A round-up of the week’s religion news. Continue Reading →
At the end of The Troubles, in the Maze prison in Northern Ireland on March 1st, 1981, the second hunger strike of republican prisoners began with Bobby Sands’ refusal of food. The protesters contested the removal of Special Category Status for prisoners convicted of IRA criminality; Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was determined to not capitulate to their demands.
Sands’ election to the House of Commons on April 9th helped raise awareness of the hunger strike. He died on May 5th at the age of 27 after 66 days without food. Nine more hunger strikers died after him. Protests erupted the world over.
All these years later, with the Queen slated to visit Dublin next month, and impending Northern Ireland Assembly elections scheduled for May 5th, it is feared that there are “as many as 30 distinct groups opposed to the peace process operating across Norther Ireland” and preparing for violence during the month.
Gary Younge, a feature writer for the Guardian, has written that the Tea Party is “not a new phenomenon. It’s simply a new name for an old phenomenon – the American hard right.” A disparate, loose group of previously unnamed ideas and motivations, with a boat load of money and its own TV channel.
The relationship between these organisations [The Tea Party Express, FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity, Tea Party Patriots] and the base of people who call themselves Tea Party supporters is episodic and erratic. They show up in different places where they sense an opportunity for a breakthrough, throw money at it, attract media attention for it, and then see what sticks.
Which is the point that Terry Mattingly (aka tmatt or editor) at Get Religion is hinting at in his recent post on a story at WaPo about Rick Santorum’s presidential bid water-testing. Continue Reading →
Yesterday the Pope followed up his condoms revelation with a more predictable point, one that emphasizes existing Catholic teaching and seems, at least linguistically, appropriate to the start of Advent: protect “nascent life.” From what? “Selfishness and the willful darkening of conscience. Continue Reading →
Ann Neumann: Tired of being a persecuted Christian? Rowan Williams’ got your back!The Archbishop of Canterbury spoke during his Easter sermon about the “strange mixture of contempt and fear” of Christians Continue Reading →