Christians & the War Staff Report
The latest al Qaeda terror attacks have sparked renewed media coverage of Islam’s relationship with violence, and have spurred questions about the role of moderate and liberal Muslims in preventing the spread of extremism. In America, the same schism plays out between Christian conservatives who invoke the “just war” theory of saints Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, and pacifists who identify with Christ’s nonviolent example and teachings. The just war theory lays out criteria for Christians to follow when making the decision on whether or not to wage war. The BBC provides a detailed history of the just war theory, its Christian origins, and its basic proscriptions that such a war:
— must be for a just cause,
— is declared by a proper authority,
— is pursued with a righteous intention,
— is a last resort,
— has a reasonable chance of success,
— has an end proportional to the means used,
— should not cause innocents harm. Christian denominations such as evangelicals, Lutherans and Calvinists have drawn on the theory for centuries, according to Darrell Cole, a theologian at Drew University and a student of the Christian writer C.S. Lewis.

UPDATE: Faith & Politics

The intersection of politics and religion continues to be notable mostly for its collisions. Miami and Alaska appear to be at the forefront of a new effort to get state and federal funding for religious schools. Elsewhere around the U.S., spiritual and secular takes on Christmas and other winter holidays have led to claims of discrimination, protests, and also lawsuits over offical statements of seasonal cheer — especially in schools. This includes one New Jersey school district’s complete ban on religious music. A protest against the policy brought out Republicans, Democrats, Christians and Jews.

Liberal theology

Research by Allison Bloch, intern 
Are all faith-based politics necessarily conservative? A survey of recent media coverage of religion and politics finds a distinct left-liberal trend that splits with the dominant dialog on war, homosexuality and the democratic process. -Peace Activism
-American Politics
-Foreign Politics
-Religion & Homosexuality
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For all the history of religion as a justification for war, the tradition of pacifist theology remains alive and well. The Catholic-led SOA Watch is at the front of an ongoing movement protesting the School of the Americas, a training facility for Central American security forces and officers based in Ft. Benning, Georgia.

Faith & Politics

“Values voters” and George W. Bush’s successful election campaign have made religion the hot political topic. Today’s edition of FOCUS surveys the media terrain. -State Sponsored Religion
-Traditions & Trends
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Creationism resurgent
Schools in Ohio, Wisconsin, Kansas and Pennsylvania are at the frontlines of the debate on teaching evolution. The cultural divisions are deep. Editor & Publisher reports that a Gallup Poll found that 35 percent of Americans believe evolution is “well-supported by evidence.”