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.

Michael J. Iafrate 2-21-2018

Back in September, America rightly called on Catholics to “fight racism at every turn.” Yet Catholic media has yet to really give a good example of how to do that when it comes to reporting on Catholic Trump supporters. 

Image via Rev. Rachel Johnson/The Riverside Church

At Riverside, McKesson drew a distinction between the terms “ally” and “accomplice.” An ally holds herself at a safe distance from the fight for justice, he said. What turns her into an accomplice is proximity: proximity to the fight and/or to those who suffer oppression and/or injustice

Mark P. Lagon 2-20-2018

One could say dignity has three elements: Agency, that entails people being able to act autonomously and use their gifts and thrive; recognition, that provides a sense of value in the social communities that all people find themselves in; and implementation and institutionalization of that agency and recognition, to ensure dignity’s presence over time.

Image via Junaidrao / Flickr

A pivotal early scene in the movie engages African cosmology and varieties of African spirituality on many levels. The viewer encounters a vibrant spiritual world from the earliest moments of the film, which draws from the cultural traditions of many real African nations by incorporating customs, clothing, languages, art, architecture, body modification styles, and combat techniques found across the continent.

Ron Hogan 2-20-2018

It would be presumptuous, from my position of reserve, to make sweeping declarations about what Christianity needs. But I've come to realize what I need from Christianity — a call to action, not permission to engage in the quasi-gnostic pursuit of personal fulfillment.

Benjamin Perry 2-20-2018

Firearms are shown for sale at the AO Sword gun store in El Cajon, Calif., Jan. 5, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake
 

On Friday, The Cut published a reflection from Parkland shooting survivor Carly Novell, in which she describes her hours-long experience cowering in a closet. On its own, her story is harrowing — the kind of trauma no child should endure. The kicker, though, is that Novell’s grandfather was also forced to hide in a closet as his parents were murdered during a 1949 shooting in Camden, N.J. Separated by 69 years, the bone-chilling similarity of their experience is a devastating indictment of a nation that has tacitly accepted ubiquitous bloodshed.

John J. Thatamanil 2-20-2018

A student protester chants at a rally calling for more gun control in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., U.S., Feb. 17, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Drake
 

When NRA-funded Republicans offer their “thoughts and prayers” after mass shootings, to which God are they praying? Republicans cannot be praying to the Jesus who said, “Those who live by the sword shall die by the sword.” Surely, they cannot be praying to the prophet Isaiah’s God who heralds the coming of a day when God will cause people to:

“…beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more. (Isaiah 2:4)

Kelly Palmer 2-16-2018

Jesus told his disciples to “take up their cross and follow me” a year before his trial and execution. And his disciples at that time would have heard it very differently from the way we interpret it today. To the disciples, a cross wasn't a symbol of atonement, forgiveness, or forbearance — it was an official mode of execution, by oppressors and occupiers. It was an instrument of terror. Jesus' words to the disciples were not just a warning. They were an exhortation to follow him anyway, in complete defiance of the very worst anyone could possibly do to us.

Abby Olcese 2-16-2018

Image via Black Panther Movie/Facebook

Should we be building walls, or making it easier for people seeking a better life to enter our borders? Should we use our resources to exercise military might, or to fix a system rigged against people of color and people in poverty? Wakanda knows its answer. Perhaps Black Panther can help American audiences reconsider ours.

Kelley Burd-Huss 2-15-2018

Tyra Hemans, a 19-year-old senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, sobs as she holds signs honoring slain teachers and friends in Parkland, Fla. Feb. 15, 2018. REUTERS/Zachary Fagenson

The National Rifle Association, the conversation leader in our country's debate on gun violence, is an organization founded and operated as a trade association for the firearms industry. In short? Their chief reason for existence is to sell more guns and gun accessories. And the money reflects this reality. 

Charles L. Howard 2-15-2018

Image via Nataly Reinch / Shutterstock.com

It is an awful and awesome time to be Black in America. I hear the voices of those who came before say “it always has been son.” Yet the last few years have been especially psychologically traumatizing and awful. The images of unarmed Black bodies being shot, choked, and killed by police officers looping on television and social media and the lack of justice or accountability around many of those murders have haunted me. The resurgence of (and the unhelpful media attention given to) a racist White nationalism. The introduction of policies and executive orders that seek to dismantle progress that took decades to build. And the ascendance of a bigoted fearful president who rose to political power on lies about our first Black president, lies about other minorities, and by playing to the siege mentality of many White Americans. All of this has been added to the daily micro and macro aggressions we experience and the contorting demanded of us to calm white neighbors, colleagues and classmates. It is exhausting. Maddening. Awful

Jim Wallis 2-15-2018

FILE PHOTO: Protesters calling for an immigration bill addressing Dreamers in the Hart Office Building. Jan. 16, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

It’s not always the case that the gospel is at stake in a Senate debate. But this week it is. Starting yesterday, on Ash Wednesday, the United States Senate engaged in a debate with enormous moral stakes for who we are as a nation, and it is the moral obligation of Christians in this country to get involved.

Juliet Vedral 2-14-2018

Image via CBS/Living Biblically Facebook video screenshot 

Based loosely on A.J. Jacobs’ book The Year of Living Biblically, the show centers on Chip, a man who, after losing his best friend and learning that his wife is pregnant, decides to do a sort of “soul-cleanse” by living his life completely by the Bible. Chip, played by Jay R. Ferguson, rather than taking the advice of his priest to live generally by the Bible, chooses instead to live literally by the Bible. With the help of his “God Squad,” Father Gene (Ian Gomez) and Rabbi Gil (David Krumholtz), the grudging support/tolerance of his wife Leslie (Lindsey Kraft), his best friend Vince (Tony Rock), and his boss Ms. Meadows (Camryn Manheim) Chip explores his faith and how to live it out, often to hilarious effect.

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