A U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Monday offered "another example" of the court's "conservative supermajority continuing its politicized agenda," said the head of one of the nation's largest teachers unions as the decision overturned decades of precedent which prohibited educators from leading students in religious displays. In Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, which concerned a coach who led prayers on the 50-yard line of a Washington state high school's football field, the court's right-wing majority ruled that the coach's prayers were protected under the First Amendment and that school officials who asked him to stop were not acting in the interest of the nation's bedrock laws separating church and state.
Washington, DC - Yesterday Gabe Galanda, Chairman of the Huy Board of Advisors, delivered an intervention in Washington, DC to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Religious Freedom or Belief, Ahmed Shaheed, regarding obstacles Indigenous prisoners in the United States face to enjoying and exercising the right to freedom of religion or belief. Shaheed held a consultation with Indigeneous peoples from the United States regarding obstacles they face in exercising traditional religious freedoms. In October 2022, he will issue a report at the United Nations General Assembly regarding impediments to Indigenous religious rights worldwide. The Native American Rights Fund also delivered an intervention to the Special Rapporteur.
On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to journalist and author, Ariel Sabar, about his new book Veritas: A Harvard Professor, a Con Man and the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife. Sabar’s book exposes much about the bankruptcy of contemporary theology and the yearning by academics to be lionized by the mass media and popular culture, even at the expense of truth. In 1945 a collection of early Christian codices, or books, in fourth century A.D. script, were discovered at Nag Hammadi near the Nile, about 300 miles south of Cairo. The 52 works were translated from earlier Greek texts, many of them written by Gnostic sectarians. The Gnostics were condemned as heretics by the early church and their writings were banned.
Occupied Jerusalem - The Red Crescent said that the number of injuries among Palestinian worshipers at Al-Aqsa Mosque has increased to reach more than 215, including 135 cases that were hospitalized and 4 in critical condition. Most of the injuries were to the face and eyes, as the occupation forces have been firing rubber-coated metal bullets and stun grenades at the worshipers, the Red Crescent said. Several worshipers are also trapped in the Qibali prayer room at Al-Aqsa Mosque, as the Israeli forces prevented them from going to the courtyards of the mosque, and attacked them with tear gas canisters.
“They will run and not grow weary,” is a quote from the Bible (Isaiah, 40:41) that adorns the homepage of Kairos Palestine. This important document, which parallels a similar initiative emanating from South Africa during the anti-apartheid struggle years, has come to represent the unified voice of the Palestinian Christian community everywhere. One of the main advocates of Kairos Palestine is Archbishop Atallah Hanna.
The greatest moral failing of the liberal Christian church was its refusal, justified in the name of tolerance and dialogue, to denounce the followers of the Christian right as heretics. By tolerating the intolerant it ceded religious legitimacy to an array of con artists, charlatans and demagogues and their cultish supporters. It stood by as the core Gospel message—concern for the poor and the oppressed—was perverted into a magical world where God and Jesus showered believers with material wealth and power.
Every day and in every part of India, hundreds of thousands of people – mainly young people – gather on the streets to express their anger at the government. Their protests, like those of the protests in Chile, emerged out of one particular grievance but then have cascaded outward. They are angry at the government’s attempt to define citizenship in a narrow and bigoted way; but they are also angry at the arrogance of the government and at the disastrous way in which the government has managed the economy.
There are not enough intellectual tools to analyze the religious war used by the United States to support its coup d’états in Latin American countries. This is how historian and theologist Enrique Dussel comments about the ousting of Evo Morales in Bolivia and the region’s current political scenario. Interviewed by Mexican journalist Carmen Aristegui, Dussel recalled that in the region, “Bolivia, together with Haiti, were the poorest countries and while its wealth increased as no other. No one would have expected a reaction there.
In which country did a senior, state-salaried cleric urge his followers last month to become “warriors”, emulating a group of young men who had murdered a woman of another faith? The cleric did so with impunity. In fact, he was only echoing other highly placed colleagues who have endorsed a book – again without penalty – urging their disciples to murder babies belonging to other religions. Where can the head of the clergy call black people “monkeys” and urge the expulsion of other religious communities?
There are, as Cornel West has pointed out, only two African-Americans who rose from dirt-poor poverty to the highest levels of American intellectual life—the writer Richard Wright and the radical theologian James H. Cone. Cone, who died in April, grew up in segregated Bearden, Ark., the impoverished son of a woodcutter who had only a sixth-grade education. With an almost superhuman will, Cone clawed his way up from the Arkansas cotton fields to implode theological studies in the United States with his withering critique of the white supremacy and racism inherent within the white, liberal Christian church.
“The Cross and the Lynching Tree are separated by nearly two thousand years,” James Cone writes in his new book, “The Cross and the Lynching Tree.” “One is the universal symbol of the Christian faith; the other is the quintessential symbol of black oppression in America. Though both are symbols of death, one represents a message of hope and salvation, while the other signifies the negation of that message by white supremacy. Despite the obvious similarities between Jesus’ death on the cross and the death of thousands of black men and women strung up to die on a lamppost or tree, relatively few people, apart from the black poets, novelists, and other reality-seeing artists, have explored the symbolic connections. Yet, I believe this is the challenge we must face.
By Jeff Bryant for Educational Opportunity Network. Of course, parents can decide for themselves if this is the kind of “realistic view” they want their children to learn. But why should taxpayer money pay for it? According to a 2015 report in the Orlando Sentinel, Florida’s tax-credit school voucher programs, including the one Merriweather took advantage of, have become a cash cow for many of the state’s private schools – sending out about $544 million to families of nearly 100,000 students in the state. Of the roughly 2,300 private schools in Florida, more than 1,500 accept voucher money, and of these voucher-accepting schools, about 45 percent rely on them for at least half of their students. About 70 percent of these schools are religiously affiliated, “including some where religion is a central focus.” Now, Trump wants to roll that out nationwide.
By Ehab Zahriyeh for Aljazeera - Dozens of students at Wheaton College in suburban Chicago protested on Monday against the school's move to terminate an associate professor who said Christians and Muslims worship the same God — a statement she made while wearing a hijab to show solidarity with women who face Islamophobia. Students filled the steps of the school's Edman Memorial Chapel chanting "Reinstate Doc Hawk," a nickname for Larycia Hawkins. The Protestant evangelical college said in a Jan. 5 statement on its website that its provost had begun a process for terminating her.
By Chris Hodges and Sabah Alnasseri for The Real News, In this episode of teleSUR's Days of Revolt, Chris Hedges and Sabah Alnasseri dissect the genesis of political revolutions in the Middle East, and discuss the role of religion and the reasons for the increased prevalence of fundamentalism. HEDGES: So I think what we want to focus on in this segment is the dynamics of revolutionary change in an age of globalism and neoliberalism, how it will look like revolutions in the past, and how it will look like something else. And I know this is something you have examined. ALNASSERI: Right. Right. I will start with the end of the Cold War and the breakdown of the Soviet Union, because this world historical context is very important in understanding any kind of politics, revolutionary or otherwise.