National Catholic Reporter

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Commentary

What Catholics can teach America about polarized politics

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Americans of all stripes bemoan political polarization. For people who claim to derive their political values from their religious traditions, polarization raises vexing questions. More than perhaps any other group, faithful Catholics struggle to reconcile their church's teachings with the platforms of the two major parties.

What the Chapel Hill murders reveal about the place of Muslims in American society

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Deah Barakat took my class "Islam in the Modern World" at N.C. State University a few years ago. He was curious about Islamic history, contemporary spiritual and political movements and was great in class discussions. I've taught thousands of students in the last 11 years here, but Deah stood out for his enthusiasm, kindness, calm demeanor and obvious charisma.

Executions are down and abolition may not be far behind

It looks like the death penalty may be on life support.

January was set to be the deadliest month for U.S. executions in 2015, but nine of the 15 executions were stopped. In an unprecedented wave, three of the deadliest states -- Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri -- stopped executions planned for last month. February has just begun, but nine of its 12 scheduled executions have been halted.

Last year was not a good year for the death penalty, either, as death sentences hit a 40-year low and executions were at a 20-year low.

Ending our nation's addiction to torture

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The sickening details of the CIA's immoral torture program have been laid bare with the release Tuesday of the Senate Intelligence Committee's torture report. The report describes deeply disturbing acts of torture and confirms that it produced no meaningful intelligence that could not have been obtained through other means.

It is difficult to read the report and not conclude that both morality and common sense demand that we take every step necessary to prevent the U.S. torture program from ever being reactivated.

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In This Issue

August 28-September 10, 2015

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