Dani Gabriel 5-22-2018

Image via @lil_bear_photo/Unsplash

"We experience being known in many different ways: in baptism, whether as infants or children or adults, in confirmations, in ordinations, in weddings. We haven't had anything for people who have transitioned to change their name or ask that we use different pronouns for them. Yet this is obviously a really profound shift in who they understand themselves to be. It’s important for the church to affirm that identity, and name it as good."

Stephen Mattson 5-22-2018

Whatever your opinions of President Trump, his actions and words directly contradict what we are told constitutes wisdom, and fulfill the Bible’s definitions of folly. He seems to be lacking joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, or self-control — every fruit of the Spirit.

Peter Borgdorff, Photo courtesy Wes Granberg-Michaelson

We at Sojourners were especially blessed to have Peter’s leadership for 26 years on the board of Sojourners and, before that, Call to Renewal, which we and he helped to found on behalf of the poorest and most vulnerable. That was a deep passion for Peter, for those left outside that Jesus told us to bring inside.

Joe Kay 5-21-2018

Image via Shutterstock/ChameleonsEye

Strikingly, these Evangelical leaders made no public statements about what was right in front of them. They offered no words about the inhumane conditions their Palestinian brothers and sisters endure. They made no attempt to heal the fighting or bring justice to the situation. 

Kent Annan 5-21-2018

Calling people “animals” misses the mark on all of this, even if the comment only referred to gang members. No, we shouldn’t shrug at evil or avoid calling out awful things and people who are causing great suffering — an important part of our power with language. But even in naming evil we’re to be guided by love for the suffering and those who cause suffering. Jesus loved the criminal on the cross next to him on Golgotha. Each person is made in God’s image and loved by God.

One particularly welcome development at the Met Gala was seeing the mail coif associated with Joan adopted by women of colour such as Priyanka Chopra and Zendaya. This move distanced the saint from her recent nationalist and racist recruitment by Marine Le Pen of France’s Front National and reclaimed her as an icon of ferocity for all women.

the Web Editors 5-18-2018

4. David Letterman Just Can’t Figure Out Why He Never Had Women Writers

Letterman brought up the topic in an interview with Tina Fey on his new Netflix show — to not great effect. “If in the previous three decades, Letterman had hired greater numbers of diverse writers, he would have transformed the comedy world. He chose not to, and that’s part of his legacy.”

Richard Mouw 5-18-2018

Palestinian medics and protesters evacuate a wounded youth during a protest at the Gaza Strip's border with Israel, east of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, on May 14, 2018. Thousands of Palestinians protested near Gaza's border with Israel as Israel prepared for the festive inauguration of a new U.S. Embassy in contested Jerusalem. Image via RNS/AP Photo/Adel Hana

The most theologically significant prayer at the ceremony, however, was offered by John Hagee, a megachurch pastor from San Antonio. Hagee, a longtime supporter of Israeli policies, thanked the Lord on this occasion “that Jerusalem is and always shall be the eternal capital of the Jewish people.”

Whitney Parnell 5-18-2018

FILE PHOTO: Protesters marching down Market Street are seen reflected in a Starbucks storefront in Philadelphia, a week after two black men were arrested at a Starbucks coffee shop.  April 19. REUTERS/Dominick Reuters

Despite the frequency, I have made the decision to allow myself to feel the anger and pain that comes with every example of community profiling, because desensitization feels far more dangerous to me. While this is just a reality for black and brown people, these examples of back-to-back national headlines help provide justification for our outrage and fear. They demonstrate that nowhere seems safe for people of color, and instances like these happen everywhere — including in our own neighborhoods. What cannot be denied is that there is a common thread behind these encounters: A scared white person. For all who feel threatened by even the mere presence of people of color, I have one simple request: Please stop calling the police on us.

Juliet Vedral 5-17-2018

Director Wim Wenders with Pope Francis. Image via @ThePopeMovie.

"Pope Francis has an enormous capacity to communicate. His words are simple, but clear, and from the heart. He has a great presence that comes from his honesty, his humility, his sense of humor, and his courage."

In my experience, seminaries have perpetuated the notion that Jesus can be molded into the salvific order of the day. While the debate regarding Jesus, his nature, his relationship to the Creator have been the source of debate for millennia, we neglect to account for the debate’s effect on believers. For some, Jesus is an activist intentionally resisting empire. To others, he is ethereal and the God of a few. Others see Christ as the leader of a militant, anti-establishment sect. And to a select few, Jesus is simply “their homeboy”. 

Jim Simpson 5-15-2018

Image via Street Child United

The United States did compete in a World Cup in Russia this year: the Street Child World Cup, a tournament and conference highlighting homeless youth's ideas for a better future.

Jim Wallis 5-15-2018

The Holy Spirit is at work even in the darkness of this political moment. We feel it calling us to reclaim Jesus from those who have appropriated, co-opted, and hijacked his name for worldly power. Will you join us and show the world that the followers of Jesus refuse to be complicit and refuse to be complicit?

Layton E. Williams 5-11-2018

If we commit ourselves, as Christians and communities of faith, to see one another in our full complex experiences of life, if we name and honor and celebrate and walk with one another in each of life’s many layers day after day and week after week, then Mother’s Day will still come each year, as it always does. And it will no doubt, still carry both joy and pain for people. But perhaps it will not be so much an overwhelming challenge to us, to cram a universe worth of feeling and experience that we otherwise neglect into a single day.

the Web Editors 5-11-2018

1. Black Activist Jailed for His Facebook Posts Speaks Out About FBI Surveillance

Rakem Balogun is believed to be the first person targeted and prosecuted under a secretive U.S. surveillance effort to track so-called “black identity extremists.”

2. You’re Not That Special, and Other Lessons from Kate Bowler

“It makes sense that Kate Bowler, whose career began with a motorcycle-driving pastor of a Mennonite megachurch, would also be the person you’d want to hear from about life with incurable Stage 4 cancer. When life hands you the incomprehensible, sometimes all you can do is pay attention.”

Jenna Barnett 5-11-2018

Even though Congress has not voted on the Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act, states have begun using it as a model for state-level legislation. We must keep the momentum rolling. This Mother’s Day, give the gift of civic engagement.

Image via Emily McFarlan Miller / RNS

"I wanted to make a book that (says), this is how it feels, here is how it’s dangerous for me to talk about race and be a black woman in an organization that thinks it’s made it, but it still has work to do. I hope by naming those things and making those things real, it would open up the eyes of white folks and (give) people of color an opportunity to say, 'This is real.'"

Jim Wallis 5-10-2018

This Pentecost, take your faith to the streets of Washington or to the streets of social media. Here are ways you can join us, and say publicly that you are reclaiming Jesus from those who would co-opt his name.

    Rebekah Fulton 5-10-2018

    I Feel Pretty, the third cinematic project featuring Comedy Central star Amy Schumer, presents a philosophy about the power of confidence that is both deeply concerning and unoriginal: Confidence is something to be bought.

    "I think honestly, the hardest one is that I thought I was special. I thought there was something special about me that would prevent the worst possible thing from happening. I don't know where that came from, if it's just the hubris of living and that we can't imagine ourselves dying at all. But I think I really thought I was special."

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