Monthly archive February, 2012

Daily Links

Our founding editor, Jeff Sharlet, was on NPR this week talking about religious freedom, what it means to assign the Christian label to the American population, and the long history of Christian persecution rhetoric in U.S. politics.  Listen here. "There were never school shootings when prayer was in school."  The Ohio school shooting, some...

Santorum’s Holy Sanctum

Amy Levin: I’m not sure God would be too happy with Santorum lately - I mean, it’s one thing to defend religious liberty in the name of a Christian nation, but it’s another to use petty language to reference divinely ordained scripture. Despite his claim that he was not criticizing the President’s Christianity, Santorum’s Ohio...

Religion and Real Estate in New York City

By Fred Folmer Should religious groups be allowed to worship in New York City public schools? This question is at the heart of an ongoing issue involving church leaders, congregants and public officials, who are challenging a decision by the Bloomberg administration and Department of Education to evict churches that use school buildings for their worship...

Weekly Links: In the World

Nora Connor: According to Salon’s Wajahat Ali, the conversion of Oliver Stone’s son Sean to Islam last week prompted a worldwide Muslim face-palm. Why, the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims are wondering, can’t we get a convert with more upside? In a nod to one of Dave Chappelle’s best skits, Ali “reports” on the first...

Daily Links: Pressing Questions Edition

Where is Jesus' foreskin?  Listen to David Farley discuss An Irreverent Curiosity: In Search of the Church's Strangest Relic in Italy's Oddest Town on NPR's Rick Steve Show. Does Daddy Know Best?  Ann Pellegrini on the nature of recent attempts to further limit women's privacy and reproductive choice. Are imagination and science really at war? An excerpt...

Did the Ex-Gay Movement Exodus the Building?

By Becky Garrison Despite recent efforts to mainstream its image, Exodus International, a network of ministries formed over 30 years ago to "mobilizing the body of Christ to minister grace and truth to a world impacted by homosexuality," appears to be on the decline. As reported by Truth Wins Out, a non-profit organization...

Muslim Attitudes

Comment by NYU assistant professor/faculty fellow Jeremy Walton on yesterday's New York Times article, "Koran burning in NATO Error Incites Afghans,"  (February 21, 1:39 pm):
These comments are, on the whole, atrocious and disturbing, for two reasons. First, there seems to be absolutely no interest or concern on the part of most NYTimes readers to comprehend...

Ritual and Devotion at Westminster

Observations from a few hours spent at the 136th Kennel Club Dog Show By Ashley Baxstrom We gathered, one week ago, like so many pilgrims flocking to a holy site. Or rather, flocking to a site where the objects of our devotion gathered. Was it the idea of a place in which generations had come together for more...

Drag-ging their Way to Credibility

Amy Levin:  Last year it was Jo Calderone performing at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, and this year it was Roman Zolanski at the 2012 Grammy Awards. If these names aren’t ringing a bell, you might otherwise know them as the now famous male alter-egos of singers Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj,...

Tying Knots

Becky Garrison:  In the battle for marriage equality, a federal appeals court and the Washington State legislature delivered both a love letter for same-sex couples and a Valentine's Day massacre on society, depending on one's interpretation of civil liberties and the institution of marriage. On February 7, 2012, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals declared California's Proposition...

Boko Haram in National Perspective

By Alex Thurston Violence by Boko Haram, a rebel sect in Northern Nigeria that claims to be waging an Islamic jihad against the Nigerian state, has killed over 900 people since 2009, including over 250 in 2012 alone. Domestic and international analysts...

Be Mine

By Jeremy Walton   On February 14th, 1989, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini sent what surely must have been one of the blackest Valentine’s greetings of all time to novelist Salman Rushdie.  Invoking somewhat dubious legal and theological authority—as a Twelver Shi’a, Khomeini could hardly claim to speak for all of the world’s Muslims—he called for Rushdie’s death on...