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Mary is kind of a big deal. No, not Mary, Queen of Scots. Although, it was exciting to see her name come up in the news thanks to MIT experts cracking her elaborate letterlocking technique. But the Mary I am referring to is Mary, Mother of God.
During this Advent season, Sojourners has featured a heavy dose of Mary-oriented stories. As a Protestant, I was taught, similar to Amar Peterman, that we should “be wary of those who spoke of Mary ‘too much.’” But what’s so scary about Mary? Some evangelical Protestants say the reason we should be leery of revering Mary is because if we honor her too much, our faith becomes a cult. But some Christians are already drinking the cult Kool-Aid and that’s largely thanks to misinformation on the internet, not Mary.
The real reason evangelicals have nary a good word to say about Mary is because she, like the late bell hooks, was a woman who was concerned about putting us on a path to “healing and liberation.” Once you realize the significance of Mary, you begin to understand why Christ preached nonviolence, why immigrant people should be welcomed, and why priests are working with laborers to scatter the rich. The stories below reflect this spirit of Mary. See if you agree.
1. What Mary Didn’t Know
During my own period of deconstruction, I found Mary to be more comforting than God. By Amar D. Peterman via sojo.net.
2. In Bid for Control of Elections, Trump Loyalists Face Few Obstacles
A movement animated by Donald J. Trump’s 2020 election lies is turning its attention to 2022 and beyond. By Charles Homans via nytimes.com.
3. How Priests Are Helping Workers Unionize
The Catholic Labor Network has trained priests to serve as a trusted third party in performing “card checks” for workers looking to unionize. By Madison Muller via sojo.net.
4. Is a New Kind of Religion Forming on the Internet?
Algorithms are surfacing content that combines Christian ideas like prosperity gospel with New Age and non-Western spirituality — along with some conspiracy theories. By Rebeca Jennings via vox.com.
5. Poor People’s Campaign Protests Manchin’s ‘Sinful’ Policy Positions
“He claims he’s Catholic, but none of his positions are in line with Catholic social teaching,” Rev. William Barber II said of Sen. Joe Manchin. By Miguel Petrosky via sojo.net.
6. We Have Nonviolent Tools to End Conflict. We Just Don’t Use Them
Advent calls us to explore how we can pursue peace in a world marred by ongoing violence. By Adam Russell Taylor via sojo.net.
7. Remain in Mexico, Remain in Egypt
Biden has betrayed any hope for a compassionate immigration and asylum policy. By Michael Woolf via sojo.net.
8. It’s the Most ‘Anger-Filled’ Time of the Year?
Among religious groups, white Christians are most likely to be angry at those telling them to get the COVID-19 vaccine. By Robert P. Jones via sojo.net.
9. The Bible Verse bell hooks Shared With My Kids
Remembering the generous love of bell hooks. By Josina Guess via sojo.net.
10. The World as We Know It Is Ending. Why Are We Still at Work?
From the pandemic to climate change, Americans are still expected to work no matter what happens. By Anna North via vox.com.