Gynecologie Sans Frontieres

We know refugees face hardships, yet sometimes it’s difficult to give these hardships a name or a proverbial face. Perhaps that is why I was moved by an article about the work of midwives in a refugee encampment in Calais in Northern France.  Young girls fleeing conflicts, epidemics, natural disasters and the like often come or become unaccompanied and usually end up under the protection of a “brother” who may be more pimp than sibling. They get pregnant either because of them, rape, or at times Continue reading “Gynecologie Sans Frontieres”

Gun Control and the Heller Decision

Yes the Constitution has a second amendment which addresses the issue of gun ownership. But not until the Heller decision in 2008 did individual gun ownership come to the fore. This now famous landmark case, whose decision was written by Antonin Scalia, ended up a demarcation for Continue reading “Gun Control and the Heller Decision”

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”