Contra el ecumenismo del odio

El Vaticano critica a los fundamentalistas xenófobos e islamófobos en un artículo de la revista de los jesuitas visado por el propio Papa y por el secretario de Estado

El papa Francisco, entre Ivanka (izquierda) y Melania Trump (derecha), en una audiencia en el Vaticano el 24 de mayo pasado. ALESSANDRA TARANTINO (REUTERS)

¿Quién se acuerda de Charles Maurras? Murió hace más de 60 años mientras cumplía cadena perpetua por complicidad con el enemigo alemán durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Fue extraordinaria su influencia intelectual sobre las derechas más extremas europeas, incluidas las españolas, a través de su partido antisemita, ultra y monárquico, Action Française, sobre todo entre las dos guerras mundiales. Igual de extraordinaria fue su tormentosa relación con la Santa Sede, que terminó con su excomunión y las de su seguidores y con la inclusión de un puñado de sus escritos y de la propia revista que dirigía en el Índice de Libros Prohibidos.

El tiempo de las excomuniones y del Índice de los Libros Prohibidos queda lejos, olvidado ya. Roma ya no hace cosas así, al menos desde el Concilio Vaticano II. Pero si las hiciera, no hay duda de que ahora tendríamos algo parecido a un caso Maurras a propósito de las turbulentas ideas y propuestas políticas del presidente Trump y más concretamente de su consejero estratégico Steve Bannon,un príncipe de las tinieblas que inspira las políticas más extremistas de la actual Casa Blanca, como el muro con México y el muslim ban o prohibición de entrada en EE UU a ciudadanos de seis países musulmanes.

Steve Bannon es católico, mientras que Donald Trump nació en una familia presbiteriana. La religiosidad personal de ambos es más que dudosa, como le sucedía a Maurras, hasta el punto de que fue el agnosticismo del escritor francés el que le condujo a la condena eclesial. Bannon se ha divorciado dos veces a pesar de la indisolubilidad del matrimonio católico, y de Trump se desconoce si practica o si tiene siquiera alguna idea religiosa. Pero en ambos cuenta la religión como visión política del mundo, y ahí es donde el Vaticano tiene algo que decir y lo ha dicho, uniendo además en una misma crítica al catolicismo integrista y al fundamentalismo evangelista que tan buen servicio les ha rendido al Partido Republicano para ganar en las elecciones presidenciales.

Aunque el mensaje es bien claro, en cuanto a quien lo emite y a lo que dice, la vía escogida por el Vaticano es sutil e indirecta. Ha sido la revista de los jesuitas Civiltà Cattolica la que lo ha transmitido, a través de un artículo, titulado ‘Fundamentalismo evangélico e integrismo católico en Estados Unidos, un ecumenismo sorprendente’, firmado por su director, el italiano Antonio Spadaro, y por el protestante argentino Marcelo Figueroa. Un católico y un protestante denuncian precisamente la colusión de católicos y protestantes extremistas estadounidenses en un mismo pensamiento al que califican de “ecumenismo del odio”. Según el diario italiano La Repubblica, el papa Francisco en persona, el secretario de Estado Pietro Parolin y el secretario para las Relaciones con Estados Unidos, Paul Richard Gallagher, han corregido y visado el artículo.

El papa Francisco rechaza la narrativa del miedo y de la inseguridad, sobre la que Trump y su derecha alternativa construyen muros ideológicos

La primera característica de esta desviación teológica es el maniqueísmo, un “lenguaje que divide la realidad entre el Bien absoluto y el Mal absoluto”, cuestión en la que los autores citan al propio presidente Trump y que sitúa a los inmigrantes y a los musulmanes entre las amenazas al sistema de vida de Estados Unidos.Una segunda característica que denuncian Spadaro y Figueroa es el carácter de Teología de la Prosperidad que comparten los dos extremismos católico y evangelista. Su evangelio para ricos, difundido por organizaciones y pastores multimillonarios, predica una idea autojustificativa de que “Dios desea que sus seguidores tengan salud física, sean prósperos y personalmente felices”. La tercera característica es una defensa muy peculiar de la libertad religiosa, en la que extremistas católicos y protestantes se unen en cuestiones como la oposición al aborto y al matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo o la educación religiosa en la escuela, y propugnan un sometimiento de las instituciones del Estado a las ideas religiosas e incluso a la Biblia muy similar al que inspira al fundamentalismo islámico.

