Mysterious people with political connections arrived from a country off in the East. They brought news the ruler did not like. There was a new claim to the throne. An effort was underway to remove him and install another ruler. King Herod wanted to dismiss the claims as “fake news” and a “hoax” — not because the intelligence report was inaccurate, but simply because he didn’t like the news. These Magi, after all, had done their research.
There’s a difference between having a strong faith and being religiously obsessed, and religion can definitely be an addiction — in my view it becomes an addiction when it interferes with the rest of a person’s life, when following it means hurting oneself, or hurting other people. For me, I re-invented myself entirely in the wake of my conversion.
Advent began on Sunday and will continue until Christmas. In Advent, we are to turn our thoughts to the meaning of Christ’s coming and the deep significance of the season for followers of Jesus. I would go so far as to say that Advent and then Christmas are my favorite liturgical seasons because they demand that we do the work to prepare our hearts to answer this question: What does it truly mean that God came and lived as one of us in our world to show us God’s way? The incarnation was the beginning of the Jesus movement to change the world.
Compassion. Curiosity. Courage. To author Talia Carner, a writer needs these three qualities to tell a good story — and they are on full display in Carner’s latest historical novel, The Third Daughter. Based on “The Man from Argentina,” and the tales of Tevye the Dairyman and his daughters by Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem, the book tells the story of the hundreds of Jewish girls from Eastern Europe who were trafficked by the Jewish pimps union, Zwi Migdal, and brought to Argentina and Brazil in the late 19th and early 20th century.
A door closing tight, shutting out an image of a man sitting on an elegant chair, taking the hand of a subordinate: a firm instruction to keep out. Another door half-open, behind which another man in physical decline sits, alone and afraid of the dark. Two cinematic perspectives on two doors. The first forms the conclusion of Francis Coppola's The Godfather, as Michael Corleone is effectively enthroned as a demonic king. The other may become comparably iconic, as Martin Scorsese's The Irishman’s Philadelphia mobster Frank Sheeran does the most he can to feel regret, to feel anything, after a life of theft, killing, and nihilism masquerading as protecting the ones he loves.
The Religious Right was not wrong to tell people of faith that the Bible is political. Its critical mistake and enduring sin is not that it challenged Christians to engage in public life, but that it invited us to join a reactionary coalition driven by racial fear, male chauvinism, and corporate greed. Decent people with sincere motives joined the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition to put their faith into practice. But these organizations made fallible people worse than we would have been otherwise. They led us astray.
The similarities here are not only due to the presence of death and violence, but high tensions between government and people. Here we’ve witnessed images of police exercising excessive force on protestors, extensive arrests of nonviolent demonstrators, and vile displays of militarization in neighborhood streets, much like in Baltimore, Compton, and other cities in the U.S.
The Rev. Dr. Amy Butler is one of the most prominent pastors in modern America. She recently served as Senior Minister for the historic Riverside Church in New York City — the first woman to ever hold that position. Butler has dedicated much of her time and attention to smashing the patriarchy within the church — what many describe as shattering the glass ceiling.
Sojourners President Jim Wallis sat down on Morning Joe for Wednesday's show to talk about evangelicals' continued support for President Donald Trump and what it means for Christian witness.
The facts in the impeachment case against President Donald Trump are compelling and beyond dispute. But for many, the facts simply do not matter. Republicans are trying to defend the indefensible. For many who watch Fox News, however, a defense is hardly necessary. For them, “fake news” is being propelled by a Democratic witch hunt.
Though the inaugural Madeline L’Engle conference felt like a safe haven as we gathered in the cozy glow of art, and fellowship, we were all still very aware of a similar sense of imminent evil in our country and the world at large. We are no longer in the Cold War, but the uncertainty of the impeachment hearings, of uncontrollable wildfires at home and abroad, of the refugee crisis and the hardening of hearts at the borders hang over us daily. Just as is often asked these days about Fred Rogers, we at the conference found ourselves murmuring, “What would Madeleine L’Engle think? What would she do?”
Bong-Joon-ho’s film is about what happens to those living below sea level when the rain comes.
Living in the intentional community feels like living with nine incredible siblings. Holding faith, justice, and empathy as a foundation, we actively choose to get to know each other and allow ourselves to be known.
Cecilia Muñoz is one of the foremost experts on immigration in America today. In 2008, President-elect Barack Obama appointed her to his White House staff as the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and later was appointed as Director of the Domestic Policy Council. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Why split public and societal critique from personal care and comfort? Whose ends does this split serve?
In his Neighborhood of Make-Believe, with simple hand puppets with complex internal lives such as Daniel Striped Tiger, Prince Tuesday, and Ana Platypus, he did something profound. Rogers and his collaborators on the show listened intently to children, created routine and a safe, sometimes magical place where they might be understood, affirmed, and cherished.
For those of us who perhaps didn’t always get the emotional support we needed at home, it was a gift that helped shape who we are as adults, parents, and grandparents.
Being baptized at the Trafalgar Square protest site was not a publicity stunt for me. I had been Christened as a child, but still, receiving adult baptism was a choice I didn’t make lightly. I reaffirmed my baptismal vows at Extinction Rebellion because I needed God right beside me.
Dr. Serene Jones serves currently as president of the historic Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York — the first woman president in the institution’s 183 years of existence. Among her many illustrious achievements, Jones also served as president for the American Academy of Religion, the world’s largest association of scholars in the field of religious studies. Jones grew up in Oklahoma with her family, which she describes as “progressive and deeply Christian.”