Jessica Brown 3-07-2018

Losing a loved one to murder is unlike any other type of loss. Not only are we robbed of that person and of what could have been, we are robbed of peace, forever haunted by how our loved ones died. There is a level of brutality and fear that comes with homicide. When someone is sick, we can understand the illness and we usually have time to process and say goodbye. But homicide comes with so many questions and finding answers becomes a full-time job.
 

Da'Shawn Mosley 3-07-2018

Image via REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

Morrison’s wisdom and her immense love for blackness — a heritage, but also a color often used to describe evil and evoke disgust — have been blessings to the world for almost half a century. She has written and published eleven novels, numerous children’s books and nonfiction books, two plays, a libretto for an opera, and despite being 87-years-old, she shows no signs of stopping.

The Lorraine Motel, in Memphis, Tenn., where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Pierre Jean Durieu / Shutterstock.com

The deepest roots of The Shalom Center’s work to revitalize the deep connection between the Spirit and social justice were my weaving in 1968 and ’69 a new kind of Passover Seder — the Freedom Seder. My sense of the need to create the Freedom Seder grew from the deep crisis of American democracy in those years. For me, one crucial aspect of that crisis was the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King on April 4, 1968. It was an act of violence ending the life and disrupting the work of our foremost teacher of nonviolence.

Kaitlin Curtice 3-05-2018

When Europeans “founded” America, they took any land that wasn’t “Christian” and claimed it “for God” — which meant that they were given full reign by the church to decide who looked saved and who didn’t. The Doctrine of Discovery gave them full permission to oppress, and because of it, my own Potawatomi ancestors walked the Trail of Death from the Great Lakes region of the United States into Kansas and Oklahoma.

My bookshelf represents a poverty of influence. So for Lent, we — two white middle-class millennial women — decided to fast from white voices and white-dominated media. For 40 days, we’re committing to only read books, watch films, and listen to podcasts written or directed by women of color.

Russell Jeung 3-05-2018

Among President Trump’s many concerning stances on U.S. immigration policy is his proposal to end the long-standing family reunification immigration policy, the process by which nearly six out of 10 Asian immigrants enter the United States.

Tinamarie Stolz 3-02-2018

Image via Dhanya Addanki/Sojourners

Each holy sacrament — baptism, eucharist, confirmation, reconciliation, marriage, holy orders, anointing of the sick — is a way for Catholics to show that we are with God, and God is with us. And we are with each other.

Kelley Burd-Huss 3-02-2018

Image courtesy Shutterstock.com

In this environment, it has been easy to overlook what in any normal week would be a top story. Since Feb. 22, West Virginia public school teachers and employees have been forcing the state's 55 county boards of education to shut down, citing inadequate pay and climbing health insurance costs. That is every teacher, every public school, in the entire state. Though a strike of this scale is extraordinary, it is not without precedent. In 1990, West Virginia teachers in 47 counties stopped work and earned an across-the-board $5,000 pay increase for teachers throughout the state.

the Web Editors 3-02-2018

9. Things Fall Apart

A feat of elegant design wowed elite architects and promised to bring education to poor children in Nigeria. Then it collapsed.

10. Martin Luther King Jr. Mourns Trayvon Martin

I dreamed you whole
and growing into your own
manhood, writing its definitions
with your daily being.
I dreamed you alive, living.

Liam Adams 3-01-2018

The Heretic, a new documentary about controversial author and thinker Rob Bell, offers a new image of Christianity and faith. The film traces Bell’s work since the release of his hair-raising book, Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, which questioned the damnation of human beings to hell.

John Gehring 3-01-2018

Photo courtesy John Gehring

Earlier this week, I participated in civil disobedience for the first time. Forty Catholic sisters, priests, and other lay Catholic advocates were arrested in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building in solidarity with young undocumented “Dreamers.” These immigrants, brought to this country as children, are living in fear of deportation after the Trump administration ended an Obama-era program that offered them protection. Congress now has to find a solution. About a third of all House members, including Speaker Paul Ryan, and a quarter of senators are Catholic. More than a 100 Catholics, including Dreamers, showed up for a rally and press conference outside the Senate building, urging lawmakers to act.

Jim Wallis 2-28-2018

Placards and letters signed by worshipers at Christ Church United Methodist Church in response to shootings in nearby Parkland, Florida. They will be sent to legislators and officials in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Image via Reuters/Joe Skipper

Our children are leading us, and our youth groups can help point the way forward. It’s time to listen and follow their lead.

Joe Kay 2-28-2018

After each massacre, guns are defended with religious fervor, as though owning a weapon is akin to owning a Bible. We’re told that the problem in our society isn’t unfettered access to weapons, but a failure by godly people to arm themselves and go out and kill the ungodly people. We’re told we need more “good” people buying guns and perfecting their aim so they can shoot all the “bad” people.

Austen Hartke 2-26-2018

Many people will be familiar with this explanation of trans identities — that trans people identify as “a girl trapped in a boy’s body,” or “a boy trapped in a girl’s body.” This narrative is a simplistic one, and we most often see it used by gender-diverse children as they’re exploring their sense of self. As kids, we don’t have a better way of explaining how we feel, and so we use these words to try to get across the fact that there’s something about us that you can’t see. But for many trans people, especially nonbinary trans folks, this narrative doesn’t work. 

Rally in Times Square, New York City on Feb. 18, 2017. a katz / Shutterstock.com

If we don’t see you
In the mother pulled away from her child
In the father dragged from his home
In the child shivering in the detention center
Then we don’t see you at all.

Kaitlin Curtice 2-23-2018

At one time or another, we decided that the church is a body created to spiritually house and care for the world. But today in America, the word Christian has a lot of connotations to the average person. It’s confusing, and it brings up a lot of conversations about dividing lines and political parties and inclusion versus exclusion.

Jamie D. Aten 2-23-2018

Bob Ossler, chaplain with the Cape Coral volunteer fire department, places seventeen crosses for the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on a fence a short distance from the school in Parkland, Fla. Image via Reuters/Jonathan Drake

As a Christian, a husband and father, a friend, a disaster ministry expert, a researcher, and a psychologist — I believe we need to take action to stop gun violence in our country. Here’s why.

the Web Editors 2-23-2018

7. The Boys Are Not All Right

Comedian and social commentator Michael Ian Black writes for the New York Times about the lack of conversations and cultural movement behind defining healthy masculinity for boys.

8. Religion Writing in the Time of Trump

“The question hinges on how these stories are written and what purpose they serve. When religion writers don’t get this right, they run the risk of reversing the empathy that white people of faith might feel for persons and communities of color. By allowing white Catholic Trump-supporting interviewees to be the sole and explicit recipients of the reader’s empathy, these writers fail to create room for those who suffer as a result of the interviewees' views or actions.”

Dhanya Addanki 2-22-2018

Sometimes, my great-grandmother used to sleep in the fields — not because she didn’t have a home, but because she wanted to make sure that no one stole her crop. My dad often tells me that she was ready to beat up any thieves that came at the dead of night and I’m sure there were instances where she did. I often picture this moment when I need strength. I think about her petite frame in a cotton sari knowing that she could tackle whatever danger came her way at night. But I also think about how she might have felt fear creep up and how she might have felt anger, too, if she saw someone attempting to sabotage her crop. Because no matter how nurturing and gentle she might have been, she could also feel anger and stand up for herself when she knew she was being wronged.

Jim Wallis 2-22-2018

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Emma Gonzalez comforts a classmate. REUTERS/Michael Laughlin/Pool

Something is happening with the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and, because of them, something is happening to us as a nation.