Esta visión del mundo proporciona una justificación teológica a la guerra y alienta la esperanza religiosa con la expectativa de un enfrentamiento apocalíptico y definitivo entre el Bien y el Mal. Las afinidades con la idea islamista radical de la yihad son bien claras. El artículo denuncia la web de extrema derecha Church Militant, que atribuye la victoria de Trump a las oraciones de los estadounidenses, propugna la guerra de religiones y profesa el llamado dominionismo, que es una lectura literalista del Genésis en la que el hombre es el centro de un universo a su entero servicio. Los dominionistas consideran anticristianos a los ecologistas y observan los desastres naturales y el cambio climático como irremediables signos escatológicos de un final de los tiempos apocalíptico, que no hay que obstaculizar, sino todo lo contrario.

No es posible comprender esta fuerte arremetida del Vaticano contra la extrema derecha estadounidense sin recordar la intervención de Steve Bannon en una conferencia celebrada en el Vaticano en 2014, en la que denunció la secularización excesiva de Occidente y anunció “la proximidad de un conflicto brutal y sangriento, (…) una guerra global contra el fascismo islámico”, en la que “esta nueva barbarie que ahora empieza erradicará todo lo que nos ha sido legado en los últimos dos mil o dos mil quinientos años”. También hay que situarlo en el marco de tensiones entre la Casa Blanca y el Vaticano a propósito de Oriente Próximo, especialmente tras el primer viaje de Trump en el que pretendió conectar con las tres religiones, islam, judaísmo y catolicismo, pero terminó convirtiéndose en un reforzamiento de la alianza con Arabia Saudí y un estímulo al enfrentamiento con Teherán, con consecuencias inmediatas en el bloqueo a Qatar.

El pontífice no solo discrepa de sus propuestas sobre ecología, inmigración o impuestos, sino que rechaza su estrategia en favor de Riad

Curiosamente, Spadaro y Figueroa defienden las raíces cristianas de Europa, pero con una argumentación inversa a la que se escuchaba en tiempos de Ratzinger, de la que ha desaparecido el supremacismo cristiano y blanco. “El triunfalismo, la arrogancia y el etnicismo vengativo son exactamente lo contrario del cristianismo”, aseguran. El artículo termina recordando que el papa Francisco combate la narrativa del miedo y la manipulación de la inseguridad y de la ansiedad de la gente, evita la reducción del Islam al terrorismo islamista y rechaza la idea de una guerra santa contra el islam o la construcción de muros físicos e ideológicos. Con la denuncia del ecumenismo del odio, el Vaticano sitúa a Steve Bannon y Donald Trump en un infierno ideológico análogo al que abrió las puertas a Maurras en 1927, ahora hace justo 90 años, en el que se encuentran condenados los políticos que utilizan la religión para dividir en vez de unir a los seres humanos.

En: elpais

 

Law prof’s exam question on Brazilian wax is deemed harassment; is academic freedom threatened?

Image: http://pensamientocolombia.org/AllUploads/ExternalColumns/ExternalCol_6_2015-03-30.jpg

A Howard University law professor says academics everywhere should be concerned by his school’s response to a 2015 exam question about a Brazilian bikini wax.

The school determined in May that the question by Professor Reginald Robinson constituted sexual harassment under school policy, report Law.com (sub. req.) and Inside Higher Ed in a story noted by TaxProf Blog.

The school placed a letter of reprimand in Robinson’s file, ordered him to attend sensitivity training and required him to submit future exam questions for advance review, according to a letter written on Robinson’s behalf by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

The exam question, part of Robinson’s agency law course, asked whether the owner of a day spa would win a demurrer motion in a suit filed by a customer who claimed improper touching by the licensed aesthetician who performed the procedure. The exam question asserted that the customer had slept through the wax, but thought something improper had occurred upon awakening.

The aesthetician had warned the customer about touching that would take place during the procedure, and the customer acknowledged in writing having received the aesthetician’s information, according to the exam hypothetical. (The correct answer was that a court would not find in favor of the customer.)

After the exam, Robinson asked volunteers to discuss the test questions. One volunteer said the customer would not sleep through a Brazilian wax. Robinson switched focus, and when the volunteer declined to explain her answer choice, Robinson sought answers from another volunteer, according to FIRE’s letter.

