Whitney Parnell 8-10-2018

Whitney Parnell, with producer Joshua Davies in the background, in Charlottesville, Va.

On Aug. 12, 2017, I woke up keenly aware that I might die. I reflected on this reality during my drive to Charlottesville, Va., with plans to stand up for love and peace against white supremacy. I left Charlottesville physically unharmed, but scarred for life. I was scarred by the fact that Heather Heyer had been killed, that people, including friends, were injured in the terrorist attack, that my life had been blatantly threatened numerous times with people who chanted racial epithets and glared at me with their rifles, and that I had personally witnessed such intense vitriol towards my very existence. I drove away convinced that I would never return.

Simran Jeet Singh 8-09-2018

Image via Phil Murphy / Flickr

The racist attacks spiked again after 9/11, particularly because Americans did not know about the Sikh religion and conflated the unique Sikh appearance with popular stereotypes of what terrorists look like.

Edward Matthews 8-09-2018

Image via REUTERS/Mike Blake

While the INS’s mission was primarily to maintain control of the border and monitor immigration, the CBP’s mission aims to “safeguard America's borders thereby protecting the public from dangerous people”. The shift in mission from INS to CBP reflects an emphasis on anti-terrorism rather than immigration management.

A vendor sits next to images of cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan, chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) at a market in Islamabad, Pakistan, July 27, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

They have been the targets not only of electoral discrimination but also of vandalism against their places of worship.

Kaitlin Curtice 8-07-2018

What could it possibly mean to us that an endangered species of orca whales hold a mourning period after losing their young? While mourning is a natural habit of many creatures, we should pay attention to Tahlequah’s process of grief. Perhaps if we observe the creatures we have been called to care for and learn from, we might learn something about what it means to be human.

Dani Gabriel 8-06-2018

Image via Flikr/ Mary Constance 

Meyers: A revised prayer book could give us new ways of imagining God and understanding ourselves as children of God. It could be a real force for proclamation of the gospel to people who don’t necessarily think of themselves as Christian. I think it can give us a much deeper understanding and appreciation of creation and our role in caring for creation. We have some of that in the prayer book now, but in a time when the world is literally on fire and we are at a huge ecological crisis, it could, because of the power of language, subtly reshape our understanding and relationship to the world in which we live in a way that might enable us to take better care of it.
 

By Ianphilpot at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

The evangelical world in which I came of age was created in Bill Hybels' image. Nearly singular in his influence and power, Hybels was one of a handful of Baby Boomer church innovators who reimagined church to be “seeker sensitive,” designed for the spiritually curious who also might be searching for the convenience of a food court, parking lot, and sermons on tape that were ready for purchase in the lobby by the time the worship band sang the final chorus of the recessional.

Joe Kay 8-05-2018

It’s a magical experience watching fireflies rise from the ground at dusk and blink their way high into the trees, performing their light show against the night sky. When I learned the science behind how the bugs make their light — a process called bioluminescence — it didn’t make them any less magical to me. Rather, my new insights made me appreciate them more.

the Web Editors 8-03-2018

3. They Went Viral in the Videos of #LivingWhileBlack. Now They’re Running for Office and Becoming Activists

“It seems a new video emerges every week in the burgeoning genre of white people siccing police on nonwhite people for taking part in everyday activities … Now, some of the small but growing numbers of people featured in those videos are using the attention to run for office, become activists, form nonprofits or otherwise enter the fray of race, politics and social change.”

4. Is Neuroscience Getting Closer to Explaining Evil Behavior?

Why some people choose to do evil remains a puzzle, but are we starting to understand how this behavior is triggered?

Adam Taylor 8-02-2018

This year’s 50th Anniversary of the Poor People’s Campaign provides a critical moment for our nation and people of faith and conscience to pause and conduct a moral scan of our nation’s progress in combatting poverty in America. Despite some progress, poverty in America remains deeply entrenched.

