In my research and experience as a teacher educator, I have found social studies curricular materials (textbooks and state standards) routinely place indigenous peoples in a troubling narrative that promotes “Manifest Destiny” – the belief that the creation of the United States and the dominance of white American culture were destined and that the costs to others, especially to indigenous peoples, were justified.

Avery Davis Lamb 11-15-2018
REUTERS/Stephen Lam

A Butte County Sheriff deputy surveys a burned out home destroyed by the Camp fire in Paradise, California, U.S. November 10, 2018. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

A dystopian scene is unfolding across California. Charred car skeletons sit idle on the side of roads in the working-class town of Paradise, Calif. In one video, a camera pans to reveal what looks like an apocalyptic movie set — passing the remains of an abandoned school bus, begging us to ask what happened to those who were inside.

Tim Dixon 11-15-2018

Photo by Anthony Bevilacqua on Unsplash

Politics has always involved disagreements, but it’s not the same as it ever was in today’s United States. Something has changed. In a national survey we at More in Common conducted last month, fully 87 percent of Americans said that they feel the country is more divided than at any point in their lifetimes.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

White evangelicals hold more extreme, negative views regarding immigrants, refugees, and the prospect of the nation’s racially diverse future, than any other group in the country. It is a devastating indictment of the failure of white evangelicals to live as faithful disciples of Jesus in these crucial areas. Further, it confirms how this group, comprising about 25 percent of those who vote, is a core component of President Donald Trump’s political support, with his angry, racially laden appeals to an exclusive ethno-nationalism.

Juliet Vedral 11-14-2018

When I was 7 years old, my family began fostering babies. Often these kids would be placed with us after being abandoned just days after they were born. Many of them were never even given a name before their mothers left them at the hospital. When I was about 9 years old, we took in a little boy and his newborn sister. My family eventually adopted them. So, when I screened "Instant Family," starring Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne, so many aspects of the movie rang true: The way the foster children acted out, their desire to be with both their birth mother and their foster parents, and how other people reacted to their family. But what also rang true, and it is a story not often told, is how the kids in foster care are not solely defined by their trauma or their status as “foster kids.”

O God, as the prophet proclaimed long ago,
You care for your earth and your gifts overflow.
Though sin leads to things that disrupt and destroy,
You work to redeem and to bring life and joy.

Faith-Marie Zamblé 11-13-2018

"Prayer" at the Art Institute of Chicago. Photo courtesy of Faith Zamblé.

At the Art Institute of Chicago, James Webb has fit the sound of Chicago’s religious devotion into one room. The city’s religious life spouts from speakers fixed to the floor. Museumgoers shuffle across the expanse of red carpet, pausing over one mushroom shaped speaker and then another — like bees gathering pollen, intent on producing cultural understanding and greater empathy.

Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash

She’d kissed her
gently on the forehead
before setting her down
and then — just walked away.
Walked on water right out of the bay,
headed toward the ocean. She’d had enough —
seen enough, heard enough.
She wasn’t made of stone. 

Katie Ulrich 11-13-2018

Image via REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

For most people, this specific story starts on Oct. 12, the day the caravan left from San Pedro Sula to start the trek towards the U.S. In the days following their departure, it’s all anyone here in Honduras could talk about. Footage of the asylum seekers flooded every news outlet and dominated countless living room conversations and lunchroom chats. From this side of things, it’s hard not to be confronted with the fact that the daily realities here in Honduras make many people feel like leaving the place they love is their only option.

Christina Colón 11-09-2018

The Many: Darren Calhoun, Hannah Rand, and Leslie Michele. 

The Many is an indie folk/gospel, liturgically-grounded worship band that creates music for people to sing together. Assistant Web Editor Christina Colón spoke with producer Gary Rand, manager and writer Lenora Rand, and lead singer Darren Calhoun, to learn more about how The Many is creating liturgies that speak to issues of injustice and leave room for lament.