Two students filed a complaint. An administrator who found the question constituted sexual harassment cited use of the word “genital,” the students’ suspicion that the question was crafted to reveal personal details about themselves, their belief the revelations had a negative impact on them, and the administrator’s belief that the exam scenario wasn’t necessary to teach the subject.

In its June 16 letter, FIRE asked Howard University to rescind the sanctions and to respond to its request by June 30. Howard did not respond by the deadline, according to a FIRE press release.

Howard’s punishment “does not comport with its own definition of sexual harassment or its promises of academic freedom,” FIRE wrote in its letter. “It poses a severe threat not only to professors’ rights but also to students’ ability to learn all areas of the law, including learning how to analyze situations that may make some students uncomfortable.”

Robinson released a statement about his case through FIRE.

“My case should worry every faculty member at Howard University, and perhaps elsewhere, who teaches in substantive areas like law, medicine, history, and literature,” Robinson stated. “Why? None of these academic areas can be taught without evaluating and discussing contextual facts, especially unsavory and emotionally charged ones.”

In: abajournal

La ignorancia es atrevida: Pastor Soto hace el rídiculo pisando bandera de Cuzco pensando que es de LGTB en vivo

Pastor (imbécil) chileno quiso ofender a gays y pisó bandera del Cusco. Como dicen, la ignorancia es atrevida y mantiene en la zona de comodidad a las personas, pero este tipo ya “pecó” de estúpido.

Trump and the Republicans Are Redefining “Religious Freedom” to Favor Christians

They want to turn religious belief into a license to discriminate, and to tear down the wall separating church and state.

Image: http://dvau.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/a-christian-nation1.jpg

BY GRAHAM VYSE
February 16, 2017

As foreshadowed by his campaign, Donald Trump has spent his presidency fear-mongering over imaginary or exaggerated problems, toward sinister ends. Trump claims of widespread voter fraud are a pretext for cracking down on voters who favor Democrats. He invents crime statistics to lay the groundwork for authoritarian law-and-order policies. And he routinely calls the mainstream media “FAKE NEWS” to delegitimize accurate reporting that makes him look bad.

Republicans in Congress haven’t joined Trump on these particular crusades, but on Thursday, they will take up an issue where they and the president are equally unmoored from reality: Religious freedom.

The House Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing Thursday on “The State of Religious Liberty in America,” featuring three GOP witnesses: Kim Colby, director of the Center for Law and Religious Freedom at the Christian Legal Society, which in 2010 argued unsuccessfully at the Supreme Court that one of its public law school chapters should receive university recognition and funding while excluding gay students; Hannah Smith, senior counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which The American Prospect dubbed “the leading advocate for corporations’ religious rights” after its central work on the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case; and Casey Mattox, senior counsel for the Center for Academic Freedom at the Alliance Defending Freedom, whose leading legal role in a host of socially conservative causes over the decades led Think Progress to call it “The 800-Pound Gorilla Of The Christian Right.”

Given this lineup, it’s safe to assume the hearing will resemble previous ones on the subject, where Republicans have argued that religious freedom is under unprecedented attack in the United States. What they’ll really be arguing for, though, is the right to use religious beliefs as a license to discriminate, and to provide special protections for Christians that fly in the face of the First Amendment.

Trump, a declared Presbyterian, may not be a man of deep faith. But after winning the GOP nomination, he won over the religious right and now, he’s delivering on his promises with the help of Republicans on Capitol Hill. In doing so, these supposed defenders of religious freedom are instead waging a war on it, further blurring the separation of church and state in America.

When the House Judiciary Committee held a religious liberty hearing in 2014, Representative Trent Franks from Arizona accused the Obama administration of “flippant willingness to fundamentally abrogate America’s priceless religious freedom in the name of leftist social engineering,” citing Obamacare’s birth control mandate. Franks added that “every individual has the right to religious freedom and First Amendment expression so long as they do not deny the constitutional rights of another.”

But as that hearing wore on, it became clear that Republicans and their conservative witnesses did, in fact, want to impinge on the rights of others. They argued that, for religious reasons, companies should be allowed to deny their employees contraception coverage and wedding photographers should be allowed to turn away same-sex couples. Matthew Staver, founder of the conservative Christian law firm Liberty Counsel, even defended the legality of counseling “to reduce or eliminate same-sex sexual attractions, behavior, or identity”—otherwise known as conversion therapy.

