Exclusive: Virginia’s Republican-controlled government is moving to enact extreme anti-abortion laws based on a doctrinal belief that human life begins at conception, even if that judgment conflicts with the personal beliefs of many state residents — the latest round of America’s “Religion Wars,” writes Sam Parry.
Rick Santorum, the latest Republican “flavor of the month” for president, exudes a boyish enthusiasm that many Americans find personally appealing. But his vision for America would combine a moralistic theocracy with free-market capitalism and perpetual war, a nightmarish scenario, says Lawrence Davidson.
The dispute over requiring church-run hospitals and schools to cover birth control for female employees has stirred up longstanding confusion over what the First Amendment does and doesn’t do. Some on the Christian Right insist that it means religious doctrine can trump secular law, but Rev. Howard Bess says that’s a misunderstanding.
Exclusive: Republicans and the Right are on the offensive again, decrying an Obama administration ruling that some Catholic-run institutions must offer employees birth-control coverage in health care plans. Yet, this latest “war” rhetoric again misrepresents the countervailing principles, Robert Parry reports.
Exclusive: GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich claims President Obama has declared “war on the Catholic Church” with a ruling that contraception must be included in health plans for employees of church-led institutions, but Catholic moral theologian Daniel C. Maguire says it is the U.S. bishops (and Gingrich) who are wrong.
The U.S. appears on the verge of a new war in the Middle East, between Israel and Iran, but much of the casus belli traces back to the long-running dispute over the rights of Palestinians. In that context, Lawrence Davidson asks again if a one-state solution might be the only viable answer.
A half millennium ago this Feb. 2, the Spaniards felt they had put an end to the first major resistance to the European/Christian conquest of the Americas by executing Hatuey, an Indigenous freedom fighter who fought them on Hispaniola and Cuba. But Hatuey’s spirit of independence survived, as William Loren Katz notes.
Though founded by a pacifist, Christianity has justified some of the most brutal slaughters in human history, from the wars of the late Roman Empire to the Crusades to the Inquisition to world wars to genocides against “heathens,” Muslims and Jews. Yet, Gary G. Kohls says the essence of Christianity can still be reclaimed.
Despite the growing power of right-wing extremists, some Israelis are speaking out against legislation and attitudes that target both Arabs and the core principles of democracy. They represent a movement of conscience seeking to salvage Jewish ideals of justice, as Lawrence Davidson reports.
Many Christian fundamentalists impose a literal interpretation on Biblical myth, thus missing the larger moral messages and rejecting later scientific discoveries, a mistake most apparent in their reading of the Genesis creation story, as the Rev. Howard Bess explains.