The first prophetic task is to be clear on the force and illegitimacy of the totalism. And what we have to recognize is that almost all of us, conservative and liberals — almost all of us, clergy and laity — are to some extent inured in the totalism. We take it as normative. And to take that as normative is a great narcotic that makes us passive and apathetic. Becoming clear and unambiguous about the force of the totalism is a teaching point that we really have to work at.
Jim Wallis recorded this episode of his podcast Soul of the Nation live from The Summit, Sojourners’ annual gathering of leaders and change makers. Here, he talks with some of those leaders to discuss what the word “evangelical” means in our present context.
It takes physically showing up.
The deep moral collision over ripping children out of their families has been a lightning flash in the dark, lighting up the deeper issues beneath. But like a lightning flash, it may vanish before we can attune our eyes to see the deeper truths and questions.
The Vatican has decided to remove Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick from ministry after finding allegations that he sexually abused a minor to be “credible and substantiated.” Cardinal McCarrick is one of the most prominent Catholic leaders to ever face such accusations. He is the former Archbishop of Washington, but the abuse in question occurred during his time as a priest in New York 47 years ago.
On June 14, 350 Christian leaders, who work on the front lines of the battle for The Soul of the Nation, gathered in Washington, D.C., to convene and create an opportunity for building relationships and cross-sector collaboration. Five of those leaders gathered together to lay bare the controversy of what it means to be an evangelical.
Let’s be clear: All Trump did was decide to detain families together in prison camps going forward, and there is no clear plan yet to re-unify the more than 2,300 children who have already been orphaned and sent away from their parents under his administration’s cruel policy. Those separations could be forever if the enormous task of reunification is not carefully undertaken.
Pence’s speech turned the SBC annual meeting into a Trump rally. According to Eastern Illinois University political scientist Ryan Burge, the Vice President used the word “president” 61 times in his speech and “Trump” 12 times. He used the word “God” 9 times and “Christ” only twice.
In this violent crisis, not significantly mitigated by President Trump’s recent executive order,every Catholic bishop becomes a “border bishop.” The tools of active nonviolence offer a way forward. In the first World Day of Peace message, Blessed Pope Paul VI said, “Peace is the only true direction of human progress — and not the tensions caused by ambitious nationalisms, nor conquests by violence, nor repressions which serve as mainstay for a false civil order.” He warned of “the danger of believing that international controversies cannot be resolved by the ways of reason, that is, by negotiations founded on law, justice, and equity, but only by means of deterrent and murderous forces.”
Trump signed an executive order requiring immigrant families be detained together when they are caught entering the country illegally for as long as their criminal proceedings take. While that may end a policy that drew a rebuke from Pope Francis and everyone else from human rights advocates to business leaders, it may also mean immigrant children remain in custody indefinitely.
Pennsylvania was the first state to institute the practice of confining prisoners alone in single cells. It started when a jail in Philadelphia became Eastern State Penitentiary, the country’s first state prison, in 1790. That was one year before the Eighth Amendment prohibited cruel and unusual punishment, and 223 years before the DOJ found the state’s use of solitary violated that amendment.
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