politics

politics

September 21, 2011

More than 80 participants attended the second northern women’s security shura on Monday in Mazar-e Sharif at Camp Marmal in Balk province, Afghanistan to discuss women’s roles in governance transition. (photo: DEU Capt. Jennifer Ruge)

As an imam at a mosque in the Jordanian capital Amman, I have been following the dramatic developments across North Africa and the Middle East with a combination of high hopes and grave concern. The phenomenon of young people organizing peacefully to demand political reform, economic opportunity, and human rights is a source of pride for me; numerous worshippers in my mosque are among them. On the other hand, the mounting lethality of conflict between state and society in so many Arab countries is terrible to behold. So is the tragedy of burgeoning crime, economic struggles, and insecurity in countries such as Egypt that are undergoing dramatic transformations.

September 16, 2011

Obama and Bush Pray at 9/11 CeremonyU.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama and former U.S. President George W. Bush and his wife Laura Bush observe a moment of silence at the time the first hijacked airliner crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center during the tenth anniversary commemoration of the September 11, 2001 attacks at the lower Manhattan site of the World Trade Center in New York. (photo: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images)

Last weekend, as the nation marked the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, our collective media gaze focused on lower Manhattan, where the memorial service and dedication led by Mayor Michael Bloomberg had already provoked controversy. Though the focal point of these events was undoubtedly — and rightfully — on remembering those lost, that controversy was a revealing glimpse of contemporary American religion.

August 23, 2011

Rep. Michele Bachmann and other Christian Reconstructionists bring a clear spiritual perspective to deficits, budget battles, and taxes says Rev. Sharp. But, he writes, there is another clear spiritual approach that also needs to be heard.

July 28, 2011

Debra Dean Murphy recalls a New Testament story of Jesus and questions whether we in the U.S. have given appropriate attention to the vulnerable poor.

June 10, 2011

Giles Fraser comments on Archbishop Rowan Williams' article challenging government officials on issues of social justice and human welfare.

June 08, 2011

"But of course when is politics not a display of the follies of men?" ~Debra Dean Murphy on Abe Lincoln, recent sex scandals, and our loneliness.

March 24, 2011

The ShortFormBlog points out the push and pull of Congressional whimsy:

  • action A couple weeks ago, Rep. Peter King attracted controversy by launching a Congressional hearing titled “The Radicalization of American Muslims.”
  • reaction At the behest of Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin, the Senate will be holding a hearing titled “Protecting the Civil Rights of American Muslims.” source

On the other hand, I have to wonder if the Senate’s gesture can possibly heal some of the pain caused by Rep. King’s efforts and media outreach.


November 08, 2010

Masjid An-Nasr, Oklahoma City
The crescent-topped dome of Masjid An-Nasr peeks through trees of a residential neighborhood in Oklahoma City. (photo: Andrew Shockley/Flickr)

Hailing from Canada, where referendums are few and far between, I’m fascinated by some of the questions on the U.S. ballots. This year I was particularly interested in Oklahoma ballot measure 755 [bold emphasis mine]:

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October 01, 2010

A riveting piece from Religion Dispatches on an Mormon elder's apology over the LDS Church's activism on Prop 8.

May 02, 2010

National Day of Prayer sign in Washington DC
Biblical quotes displayed in Washington, DC for the 2006 National Day of Prayer.
(photo: Street Protest TV/Flickr)

April 21, 2010

Supreme Court Justices Pose for Annual Portrait
Members of the U.S. Supreme Court pose for a group photograph on September 29, 2009.
Front row (l-r): Anthony M. Kennedy, John Paul Stevens, John G. Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas. Back row (l-r): Samuel Alito Jr., Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor. (photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

On April 9th, Justice Stevens announced his upcoming retirement from the U.S. Supreme Court. The loss of the lone Protestant on the Court, in a country with 51% Protestants, has sparked a vigorous media discussion. Pundits and journalists are asking how, and if, this will impact future Court discussions, and if religion should even be a consideration when selecting Justice Stevens’ replacement.

March 18, 2010

NYT’s Lens blog posted a fun entry about Senator Patrick Leahy’s personal photography as he operates from a unique vantage point within the hallowed halls and meeting rooms of Washington D.C. As interesting as the many photos of presidents and legislators are, it’s this “conscience picture” — a portrait he took of an El Salvadoran man in a refugee camp in 1987 — that I find most intriguing, most grounding.

Conscience Picture by Sen. Patrick LeahyFrom James Estrin’s piece:

January 26, 2010

Calling it "her greatest accomplishment," Eleanor Roosevelt was a primary instigator behind the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which declares the dignity of all people.

January 24, 2010

After the earthquake first shook Haiti, we reached out to Bellegarde-Smith again asking about the context he brings to the current tragedy and its future consequences. Share his insight here.

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December 11, 2009

A must-watch performance. And, a rather heart-warming back story from the senior senator from Utah.

December 06, 2009

When prayer became a necessity for one government official.

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