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This Week in World Religion 2018–10–21


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/10/21

“I’m not going to apologize for this column. I find it necessary due to a rhetorical trend in politics that’s gotten out of hand over the last few years: The indignant demand for apologies by “outraged” political leaders regarding some “outrageous” statement made or vote taken by a political opponent.

We’ve seen more than our share of this annoying phenomenon here in this enchanted land during this enchanted election cycle. This year, it seems that crying “apologize!” has replaced crying wolf among our politicos.

Last week, we saw it after a gubernatorial candidate debate, during which the state Republican Party tweeted that Democratic nominee Michelle Lujan Grisham looked like she’d hired “Richard Nixon’s makeup artist from the 1960 debate? She looked just like him. Fits great with your campaign message — ‘I am not a crook!’””


“Despite United States President Donald Trump’s harsh comments regarding immigrants, people of color and women, 81 percent of white conservative evangelical Christians voted for him in the 2016 US presidential election. This reality has surprised many since the evangelical group is well known for its high ethical and moral standards. The American historian John Fea, who this year published Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump, stated three main elements that caused this anomaly to happen.

First and foremost, it is fear. The previous administration of Barack Obama, which had shown its inclination to progressive worldviews such as same-sex marriage, had intensified fear among American conservatives. Second, Republican politicians successfully capitalized on this fear to consolidate themselves and eventually gained political power. Third, morality issues contradicting evangelical convictions and doctrinal statements (abortion, gender minorities issues, etc.) has led conservatives to feel nostalgic about a “golden age” of Christianity. It includes the belief that America was founded as a Christian nation and must therefore remain a Christian nation, through power and political control.

Thus politics in this context is no longer a deliberate intention and effort to bring about common good, and justice for all is no longer its long-term goal. Fears and identity crises have transformed politics into merely a means to defend a particular identity and a weapon for a new cultural war.”


“CINCINNATI — For nearly two decades, an online charter school with a bold name — the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow — grew in Ohio, helped along by the state’s Republicans, who embraced the idea of “school choice” for families.

Conceived on the back of a Waffle House napkin, the school grew to become one of the largest in the state. Republicans cheered on ECOT, as the school was known, and ECOT officials contributed more than $2 million to GOP campaign accounts.

That was before it all crumbled. It was before state regulators figured out the school was being paid to educate thousands of students who never logged in. Before the state ordered the school to repay $80 million. Before the school abruptly closed in January, leaving 12,000 students stranded.”


“Washington (CNN)A new complaint unsealed Friday revealed extraordinary new details of how Russian trolls manipulate US politics and try to fool unsuspecting Americans on social media.

A Kremlin-friendly oligarch has allegedly continued pumping millions of dollars into the St. Petersburg troll farm that was responsible for interfering with the 2016 election.

The Justice Department said the Russians “took extraordinary steps” to hide the fact that their controversial posts were coming from foreign meddlers. To make that happen, managers at the troll farm gave employees comprehensive instructions on how to pose as American activists, according to a court filing. Often these directions accompanied real article that the trolls would share, along with their own comments.”



In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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