On 2016, David Axelrod, the chief strategist of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, interviewed Jon Stewart at the University of Chicago, my college campus, for his CNN podcast The Axe Files. I was in an audience of students eager to see the former host of The Daily Show return to the public eye, and I’d wanted to ask him a question during the Q&A portion. I didn’t get to, but I am confident that even if I had, my question would not have been as important as Dan Ackerman’s.
It is, of course, bringing up memories and exposing old wounds that we thought may have been healed throughout the process of time. It’s thrust several members back into that June 17, 2015, time when everything was kind of just moving very rapidly and having a lot of people experience the sheer raw emotions of having their church violated and having their ministerial staff and loved ones murdered within the sacred walls of the church.
She called for the end of "the boyfriend loophole," referring to the 20-year-old Lautenberg Act that barred individuals who are married, in a domestic partnership, or have children to own guns. Outside of that realm, domestic abusers are still allowed to own guns.
"We must talk about poverty, because people insulated by their own comfort lose sight of it."
This is the hope of the life that never fades away, the life that extinguishes division and death. It is the life to which love has called us, which we must live out in daily acts of mercy and reconciliation. Rejecting the gun is the least we can do. There is no room in this life for instruments of death.
When interviewed about the shooting, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton — who was endorsed by the NRA — said, “at least we have the opportunity to have concealed carry,” adding that “there’s always the opportunity that gunman will be taken out.”
It’s a position pushed frequently by the NRA. It’s the perspective NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre promoted after the Newtown, famously saying, "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” suggesting that elementary school teachers should be armed. And now, pastors? Greeters? Sunday school teachers?
"Courage is more exhilarating than fear, and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down."
@JesusofNaz316 has a funny-sad-outraged quality. He sometimes uses the platform for irony or jokes, but more frequently for protest — sometimes against general injustice, but more often against the hypocrisy of Christians. His account, which has more than 16,000 followers, has been active since 2010. He is followed by progressive clergy like Diana Butler Bass and Rachel Held Evens and rabbis Danya Ruttenberg and Jonah Geffen, along with theologians and pastors from across denominations.
Much like Thor, many white Americans are only now reconciling with the idea that the narrative we’ve grown up believing cuts out huge chunks of the country’s history. It’s especially pertinent that this perspective comes to us from an Indigenous filmmaker (Waititi is Maori, from New Zealand), whose country has its own long history of racism, and who championed cultural representation on his set.
Ireland wanted to forget. But the dead don’t always stay buried.
No one cared to get to know the man that they were killing — in Jesus’ case, and in the case of my friend. The judges and governor had made up their mind on who he was based on media headlines. No one saw any need to sit with the man who was on the execution table, to find out if his life had changed and whether or not he was having a positive influence on those around him. They defined him by a crime he had committed years ago.
This is why those Catholics and other Christians who hold that armed force may sometimes be morally justifiable (i.e., just war theory) tend to be "nuclear pacifists” — nuclear war would probably be total war, violating just war principles such as noncombatant immunity and proportionality. And a "first use" to prevent an attack that is not both imminent and grave raises even more red flags.
#MeToo presents an opportunity to make amends and do better. Individual congregations and whole denominations can adjust how they respond to victims. They can confess ways in which they have shamed and silenced and expressed contempt. And they can make reparations to those whom they have hurt, even unintentionally.
Many of us became deeply involved in the struggle for immigration reform because we strongly believe that fixing our broken immigration system is much more than a political issue or a legal question; it is a moral imperative, and it’s long overdue. The Bible does not lead us to a particular bill or piece of legislation. But our faith as Christians compels us to struggle for a more humane, more compassionate, and more sensible immigration system. Indeed, the Scriptures could not be clearer.
One issue black people have with Reformed theology is its Eurocentric roots. Reformed theology came to America by way of European countries, including France, England, Scotland, and the Netherlands. White, educated men crafted the teachings, wrote the books and led the churches. They did not have black people in mind.
As someone who served as a fulltime Christian minister for more than a dozen years, and who later worked for a nonprofit that mobilized men and boys to advocate for women and girls, I’d like to take a moment to focus on the role of churches. I believe that churches must change how they address sexual violence.
Which is why, lastly, I am certain that the road to restored unity among Christians will not take another 500 years. The signs are all here.
Yesterday, we saw the first wave of what is expected to be a much longer investigation into possible Russian collusion. And while reporters and pundits dig into the timeline, what struck me the most about the revelation is that the downfall of those named was lying — lying to federal agents about money and lying about contacts between representatives of the Russian government and representatives of the Donald Trump presidential campaign.
George Clooney’s new film Suburbicon is very obviously a response to the MAGA line of thinking. The film uses two parallel stories to explore both the hidden nastiness of the archetypal white, suburban family, and the day-to-day racism faced by an African American family trying to achieve their own American dream. It’s a setup ripe with allegorical potential, but while Suburbicon is built on good bones, it’s an unfocused mess that wastes its opportunity.