Rape in South Sudan

South Sudan is not a country we often think about. One of the poorest countries in the world, it has been undergoing a vicious civil war for 5 years, a war that is as brutal as any war. As is often the case in these kinds of conflicts, rape is a daily occurrence, mass rape wielded as a weapon to intimidate, conquer, punish, instill fear. Rare is the woman who has not been raped, in a culture where the shame and stigma rape brings is enough for many to be thrown out of their home and Continue reading “Rape in South Sudan”

Teaching Slave History

Which was the reason the south seceded from the union, a test asked 1000 high schoolers: To preserve states’ rights, to preserve slavery, to protest taxes on imported goods or to avoid rapid industrialization? While nearly half chose to protest taxes, only 8% chose the correct answer, to protect slavery. And only a third identified the 13th amendment as the law that officially ended slavery.  The test was given as part of Continue reading “Teaching Slave History”

On Religious Freedom

A military chaplain, the Rev Ronald Apollo, sued the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to be able to practice his religious beliefs and won. BOP wanted all personnel to carry pepper spray, including chaplains, so that if attacked by an inmate they could protect themselves. Apollo challenged the rule and now prison chaplains will no longer have to carry pepper spray. That to some may be just another example of how the Christian right asserts its values on the society, but it is more than that. First of Continue reading “On Religious Freedom”