Discrimination

Chesterfield Samba, GALZ director. Image via RNS.

Shunned by family, scorned in state media and deemed “worse than dogs and pigs” by President Robert Mugabe, gays in Zimbabwe often find their country’s churches just as hostile.

President Trump ponders the answer to a question from a reporter en route to Hanoi, Vietnam, aboard Air Force One. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

A three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals partially granted a Trump administration request to block at least temporarily a judge's ruling that had put the new ban on hold. Trump's ban was announced on Sept. 24 and replaced two previous versions that had been impeded by federal courts.

the Web Editors 10-30-2017

President Donald Trump delivers remarks to U.S. military personnel at Naval Air Station Sigonella following the G7 Summit, in Sigonella, Sicily, Italy, May 27, 2017. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

"I am directing the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the U.S. Coast Guard, to return to the longstanding policy and practice on military service by transgender individuals that was in place prior to June 2016."

Image via Jehovah's Witnesses / RNS

The right of Jehovah’s Witnesses to adhere to their faith’s rejection of military service — they believe their allegiance is to God alone — is recognized in the U.S. and other Western countries. But Tajikistan has no law concerning conscientious objectors.

Image via REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo

The administration also will place on hold a program that allows for family reunification for some refugees resettled in the United States, according to a Trump administration memo seen by Reuters and sent to Congress on Tuesday. The resettling of so-called following-to-join refugees will resume, according to the memo, once screening "enhancements have been implemented."

Image via Rebekah Fulton / Sojourners.

Legal proceedings revolve around intent. Intent is the difference between involuntary manslaughter and murder. Intent is the difference between a harmless literacy test and robbing people of the right to vote. Intent matters because intent shows us the naked truth behind what people do and say.

Image via RNS/Yonat Shimron

More than 60 years ago, the divinity school denied him admission because he is black. Speaking at a service in Goodson Chapel, he asked: “What is it that God would have Duke Divinity School do in light of that history? For if one is not honest about that history, one can’t be fully present.”

Jennifer Butler 10-16-2017

Image via RNS/Flickr Creative Commons/Dushan Wegner

Yet this administration’s guidelines would allow businesses and government employees to pick and choose who they will serve. As a pastor, I have to ask: What religion champions spitting in people’s faces rather than turning the other cheek? How is God’s love shown through public humiliation, hate, or depriving LGBT people of a job or services?

Image via RNS/Joel Kramer/Flickr, Creative Commons

All eyes should be on Justice Anthony Kennedy. At 81, Kennedy is the longest-serving, second oldest justice on the court and is a conservative — except when he’s not.

Kennedy has sided with the court’s more liberal justices on several landmark cases, as he did in Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 decision that made same-sex marriage the law of the land. But he also sided with the conservative judges in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, a ruling that the Christian-owned chain of craft stores could deny contraception coverage.

Image via Rena Schild/ Shutterstock

What we’ve learned three years after Eric Garner’s death is that we can’t give up on God’s mandate for justice, incarnated in the gospel’s good news. If we trust and believe that selfish agendas of special interests will not prevail, we are compelled instead to believe that love will conquer hate.

Mihee Kim-Kort 7-10-2017

The focus of [Jas Singh]'s farm is not production, but invitation — to allow all manner of flesh-and-blood to participate in the mysterious and divine but simple work of God’s kingdom — one where everyone who is fed, and those who typically don’t have the means to provide actually find they have an abundant harvest to share with their neighbor. It is a way to radically engage in leveling the field for all to give, receive, and partake in a way that doesn’t match our unjust economic structures.

the Web Editors 6-09-2017

Image via Kirstin Adams-Bimson / Shutterstock.com

Dozens of what are being billed as “anti-Sharia marches” are scheduled for this weekend in 28 cities in 20 states nationwide. The so-called March Against Sharia is organized by ACT for America, a grassroots organization that claims to “preserve American culture and keep this nation safe.” And religious groups across the country are speaking out.

Image via Kaitlin Barker Davis 

I barely slept the night of the stabbing. It was a hot night, and I could hear the train tracks through our open windows. The last time I slept (or didn’t sleep) like that was election night. It was freezing, the windows closed, but the same nauseating dread kept my head buzzing, my jaw locked, my eyes open. Except that on election night it was the fear of the world I would wake up to that kept me awake. Now we know exactly what that world looks like.

Richard Wolf 5-31-2017

Image via RNS/REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

While not yet final, the regulation appears intended to let employers avoid providing birth control coverage if they object for any reason — an expansion of the original effort to exempt those with religious objections. As a result, abortion rights groups warn that up to 55 million women could lose free birth control coverage — something that saves them $1.4 billion annually.

Lisa Sharon Harper 5-15-2017

In an age when both explicit and implicit biases are becoming legitimate justifications to curse the image of God, it is time for the church in the U.S. to face itself. It is time to repair the broken fabric of our nation. It is time to interrogate the stories we tell our selves about ourselves by immersing ourselves in the stories of the other.

Karyn Wiseman 5-08-2017

Image via Benoit Daoust/Shutterstock.com

Through the Sisters of Salaam Shalom, Jewish and Muslim women are coming together to discover their similarities and bond together as friends and fellow travelers in the world. They are finding common ground, language, or customs to be bridges to relationships. They are not allowing the world to separate them.

Da'Shawn Mosley 4-14-2017

For what the singer/songwriter/music producer Pharrell said two years ago about Kendrick Lamar is absolutely true. Kendrick Lamar is the Bob Dylan of his generation, an American storyteller on the same plane as Toni Morrison, Eugene O’Neill, Pearl S. Buck, and other U.S. Nobel Prize in Literature laureates. Why this statement may seem overblown is because of highbrow bias against hip-hop, which is to say bias against black language, black storytellers, black people. But, to quote Chuck D, the leader of the rap group Public Enemy, hip-hop is “CNN for black people.” And Lamar is the best reporter in the business.

Caleb Gayle 4-10-2017

Image via Ms Jane Campbell / Shutterstock

But more deeply than that, framing Terence’s last gasp of life in the texture of local challenges shows the frailty of black Tulsa’s dream of equal treatment. We need to ensure Terence does not become another note on a scale of the pain felt by countless black and brown lives. It’s only been seven months and the voices of those affected by this history have been diminished.

Image via RNS/Creative Commons

Legally, the federal civil suit the mother and the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation recently filed against Mercer County schools is clear-cut: It is unconstitutional to preach the Bible to students in school. But there’s another pressing reason to keep these classes out of public schools: to prevent ostracizing of religious minorities and atheists. 

Z. Fareen Parvez 3-20-2017

Image via RNS/Pascal Rossignol

Every year, there are several hundred hate crimes committed against French Muslims. Of these, the majority of victims who have been physically assaulted are women in headscarves.

So what will be the impact of the Court of Justice’s ruling on an already beleaguered minority of headscarf-wearing Muslim women?

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