Jamar A. Boyd II 8-01-2018

Image via Shutterstock/ Lucas Maverick Greyson 

America’s allegiance is not to black and brown bodies. It is bound to prejudice, racism, militarism, and violence predominantly against people of color. And while Black Lives Matter rose as a voice and movement for black lives, the NAACP’s Youth & College Division amplified its voice, and black Americans across this nation cried out, the American majority kept quiet.

Abby Olcese 7-30-2018

Image via Eighth Grade IMDb page 

Most of us who managed to survive middle school regard it as the most awkward time in our lives, when we cared deeply about how others see us, but were just as deeply unsure of how we saw ourselves. Eighth Grade uses that to tell a story about perception, one which applies to adults as much as it does to 13-year-olds. Burnham’s film explores how we want to be perceived by others, the harsh ways we perceive ourselves, and the way we’re perceived by those who see us fully, and love us unconditionally.

Image via REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Down at the border, Amber Alert:
Children are taken, children are hurt.
Lord, this injustice must make you weep:
Why can’t their mothers sing them to sleep?
Stephen Mattson 7-27-2018

Photo by Jovi Waqa on Unsplash.

Few things are more holy or worshipful than helping others and working towards providing humanity with justice, peace, reconciliation, equity, safety, and empowerment.

the Web Editors 7-27-2018

5. Loneliness Is the Common Ground of Terrorism and Extremism

“What is the right way to deal with these lonely extremists? If Arendt is right, then the structural causes of loneliness run deep – often, far too deep for a few personal connections to make a difference.”

6. Inside the Cross-Country Journey to Reunite an Undocumented Mother with Her Three Children

The TIME documentary follows Yeni González, as grassroots activists banned together to get her out of detention in Eloy, Ariz., to her kids in New York City.

Jim Wallis 7-26-2018

In a time when bipartisanship seems like a forgotten dream, it is important for us to find and celebrate cases of lawmakers coming together, regardless of party and ideology, to address the many real and immediate challenges we face as a country. Especially on issues of importance to the faith community, we should encourage bipartisan cooperation that seeks justice and mercy for families, communities, and those otherwise marginalized across our nation. Recently, there have been two steps forward on this front, especially with regard to the work that Sojourners has been doing on immigration, poverty, and racism.

Lisa Sharon Harper 7-25-2018

FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Supreme Court is seen as the court nears the end of its term. June 11, 2018. REUTERS/Erin Schaff/File Photo

We don’t often think of our current-day allegiances existing within decades, even centuries, of struggle. Sometimes they do. With the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, President Donald Trump has pushed our nation to an existential point of decision about who we are and who we will be for at least the next two to three generations.

Apart from slogans, nothing seems different but license plates, laws governing cell phone use in moving vehicles, and the ability to buy liquor locally. If not for signs informing you of your whereabouts, you would not know the exact state you’re in. The mimosas bloom their otherworldly silken blossoms without deference to zip code. Catalpa leaves cascade like oversized green hearts from massive branches. Steeples rise from Baptist churches alongside Dollar Generals and barbecue places named for the folksy characteristics of those who ostensibly manage the pits. Heavy’s. Bubby’s. Grateful Ed’s. All of these things, the sweet smoky same, regardless of state line

via IMDB

A direct reboot of Bravo’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, which debuted in 2003, Queer Eye is, on its surface, a makeover show in which five gay men –– Jonathan Van Ness, Tan France, Antoni Porowski, Karamo Brown, and Bobby Berk –– help transform their clueless subject, or “hero,” in five areas: grooming, fashion, food, culture, and home decor. But each episode becomes more than a makeover as the men of that Fab Five break through the hero’s walls and reach the root of their low self-esteem. That’s where the true emotions rise to the surface.

Image via Patrick Feller / Flickr

The July report by the Council of Economic Advisers uses an alternate way of measuring poverty, based on households’ consumption of goods, to conclude that poverty has dramatically declined. Though this method may be useful for underpinning an argument for broader work requirements for the poor, the much more favorable picture it paints simply does not reconcile with the observed reality in the U.S. today.

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