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Open Doors and Lingering Pain at Charleston Church Where 9 Were Killed
As Emanuel A.M.E. Church copes with the killing of nine members in June, it is seeing more white visitors, while its interim pastor faces questions. (The New York Times)
Charleston Shooting Adds to Security Fears in Places of Worship
The massacre last week in South Carolina has heightened anxiety among clergy members and the faithful, forcing black churches in particular to grapple with their vulnerability. (The New York Times)
Muscular Christianity and American sport's undying love of violence | Sport | The Guardian
The Muscular Christians strongly believed in the formative power of athletic competition, that by participating in games and sports young men would be instilled with positive character traits.
Gender, violence and religion: When north and south agree | The Economist
So...was this one more depressing display of the giant cultural gap between the liberal north and the traditional south, especially over sexuality, which is tearing apart the 80m-strong Anglican Communion, and many other religious bodies? No, it was nothing of the kind, and that's what made the discussion more worthwhile.
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
As Christmas approaches, Baghdad Christians lament empty pews - The Washington Post
“It’s a disaster,” he said. “Violence and discrimination and corruption are kicking us out, then others are pulling us out. The international community is encouraging Christians to leave. This is destroying our community here.”
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.
Karen Armstrong's Fields of Blood: Is Religion Inherently Violent? - The Atlantic
Although "religious" violence has always had a political element, she argues, the political nature of warfare—even in wars with putatively religious justifications—has become even more pronounced in contemporary history.
Syrian forces take three villages near Lebanon border
"Syrian government troops seized at least three communities along the border with Lebanon, including an ancient Christian hamlet, north of Damascus on Monday." (Al Aryabia News)
In Mexico, agitation between church and gangland state
The bishops have had it with drug gangs terrorizing their flock. Now they’re finally speaking out. (Global Post)
The Colonists’ New Religious Mystery
The Colonists’ New Religious Mystery
Sorry, Pilgrims: Jamestown’s spiritual life is suddenly much more fascinating.
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