Religious Stories, Opinion & Controversy

  • Stop Distorting Religious Liberty When Debating Abortion
    by Rocklin & Slugh, JL on October 18, 2021 at 5:24 am

    Rocklin & Slugh, JL On September 20, several Jewish groups, alongside a Catholic organization, filed a Supreme Court brief arguing that religious concerns should trump secular interests when it comes to the constitutionality of Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban. If you assumed that these were pro-life groups invoking religion to argue that the Supreme Court should allow states to ban abortion, you were mistaken. In fact, Jewish groups — including the American Jewish Congress and Jewish Women International — joined Catholics for Choice to argue that the Court should defer to their…

  • Battle Lines Around the Word ‘Mormon’
    by Jana Riess, Religion News Service on October 18, 2021 at 5:24 am

    Jana Riess, Religion News Service My favorite podcast is a word nerd’s paradise. It’s basically one guy reading his lecture notes for an hour or more. No banter, no co-host, no lively guests to interview. Just this one man explaining the slow and often surprising evolution of the English language from its antecedents a few thousand years ago to the present. I’m more than 100 episodes in and we’re still stuck in the Middle Ages.

  • Suspect Confesses in Bow-and-Arrow Rampage in Norway
    by Cora Engelbrecht & Henrik Pryser Libell, New York Times on October 15, 2021 at 11:53 pm

    Cora Engelbrecht & Henrik Pryser Libell, New York Times The man accused of killing five people and wounding two others with a bow and arrow in the small Scandinavian town of Kongsberg has confessed to the rampage, his defense lawyer said in an interview on Friday. Espen Anderson Brathen, 37, a Danish citizen and local convert to Islam, “admits to committing the acts he is charged with,” said his lawyer, Fredrick Neumann, adding that his client was also undergoing a mental health evaluation “by doctors and health personnel.”

  • The Pandemic’s Toll on the Dead
    by Nomi Kaltmann, Tablet on October 15, 2021 at 11:53 pm

    Nomi Kaltmann, Tablet According to Orthodox Judaism, burial should take place with minimal delay after someone dies — sometimes it is only hours after death before a body is buried and a funeral can take place. Between death and burial, a body is taken to a chevra kadisha, a Jewish burial society, where it is attended to by small groups of volunteers who complete tahara, the ancient Jewish practice of cleaning and purifying a body before burial.

  • Progressive Christians Complicit in Christian Supremacy
    by Andre Key, RD on October 15, 2021 at 11:53 pm

    Andre Key, RD As we reflect on the implications of the Trump years there have been several books exploring the convergence of white evangelical Christianity, right-wing nationalism, and Trumpism as it morphed into a virulent form white Christian nationalism. These books offer critiques of the roots of this religious phenomenon as it came into full bloom during the 2016 presidential election and subsequent Trump presidency. What they share is a full-fledged takedown of white American evangelical Christian culture as purveyors and accomplices to the normalization of racism,…

  • Dealing With People Who Don’t Serve Gd
    by Gidon Rothstein, Torah Musings on October 15, 2021 at 11:53 pm

    Gidon Rothstein, Torah Musings Meshech Hochmah notices a progressive change in how verses refer to Lot’s relationship to Avraham. At the beginning of the parsha, 12;4, when Avraham leaves Haran at Gd’s command, the verse says va-yelech ito Lot, Lot went with him, and brings up Lot before it mentions Sarai, Avraham’s wife. As of then, Lot was a friend, colleague, a companion, almost an equal. In Israel, Gd appeared to Avraham twice in close succession, bringing Avraham more into the world of sanctity, while Lot stayed stagnant. The growing gap between them showed itself when Avraham…

  • How California Should Handle Junipero Sera
    by Editorial, Los Angeles Times on October 15, 2021 at 11:53 pm

    Editorial, Los Angeles Times In an era of statue toppling and building denaming, what should be made of the legacy of Father Junipero Serra, saint and architect of California’s mission history, which was replete with forced labor of the state’s Native Americans, mistreatment and the loss or near-loss of their cultures? The question has been a perpetual struggle for Californians over the last few decades.

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