- - Monday, May 16, 2016

1| Pope’s visit to Armenian genocide memorial may strain tensions with Turkey |RNS

Francis’ trip to the site carries huge significance, following the pontiff’s description of the killings as “the first genocide of the 20th century.”

The pope’s use of the term genocide, during an Armenian rite Mass at the Vatican last year, angered Turkey, which disputes the death toll and argues the killings 100 years ago did not amount to genocide.

Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, at the time said the pope’s comments were unacceptable.

“Religious offices are not places to incite hatred and revenge with baseless accusations,” said Cavusoglu. He also recalled Turkey’s ambassador to the Holy See.

2| Social Conservatives, However Reluctant, Are Warming to the Idea of Trump |New York Times

“Contrary to the stereotype that is often assigned to them by the larger culture,” Mr. Reed added, “evangelicals are far more forgiving and extend far more mercy to political figures and others than is understood.”

By mollifying many social conservatives, Mr. Trump could prevent some uncomfortable defections in July at the Republican National Convention, where anti-abortion activists and others from the religious right have significant sway.

3| Christopher Hitchens Was Shaky in His Atheism, New Book Suggests |The New York Times

***Last week I made some comments about a new book by Evangelical apologist Larry Taunton who had a friendship with popular atheist Christopher Hitchens. As could have been predicted, once atheists discovered Taunton’s book, the counter arguments would begin about Taunton’s thesis (see NYT article above). Having read Taunton’s book, I don’t think he was claiming Hitchens converted to Christianity, or even theism. Simply that some of Hitchens’ bluster and vitriol was smokescreen and stagecraft that hid some of his doubts about some of his doubts.

4| Sheryl Sandberg graduation speech: It’s the hard days that determine who you are

…You will almost certainly face deep adversity. There’s loss of opportunity: the job that doesn’t work out, the illness or accident that changes everything in an instant. There’s loss of dignity: the sharp sting of prejudice when it happens. There’s loss of love. And sometimes there’s loss of life itself.

The question is not if some of these things will happen to you. They will. Today I want to talk about what happens next. About the things you can do to overcome adversity, no matter what form it takes or when it hits you. The easy days ahead of you will be easy. It is the hard days — the times that challenge you to your very core — that will determine who you are. You will be defined not just by what you achieve, but by how you survive.

A few weeks after Dave died, I was talking to my friend Phil about a father-son activity that Dave was not here to do. We came up with a plan to fill in for Dave. I cried to him, “But I want Dave.” Phil put his arm around me and said, “Option A is not available. So let’s just kick the shit out of option B.”

We all at some point live some form of option B. The question is: What do we do then?

…It is the greatest irony of my life that losing my husband helped me find deeper gratitude — gratitude for the kindness of my friends, the love of my family, the laughter of my children. My hope for you is that you can find that gratitude — not just on the good days, but on the hard ones, when you will really need it.

I hope that you live your life — each precious day of it — with joy and meaning. I hope that you walk without pain — and that you are grateful for each step.

And when the challenges come, I hope you remember that anchored deep within you is the ability to learn and grow. You are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. Like a muscle, you can build it up, draw on it when you need it. In that process you will figure out who you really are — and you just might become the very best version of yourself.

5| Top 5 surprising religion and politics stories (and it’s only May) |RNS

1. Hillary Clinton is now most religious candidate for president

2. Still no Protestants on U.S. Supreme Court

3. Only one other WASP leader in the other branches

4. Pro-life Democrats: From voting bloc to near-extinction in six years

5. Hindus for Trump


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