How the FBI is hobbled by religious illiteracy
By Debra Mason
(Feb. 27, 2017 | The Atlantic) - In the interview between The Atlantic reporter Emma Green and University of Pennsylvania professor, Steven Weitzman, the history of the FBI and religion and its relevance in today’s political climate is discussed (Green, 2017).
With a relatively contentious past of negative interactions with various religious groups, often in efforts to protect Christianity, “…the Bureau has shaped American religious history through targeted investigations and religiously tinged rhetoric about national security” (2017). This was done through its support of religious leaders, introduction of “religious rhetoric into the broader culture,” and by “delegitimizing religious actors” who were believed to be of a significant threat to the nation (2017).
With 9/11 changing the role of the FBI from an investigative role to one of “preempting crime,” the pressures soared to an entirely new level (2017). To read more on the FBI’s relationship with various religious groups explained in this interview, click here.
Green, E. (2017, February 26). How the FBI is Hobbled by Religious Illiteracy. Retrieved from The Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/02/the-fbi-and-religion/517746/
The new atheists of the Philippines
By Debra Mason
(March 5, 2017 | The Atlantic) - Jahziel Tayco Ferrer, like many in the Philippines, is involved in educational aid projects to assist the more than 26 million living in poverty; however, she’s different in that she is an atheist in the midst of several Christian-run groups (French, 2017).
Volunteering on behalf of the Humanist Alliance Philippines, International, or HAPI, she is involved in one of only three secular groups in the Filipino society (2017). Less than 0.1 percent in the Philippines claim to have “no religion,” while 80% of the population identifies as Catholic (2017). Adapting their approach from Baptist missionary work, HAPI volunteers believe their perspective of not relying on a deity is needed to end the Filipino economic disparity (2017).
Ferrer, having been brought up in a Christian educational setting, states that the fear of going to hell is what caused her such discomforrt and is a key reason why she believes people remain involved in religion (2017). This belief is not well-met or respected in the Christian society of the Philippines (2017). To read the rest of the article, click here.
French, M. (2017, March 5). The New Atheists of the Philippines. Retrieved from The Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/03/new-atheists-philippines/518175/