Perhaps now, more than ever, Christians need to redefine their relationship to rage — particularly women’s rage. The nation watched Dr. Christine Ford testify about her alleged assault while maintaining a gracious demeanor whereas Brett Kavanaugh was allowed to rant about his supposed mistreatment. This double standard stems from centuries of social conditioning, as well as a rather sexist interpretation of the Bible that argues women are to be silent and submissive.
The urgency of this #MeToo moment, especially its potential disruption of normative social behavior toward women, has led to the challenging of inter-communal attitudes including those expressed by religious institutions. Congregants from diverse establishments of faith, including Christians and Jews, have come out in opposition of not only the repression of sexual abuse victims but against clerical power structures. Muslim women, who are often spoke of rather than to, are also using this moment to advocate on behalf of themselves and each other.
Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl as archbishop of Washington, D.C., the Vatican said on Friday, making him one of the most senior Catholic figures to step down in a worldwide sexual abuse crisis.
1. Scientist Calmly Explain That Civilization Is at Stake if We Don’t Act Now
“The world has already warmed by about 1 degree C and without a global coordinated effort, the world will reach 1.5 degrees in as little as 12 years. ‘Several hundred million’ lives are at stake, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”
2. To Protect the Environment, Buddhist Monks Are Ordaining Trees
To harm an ordained monk is a religious taboo and legal offense. An ordination extends this sacred status to the tree. Communities that ordain trees often patrol the forest, taking photos of illegal activity and reporting wrongdoers.
Though traditionally revered in Cambodia’s majority-Buddhist society, monks today are not immune to the government’s crackdown on civil society actors. But where efforts at civic organization meet rebuke, Cambodia has seen the rise of one act of conservation — the holy ordination of trees — which originally emerged in Thailand and has risen in practice under the auspices of the Buddhist faith.
I listen to the whirlwind: its commands and its shouts and its splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces. Whirlwinds shout in the world, from hurricanes and typhoons and earthquakes and podiums and Twitter and text messages. You get slowly sucked in until you are spinning, too, in the whirlwind, and gods are all around telling you to be louder and faster and better and both more ashamed and more bold all at once.
While the National Council encompasses many denominations, its constituent bodies represent a declining share of the religious population. Neither the Roman Catholic Church nor most large evangelical denominations belong to it. More importantly, political leaders do not view it as the voice of religious people as they did in the early 20th century.
Of course the system is rigged — systems are always rigged to protect the wealth, power, and self-interest of those who created them, those who benefit from them. That’s not hyperbole; that’s reality, that’s human nature, and that’s what the Bible calls sin. And that’s why systems need to be held accountable — to the common good rather than just the system makers and controllers. And that’s why Jesus calls us to protect, in particular, "the least of these" who are most vulnerable to the systems' exploitation. This is why defending systems that just maintain the powerful’s own self-interest while neglecting the interests of others, especially the most vulnerable, is not just bad politics — it’s bad theology.
Sister Anupama, who led the protests in Kochi, said that the survivor approached the superior general in early 2017 with concerns about harassment — she was facing disciplinary action because of her resistance to “lie down with” the Bishop. Her concerns were ignored. In June 2017, before reaching out to church officials in northern India and the Vatican, she first revealed to a parish priest and bishop in Kerala that she had been abused by Mulakkal. The complaint then reached the Cardinal Mar George Alencherry, the head of the Syro-Malabar church, but no action was taken.
According to a report earlier this week from The Associated Press, more than 53,000 voter registration applications have been sitting on hold with Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office. The people on the list are predominantly black, and may not even know their voter registration has been held up.