Both Expelled Members of ‘Tennessee Three’ Win Back Their Seats

Both Expelled Members of ‘Tennessee Three’ Win Back Their Seats

For the Associated Press, Kimberlee Kruesi reports that Tennessee Reps. Justin Pearson and Justin Jones have been re-elected to their legislative seats after they were expelled for their involvement in a gun control protest on the House floor. At The Washington Post, Michelle Boorstein examines “the Justins’” mix of religion and politics, profiling these two young, progressive lawmakers who freely invoke their Christian faith. While the Black church has historically been a powerful organizing force, today the country is much less religious, including many who are cynical or even repelled by candidates talking about God. Speaking to The Post, Rep. Pearson said, “I think younger people have left the church because it’s become more of a place of … othering people instead of a place of healing.”

Young Americans Who Identify With Gun Culture Are More Likely To Believe in Male Supremacy

Jennifer Gerson at The 19th writes about a first-of-its-kind look at American youth’s attitudes about gun violence, which found that those who identify strongly with gun use and gun ownership often hold male supremacist beliefs and racial resentment. Additionally, Gerson writes that those with stronger male supremacist and racist attitudes tend to feel safer with guns than without guns and have stronger trust in the police. Pasha Dashtgard, an expert on male supremacy and online radicalization, said this speaks to a larger cultural dynamic at play where “many are turning to guns as an ‘unimpeachable access’ to masculinity.” PRRI research finds that nearly 46% of white men report having guns in their homes or garages.

The Next Affirmative Action Battle May Be at West Point

Anemona Hartocollis for The New York Times reports that Students for Fair Admissions, fresh off its Supreme Court victory gutting affirmative action in college admissions, is preparing another potential lawsuit. Applicants rejected from West Point, the Naval Academy, and the Air Force Academy are being sought out as possible plaintiffs as a part of a new attempt to challenge race-conscious admissions. The federal government argued in its brief that racial integration in the military is a matter of national security, and that race-conscious admissions in the military are necessary to create a pipeline of Black and Hispanic officers. PRRI finds that half of Hispanic Americans (50%) say that a college education is a good investment, compared with less than half of Black Americans (46%) and four in ten white Americans (38%).

For Many Pittsburgh Jews, Robert Bowers Deserves the Death Penalty

Yonat Shimron for Religion News Service reports a U.S. district judge has formally sentenced Robert Bowers to be executed for gunning down 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue, the worst antisemitic attack in American history. Seven of the nine families of the victims strongly advocated for the death penalty, however, it will likely take years for the sentence to be carried out. Only 16 people have been executed by the federal government since Congress reinstated the punishment in 1988, and 13 of those people were executed in the final year of the Trump administration. PRRI research finds that slightly more religious Americans (48%) said they favored life in prison with no chance of parole; 44% said they favored the death penalty.

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