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Links on R&P from around the web

Urged by Their Youth, Faith Groups Flock to the March for Our Lives

posted on March 26, 2018

Religion News Service’s Jack Jenkins reports that faith groups across the religious spectrum participated in the March for Our Lives demonstrations on Saturday. Religious leaders and youth groups have emerged as prominent voices for gun control. Charles Goodman, a 15-year-old Jewish survivor of the Parkland shooting and a participant in the march, said, “The Jewish people have a saying: thou shall not stand idly by while your neighbor’s blood is shed. My neighbor’s blood, my schoolmate’s blood, my teacher’s, my administrators’, my athletic director’s—their blood has been shed.”

Read at Religion News Service

Mississippi Bans Abortions After 15 Weeks; Opponents Swiftly Sue

posted on March 20, 2018

The New York Times’s Richard Fausset reports that on Monday Mississippi adopted a new law which bans abortions after 15 weeks. Mississippi’s only abortion clinic has responded by filing a lawsuit in federal court. Fausset writes, “Mississippi’s new 12-page law offers no exceptions for cases of rape or incest, but it does allow exceptions for ‘a medical emergency, or in the case of a severe fetal abnormality.’”

Read at The New York Times

This Preacher Would Be Happy to Share Your Bowl of Açaí

posted on March 19, 2018

The New York Times’s Laura Holson profiles Chad Veach, pastor of Zoe Church, a youth-orientated evangelical church in Los Angeles. Veach opened Zoe Church in August 2015 and now around 1,600 people regularly show up for his weekly services. Veach ascribes his success to Instagram and the church’s hip and unique style. “We’re here to talk about God,” Veach says. “This is not the place for a political agenda. This is the last place. When I come to church, you know what I need? I need encouragement.”

Read at The New York Times

The Koch Brothers vs. God

posted on March 19, 2018

For Longreads, Kenya Downs writes that black churches in Virginia are pushing back against the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The Koch brothers have funded advocacy campaigns for the pipeline, which would carry natural gas from West Virginia to North Carolina. The Rev. Faith Harris, a professor at the historically black Virginia Union College, says, “We in the church community have a moral responsibility to be out front on protecting our flock from climate change.”

Read at Longreads

Hijab Removal by New York Police Prompts Lawsuit

posted on March 19, 2018

The New York Times’s Al Baker reports that two Muslim women have filed a class-action lawsuit after the NYPD required them to remove their hijabs for an arrest photo last year. Although the NYPD allows arrested persons to request a member of the same sex to photograph them privately, critics say that this religious accommodation is not consistently followed. Baker writes, “The issue highlights the gulf between criminal justice policy, as it has evolved over time, and the cultural and religious obligations of those in custody.”

Read at The New York Times

“God Made Me Black on Purpose”

posted on March 19, 2018

POLITICO Magazine’s Tim Alberta profiles South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, who is the only African-American Republican in the Senate. Scott is deeply religious, and has had to balance his moral beliefs and racial identity with political allegiances to his party and the Trump presidency. Scott believes that he is uniquely positioned to address growing xenophobia and racial tension in the United States. “God made me black on purpose,” Scott says. “For a specific reason. It has helped me to help others who have been locked out of opportunity in many ways.”

Read at POLITICO Magazine

Should Pro-Life Clinics Have to Post Information About Abortion?

posted on March 19, 2018

The Atlantic’s Emma Green reports that on Tuesday the Supreme Court will hear NIFLA v. Becerra, a case that asks if crisis pregnancy centers can be required to post information about abortion services. CPCs are pro-life organizations that counsel women against getting an abortion. They have been accused of providing misleading information and posing as legitimate medical clinics, even when they are not. Green writes, “Now, the justices will consider their argument on free-speech grounds: Does the First Amendment prevent California from forcing CPCs to post information about abortions and disclose their licensure status in print and digital advertising?”

Read at The Atlantic

A Quiet Exodus: Why Black Worshipers Are Leaving White Evangelical Churches

posted on March 12, 2018

The New York Times’s Campbell Robertson reports on black worshipers who have left majority-white evangelical churches in the aftermath of Trump’s election. The absence of a conversation on racial injustice combined with the support of evangelical pastors for Trump have split multiracial congregations. Robertson writes, “As the headlines of the outside world turned to police shootings and protest, little changed inside majority-white churches. Black congregants said that beyond the occasional vague prayer for healing a divided country, or a donation drive for law enforcement, they heard nothing.”

Read at The New York Times

The Last Temptation

posted on March 12, 2018

For The Atlantic, Michael Gerson writes on the relationship between white evangelicals and the irreligious Trump. Evangelicalism has built its political activism on antagonistic reactions to progressive movements and social trends, he argues, and it has increasingly relied on apocalyptic rhetoric about the decline of America. Gerson writes, “Trump consistently depicts evangelicals as they depict themselves: a mistreated minority, in need of a defender who plays by worldly rules.” Gerson is a member of the National Advisory Board of the Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, which publishes this journal.

Read at The Atlantic

The Financial Whisperer to Trump’s America

posted on March 12, 2018

POLITICO Magazine’s Tim Alberta profiles Dave Ramsey, radio host of the popular “The Dave Ramsey Show.” He has amassed a following of 13 million weekly listeners with his straightforward financial advice. Ramsey, who advocates for fiscal conservatism and self-reliance, originally started a financial advice seminar at his church based on what he learned from his own bankruptcy in the 1980s. Ramsey says, “I find the regular guy can make it just fine if government will leave him alone, let him keep more of his money—and not take away his belief that it is up to him.”

Read at POLITICO Magazine