My high school alma mater is not an anti-Semitic or Islamophobic school, as far as I know. But its mascot is.
The student debt crisis in America is currently at its worst, making it more difficult for minorities, specifically African Americans, to attend four year colleges — especially private institutions as Morehouse College. It is estimated the average full-time tuition at Morehouse was $25,368 in the latest academic year. But with other expenses like room and board, books, and fees, the total can be above $48,000.
Impeachment suggests charging a president with misconduct that would disqualify them from public office — that’s not what Filipinos as asking for. Unseating Dutarte from office implies that there is a need for people power — a movement to assert democracy and not merely hang ones hopes in a system that has been known to fail or serve only a few. Impeachment calls the government to act, “unseat” calls the general masses to protest and hold government accountable.
“Life” issues have once again become extremely politically divisive. Claiming to be either “for the women” or “for the babies,” turns empathy for only one life into single-issue voting on both sides of the political spectrum. Instead of reducing abortion access to a political football — and even into competing billboards on national highways — we all should seek to expand and deepen the conversation, especially Christians, who should not be beholden to right or left but rather to a consistent ethic of life for women and children.
We weren’t meant to kill people. When we do kill, it does something to us. In writing my book Executing Grace, I interviewed a former executioner who told me how he was haunted by the spirits of the men he executed, whose souls visited him at night and sat by his bedside.
The Mueller report is all but forgotten — its limited focused also not remembered. Mueller’s assignment was to look only at Russian interference in the election and the possibility of a criminal conspiracy with the Trump campaign to assist this. Opponents of Trump labeled this “collusion.” Weeks before the report’s release, I argued that no such conspiracy would be found because none was needed. Putin detested Hillary and his apparatus of political infiltration was smart enough to know how to undermine her campaign. It did.
Our conversations about the many challenges confronting us — poverty, immigration, racism, sexism, environmental destruction — must always begin with an acknowledgement of our shared responsibility to care for God’s people and God’s creation.
Hunger strikes allow detained immigrants to regain their agency while simultaneously throwing themselves on the mercy of the very institution that has oppressed them.
There are moments in Long Shot, the new comedy in which Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen fall for each other, save the country from dehumanizing polarization, and (maybe) the planet from dehumanized humans, in which I wondered if I was watching something as good as Tootsie. It’s really easy to make a slapstick joke, but really hard to integrate dozens of them into a coherent work (there’s a reason the Marx Brothers don’t have many heirs); and it’s even harder to weave comic tropes into a story that also manages to feel like real life.
Rev. C.J. Hawking, Executive Director of Arise Chicago, has worked at the intersection of faith and organized labor for over 30 years. Arise Chicago helps organize religious communities in support of union campaigns and advocates for workers’ rights and dignity in the workplace. For Rev. Hawking, the co-author of Staley: The Fight for the New American Labor Movement, this activism is an essential part of her faith and the church’s call to be faithful to the gospel. I recently had the opportunity to talk with Rev. Hawking about Arise Chicago’s work, and how churches can support the labor movement in their fight for workplace democracy and a more equitable economic order.
Seemingly every week a new major report comes out sounding the alarm about the escalating crisis of climate change. You may have missed two of these from just this past week that join a drumbeat that often causes me to lose sleep as I worry about the future that my 6- and 8-year-old sons will inherit. First, on Saturday the sensors at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii indicated that concentrations of the greenhouse gas has reached 415 parts per million (ppm), which means that for every 1 million molecules of gas in the atmosphere, 415 are made up of carbon dioxide. This means that even if we manage to move rapidly toward renewable energy and use other measures to help stanch the steady flow of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the next generation will likely be saddled with permanent negative consequences of our artificially elevated levels of CO2. Also last week, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (I.P.B.E.S.), a research arm of the United Nations, told the world that we may be on our way to losing as many as a million plant and animal species. The 1,000-plus page report details the effects of climate change on marine and other wildlife and emphasizes like never before the devastating impact of biodiversity loss to humans.
While the Trump administration has been vocal about confronting religious persecution for global Christians, many of its domestic and foreign policies only serve to exacerbate the conditions that make Christians in these regions more vulnerable. The Iraqi Christian Chaldean community in the United States has been susceptible to deportations in the aftermath of Trump’s executive orders. The “Muslim travel ban” has done little for Christian migrants and other vulnerable religious communities from nations now under travel restrictions to the United States.
Pence clearly scratched an itch for the crowd that gave him a standing ovation and loud chants of “U-S-A” after he was introduced. His words were also a familiar refrain in the white evangelical community. According to a 2017 study by the Public Religion Research Institute, white evangelical Protestants were the only religious group more likely to believe Christians face discrimination compared to Muslims.
I stared down at the bones. Whether covered under centuries of sand or exposed to sun, the body was claimed by the desert in life and afterlife. Even though it had been uncovered decades earlier, the dust of the desert never released it from its grip. Father Francisco Eusebio Kino died far from his Italian home. Migrants along the way had told me of the crypt of the Jesuit priest who had missionized the Sonoran Desert 300 years prior. He first entered this desert on a mission in 1687 and it swallowed him in 1711.
Hate and racism were so embedded within this religion that the KKK was marketed as a Christian institution, and segregation was endorsed by countless white pastors and their congregations. It’s still so prevalent within white Christianity today that many still refuse to acknowledge systemic racism as a problem. They happily support a president who continually spews racist and xenophobic vitriol, and support policies that continue to be racist and evil.
White evangelical support for Donald Trump has led some black evangelicals to a crisis of faith and ecclesial identification. In this moment, Jemar Tisby has risen as a voice that’s unafraid to challenge white evangelicals’ complicity with racism, forging another path for those feeling alienated. Tisby is currently completing his PhD in history at the University of Mississippi. He is the president of The Witness: A Black Christian Collective, previously known as the Reformed African American Network, and writes widely about racism, the American church, and social justice. In 2017, a New York Times article quoted him saying: “Racism is not a ‘blind spot’ within white evangelicalism. It is part of that tradition’s DNA.” Now, Tisby has published a book tracing that DNA by way of history.
Dome Karukoski’s Tolkien, out in theaters this Friday, focuses on another story of friendship, that of the Tea Club and Barrovian Society (TCBS) which Tolkien was a part of during his education at King Edward’s School in Birmingham. The film tells the story of Tolkien’s early life as an orphan living in poverty and at the mercy of his benefactors, and the love and friendship he finds in spite of it. Tolkien is gorgeously shot and filmed with warmth, humor, and friendship.
It turns out that The Church of Satan as founded by Anton LaVey was more of a hedonistic club than something to fear, and today’s The Satanic Temple (TST) an entirely distinct organization — an emerging religious community whose tenets are dedicated to compassion, making amends for mistakes, and promoting religious liberty.
So many people have testified that Rachel Held Evans created a safe place for them — in person, for some, but overwhelmingly online, with a blog that became an internet sanctuary where people were welcomed, affirmed, encouraged, and lifted up. The hashtag #becauseofRHE highlights these incredible stories across social media — scrolling through the moving testimonies on Twitter feels like attending an online memorial service. Many are calling this online community her church; Rachel had been their pastor.