If it wasn’t already true on the face of it, Denhollander’s comments and the responses to her reveal that the “burden of safety” does not lie with the victim, and a victim certainly doesn’t share blame for putting themselves “in that situation.”
Of course, dirt also tells stories of human triumph and transgression. With one scan from an X-ray fluorescence gun, you can tell whether a soil sample came from Cambridge or Dorchester, based on the amount of lead particulates present. A Ziploc bag full of dirt is also a history of redlining, white flight, and devastating arson, committed by property owners for whom the cost of maintaining the land surpassed the worth of those who called it home. Dirt is an archive of human attitudes toward the nonhuman world — our hubris in thinking ourselves separate from it, though we arose from it, and will inevitably return to it.
Sojourners was among the first to say the oft-repeated refrain that a budget is a moral document. Of course, that’s still true. Whether for a single household, an organization, or an entire nation, a budget offers a sense of the moral values of the people who create it. It shows who and what do and do not matter — what the priorities are — for the family or church or Congress or the White House.
Last week, President Donald Trump spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast, an annual bipartisan event that brings together faith leaders and members of Congress. Using language like “I’ve been with you,” and “you better get out and vote on Nov. 3” — insinuating all those of faith gathered align with the president — Trump called once again on support from his most loyal followers: white evangelical Protestants.
A commitment to justice or equality cannot be purely voyeuristic or touristic.
I did not attend the National Prayer Breakfast this morning, though I have done so in the past. The longtime Washington tradition brings together members of Congress from both political parties along with thousands of faith leaders, and every president since Dwight D. Eisenhower has attended. But this is not a time in our nation for habitual or vague prayers for an audience, given the moral and political crisis we now find ourselves in — or one that starts with the president of the United States holding up a newspaper headline saying “Acquitted,” and quickly invoking an impeachment process corrupted by partisan politics.
As I write, thousands of Muslims families in Hyderabad have been cordoned off and interrogated for identity documents for themselves and their children. Concurrently, Modi’s BJP has forcefully stripped the predominantly Muslim Jammu and Kashmir of their autonomy and has shut off the internet and phones in the area with plans for ‘deradicalization camps’ similar to the Uighur detention centers.
Like other teams that have mascots that they claim “honor” Indigenous peoples, many Chiefs fans proudly sport their headdresses and tomahawk chops, perpetuating the stereotypes that we are primitive people who either no longer exist or only exist as savage warriors.
We must carefully observe and acknowledge that many black and brown people consistently witness the senseless deaths of individuals at the hands of racists, supremacists, and those inflicting direct harm on Christian and non-Christian houses of worship.
Spiritual disciplines are always timeless, but they also can be powerfully timely in our personal and public lives. Many of us would say that the 2020 presidential election may be the most important in any of our lifetimes for the future of the country, and a sign of whether genuine and inclusive democracy in the United States even has a future. At the same time, calls for prayer, fasting, and repentance are centuries old — they continually demand that Christians go deeper in preparation to worship a risen Christ.
Just a few years ago, Shannon Watts stepped back from her role as a communications executive to be a stay-at-home mother of five. Today, she is one of the most prominent activists in the world. Shannon is the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, the leading force for gun violence prevention, with chapters in all 50 states and a powerful grassroots network that has affected change at local, state, and national levels.
I interviewed Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) by phone on the same day he voted in favor of the resolution. He spoke about how his faith, "Gandhian Hinduism," informed his anti-war views. I was struck during our interview about the diversity of religious views that informed anti-war activism. I asked Khanna's staff to recommend other members of Congress to interview. Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), who is Catholic, and Rep. Andy Levin (D-Mich.), who is Jewish, both shared their own thoughts in written responses to the same questions.
With the campaign of Donald Trump, the movement I once devoted my life to was swallowed up by a political leviathan. In Trump’s craven pursuit of power, prestige, and the adulation of the crowds, the once poster boy for a lifestyle of pleasure-seeking and self-absorption that required legalized abortion for its own preservation, offered a deal to pro-lifers: Sell out to me and I’ll sell out to you. You’ll get everything you want if you give me everything I want.
I don’t give up on evangelicalism lightly or willingly. Evangelicalism is in my DNA, and I’ll put my credentials as an evangelical up against anyone: evangelical parents, a preacher’s kid, gave my heart to Jesus at age three (and many times thereafter), youth group, Bible camp, graduated from Trinity College and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. My father was a distinguished pastor in the Evangelical Free Church for 40 years; I honor his ministry and his memory.
Jagmeet Singh is leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party. His campaign to become the country’s next prime minister made international news — in part because of his progressive politics, and in part because of his appearance as a practicing Sikh. In 2019, Singh became the first racial and religious minority to lead a major political party in Canadian history. He remains one of the highest-ranking politicians and most prominent faces in Canada.
There is a type of question I get all the time, most recently during the book tour for Christ in Crisis: Why We Need to Reclaim Jesus. The questions that came from countless pastors and lay leaders in local churches was this: “What can I do as this political and spiritual crisis gets worse and worse? How do we even begin to respond to the enormous needs and stakes of this moment in American history and the future of Christianity in this country?"