In 1859, an 11-year-old Catholic boy, Thomas Whall, refused to recite the Ten Commandments from the King James Bible in a public school. McLaurin Cooke, an assistant principal, whipped Whall's hands with a rattan rod for 30 minutes. With his hands bleeding and swollen, the boy finally gave in. Police arrested Cooke, but a court dismissed charges of assault and battery.
Libya lacks the illustrious Christian heritage of Tunisia and Algeria, home of Tertullian, Cyprian and Augustine. But prior to the outbreak of violence, more Christians resided in Tripoli and Benghazi than in the region's other countries.
Paul Ryan is using the deficit as an excuse to shrink the government via tax
relief for the rich and program cuts that largely target the poor—while
sparing military spending. That isn't courageous; it's simply wrong.
Today is the 150th anniversary
of the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, which began the U.S. Civil War. In a
fascinating entry from the New York Times "Disunion" series, which has been "covering"
the war since last fall, Adam Goodheart describes how Maj.
A disturbing factor in the rash of police shootings of unarmed black people and of deaths in police custody is that many of the victims were apprehended for petty offenses. Sandra Bland was stopped for not signaling a lane change, Samuel DuBose for a missing license plate, and Walter Scott for a busted taillight. A trend among municipalities is to issue fines as a means of generating revenue, and this onerous strategy falls disproportionately on people of color, many of whom are poor themselves. Not having the means to pay the fines can land them in jail, resulting in job loss and perpetuation of poverty—and increased distrust of law enforcement (Mother Jones, September/October).