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Apocalypse Now and Then: How a Biblical Genre Shapes American Politics

In state legislatures across the country, Republicans are systematically making it more difficult to vote, premised on the “Big Lie” that voter fraud was behind President Joe Biden’s election. The former president and much of his party refused to concede the 2020 election loss, with most Congressional Republicans voting against ratification of the results, leading to the January 6th insurrection. The disagreement among Republicans seems not so mu…

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Tokyo Governor Says Tsunami is Divine Punishment—Religious Groups Ignore Him

Scenes of destruction and human suffering in Japan have elicited worldwide support—both material and spiritual. But amid global calls for prayer and other religious responses, the most widely publicized religious response to the nation’s worst disaster since the Second World War comes from within Japan itself—a series of comments made by 79-year-old Tokyo Governor, Shintaro Ishihara. Ishihara, a prize-winning novelist, stage and screen actor, and…

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Ten-Year-Old Hero Confronts Anti-Gay Bigotry

I just love stories about young people taking a stand for justice. Not much else gets the tears flowing for me more than a good story about some little kid figuring out that civil liberties is a guarantee in the Constitution that should apply to everyone, so if somebody’s suffering from bigotry or discrimination, then, gosh darn it, that kid’s going to do something about it.  How can any American reading such stories not feel a little proud rush…

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Atheists Ignore Islamophobia at their Peril

When I first heard that a white supremacist opened fire on a Sikh gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin a few weeks ago, I froze. My stomach lurched and my thoughts turned to the friends I’d made in the Sikh community through my work as an atheist and interfaith activist. In the wake of the horror I reached out to friends directly and logged on to Twitter to express my shock, outrage, disgust, and sadness—as a Millennial, I suppose you could say this…

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What Irish Marriage Vote Means for Catholic Church; The Lonely Fight for Equality in Belize; Progress and Backlash in Tunisia; Global LGBT Recap

  The big news of the week was Irish voters’ overwhelming “yes” vote on a proposal to add marriage equality to the country’s constitution. The lopsided nature of the vote in heavily Catholic Ireland – and the fact that Church officials were opposed by every political party — has encouraged plenty of speculation about what the vote means for the Church in Ireland and its opposition to LGBT equality globally. Alex White, the Irish government’s mini…

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Anti-Gay Groups Running Out of Search Engines

Focus on the Family is accusing Google of giving its gay and lesbian employees special treatment. The information giant announced a new policy that will compensate its gay and lesbian employees for the federal taxes they must pay on when they take advantage of domestic partner health benefits. The perk, however, hasn’t been extended to unmarried heterosexual couples on the payroll, though, for obvious reasons, because heterosexuals “have the opti…

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Pope’s US Visit Provokes Intense Attention; New Vatican Book on Man-Woman Complementarity & New Int’l Report on Christian Role Models for LGBT Equality; Global LGBT Recap

The United Kingdom’s Stonewall has published “Christian Role Models for LGBT Equality,” a booklet that tells the stories of 20 Christians from 15 countries on six continents, with a foreward by Bishop Christopher Senyonjo of Uganda. The report is also available in Spanish. Pope Francis in the U.S. Pope Francis generated tremendous media attention with his trip to Cuba and the United States, where he met President Obama at the White House and call…

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Trump’s “Muslim Ban” A Gift to Terrorists

Donald Trump’s first acts as president were to sign a series of executive orders delivering on some of the most controversial of his campaign promises. On Friday afternoon, just two days after signing an order directing the Department of Homeland Security to build a wall along the Mexican border and increasing the number of border officers, the president signed an executive order that, according to the New York Times “suspended entry of all refug…

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Attack on the US Capitol Has Many Journos Finally Taking White Evangelical Authoritarianism and Christian Nationalism Seriously

A month ago, I argued here on RD that America’s national conversation about Christianity is “fundamentally unserious.” Not because, as conservative Christian commentator Bonnie Kristian would have it, Democrats find it offensive when an elected Republican like Rep. Madison Cawthorn brags about converting Muslims and Jews. (In my view, proselytizing is always objectification, and it should offend the sensibilities of those who embrace pluralism.)…

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Today We Pray for Women for Whom Pregnancy is Not Good News …

North Dakota’s one and only abortion clinic, located in Fargo, is something of a hub for religious life in the state’s largest city. Volunteer escorts come to the Red River Women’s Clinic (RRWC) from the nearby Lutheran college wearing buttons that say “Jesus Never Shamed Women.” At the same time, a couple of blocks away is a state-funded Christian crisis pregnancy center (one of the city’s nine state-funded CPCs), while across the parking lot an…

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