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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)
Death toll up to four in Cairo's Warraq church attack
The death toll increases to four and the injured to 18 in the Al-Warraq church attack Sunday on a wedding ceremony (Al Ahram)
Vigilantes Defeat Boko Haram in Its Nigerian Base
Fed up with the attacks by homegrown Islamist extremists, young informer-vigilantes have driven the group from Maiduguri, the city from where the group sprung. (The New York Times)
Turn to Religion Split Bomb Suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's Home
Over the past five years, the personal lives of the Tsarnaev family members slipped into turmoil, driven, at least in part, by a growing interest in religion by both Tamerlan and his mother. (The WallmStreet Journal)
Top Story March 31, 2015
There's Still Power in the Blood
There's Still Power in the Blood
Remember when we used to sing about how awesome it is?
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