Adele M. Stan

Adele M. Stan is a columnist at The American Prospect, and editor of Clarion, the newspaper of Professional Staff Congress-CUNY, a New York City labor union. The views expressed here are her own.

Recent Articles

When the Presidential Hopefuls Talk to God

As the Democratic contenders laid bare the details of their faith at a "religious left" forum last night, they showed how faith-based forces frame our politics.

...no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States. -- Article VI , U.S. Constitution In what was billed as a special edition of the CNN political program The Situation Room , the top-tier Democratic candidates talked about God. Last night, as I watched Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Barack Obama field questions on their personal faith by the likes of the Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners and CNN's Soledad O'Brien, I found myself squirming a bit in my chair. There was something unseemly, I thought, about the exercise -- like asking an acquaintance to show you the scars of his recent operation, or expecting a business colleague to tell you what she talks about in bed at night with her spouse. Don't get me wrong; when it comes to matters of religion, I'm fascinated. I'm riveted. And I do think a person's spirituality to be a critical part of her make-up. In fact, one of the great joys of writing so much on religion is the...

IF WE LEAVE IRAQ, THEN WHAT?

IF WE LEAVE IRAQ, THEN WHAT? It's a question I've been pondering a lot lately. I know that entertaining doubts about the wisdom of an unequivocal troop pull-out leaves me vulnerable to the ire of the left and the disdain of even some fellow liberals, but these doubts do gnaw at me, as doubts are wont to do. As well-meaning people scream for an immediate withdrawal, I keep thinking of another Muslim country the U.S. helped break, and then turned away from, leaving behind nothing but a pile of rubble and portable military hardware in the hands of rival ethnic groups. The ethnic groups -- one predominately Shi'ite, and two from opposing schools of Sunni Islam -- turned the Stinger missiles, shells and automatic rifles on each other until the one with the most draconian view of the faith won (more or less) and installed a theocracy (with the support of many of the people, who just wanted order and an end to war). The vacuum left by the U.S. abandonment of the people of Afghanistan, after...

A P.R. Firm for a Christian Nation

Christian Newswire serves Jerry Falwell, Operation Rescue, Focus on the Family ... and the White House.

Today the family, friends, and admirers of the Reverend Jerry Falwell will gather on the campus of Liberty University, part of the Falwell fundamentalist enterprise, to pay their last respects to the man who is being lauded as the founder of the religious right. Surely, nearly all of the right-wing politicians that now proliferate in the Republican Party, not least among them the current president of the United States, owe Falwell a debt of gratitude. And so I was not surprised to find this statement from President Bush arrive in my inbox yesterday: Laura and I are deeply saddened by the death of Jerry Falwell, a man who cherished faith, family, and freedom. As the founder of Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia, Jerry lived a life of faith and called upon men and women of all backgrounds to believe in God and serve their communities. One of his lasting contributions was the establishment of Liberty University, where he taught young people to remain true to their...

Benedict in Brazil

The Pope visits a country now led by adherents to the liberation theology he tried to crush.

In 1985, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, then prefect of the Vatican's Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, officially silenced Brazilian priest Leonardo Boff, forbidding him to teach, publish or preach on theological matters for a year. In the best tradition of radical priests, Boff embraced liberation theology, which fused Catholicism with a highly politicized "preferential option for the poor" that was based on a Marxist critique of the Brazilian economy. Ratzinger may have rightly thought that he was pretty much done with the troublesome dean of Brazil's liberation theology movement. But today, in his first papal visit to the land of the bossa nova , Pope Benedict XVI (as Ratzinger is now known) will find himself in contention with Brazil's left-wing president -- a man who claims roots in the liberation theology that Boff began to preach preached by Boff in the 1970s and '80s. "I'm a Christian, a friend of Leonardo Boff, of [liberation theology practitioners] Pedro...

State of the Church

What does it mean to be a European? Though it does not entail a common language or cuisine, these days, we're told, a growing number of young people on the continent are more likely to describe themselves as European than by any identity drawn from the language they speak, or their home country. Yet perhaps the most obvious aspect of European identity that transcends the continent's national borders stands rejected by the continent's citizens: despite the entreaties of Pope Benedict XVI, Europe, it seems, is loath to claim its Christian (largely Catholic) heritage as a common bond. Benedict argued hard for a mention, in the European Union Constitution, of Christianity as the root of European values, and lost. In his quest to return Europe to its former status as the Christian continent, Pope Benedict XVI lays the blame for Catholicism's loss of Europe to many things: modernism, relativism, multiculturalism. But never, it seems, has he looked in the mirror to find the true reason the...

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