Barry Lynn—a Democratic witness and the executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State—argued in his testimony, “Ironically, the single greatest threat to religious freedom comes from a radical redefinition of the idea itself…I think the Framers of the Constitution would be appalled at the radical revisionism of the First Amendment being advocated by some. More importantly, I think the America of the future will look askance at efforts to elevate majority faiths or subject not so traditional believers to the status of an orphan class to be denied genuinely equal treatment in this diverse country.”

If Lynn was concerned about Republicans’ redefinition of religious liberty three years ago, he’s more worried today, now that the GOP controls Congress and the presidency.

Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch, is an anti-choice arch-conservative who sidedwith Hobby Lobby in the (ultimately successful) lawsuit against the aforementioned birth control mandate. Trump has tappedLiberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. to head an education task force. He wants to enact a $20 billion school voucher program that would use taxpayer dollars to fund religious education. He’s pledged to “totally destroy” the Johnson Amendment, a 1954 law banning churches from political campaigning. And his ban on immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries was halted by a federal judge for discriminating based on religion.

“When you take vouchers, politicking from the pulpit, the trumping of laws by claims of religion, and the immigration order, that is just a smorgasbord of terrible ideas,” Lynn said in an interview this week.

There’s more. As Michelle Goldberg wrote in The New York Times last month, Trump is “assembling a near-theocratic administration, his cabinet full of avowed enemies of church-state separation.” Vice President Mike Pence believes school should be allowed to teach creationism, that condoms provide “very poor protection,” and has argued that federal AIDS funding should go to organizations that “provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said church-state separation is “unhistorical and unconstitutional.” Education Secretary Betsy DeVos supports taxpayer-funded vouchers for public school students to attend religious schools. And so on.

Meanwhile, congressional Republicans are readying to reintroduce Trump-endorsed legislation that “would limit the federal government’s ability to punish individuals and organizations who oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds,” according to PBS NewsHour. Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute, told PBS that the bill, as first introduced in 2015, “is very radical, and would startle and scare middle-of-the-road Republicans”:

Olson argued that the law, as it was originally written, would protect people like Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who grabbed headlines in 2015 when she denied a marriage license to a same-sex couple. The bill also extended protection to pharmacists who refuse to fill birth control prescriptions for unmarried women if they cite that “sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.”

“Everything we hold as being real constitutional freedoms and protections is under assault right now,” Larry Decker, executive director of the Secular Coalition For America, said in an interview.

In addition to legitimizing discrimination under the guise of religious freedom, Trump is further enhancing the privilege of Christianity in America. He’s pledged to prioritize Christian refugees, drawing condemnation from Christian leaders who rightly see the idea as discriminatory. More fundamentally, he’s advancing the politically expedient lie that Christianity itself is somehow under attack in the United States. “Christianity is under tremendous siege,” he said on the campaign trail last year.

“They don’t have a damn clue what religious freedom means. They have bastardized the expression and the definition of it.”

Though Christians face legitimate religious persecution and slaughter for their beliefs around the world, America retains a “dizzying level of religious freedom for Christians,” Lynn told me. Much of Trump’s most passionate campaign rhetoric on this issue last year revolved around his pledge to bring back “Merry Christmas,” the seasonal greeting supposedly endangered by the rise of “Happy Holidays.” This is classic conservative Christian grievance politics, revealing that the religious right’s anxiety is not that their faith is genuinely threatened, but that it no long occupies a privileged place in an increasingly multicultural society.

“They don’t have a damn clue what religious freedom means,” Decker of the Secular Coalition said. “They have bastardized the expression and the definition of it to suggest the only thing that creates real religious freedom is privileging Christianity in this country.”

Deep down, Trump probably regards the religious right with only slightly more esteem than your average Manhattanite. But conservative Christians, evangelicals especially, are a key part of his political coalition, and he’s clearly willing to do almost anything to keep them in his column. He’ll worship them so long as they worship him, happy to politicize religion if it serves his needs.

Decker said it wasn’t for him to question Trump’s faith, but joked that Trump clearly believes in one deity above all. “I do believe that Donald Trump probably is a believer,” he said. “I think he’s a believer in Donald Trump.”