Barack Obama’s pledge to shut down Guantanamo Bay will not be honoured until at least a year after the President’s self-imposed deadline – and may not be completed in his first administration.read more
When people discuss the rights of lesbians and gays in contemporary U.S. culture, and across religious denominations, the abbreviation “LGBT” is used as a shorthand: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender. But are transgender people really being taken into account? What’s the state of the struggle, where transpeople are concerned?read more
Regardless of the activity on the Mall this weekend or the inactivity on the Mall in the days after, the question before us still remains: Who do we want to be as a people and as a nation? Do we want to go back, or do we want to move forward? Do we want to erase the steps we struggled to take in the ’60s by gutting or repealing the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, the 14th Amendment, the Fair Housing Act, and other progressive measures? I say, we have suffered too long and struggled too hard to turn back now. As a nation and as a people, we cannot, and we must not go back.read more
The Pew Hispanic Center, which conducts stellar research on everything from health care to religion, released a report today quantifying just how many children are born in the U.S. to illegal immigrants. The report comes in the midst of a campaign by some Republicans to hold congressional hearings on whether children born to illegal immigrants should automatically become citizens.read more
Eid al-Fitr, a joyous holiday marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, this year falls around Sept. 11. Muslim leaders fear that their gatherings for prayer and festivities could be misinterpreted by those unfamiliar with Islam as a celebration of the 2001 terrorist strikes.read more
‘Creation of a bacterial cell controlled by a chemically synthesized genome’ is the title of the paper. It was published in the prestigious journal Science and came out of the Craig Venter Institute. Venter is the scientist whose name always comes connected to the word ‘maverick’; he’s the one who first made his name by bringing big private dollars into molecular biotechnology to compete with the federal government and speed up the sequencing of the first human genome (that is, the determination of the identity and order of all the billions of DNA base pairs in one human). The title here is certainly in keeping with Venter’s bodaciousness.read more
Canadians familiar with North America’s largest oil pipeline operation, Enbridge Inc., say they are not surprised that the company has spilled oil again.read more
“Our government is incapable of getting us out of this situation,” Nicholas said. “I hope the international community can keep our hope alive, because it’s fading.”read more
UNITED NATIONS – A long outstanding proposal to recognize the right to water as a basic universal human right is threatening to split the world’s rich and poor nations.read more
Mercy is the missing factor in our ever-stranger political debates about immigration, health care, joblessness, financial reform and local government budgets. A nation founded on mercy — as shown in religious tolerance, in a Bill of Rights, in a Civil War fought to end slavery, in an open door to “huddled masses” and in the Marshall Plan — seems to have decided that mercy is no longer affordable. Or even necessary.read more
…..When that worldview died—we now live in a universe without an “up” or “down”—so did the literal coherence of the religions born within it. Seen in this light, some of the Creationists’ most hysterical claims (Adam rode a dinosaur?) make perfect psychological sense, as a desperate attempt at “bargaining” which could let them believe their salvation story could still be credible in our modern world…..read more
Every year for the past decade, more than 200 suspected illegal immigrants have died crossing the U.S.-Mexican border into Arizona. That’s roughly half of all such immigrants who die in the U.S., according to the U.S. Border Patrol and a 2009 American Civil Liberties Union study.
Anderson’s job is to get their bodies – or what is left of them – back to their families.
We live in a new era, marked by an aging and declining Christian right that is increasingly eclipsed by the Tea Party, a nascent but growing chorus of diverse progressive religious voices, and a broadening of political agendas among many people of faith. Maybe it’s time to rethink our assumptions about religious Americans and public policy.read more