All in Society

Keeping up: Transgender challenges ahead for news media and 'mainline' Protestants

(COMMENTARY) The New York Times reported this week that the Donald Trump Administration is considering, for federal purposes, a definition that a person is male or female “based on immutable biological traits identified by or before birth,” supplemented if necessary by genetic testing. That would overturn a policy under President Barack Obama to recognize transgender identities.

What comes next for religious liberty, after the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision?

Justice Anthony Kennedy's 7-2 majority opinion in favor of the baker at the Masterpiece Cakeshop focused on evidence that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had demonstrated open hostility towards owner Jack Phillips and his Christian faith. Meanwhile, Phillips says he is looking forward to creating more wedding cakes, now that he is free to do so while following his Christian convictions.

NXIVM: What you need to know

The bizarre, cultish group that made headlines for recruiting women to be “slaves” and “masters” has closed after its leader, Keith Raniere, was denied bail after appealing in court. Raniere’s cult, NXIVM, caught the public’s attention last fall when the New York Times published a detailed exposé that included graphic details about branding of female followers, coerced sexual acts and blackmail.

Fighting FGM is a spiritual war

Ann-Marie Wilson, a doctor of psychology and a midwife who trained in Pakistan, recently completed a paper on the origins of FGM, claiming that the mummies in the British Museum show clear signs of the practice. Now three countries, Egypt (97 per cent), Ethiopia and Indonesia (the most populous Muslim country in the world) account for more than half of the 200 million women and girls who have undergone what can be a life-threatening procedure.

The Archbishop of Delhi's Call for Prayer

Why has a letter by the Archbishop of Delhi to all the Parish priests and religious institutions in the Archdiocese of Delhi with the subject ‘Prayer for our nation’ created a firestorm in India? The media suddenly is abuzz after several different voices across the political spectrum cry foul that the letter is meant to divide the nation on communal lines. Notably, the right wing Hindu organization’s ideologue called it a "direct attack on secularism and democracy."

Ten Ethics Lessons from the #MeToo Movement in Media -- and Beyond

It is a time of reckoning in the media industry. Breakthrough reporting revealed that newsroom sexual misconduct is both pervasive and protected. That truth became the catalyst for the #MeToo moment, which opened eyes by opening old -- and not-so-old wounds for all to witness. How did it happen here? How did our systems and values harbor harassment and discrimination?

Italian voters choose populism, break from social Catholic teaching

The March 4 vote in Italy swept to victory a wave of populist candidates – including Matteo Salvini of the Lega party – who campaigned heavily against immigration. As Italians, like many across Europe, become more agnostic, their politics morph. Political observers say a new generation of a more secular electorate have started to differentiate between religious obligations and political desires.

Battling Kenya's betting craze

Like a well-scripted movie, many Kenyans who come into a windfall in the recent betting craze talk of spending their money in a way that often includes tithing. But church leaders say they want the gambling to stop or they'll take the law into their own hands.  

Religious Freedom: What the United States can learn from Canada’s mistakes

(COMMENTARY) Canada serves as a warning to the United States of the tricky balance that the legalization of same-sex marriage brings with it. The Supreme Court must protect the religious freedom of all American citizens. Should justices rule otherwise, the U.S. could be headed down the same downward spiral that Canada finds itself in today.