Karyn Wiseman 03-01-2017

Image via a katz/Shutterstock.com

According to several sources, the number 40 is used almost 150 times in the Old and New Testaments. Some examples: Jesus was tempted in the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights. There were 40 years of wilderness-wandering for the Jewish people fleeing bondage in Egypt. Noah and his family were in the ark for 40 days and 40 nights of the flood. There were 40 days and 40 nights of fasting while Moses was on Mount Sinai. Jonah was given 40 days to convert the people of Nineveh. Saul, David, and Solomon reigned 40 years each. 

Image via RNS/Reuters/Jim Lo Scalzo

President Trump, long-chided for failing to address a surge in hate crimes, began his first address to Congress by invoking Black History Month, and condemning recent threats against Jewish institutions and the shooting of Indian men in Kansas City.

Emmy R. Kegler 02-28-2017

To adults new to Christian practices of fasting during Lent, the idea can seem facetious — some sort of trendy way of worshipping both Jesus and our own well-defined abs. But for many, fasting has been a way of cleansing not the body but the mind. Temporary self-denial can invite us to compassion for those who are hungry not by choice, to a remembrance of the trials of Jesus, or to better appreciation of food when we do eat. But in the face of a world that already pressures many into self-denial, self-deprivation, and self-harm, the strength of the spiritual discipline of fasting cracks.

Image via RNS/Reuters/Michal Fattal

An Orthodox Jewish organization opposed to female-led prayers at the Western Wall bused in between 1,000 and 2,000 Orthodox high school girls to prevent a feminist group from praying.

Liba, an organization whose goal is to prevent pluralistic prayer at the holy site, instructed the girls to fill up the women’s section so the feminist group, Women of the Wall, could not enter to perform their monthly prayer on Feb. 27.

Benjamin Perry 02-28-2017

Dulles International Airport (VA) Muslim Ban Protest. Photo by Geoff Livingston / Flickr.com

 

“Even if you’re not a Christian,” Leupold said, it should concern everyone “that we have moved to proto-fascist, race-based decision making.” As much as he sees Trump’s enthusiasm for deportation as a universal source of disquiet, Leupold said that Christians, in particular, should feel compelled to act in light of the Bible’s clear message: “Jesus said, ‘go out and love one another,’ he didn’t say, ‘go and seek racial purity in your community.” The parable of the Good Samaritan, he noted, didn’t include a section where “the Samaritan went up and checked the ID of the guy laying by the side of the road.”

Jon Huckins 02-28-2017
The Collateral Damage of Unjust Policies

Real people, with real stories, and real families are trembling in fear for the future of their families and, in some cases, their own lives. For those of us who follow Jesus, our faith must inform our citizenship — not the inverse. It's time for us to ask better questions, seek deeper understanding and accompany our neighbors— whether local or global — who are navigating the scariest moments of their lives.

 

Image via Gage Skidmore/flickr.com

A decade ago, a critic accused me of writing a book about a “nonexistent” threat from the religious right. One reviewer called my work a “paranoid rant,” while another detractor wrote my “alarmist” views were “exaggerated and implausible.”

In The Baptizing of America: The Religious Right’s Plans For The Rest Of Us, published in 2006, I had warned that a well-financed and highly organized group of religious and political leaders was seeking to impose their narrow extremist beliefs and harsh public policies on the United States, even as our nation’s population was increasingly multireligious, multiethnic, and multiracial.

Image via RNS/Adelle M. Banks

The Rev. Leah Daughtry stood in front of fellow black Christian leaders and told them they will need to work harder for social justice.

“If you’ve been feeding them, now clothe them,” said the Pentecostal pastor and 2016 CEO of the Democratic National Convention Committee at a conference last week. “If you’ve been clothing them, now console them. If you’ve been at a march, now lead the march. If you’ve been at a rally, now organize the rally.”

Stephen Mattson 02-27-2017

Any time a government enacts new legislation or a president signs an executive order, Christians must decide how it aligns with their ultimate mission, and choose to follow the example of Jesus accordingly.

Image via RNS/Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

With his win for portraying a drug dealer with a father’s heart in the film Moonlight, Mahershala Ali became the first Muslim to take home an acting Oscar.

Ali, 43, won in the Best Supporting Actor category on Feb. 26, topping much bigger names, including Jeff Bridges, nominated for Hell or High Water, and Dev Patel, nominated for Lion.

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