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Links on R&P from around the web

McGurn: Cheer, Cheer for Old Notre Dame

posted on June 5, 2012

William McGurn at The Wall Street Journal poses the question: “Does the Indiana Democrat running for the U.S. Senate support Notre Dame’s lawsuit against the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate?” Joe Donnelly, an alumnus of Notre Dame’s undergraduate and law schools, has not come out in support of the lawsuit. McGurn writes: “The contraceptive mandate has now put Mr. Donnelly in another squeeze. He claims he wants a solution that would protect religious groups. But he rejects a legislative solution and declines to say outright that he wishes Notre Dame victory in its suit.” 

Read at The Wall Street Journal

Contraception? Gay Marriage? Abortion? GOP Holds Fire on Culture Wars Aims at Jobs, Economy

posted on June 5, 2012

Laurie Kellman writes that Republicans would like social issues to take a backseat to the economy as the presidential election approaches. She comments: “Republicans stung by the culture wars that dominated the nation’s political discourse this year are standing down on social issues.” The reason? “There is a growing sense among Republicans that … social issues generally are losers for the party at a time when the GOP is trying to appeal to swing voters.” 

Read at The Star Tribune

After Mubarak Conviction Anger and Political Maneuvers

posted on June 4, 2012

Kristen Chick reports for The Christian Science Monitor that former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the deaths of some 850 protestors, killed during the uprisings last year. Yet over the weekend, in cities across Egypt, large numbers of protesters took to the streets, angered that Mubarak and his sons were acquitted on corruption charges, and that several security officials were acquitted on charges that they participated in the mass killings. “The shoddy case prepared by the prosecutors highlights the lack of institutional change after the uprising in Egypt, where the president fell but his regime remained intact,” Chick writes. 

Read at The Christian Science Monitor

Is Mitt Romney’s Mormonism Fair Game?

posted on June 4, 2012

Jason Horowitz, The Washington Post reporter who has broken some of the most controversial stories about Romney and Mormonism this election cycle, explains how the Romney campaign has come to “determine whether coverage of the candidate’s Mormonism has crossed a line.” Horowitz writes that Romney spokespeople have developed a “test” to determine if journalists would have written a similar story about another candidate’s religion: they substitute “Jew” or “Jewish” every time a story identifies Mitt Romney as a “Mormon” or refers to the candidate’s “Mormonism.” According to Horowitz, “the campaign’s response gets at a crucial challenge for the news media: to educate the public about an unfamiliar faith unusually central to a candidate’s formation without treating Mormonism as biographical exotica that could fuel prejudices.”

Read at The Washington Post

One Last Journey into the Night

posted on June 4, 2012

The Boston Globe’s David Filipov travels to Auschwitz-Birknenau with Israel “Izzy” Arbeiter. Arbeiter barely survived the Nazi concentration camps, but his parents did not. The 87-year-old Arbeiter says that he made this return trip to Poland and Germany “to make my peace with what happened.” Filipov writes that Arbeiter “encounters kindness and good will, and a sincere effort among Poles and Germans to atone for the sins of the past. But peace, no. Peace eludes him at every turn.”

Read at The Boston Globe

Crowd Cheers Mormons in Utah Gay Pride Parade

posted on June 4, 2012

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that this past Sunday, hundreds of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) marched in Utah’s annual gay pride parade through downtown Salt Lake City. The parade’s grand marshall and Big Love screenwriter, Dustin Lance Black, who grew up Mormon, tweeted that such the public support from such a large number of “straight, active Mormons” left him “in tears.”  

Read at The Salt Lake Tribune

Untangling a Rape Case in Crown Heights

posted on June 4, 2012

The New York Times’ Alan Feuer and Colin Moynihan profile the ongoing racial and religious tension in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood, where black and Orthodox Jewish residents live in an uneasy peace, often broken by periods of violent unrest. At the center of the community’s latest controversy is a rape case. “On one side is the [Jewish] girl,” writes Feuer and Moynihan, “who is now a woman of 22 and says that for the better part of a decade, a group of local thugs forced her into prostitution, ensuring her submissiveness with a steady diet of beatings, threats and rapes. On the other side are the accused—four older black men—who deny the woman’s charges and contend that she herself was a kind of predator: a troubled teenager who crossed Crown Heights’s racial divide with an appetite for sex.”

Read at The New York Times

CARA Study: Priests Not Content with Bishops on Sex Abuse Front

posted on June 4, 2012

Writing for the National Catholic Reporter, Dan Morris-Young reports on the recently released study, “Same Call, Different Men: The Evolution of the Priesthood since Vatican II,” published by Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA). According to Morris-Young, the study finds that “[t]o varying degrees, U.S. priests continue to harbor discontent with church leaders and at times feel like they are walking on ‘eggshells’ as a result of the clergy sex abuse crisis.”

Read at National Catholic Reporter

How Texas Inflicts Bad Textbooks on Us

posted on June 4, 2012

At The New York Review of Books, Gail Collins explains how textbooks produced to comply with The Texas State Board of Education’s mandates affect teaching and learning in public schools around the country. And according to Collins, not for better. “[I]f your children go to pubic school…[and] graduated with a reflexive suspicion of the concept of separation of church and state and an unexpected interest in the contributions of the National Rifle Association to American history, you know who to blame.”

Read at The New York Review of Books

In U.S., 46% Hold Creationist View of Human Origins

posted on June 4, 2012

Gallup released a new poll that finds that close to half the U.S. population (46 percent) believes that “God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so.” The findings of this poll, the 11th such survey Gallop has conducted since 1982, are very much in line with the historical average of 45 percent who choose the “creationist” explanation for human origins. Republicans are more likely to be creationists (58 percent) than are Democrats (41 percent). 

Read at Gallup