Rather than setting Babette’s culinary art and the villagers’ religious commitments in conflict, as if the ambitions of the spirit now succumb to the desires of the flesh, the play links the townspeople’s devotion and Babette’s art as necessary companions. They are more alive for receiving the gift, and Babette is the more beautiful for being allowed her generosity.
We all know there is a chasm dividing the vast majority of Americans from the very richest — and leaders across the political spectrum will admit that it’s a problem. What are distinct, of course, are the policies being drafted to bridge the divide. Shortly after the election of President Donald Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) presented “A Better Way,” touted as an anti-poverty plan. “Our welfare system is rigged to replace work, not encourage work,” says Ryan, and the only way to tackle such challenges is supposedly to “reward work.”
“Efficiency” and “productivity” are concepts that have reached so far out of the weekly 9 to 5 that they have become normalized standards in everything we do. Just scrolling on the internet reveals hundreds of messages on how to “life hack” and optimize our daily workflow, using Silicon Valley’s constant technology outputs to crank up our daily efficiency bit by bit.
While there is much to say about the ongoing prevalence of racism today, and the rampant materialism of American society, the third triplet is one that especially demands highlighting. It’s no accident that while many Americans each year praise King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, far fewer highlight his “Beyond Vietnam” speech.
The most important thing for Muslims is that we have individual Muslims occupying spaces of power now. We have the agency and the empathy to develop stories about our religion and our people that can help erode demonization of our faith. We have a mounting generation of leaders in various sectors who can do that more successfully than ever. I see that as a big step.
Confession is telling the truth. Telling the truth to God and the world about ourselves. Jesus says, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Confession leads to freedom. This day is about freedom for all of us. Without confession to the sin of white racism, white supremacy, white privilege, people who call themselves white Christians will never be free — free from the bondage of a lie, a myth, an ideology, and an idol.
As she speaks in a voice measured but forceful, Milly challenges us to hold the tension between vulnerability and vigilance in dark times. “We must learn to be vulnerable, she says. “But at the same time, we must be vigilant in the dark.” She reminds us that new life — from a cave or from the womb — comes from the dark and from discomfort, not ease. We must tap into that internal fire, the light that comes from the Holy Spirit.
Karenna Gore: When we talk about interfaith dialogue and religions, the traditional way of doing often includes only Abrahamic religions — Islam, Judaism, and Christianity — and certainly that’s a very robust interfaith dialogue, but then when you add the non-Abrahamic traditions of Hinduism and the Indic traditions, and Buddhism and the East Asian traditions, you often have a very different conversation about whether nature itself is a subject.
“Then we poor people will move on Washington, determined to stay there until the legislative and executive branches of the government take serious and adequate action on jobs and income.”
Unfortunately, that’s not a sentiment shared by the rest of the film. In their quest, Wade and his friends display their encyclopedic knowledge of vintage pop culture as badges to be worn, or tools to be used, rather than pieces of personal meaning. At one point, Sorrento meets with Wade to try and win him over, spouting references fed to him by a lackey in another room. Wade calls his bluff, telling his enemy, “A fanboy knows a hater.” But it’s hard to see much of a difference between the two characters in that moment. They’re both using rote, memorized facts, rather than actual connection, to fuel their conversation and get what they want. The only difference is that Wade had to do the research on his own, while Sorrento has a team doing it for him.
As the nation recognizes the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, we are poised at the threshold of a new national movement for racial justice that may or may not prove successful in fulfilling King’s ultimate vision.
John Bolton is a menace, a “warmongering lunatic” writes Damon Linker, “a dangerous uber-hawk” in the words of former national security officials Colin Kahl and Jon Wolfsthal. Throughout his career, Bolton has been a consistent advocate for war as an instrument of national policy. He opposes the Iran nuclear deal and dismisses the value of negotiating with North Korea, urging instead the use of military strikes and the policy of regime change.
Woodiwiss: We're coming up on Good Friday and Easter. And a lot of strains of Christianity teach the story of Good Friday as, “God also gave us this gift of Jesus’ death. It was horrible, but Jesus did it to pay for our sins, so we have to worship him.” There's this implied debt.
Bass: It makes absolutely no theological moral or biblical sense at all. So where do we get that? It's very complicated, but Protestantism was built on this idea of faith: On one hand, they said that salvation was a free gift, that it was the act of grace. On the other hand, they complicated that free gift with this idea of economic exchange.
Here at Sojourners, we are excited to share that Rev. Adam Taylor has returned to the organization to serve as Executive Director. Both Adam and Sojourners Founder Jim Wallis shared some reflections on this transition in a recent columnwelcoming Adam back, and we also wanted Adam to offer a few words with you, our beloved community of supporters.
As a follower of Jesus, I am acutely aware of the painful paradox represented by the fact that thousands of self-proclaimed evangelical Christians supported, and continue to support, our nation’s current president. These same evangelical Christians have historically resisted attempts to pass any sort of commonsense gun control legislation (although the tide is shifting).
“Evangelical” is a word that now needs to be defined carefully, given how much it has been distorted and corrupted by both the media and the behavior of white evangelicals. The good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ is now at stake — as is the integrity of Christian faith for at least a generation to come.
For some, joy comes in the morning after a passing night. Others might require special, prolonged attention and a slew of various helps to cope through a night that lasts years, that seems to hijack all of life — and this is not just true of the chronically ill, but many who might be bound by trauma or unbearable grief.
There is no Selma for Ella Josephine Baker. But there would likely have been no Selma without her, either. And maybe that matters just as much.
Some chose to push back against injustice. Others tried to protect the status quo. Many thought they could just be spectators, watching without getting involved. That’s not possible, then or now.
May this insight be useful to you all. And may you feel minimally conflicted when you share it on Facebook.