Mollie Davis 11-09-2018

March For Our Lives in New York. March 24, 2018. Glynnis Jones/Shutterstock.

It’s 8:20 a.m. on March 20, 2018. I’m sitting in my math class, anxiously refreshing Google, waiting for anyone to confirm what my classmates and I suspect is going on downstairs. News confirmations won’t start coming out for about another 10 minutes. We heard the sirens and knew something was wrong, but still none of us wanted to believe our worst nightmare. None of us wanted to believe a school shooting would happen to our school.

Jim Wallis 11-08-2018

Photo by Max Sulik on Unsplash

Despite the split decision of this election— with the House going to the Democrats and the Senate to Republicans — the results do not mean it will be easy to prevent Trump from making further dangerous, corrupt, or autocratic moves over the next two years. But the election does mean that any moves like these will be challenged by key oversight committees in the House; at least after the new Congress is seated on January — but the lame duck session between now and then becomes a dangerous time to see what Donald Trump may try to do.

U.S. President Donald Trump news conference at the White House. Nov. 7, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Earlier this week, journalist Yamiche Alcindor asked Donald Trump about whether his rhetoric — and that of his party — emboldened white nationalists. Trump responded, "That's such a racist question." This happened on the same day in which a prominent white nationalist leader posted pictures of himself parading on the White House lawn.

Trump’s response follows a trend. When a reporter asked about his rhetoric contributing to violence, he said: “You're creating violence by your question.” When asked about the offensive ad that he ran in the lead up to the midterms, Trump replied, “Your questions are offensive.”

Christina Colón 11-08-2018

Former Sojourners interns in Washington, D.C. 

More than 30 Augusts have come and gone, and nearly 300 people have held the title of being a Sojourners intern. This year, it was announced that the 34th cycle would be the last to hold that name.

"Wall of Hope" 2010 Vigil for Marcelo Lucero. Image courtesy of Long Island Wins. 

On Nov. 8, 2008, Marcelo Lucero, an undocumented immigrant from Ecuador working at a dry cleaning store, was attacked by seven teenagers from the local high school in Patchogue, Long Island, and stabbed to death. His attack, according to testimony, was part of a weekend “sport” in which these teenagers routinely targeted and attacked brown-skinned people.

Shannon Dingle 11-07-2018
Sergey Kohl / Shutterstock
 
 

Going to a new church as a disabled person is a brave act. Why? Because churches have a history of being unwelcoming to us.

I love the church. I can’t and won’t give the church up, no matter how wounded I feel. Yet, I know more disabled people who have left the church than who have stayed. I know more parents who have left after giving birth to or adopting children with disabilities than who have stayed. Whenever I’m asked about Christian speakers, writers, and leaders who are disabled, I pause to think if I can add any new names to the short list.

Juliet Vedral 11-07-2018

After the statement was released, I put out a call on Facebook for people to share whether or how I Kissed Dating Goodbye affected their experiences with dating, marriage, and sex. Reading through these comments and PMs was heartbreaking as most of the respondents had highly negative replies. Most of the people who responded expressed how the purity movement in general and the book in particular warped their views of dating, marriage, and themselves.

Photo by Steve Harvey on Unsplash

Of all the various surveys and polls I’ve seen leading up to today’s election, one was the most disheartening and depressing: The 2018 American Values Survey by the Public Religion Research Institute. While examining voters’ attitudes on a wide range of issues facing the electorate, most revealing are the views of white evangelicals. This constitutes nothing short of moral and ethical indictment, documenting with irrefutable evidence the failure of this group to embody many values of the gospel they confess.

Joe Kay 11-06-2018

Photo by Casey Robertson on Unsplash

Vote today. Choose the candidates you think represent the best chance to bring God’s values of love, inclusion, justice, healing, and compassion into our world.

Jim Wallis 11-06-2018

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

In a time like this, prayer is not perfunctory, an add on, or a brief closing to a meeting. Rather it is an opening to what indeed has now become “spiritual warfare” as the New Testament describes.