear standing as a prominent world religion. Prothero points out that in the mid-nineteenth century, those who wanted to maintain a Protestant America often argued that Catholicism and Mormonism were “theological imposters.” He writes, “The anti-Mormon culture wars were the most wide-ranging assault on any religion in American history. The State of Missouri and the U.S Army waged war against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

Read at POLITICO Magazine

Conservative Synagogues Can Now Officially Accept Non-Jews as Members

posted on March 8, 2017

Religion News Service’s Lauren Markoe reports, “Though some Conservative synagogues have already welcomed non-Jews as members, the body that governs America’s second-largest stream of Judaism has now officially sanctioned the practice.” The general assembly of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism voted on March 1 to allow individual congregations to extend membership to non-Jews. Rabbi Stewart Vogel, the treasurer of the Rabbinical Assembly, said, “The Rabbinical Assembly believes in the idea that synagogue life should be open to those who wish to be part of the Jewish community and we are enriched by their presence.”

Read at Religion News Service

From City of Angels to Land of Mormons, New Catholic Bishop Bringing Fun-loving, Faith-filled Dynamism to Utah

posted on March 7, 2017

The Salt Lake Tribune’s Peggy Fletcher Stack reports that Oscar Azarcon Solis was installed as the 10th bishop of the Salt Lake City diocese on Tuesday after being appointed by the pope in January. The former Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop was the first Filipino bishop ordained in America. Stack writes of Solis, “Playful and personable, he does not demand deference but rather charms his listeners with self-deprecating humor, pop-culture allusions and profound God-soaked sermons.”

Read at The Salt Lake Tribune

The American Health Care Act: The Republicans’ Bill to Replace Obamacare, Explained

posted on March 7, 2017

Vox’s Sarah Kliff reports that Republicans in the House of Representatives released a replacement for the Affordable Care Act on Monday. Of the American Health Care Act, Kliff writes, “Some of Obamacare’s signature features are gone immediately, such as the tax on people who don’t purchase health care. Other protections, including the ban on discriminating people with pre-existing conditions and the provision that allows young adults to stay on their parents’ plan through age 26, would survive.”

Read at Vox

Moderate Baptist Ethicist Robert Parham Dies at 63

posted on March 7, 2017

The Tennessean’s Holly Meyer reports, “Robert Parham, a moderate Baptist ethicist and founder of the Nashville-based Baptist Center for Ethics, died Sunday after an illness.” Parham started the Baptist Center for Ethics in 1991, as a moderate counterpart to the Southern Baptist Convention’s policy arm. Ray Higgins, coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Arkansas and Parham’s close friend, said, “Robert was a creative and courageous voice and a clear voice for applying one’s Christian faith to one’s daily living and one’s public policy hopes.”

Read at The Tennessean

Trump Tells Planned Parenthood Its Funding Can Stay if Abortion Goes

posted on March 7, 2017

The New York Times’s Maggie Haberman reports, “The White House, concerned about the possible political repercussions of the Republican effort to defund Planned Parenthood, has proposed preserving federal payments to the group if it discontinues providing abortions.” A provision to revoke all funds for Planned Parenthood was added to Monday’s House Republican healthcare bill designed to replace the Affordable Care Act. Dawn Laguens, the vice president of Planned Parenthood, said, “Offering money to Planned Parenthood to abandon our patients and our values is not a deal that we will ever accept.”

Read at The New York Times

Trump Issues a Travel Ban Altered to Stand Up in Court

posted on March 6, 2017

The New York Times‘ Glenn Thrush reports,”President Trump on Monday signed a revised version of his executive order that would for the first time rewrite American immigration policy to bar migrants from predominantly Muslim nations, removing citizens of Iraq from the original travel embargo and scrapping a provision that explicitly protected religious minorities.” Democrats and immigrant rights groups are already protesting the “watered-down ban,” as Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called it. The new order will go into effect over the next two weeks.

Read at The New York Times