Are We Born With Some Notion of an Eye for an Eye?
Our research shows that by 8 months of age, infants prefer to play with puppets who treat bad individuals badly, even over those who treat bad individuals well. (J. Kiley Hamlin, Science and Religion Today)
Opinion: Hiroshima’s lessons
What the Air Force should remember about Just War and nuclear weapons. -(Tyler Wigg-Stevenson, The Washington Post)
A Christian Group Seeks to End Extreme Poverty
Some 138 million Christians live in the United States—and they collectively earn $2.4-trillion per year. If each one of those people just slightly increased the amount he or she gives each year, they could eradicate extreme poverty by 2035 (The Chronicle of Philanthropy)
Brazil convict remains jailed in nun's murder
A rancher convicted of masterminding the murder of a U.S. nun who was also an environmental activist will have to stay in jail while his case is appealed, Brazil's top court ruled (Associated Press)
Opinion: A Case for Hell
While large majorities of Americans believe in God and heaven, belief in hell lags. How did they lose the fear of damnation? (Ross Douthat, The New York Times)
Pro-Life Sentiment Hits an All-Time High, According to Rasmussen
Also: Among respondents who said that the issue of abortion was “very important” in terms of how they would vote in the next congressional election, 58 percent said that they were pro-life, while only 39 percent identified as “pro-choice.” (Michael New, National Review Online)
Why (some) states use religion to justify violence - The Washington Post
When states enforce a particular interpretation of religious law, citizens are forced to abide by it rather than their own conscience. And when states retain the ability to hire and train clerical staff, manage the construction of religious buildings and even approve sermons, they hinder the ability of individuals and groups to function as independent social actors. Through policy mechanisms, religion becomes a tool of the state, ready to be wielded to advance its interests. That tool can even be used to justify acts of physical coercion and even violence
Torture Is Who We Are - The Atlantic
The wisest American thinkers have found a way to reconcile this need to feel special with the recognition that, as human beings, Americans are just as fallen as everyone else. In the mid-20th century, men like Schlesinger and Reinhold Niebuhr argued that, paradoxically, the more Americans recognized their sinfulness, and restrained it within systems of law, the more America would prove its superiority over those totalitarian systems that refused such restraints.
Vandals spray 'KKK' tag on third black church in Fla.
It is the third predominantly black church in the rural county this week that has been vandalized with racial remarks, sparking an FBI investigation into what appear to be hate crimes. Along with two churches on Sunday, a truck at Wildwood Golf Course was also painted with "KKK."
Three Del. churches hit by arsons in one day
Moorer – who said he started Healing Hands after God came to him in a dream 12 years ago – believes his church was targeted. There have been multiple problems since it was established, he said. The church, which has a diverse congregation, has been subject to racially tinged vandalism in the past. Two juveniles were arrested in March 2004 for spray-painting slurs on the church. In a separate incident in 2006, vandals spray-painted swastikas and racial slurs in the church.
Religion and human rights: Awkward, but necessary, bedfellows | The Economist
Jack Snyder, a Columbia University professor, puts it in a nutshell: "The international human rights movement has for the most part failed to penetrate the consciousness of societies where the worst abuses occur. It remains a largely elite project of activists and lawyers using global rather than vernacular language." Secular human-rights advocates cannot easily speak to or on behalf people in traditional societies; religious leaders find it much easier.
Muslim Brotherhood’s Words on Women Stir Liberal Fears
In a statement Wednesday on a proposed United Nations declaration to condemn violence against women, the Brotherhood issued a list of objections, which formally laid out its views on women for the first time since it came to power. (The New York Times)
Suburban attorney indicted for falsifying asylum requests - Chicago Tribune
DeKelaita, himself a Christian born in Iraq, has won asylum for hundreds of Iraqi Christians facing potential deportation, according to a 2008 Los Angeles Times story. He's been a prominent local advocate for Christians in Iraq, speaking publicly and writing articles posted online about their persecution.
Pilgrims: Immigrant religion in Pittsburgh
Some American churches are actively evangelizing among the newcomers — seeing a historic moment in which the populations of the once-distant mission fields are now in their own backyards. Some immigrants themselves are proselytizing among their own ethnic and language groups and their U.S.-born neighbors. Many faith-based social-service organizations forbid proselytizing in their work with immigrants and refugees, but some congregations do evangelize while also offering practical aid such as food, clothing and English lessons.