Category Archives: Religion

Rights Groups To Sue as Louisiana Requires Ten Commandments Displayed in Classrooms

“Our public schools are not Sunday schools,” the groups said, “and students of all faiths, or no faith, should feel welcome in them.”

By Edward Carver. Published 6-19-2024 by Common Dreams

Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry. Photo:gov.louisiana.gov

Rights groups expressed outrage and promised legal action on Wednesday as Louisiana became the only state to require that the Ten Commandments be displayed in public classrooms.

The law requires all public classrooms, from kindergarten to university-level, to display the commandments in “large, easily readable font” by the start of 2025. Republican Gov. Jeff Landry signed House Bill 71 into law Wednesday after declaring recently that he “could not wait to be sued.”

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Macron Calls Snap Election After Far-Right Gains in EU Contests

“We live in a Europe where neofascism and absenteeism are on the rise—a combination that allows the oligarchs to plunder,” said Yanis Varoufakis.

By Jake Johnson. Published 6-10-2024 by Common Dreams

Screenshot: YouTube

French President Emmanuel Macron called snap legislative elections on Sunday after his party suffered a major defeat in European Parliament contests, with Marine Le Pen’s far-right, xenophobic National Rally scoring twice the support of Macron’s Renaissance.

In a nationally televised speech following the elections, which saw the far-right make gains across much of the European Union, Macron said that “the rise of nationalists and demagogues is a danger for our nation and for Europe.”

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Fresh Calls to ‘Reject AIPAC’ After Analysis of GOP Money in Dem Primaries

“George Latimer in New York and Wesley Bell in Missouri are trying to become Democratic members of Congress off millions of dollars of money from rich right-wing Republicans,” said one group.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 6-9-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: Ted Eytan /CC

Politico reported Sunday that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee is “the biggest source of Republican money flowing into competitive Democratic primaries this year,” sparking new calls for candidates and voters nationwide to #RejectAIPAC.

“If you don’t want Republican megadonors to choose your next Democratic congressperson for you, then there’s only one option: #RejectAIPAC,” Naftali Ehrenkranz, digital director at Get Free, said on social media, pointing to the reporting.

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US Senate Hearing Highlights Impacts of ‘Horrific Anti-Abortion Crusade’

Sen. Patty Murray described the event as “a close accounting of the trauma Republicans are inflicting on women and families across our country, and the damage they are doing to basic reproductive healthcare.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 6-4-2024 by Common Dreams

Image: Senator Patty Murray/X

Abortion rights advocates in the U.S. Senate held a Tuesday hearing highlighting the impacts of healthcare bans imposed by the GOP, particularly since the Supreme Court’s June 2022 ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which reversed Roe v. Wade.

The hearing—titled, “The Assault on Women’s Freedoms: How Abortion Bans Have Created a Healthcare Nightmare Across America”—was officially hosted by Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chair Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), but he kicked it off by explaining why he was turning things over to Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the panel’s former leader.

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Solidarity Marches Held Across Globe to Demand Cease-Fire in Gaza

Organizers held rallies in the U.S., Europe, and Asia to mark Nakba Day and condemn Israel’s bombing and starvation of Palestinian civilians.

By Julia Conley. Published 5-19-2024 by Common Dreams

The London march. Photo:: PSC/X

As one United Nations official on Saturday said that “brand new words” are needed to adequately describe the devastation Israel has wrought across Gaza in its U.S.-backed military assault, tens of thousands of people across the globe marched in solidarity with Palestinians to demand an end to the “ongoing Nakba.”

The marches were held to honor Nakba Day, which was marked on May 15—the 76th anniversary of the mass displacement of 700,000 Palestinians who were forced from their homes when Israel declared statehood in 1948. The protesters demanded a cease-fire in Gaza, where Israeli forces have killed at least 35,456 people since October, the majority of them women and children.

