Gutsy introduces us to dozens of trailblazing women who are living lives of justice, truth, love, leadership, humor, and reconciliation. The show, produced and hosted by Hillary and her daughter Chelsea Clinton, while not explicitly “faith-based,” is rich with examples of women cultivating the common good. In a recent interview, Chelsea Clinton told me that there are as many ways to be gutsy “as there are women in all of our lives.”
The WCC convenes an assembly only once every eight years. The agenda always includes electing a new, 150-member Central Committee, approving reports and making formal statements on pressing international issues. But that’s not at the heart of what happened in Karlsruhe, nor has it been in the four previous WCC Assemblies I’ve attended.
If you or a loved one have been impacted by suicide or self-harm, there is nothing to be ashamed of. Scripture teaches us that when one person suffers, we all suffer. Yet if you are in a place of active suicidal ideation, or having self-harming thoughts, it can feel like you have been completely swallowed by the dark; it’s a lonely and terrifying place. But here is the truth: You are wanted on this earth.
We are students of theology. One of us (Amar) has just recently graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary. The other one of us (Yanan) is currently in his first year at Princeton Theological Seminary. Bringing our perspectives together, we hope to offer advice for seminarians from two sides — beginning and end — of the degree program.
Because being Catholic was not the norm in my community, I was often teased about our non-contemporary music and the liturgy, and I was accused of worshiping Mary. Mostly, I was told over and over again that I wasn’t a Christian. The latter happened all the way through college. I was so boggled by this because I knew I had what the Baptists liked to call a personal relationship with God. Yet I was told by children and adults alike that it wasn’t valid if it didn’t fit their formula.
Mary Oliver often explored big existential questions with the unlikeliest of philosophical partners: moss, roses, geese, dogs, waves. They all had interesting things to say to her. In a 2015 interview with Krista Tippett, Oliver explained that there is nothing more interesting to her than spirituality. “So I cling to it,” she said. “I have no answers, but have some suggestions.” Her poems are riddled with those suggestions. Here are some of my favorites
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) does not go nearly far enough to fight the root cause of climate change. These are the root causes of the global climate crisis that policy needs to address: The greenhouse gas pollution that comes from burning fossil fuels for energy and transportation, unsustainable agriculture, toxic waste, and climate-altering industrial practices. Biden must use his executive authority to address the shortcomings of the IRA and act swiftly and decisively to protect the Earth.
This Tuesday marked back to school day for my two boys, who are entering fourth and sixth grade at an Episcopal school that welcomes students of all faiths. The annual rite — which for our family always seems to involve the Mission: Impossible-style task, led by my wife, of getting all the right books and school supplies in time — left me with mixed feelings, which I suspect many fellow parents share. On one hand, I am excited for all the new school year offers my kids: new teachers, new friends, a new season of athletics, and all the other extracurricular activities that bring my kids so much joy. On the other, I feel the weight of a mounting crisis in our nation’s education system, especially in public schools, where the pandemic revealed such deep and long-standing racial inequities.
The stories we tell ourselves matter, even if you’re an immortal elf. The first season of Rings of Power, Amazon Studios’ new 8-episode prequel to The Lord of the Rings, opens with the scene of a young Galadriel, the Elvish royalty who will refuse Frodo’s offer to wield the One Ring thousands of years in the future.
Why the recent surge in union activity? The nationwide shortage of workers is one factor, to be sure, as is the COVID pandemic. But another contagion might be even more important: Hope. “You see it most clearly with the Starbucks campaign where they won those initial two victories, and it was like a switch going off for people: ‘We can do this!’” labor attorney Alex van Schaick told Sojourners. “There was a contagion effect, in a positive sense. Hope is contagious — I think that’s really true.”
I was amazed at the grassroots leaders, mainly women, working to deliver that desperately needed good news to their communities. Their witness was particularly poignant given the patriarchal context in which they worked. Many of the government officials we met with were men who seemed focused on who would get what in the region’s future; the women we met were empowering people in their communities to create change.
As it turns out, the person who needed The Rehearsal most was Fielder himself. His interaction with Angela in the finale reveals that the whole enterprise is actually an exploration of the inevitable pain humans cause others, even when we’re not trying to, and our need for grace and self-forgiveness.
Today, Christians are continuing to pursue their political interests while imagining that God is fighting on their side. In the wake of the Court overturning Roe v. Wade, many conservative Christian leaders celebrated the decision as bringing about God’s kingdom on earth. On the other side of the pew, progressive Christians lamented the decision because of the devastating implications it holds for human rights both now and in the future. This leads me back to the question I asked myself in the wake of the Supreme Court rejecting Trump’s bid to eliminate DACA: Is God in control of the Court?
Overall, according to the Economic Policy Institute, it’s estimated that employers steal around $15 billion in wages from workers’ paychecks each year. However, an important caveat here is that $15 billion is only what is reported. Wage theft is likely even more widespread, with many cases going unreported.
Three weeks ago, it seemed impossible that this Congress and this president would be able to get anything significant and lasting done to confront climate change. But this week, President Joe Biden signed major climate legislation — the Inflation Reduction Act — into law. It’s a bittersweet moment.
The outrages of celebrity culture have a material basis, with flashy sneakers and luxurious living, but Beaty’s analysis expands to include a deeper psychological and spiritual perspective on the problem.
The tiki-torch-wielding marchers who shouted, “Jews will not replace us!” were an extreme manifestation of white Christian nationalism, a political ideology that implies one must be a Christian to be a “true” American and that the growing presences of non-whites and non-Christians are a threat to “traditional” values. People who espouse this ideology believe “real” Americans are Christians who have a specific policy perspective; they feel the need to “take back” their country from those who they believe threaten it.
I went to the theater alone, feeling small and bereft. At the urging of a friend, I went to see Marcel the Shell With Shoes On. I felt my smallness increase as the theater darkened. Then suddenly, there was Marcel, a one-inch-tall shell, blinking back at me. Marcel is soft-spoken, inquisitive, and wears pink shoes.
The question, for all of us, is what do abusers gain by offering vague apologies? What are they trying to achieve? The men and their supporters are attempting to weaponize a Christian culture of unending forgiveness. While forgiveness is indeed a virtue, it should never come at the expense of those harmed. [John] Crist and [Deshaun] Watson (and their colleagues) refuse to properly repent, apologize, or seek to repair the harm they are accused of. Instead, they ask their victims — and us — to move on.
Despair blossomed in me; my fears of what my life and the lives of future generations could become seem to be coming true. I take my bouquet of despair to the only place big enough to embrace it: the body of Creation. I set it before the altar of the water and soil.