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Links on R&P from around the web

American Jews Are Terrified

posted on December 11, 2019

The Atlantic‘s Emma Green writes about the many recent incidents of anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic violence, including yesterday’s deadly shooting at a kosher grocery store in Jersey City, New Jersey. Later the same day, reports about the Trump administration’s planned executive order targeting anti-Semitism on college campuses also sparked widespread debate. Green writes, “This is the pernicious nature of anti-Semitism: It emerges in many different forms, from all sides of the political spectrum.” She adds, “Anti-Semitism is terrifying because of its myriad forms, and for its ability to sow division among Jews themselves. But it is also terrifying because it is not possible to solve, and it never goes away.”

Read at The Atlantic

Trump Administration Says Israel’s West Bank Settlements Do Not Violate International Law

posted on November 19, 2019

The Washington Post’s Karen DeYoung, Steve Hendrix, and John Hudson report, “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that the Trump administration had determined that Israel’s West Bank settlements do not violate international law, a decision he said had ‘increased the likelihood’ of a Middle East peace settlement.” It has been U.S. policy for more than 40 years to say that Israeli expansion is an obstacle to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. DeYoung, Hendrix, and Hudson write, “More than 700,000 settlers have taken up residence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since the 1967 war. Both areas are claimed by Palestinians for a future state.”

Read at The Washington Post

Houston Police Department Honors Fallen Sikh Deputy by Allowing Officers to Serve With Their Articles of Faith

posted on November 19, 2019

CNN’s Harmeet Kaur reports that the Houston Police Department will allow officers to wear Sikh articles of faith when they are on duty. This policy honors Sandeep Dhaliwal, a Sikh officer killed while on duty in September. Kaur writes, “Dhaliwal gained national attention in 2015 when the sheriff’s department changed its policy to allow him to wear the Sikh turban and a beard as part of his uniform.” That exception is now official policy for the Houston Police Department. Nikki Singh, policy and advocacy manager for the Sikh Coalition says, “This policy change shows that no one should ever choose between their faith or their career, and also that these articles of faith pose no barrier to service.”

Read at CNN

Pete Buttigieg Wants to Build a Bridge to the Religious Right. But Tension Within His In-Laws’ Family Highlights How Difficult That May Be.

posted on November 14, 2019

The Washington Post’s Amy B. Wang reports that Chasten Buttigieg, husband of presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, has clashed with his family during his husband’s campaign, exemplifying the tension between gay rights and religion. Rhyan Glezman, an evangelical pastor and Chasten Buttigieg’s brother, has appeared on Fox News to accuse his brother of lying about his childhood being difficult because he was gay. Pete Buttigieg said, “I talk about my story, [but] I think his story is even more of somebody whose life has really been shaped by the political decisions of others.”

Read at The Washington Post

Mormon Quest for Peace and Freedom in Mexico Shattered by Violence and Adversity

posted on November 12, 2019

CNN’s Ray Sanchez reports that the recent murder of nine members of a Mormon family has spotlighted an American-Mexican community with long ties to the region. The splinter Mormon group was fleeing persecution in the United States when they arrived in Mexico nearly 140 years ago. “They have a very vivid sense of their own history of persecution, which is not imaginary. Now it’s the cartels. And all they’ve wanted to do is live independently and according to their values,” said Laurie Maffly-Kipp, a professor at the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis, which publishes this journal.

Read at CNN

Judge Scraps “Conscience” Rule Protecting Doctors Who Deny Care for Religious Reasons

posted on November 12, 2019

NPR’s Selena Simmons-Duffin and Colin Dwyer report, “In a blow to the Trump administration, a federal court in Manhattan has knocked down a rule that would make it easier for doctors and other health care workers to refuse care for religious reasons.” They could, for instance, opt out of performing or being a part of an abortion procedure. Simmons-Duffin and Dwyer write, “Critics of the rule saw it as a means of allowing health care workers to circumvent rules against discrimination.”

Read at NPR

A New Chain of Christian Pregnancy Centers Will Provide a Controversial Service: Contraception

posted on November 12, 2019

The Washington Post’s Sarah Pulliam Bailey reports that the Source, a new chain of Christian pregnancy centers in Texas, will begin providing women with contraceptives, a controversial move for many conservative and anti-abortion Christians. However, the Source sees contraceptives as a way to reduce abortions by decreasing the amount of unwanted pregnancies. Ingrid Skop, an obstetrician-gynecologist who joined the Source board says, “Even within the pro-life community, there’s a lot of nuance in what we think we should be offering to women. It helps to show that not every pro-life activist says, ‘Put an aspirin between your legs and don’t have sex.’”

Read at The Washington Post

How Does the Human Soul Survive Atrocity?

posted on November 5, 2019

Writing for The New York Times Magazine, Jennifer Percy reports on the mental health crisis facing thousands of Iraqis in the wake of the ISIS occupation. It is estimated that the rate of depression among Iraqis is nearly double that of Western nations. To combat the crisis, the University of Duhok opened the country’s first psychotherapy master’s program. Percy writes, “Iraqis have suffered under almost 40 years of continuous conflict … and yet the country has almost no trained professionals to treat an epidemic of war-induced psychological disorders.”

Read at The New York Times Magazine

Meet Alexander Vindman, the Colonel Who Testified on Trump’s Phone Call

posted on November 5, 2019

The New York Times’ Sheryl Gay Stolberg profiles combat veteran Alexander Vindman, the National Security Council member who testified for the impeachment inquiry about President Trump’s phone call with Ukraine. Vindman, along with his brother Yevgeny, a fellow NSC member, immigrated to the United States as Jewish refugees fleeing Soviet Ukraine when they were three. Stolberg writes, “His heritage gave Colonel Vindman, who is fluent in both Ukrainian and Russian, unique insight into Mr. Trump’s pressure campaign.”

Read at The New York Times

US Growth of Islam Creates Need for Religious Scholars

posted on November 5, 2019

The Associated Press’ Jeff Karoub and Noreen Nasir report that new seminaries are opening to train imams and combat the shortage of Islamic religious leaders in the United States. American mosques struggle to find imams with both a strong theological background and a knowledge of American culture. Ali Bazzi, a seminary student, explained what she looks for in an imam: “I need to make sure he speaks the language, he’s knowledgeable, he’s respectful, he’s truly caring and he’s trying to adapt to the country we live in.”

Read at The Associated Press