The Slingshot: The faith of Team USA, summer mission trips and a pot-smoking ‘church’


Need to know: 08/08/2016

A strong core

Catholic faith anchors swimmer Katie Ledecky

So far at the Rio Olympics, Ledecky has anchored the women’s 4x100-medal free relay to win a silver medal and obliterated her own world record in the 400-meter free for gold. Her Catholic faith anchors her. More from Religion News Service

Skewering stereotypes

Ibtihaj Muhammad: First US Olympian to compete in hijab

The fencer, who begins Olympic competition today, has never shied away from speaking up for the black and Muslim American communities. More from Religion News Service

Betraying his faith?

Top Catholic bishops criticize Biden for officiating at gay marriage

The three officials were circumspect in their critique and did not mention the vice president by name. Two factors may explain their relative reticence. More from Religion News Service

Reflecting her religion

Hillary Clinton’s moral conflicts on abortion

Although the Democratic presidential candidate is strongly pro-choice, her Methodist upbringing has shaped her ambivalence about the procedure. More from The Atlantic


2 Muslim American women ordered off American Airlines flight

Their account reflects the difficulties religious and racial minorities have described while traveling, coming under extra scrutiny or suspicion because of their skin color or attire. More from

Bonus tracks

Helping without hurting

How to say no to racism and yes to God on your mission trip

Mission trips can be life-changing experiences, but it’s not acceptable for white learning and spiritual development to flourish at the expense of people of color. More from Religion News Service

Not-so dirty jobs

A rabbi who keeps things kosher at Manischewitz

So what do you do for a living? Rabbi Aron Yonah Hayum is the plant manager and rabbinical supervisor at Manischewitz in Newark, N.J. More from

Medal count

Private: Which religion has the most Olympic medals?

Just as the Rio Games bring together athletes from all countries to compete in a spirit of camaraderie, they also bring together people of different faiths. More from Religion News Service

A clear message

‘Hey ISIS, you suck!!!’ New campaign by #ActualMuslims pulls no punches

“It’s about shouting out, ‘ISIS does not represent me, I’m Muslim, I say the word ‘sucks,’ I’m like everyone else in my country,’” said Leena Suleiman of the PR agency behind the ads. More from Religion News Service

‘Higher Power’

The Rhode Island ‘church’ taking on the law to smoke pot

One Rhode Island group claims that when they're lighting up a joint, it's for religious reasons. Are they genuinely devout, or just want to get high without the consequences? More from The Daily Beast