The Slingshot: Trump’s pulpit. Religious liberties. Unpopular Muslims.


Need to know: 09/15/2016

Fish gotta swim …

Pastor cuts Trump short during anti-Clinton speech in Flint

As Trump went after Clinton for her support of global trade deals, pastor Faith Green Timmons interrupted to tell Trump her church had not invited him to “give a political speech.” More from Religion News Service

Church and state and debate

Even the government’s smartest lawyers can’t figure out religious liberty

Is faith being used to justify discrimination? Are new cultural norms crowding out conservatives? The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights can't decide, writes Emma Green. More from The Atlantic

Pretty sure this isn’t constitutional

Florida man charged with arson in Fort Pierce mosque blaze

Joseph Schreiber, whose social media account had several anti-Islamic posts and comments, was charged with arson with the hate-crime enhancement, making it a first-degree felony. More from

This seems suspect, too

Georgia officials were set to approve a new mosque — until an armed militia threatened to protest

A Muslim leader said "extremists" bullied Newton County leaders into canceling a public meeting about the planned mosque. More from


Muslims surpass atheists as most unpopular group in US

A new study finds atheists and Muslims still top the list of the least trusted Americans. More from Religion News Service

Palate cleanser

How halal food became a $20 billion hit in America

In an election season dominated by Donald Trump, Muslims haven’t always been made to feel welcome in the U.S. But sales of halal food, prepared according to Islamic law, are surging -- and not just among Muslims. More from

Bonus tracks

Old-time religion

Baylor professor’s quest to preserve golden age of black gospel lands in Smithsonian

The National Museum of African American History and Culture opens Sept. 24 in Washington with an exhibit featuring African-American music. More from

Good-time religion

‘Hillsong’ casts a secular lens on an evangelical band

Michael John Warren, a director of MTV documentaries, has made a concert film about Hillsong United, a band backed by the Hillsong Pentecostal megachurch. More from

Public domain

What’s Hebrew for ‘When in the course of human events’?

Israeli and American officials often speak of the two countries’ shared values. It turns out that early drafts of the Jewish state’s founding document borrowed liberally from the American Declaration of Independence. More from

God AND Mammon

What’s US religion worth? $1.2 trillion, says one demographer

It might seem folly to try to put a number on religion’s value to American society. But Brian Grim gave it a try. More from Religion News Service

Taking a knee

Football rivals come together for ‘Religion of Sports’

Is devotion to a sport the same as devotion to a religion? A new documentary series will explore that question. More from Religion News Service

Having your cake, not eating it

Gary Johnson goofs on religious freedom

Despite the Libertarian Party nominee’s arguments, there’s no legal distinction between selling a wedding cake to a same-sex couple and decorating one, writes Mark Silk. More from Religion News Service