In God’s kingdom, everyone serves and everyone is served equally, no exceptions. Even the betrayer. Even the denier. Even the abandoner. Even the person who lives differently and believes differently. Even the person we simply can’t stand. Even the ones we consider unworthy.
The two major streams of Christian engagement on war are pacifism and just war theory, which comes out of Catholic social teaching. The pacifist response to Syria strikes is clearly opposed. As for the just war analysis, it takes a little explaining, but reaches the same conclusion.
Our current world is awash in constantly-expanding, shifting information. Librarians are on the front lines of this information explosion. They are positioned to not only help us navigate knowledge and data, but to make ethically informed choices about how to use it.
I recently had a conversation with a woman who used to be a church-goer when she was young, but hasn't found herself in a church setting in a while. When I told her I lead worship at a nearby church, she was interested in coming to visit. We in the church have theories about where we go wrong in bringing new faces into our buildings. Out in the world people go about their everyday lives, and we watch to see if they are a part of the church or outside of it.
But more deeply than that, framing Terence’s last gasp of life in the texture of local challenges shows the frailty of black Tulsa’s dream of equal treatment. We need to ensure Terence does not become another note on a scale of the pain felt by countless black and brown lives. It’s only been seven months and the voices of those affected by this history have been diminished.
In the midst of so much death, how can we Christians celebrate Easter?
These questions can be paired with questions regarding our own sense of worship on that day. How much have we Christians replaced justice with worship, not taking one into serious relation with the other? Are we accustomed to worship in the total absence of justice?
Poverty is not inevitable. It is a systemic sin, and all Christians have a responsibility to partner with the poor to end poverty once and for all. “The poor you will always have with you” is actually one of the strongest biblical mandates to end poverty. Matthew 26:11 quotes Deuteronomy 15, one of the most liberating Sabbath prescriptions in the Bible, and an instruction on how to follow God’s commandments to end poverty, forgive debts, and release slaves.
Colossal isn’t just a movie about a woman overcoming her bad habits. It’s about a woman discovering her own power and agency, and the refusal of the men in her life to accept that agency.
Indeed, a comprehensive analysis of deterrence studies by the National Academy of Sciences found no evidence that the death penalty impacts murder rates in either direction. Ayala emphasized that her office pursues evidence-based practices, not policies such as the death penalty whose deterrent effect rests on faith alone.
The loyal and fervent fans of at least half (and likely more) of the MLB’s 30 teams believe that “this could be the year.” After all, hope springs eternal. These fans believe: If this or that player can do this or that, if our players are at their best, nothing might stop us! And while that could all be true, baseball season will soon show us how our best is often so elusive.
Most of Hillary’s speech was spent using empirical evidence to present a consistent, classic message: Including women in peace processes is strategic and necessary. It isn’t flashy, and it isn’t new — much of Clinton’s career has been dedicated to advocating for international women’s rights. Her message emphasized that having women at the table is pragmatic in any sustainable peace process.
In short, I find myself quickly going beyond the limits set by those who speak most loudly about “getting the government out of our lives.”
I acknowledge, of course, that there are legitimate arguments that can — and should — be carried on about many specifics. When can a given service be most effectively provided by non-government groups and agencies? When does a top-heavy governmental bureaucracy itself become a detriment to the common good? These are important questions that must debated.
In light of these experiences and news of the reduced migrant arrests in March, here are some of the questions I’m asking and ones all Christians should consider: With the reduced movement across the border, am I celebrating what I perceive is best for my country or what is best for my human family? Do my national values conflict with my kingdom values?
How can we learn to mark time, both chronos and kairos, when so many immediate crises seem to manifest as we sleep through each night? I want to learn to hold both types of time, even when I wake up anxious about the world on any given day. And that means I’ll need to practice mercy with myself and others, which isn’t always easy in hard times. At any given point, I can only be in one place in time.
For those who are counting, that’s 94 days. Ninety-four reminders of the stubbornly persistent — and plateauing — pay gap between men and women. According to the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average full-time working woman earns 20 percent less than the average full-time working man. The disparity grows starker for women of color: Black women make 37 percent less than men, and Latinas make 46 percent less. This disparity is wide enough to push some people to activism, and others to try to understand why this gap exists.
Jim Wallis and I were talking about baseball recently. He claimed that baseball is great because at the start of every season, 10 to 15 teams genuinely believe in their chances of advancing to the World Series. How does baseball do that? How does the league ensure strong competition and parity?
It is the tragedy of Christianity that the first hate crime in our constellation of texts is Matthew’s, in his telling the story of the passion. Jesus was a great teacher, an inspiring healer, and a man whose radical compassion touched everyone — women without honor, under-employed fisher folk, Roman soldiers, gentiles, Samaritans, scholarly Pharisees. The hearts of Palestinian Jews flocked to him, and this terrified the Romans. They tried to abort his movement by making his death a spectacle of cruelty and unutterable degradation.
I am still surprised by the ubiquity of certain attitudes around gender and sexuality, specifically whether married men should have any kind of relationship at all (friendly, etc.) with members of the opposite sex. Forget for the moment the myopic gender construction involved in that particular problem. Let's just take it at face value. Married men must be supervised at all times lest they be tempted to break their marital vows — or run the risk of appearing to break their marital vows.
We celebrated the failure of a cruel bill. We celebrated our powerful unity across other theological and political differences and our clear opposition to cutting the poor out of the critical budget decisions which now lie ahead. Yes, we celebrated. But we remain vigilant.