There must be something in the air with the change of seasons. Last week we brought you sage advice from the mouth of Ross Douthat – this week, it’s Pat Robertson. Yes, you read that right. At the “America for Jesus 2012” rally in Philadelphia, Robertson told an anti-abortion protestor stumping for Romney to “shut [his] mouth” because the rally wasn’t political. You also read that right. For more details, check out this link.
How right was Robertson? Even the Mennonites agree! For an interesting (if somewhat meandering) take on the relationship between religion and politics, check out Daniel Hertzler’s “Congregational unity or the decision to vote?” on The Mennonite (hot tip: it helps to know your Hebrew Bible and Pauline Epistles).
Speaking of the weather, if it’s got you down, then a new study suggests that “spirituality can boost your mood.” Apparently, if you have a bad day, “tomorrow you’re much more likely to be spiritually inclined, to engage in spiritual practices”
In case you missed the SSRC’s “The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere” event back in October ’09, Judith Butler has further developed her critique of the relationship between Judaism and Zionism with her recent book, “Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism.” Shaul Magid at Religion Dispatches has an interesting take on the work, and on Zionism in general, here.
Their budget may still be a mess, but California is once again leading the charge on social issues. If you missed it in the Times, here’s another story on Governor Jerry Brown’s signing of Senate Bill 1172, banning therapies aimed at changing the sexual orientation of minors. But don’t give the governor too many points – Brown vetoed Senate Bill AB 889, which would have extended rights to foreign-born domestic workers, in practically the same breath.
And now a slight detour to discuss how awesome we are (The answer = very. Very awesome). The Revealer’s own Ann Neumann is the recipient of one of USC’s Knight grants for reporting on Religion and Public Life. For the piece that one, published on this very site in February, click here. For more on the grants, including the other interesting and worthy recipients, try here.
There is a lot lost in the midst of all the controversy and celebrity outrage (really, if Madonna’s angry, then I’m ANGRY TOO!) surrounding the Pussy Riot trial in Russia. For one, something similar happened before, and (hopefully) it will happen again. NYU’s Barbara Browning notes the affinities between the events surrounding the trial and the 1989 ACT UP protests at NYC’s St. Patrick’s Cathedral, as well as what she sees as the timeless relationship between faith, performance, and protest in her piece at the Nation. See? The people we know are great, too.
Here’s another detour – this time to discuss how awesome other people we know are (the answer’s still the same). Brook Wilensky-Lanford’s new book, “Paradise Lust: Searching for the Garden of Eden” is getting press over at the Times’ Book Review.
News from the UN Security Council: the head of the Arab League has called for an international criminalization of blasphemy. Wait, isn’t The Revealer currently running a series on blasphemy? We are? Yes, we are timely in addition to being awesome.
And today’s links end on a somber note. Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm has passed away at 95 years of age. The Times has an excellent obituary that describes his unique life, as well as his long-standing and hard-fought relationship with the Communist Party.