Religion

Render to Caesar, Extraordinarily

Exclusive: On Good Friday, Christians observe the brutal torture and crucifixion of Jesus at the hands of Roman occupiers, but many modern Christians don’t mind when it’s “their” side doing the extraordinary renditions of alleged subversives to be tortured and sometimes killed, ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern notes.

Misunderstanding Jesus’s Execution

From the Archive: Over the centuries as Christianity bent to the interests of the rich and powerful, the story of Jesus’s fateful week in Jerusalem was reshaped to minimize perhaps its central event, his overturning of the money tables at the temple, a challenge to the merging of religious and political power, says Rev. Howard Bess.

Egypt Pushes Palestinians on Peace

The new Egypt – guided by relatively moderate Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood – is seeking a unity among Palestinian factions as a way to advance peace talks with Israel. The next question will be whether Israel and the United States welcome or spurn this initiative, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Hunt for the Historical Jesus

For years there has been a debate over not only who Jesus was but whether he existed. Historians remain split on many Jesus-related questions – and the issue is fraught with religious overtones – but Rev. Howard Bess believes enough is now known about Jesus to put him in context for his (and our) times.

The Sarah Palin/Neocon Alliance

Exclusive: “Game Change,” the HBO movie on John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin, faults his Republican campaign for its slipshod vetting of the little-known Alaska governor, but leaves out the back story of big-time neocons from D.C. helping position Palin for her surprise rise and Palin manipulating everyone, writes Morgan Strong.

McGovern Protests Brennan’s Speech

After learning that U.S. national security official John Brennan would address Jesuit-run Fordham’s graduating class, ex-CIA analyst (and Fordham alum) Ray McGovern protested in a letter to the Fordham Ram. McGovern cited Jesuit principles of truth and justice — and Brennan’s role in the “dark side” of the “war on terror.”

Kony’s Deleted Christian Fanaticism

Joseph Kony, the brutal commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army, has been introduced to millions through a video on YouTube. But that denunciation of his war crimes skirts his claim to be motivated by Christianity, an omission not applied to violent extremists who embrace Islam, notes Mamoon Alabbasi.

‘War on Women’ Breaches Global Norms

Republican bills taking aim at women’s reproductive freedoms have raised alarms about a “war on women,” a development that is shaking up the American political scene. But some of the legislation also is putting the U.S. outside the bounds of international norms, as Nat Parry reports.

Banks Are Called on to Repent

America’s banks remain under fire, including a public resignation by a Goldman Sachs executive disgusted by the firm’s abuse of its clients. New protests also include calls by some Christian churches for the banks to repent for their roles in the nation’s foreclosure crisis, Michael Winship reports.

Losing Faith in a Democratic Israel

Since its founding in 1948 as a refuge for Holocaust survivors and other Jews, Israel has called itself a democracy but has restricted rights of Arabs inside Israel and under Israeli military occupation. This tension – and the rise of Jewish fundamentalism – are now eroding support among liberal Zionists, writes Lawrence Davidson.