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200+ Groups to Congress: Stop ‘Zombie’ Funding for Fossil Fuels on Public Lands

“It’s past time our leaders take this simple step and stop funding activities that are completely at odds with protecting our climate,” one advocate said.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 5-15-2024 by Common Dreams

Oil drilling platforms have been placed in Alaska after the approval of the Willow Project, which has caused an uproar of controversy and opposition all over the nation. Environmentalists are strongly opposed to the project. Photo courtesy of KarmaActive

More than 200 environmental and climate advocacy groups sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday demanding that lawmakers stop funding the extraction of fossil fuels on public lands and waters.

The letter argues that Congress’ annual approval of taxpayer funds to subsidize oil and gas drilling and coal mining “undermine” the international agreement reached at the United Nations COP28 climate conference last year on the need for “transitioning away from fossil fuels.”

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Israel’s war on Gaza could spark protests that shape entire region

While media focus is on pro-Palestine protests in the US, anger in North Africa and Western Asia could boil over

By Paul Rogers. Published 5-8-2024 by openDemocracy

Iraqi cleric Sadr mobilizes thousands at Baghdad pro-Palestinian rally. Screenshot: YouTube

Though many analysts feared an uncontrolled military escalation between Israel and Iran last month, this seems to have been avoided for now at least. Many states across the world are, however, witnessing a political escalation – not least those in North Africa and West Asia, which are often overlooked in conversations about protest.

The United States is the most obvious example of state-level controversy. Pro-Palestine protests and occupations are taking place at university campuses across the country – many of which have been met by violent police-led actions – as people take issue with Joe Biden’s enabling Israel in its horrific seven-month assault on Gaza.

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Study Links Abortion Restrictions and Intimate Partner Homicide

“In thinking about pregnancy itself as a risk factor for homicide, it follows that the ability to prevent or end a pregnancy” could have “immediate implications” for the safety of pregnant people, said one researcher.

By Julia Conley. Published 5-8-2024 by Common Dreams

On the day of the 50th anniversary of when Roe v. Wade was argued at the Supreme Court, abortion rights supporters held a candlelight vigil in front of the Court. Photo: Victoria Pickering/flickr/CC

A new study links abortion restrictions to an increased risk that pregnant people will be murdered by their intimate partners—and since researchers examined laws that were in place before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and cleared the way for statewide abortion bans, the authors warn that the threat may be even greater than the analysis shows.

In the study released Monday, researchers at Tulane University looked at five separate abortion restrictions and compared them to the intimate partner homicide rates reported by the National Violent Death Reporting System at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Jewish Groups Decry House Passage of Bill Defining Criticism of Israel as ‘Antisemitism’

“Antisemitism is a serious problem, but codifying a legal definition could have dangerous implications for free speech,” said one campaigner.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 5-1-2024 by Common Dreams

House vote on the Antisemitism Awareness Act. Photo: Jacob N. Kornbluh/X

House lawmakers voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to approve legislation directing the U.S. Department of Education to consider a dubious definition of antisemitism, despite warnings from Jewish-led groups that the measure speciously conflates legitimate criticism of the Israeli government with bigotry against Jewish people.

House members approved the Antisemitism Awareness Act—bipartisan legislation introduced last year by Reps. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.), Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.), Max Miller (R-Ohio), and Jared Moskowitz (D-Fla.) in the lower chamber and Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) in the Senate—by a vote of 320-91.

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US Reportedly Working to Stop ICC From Issuing Arrest Warrant for Netanyahu

“There is absolutely no reason for Biden to be involved in this,” said one analyst. “But once again, Biden steps in to protect Netanyahu from the consequences of the war crimes he commits.”

By Jake Johnson. Published 4-28-2024 by Common Dreams

Screenshot: YouTube

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly growing increasingly concerned that the International Criminal Court is preparing to issue arrest warrants for him and other top government officials for committing war crimes in the Gaza Strip.

The Times of Israel reported Sunday that the Israeli government, in partnership with the U.S., is “making a concerted effort to head off” possible arrest warrants from the ICC, which first launched its war crimes investigation in the occupied Palestinian territories in 2021.

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