Christina Colón 10-06-2017

Image via The Florida Project

Orlando, Fla. is most known for the Walt Disney World theme parks that draw millions of visitors to the area each year. Yet few realize that the discount hotels they drive past on their way to the parks are occupied not by tourists, but by the homeless. They’re who The Florida Project director Sean Baker refers to as the “hidden homeless,” as they live, mostly unnoticed, at the fringes of the billion dollar resort. In The Florida Project, their stories find a platform.

Chris Smith 10-06-2017

Image via RNS/AP Photo/Felipe Dana

There are two actions the president should take now to stop bureaucrats from obstructing assistance to genocide survivors whose very existence as a people teeters on a precipice.

the Web Editors 10-06-2017

1. How the Elderly Lose Their Rights

A heartbreaking report on how guardians can sell the assets and control the lives of senior citizens without their consent — and reap a profit from it.

2. FEMA Buried Updates on Puerto Rico. Here They Are.

“At some point this week, the Federal Emergency Management Agency removed information from its website documenting how much of the island of Puerto Rico still lacked power or access to drinking water. Instead, our Jenna Johnson reported, the federal agency was relaying only positive information, documenting how many federal workers were on the ground and the extent to which roads had been cleared.”

Abby Olcese 10-05-2017

Image via Blade Runner 2049 trailer 

Nearly all of the characters K encounters (human and replicant alike) are white. This is in stark contrast to the globalized aesthetic of the city, carried over from the original movie. It could be argued that in a world where a white man like Leto’s Niander Wallace is the one person creating a sizable chunk of the population, it’s not surprising that the creations themselves lack diversity. However, the reality for the film’s casting decisions is likely less about artistic interpretation, and more just plain laziness.

Jim Wallis 10-05-2017

Image via  REUTERS/Danny Moloshok.

Yes, take a knee, indeed, and act in every way you can — in every venue in which you have influence — to participate in the slow, painstaking, uncomfortable, but absolutely urgent task of dismantling white supremacy.

Keith Madsen 10-05-2017

One day after celebrating the Feast of St. Fransis of Assisi, we are reminded that we need to hear the call Francis heard to repair Christ’s church. God has blessed the world today with some great leaders. Pope Francis has shown he truly understands the legacy of his namesake. He has chosen a simpler, less ostentatious lifestyle than previous Popes, and he has spoken out strongly for the poor and for peace. He is pointing the Church, Catholic and non-Catholic, in the right direction. But he can’t do it on his own. St. Francis didn’t. There were strong leaders in this era as well as their devoted followers. That’s what we need now. Reforming the American Church of today will take people who are willing to speak up for justice, both human and environmental. It will take people who will value a loving, dynamic fellowship over a stifled, silent one, afraid to “make waves”. It will take people ready to joyously and lovingly embody the values of Christ, as did Francis of Assisi.

Jeannie Kirkhope 10-04-2017

The cutting continues. After the guys finish work each day, I head back again to count the latest stacked corpses, to mentally note the variety of species, and to take whatever new trails have been made or extended farther up into the hills. What’s left in the wake of dozers are sad slouching stumps, arched, splintered, cracked, and damaged younger trees, tossed crowns in a sea of light green, the undersides of millions of leaves. A few giants on the steepest hillsides have toppled over at their bases, leaving entire root systems sticking straight up with massive cavities beneath them. It’s as if they’ve collapsed in grief from the loss of loved ones. The solistalgia brings me down, too.

Seeing this cooperative work leaves me with a deep sense of awe for how humanity can come together. Local communities worked together even before any national or international aid agencies set up shelters. They created plans and networks, and even used Twitter to rescue strangers stranded on roofs. While my heart breaks for the lives lost and interrupted, I see all the ways God is knitting us together through these local responses. 

But also, right now, ACT for America, a major anti-Muslim hate group, is meeting in Washington, D.C. Groups like ACT for America aim to marginalize and block whole groups of people from our nation’s religious and community fabric. Both ACT for America and the founder, Brigitte Gabriel, have a long history of promoting policies at the federal and state levels that are intended to manufacture fear of Muslims and promote the false idea of Muslims as a threat to the United States.

Kaitlin Curtice 10-03-2017

When we return to each other, to the vitriol of the world and the work of peacemaking, may we return with the best of ourselves, with eyes to see and ears to hear, with clearer minds and clearer hearts whose voices are not drowned out by endless commentary.

May we return with the commentary of Christ to guide us and remind us of who we are called to be.

Image via RNS/Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi

Pope Francis has changed Catholic Canon law – and met with some intense reactions.

At stake here is the language used for the Mass and the question of who has the responsibility for translating the Catholic liturgy into regional languages.

So why should this issue be so very controversial in the 21st century?

Image via manhhai/Flickr

 At no point did I see a Niebuhrian “just war.” The entire enterprise was a moral disgrace.

Image via Shutterstock.com/Ververidis Vasilis

We thank you for thousands of sisters and brothers

Who seek education, who love this good land.

For they are a blessing to us and to others;

May we reach to offer a welcoming hand.

Alexia Salvatierra 9-28-2017

Pastor Noe and Vicky Carias with their children after he was released. Photo courtesy Matthew 25 SoCal.

Pastor Carias and his family had done everything right. We in his network of supporters had done everything that normally should have resulted in a just outcome. We had to face that these were not normal times; we had to examine our methods.

Image via Shutterstock.com/Parilov

We pray for others far away

Who’ve seen destruction, too;

We look beyond ourselves, for they

Are also loved by you.

Image via Gino Santa Maria/ Shutterstock 

The test for religious leaders in this context has been nothing short of a demand for a prophetic voice which sees, names, and challenges the reality of a system that destroys the lives of some while parading as “law and order” for others. Faith leaders are finding themselves tangled in a quagmire of competing rhetoric about what makes for peace, walking the line of proclaiming prophetic vision amid a culture, a church, and a people tightly wrapped in the clutches of white supremacy.

Image via Shutterstock.com

By the grace of our God, you brought life to the earth;

As you healed those in need, you saw each person’s worth.

May we who proclaim you now answer your call

To bring hope and healing — and health care to all.

Joe Kay 9-26-2017

Grace works that way. People come into our lives unexpectedly and show us things we need to see. Those people and those moments become edge pieces for us, if we let them. It’s good to remind ourselves of that now, when we’re so divided and disconnected that we can’t even see the picture we’re meant to form together. We’ve forgotten that each of us is a piece of something bigger than ourselves.

Adam Ericksen 9-26-2017

Dallas Cowboys players kneel together with their arms locked prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
 

Trump’s mythical narrative is a lie because he’s wrong about the motivations of the NFL players who kneel during the national anthem. They don’t kneel because they hate the flag. They aren’t monsters threatening the United States. They kneel because they love the flag and the ideals for which it stands.

Abby Olcese 9-26-2017

Image via "mother!" trailer.

mother!'s grotesquely literal take on the Eucharist also fundamentally misses what communion means.

Hannah Reynolds 9-26-2017


A man looks at the damages to his house after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria in Toa Baja,Puerto Rico September 24, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
 

Meanwhile, Puerto Rico remains flooded and without power. The aftermath of the storm continues to unfold as the damage builds upon itself, forcing hundreds from their homes. Without electricity, cell service, or reliable communications, the situation on the ground is difficult to imagine for Americans living on the mainland.

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