As humans, we have an innate desire to see and understand. We want to feign comprehension, in order to avoid the despair of our limited understanding. I’ve noticed this phenomenon recently in what started as a personal experience. I was born with a rare genetic condition that causes my skin to blister much more easily than the average person. It is my normal. There are not many people on the planet who can actually understand. However, this has not stopped countless people from trying to convince me they do.
Being a parent is to get a front row seat to the construct of being human — from the intense physical engagement of a variety of bodily functions — feeding, pooping, bathing — to emotional regulation, and profound spirituality. As I argue in my book, parenting children is one of the most critical strategies in creating justice, beauty, and carrying out the work of God in our world.
Ten children, part of the same extended family, were killed by a U.S. air strike in Afghanistan, along with three adult civilians, the United Nations said on Monday. The air strike early on Saturday was part of a battle between the Taliban and combined Afghan and U.S. forces that lasted about 30 hours in Kunduz, a northern province where the Taliban insurgency is strong.
The New Zealand white power killer, a 28-year-old white Australian man, murdered 50 Muslims while they were worshipping and injured 50 more in two deadly Mosque shootings — the deadliest event of its kind in New Zealand’s history. He cited as inspiration Dylann Roof, a young white American man who murdered nine African-American Christians while they were studying the Bible at Mother Emanuel American Methodist Episcopal Church, in Charleston, S.C., after they had invited the stranger into their Bible study.
New Zealand reflections, churches tackling affordable housing, harassment in housing, the diverse Texas legislature, and more!
The struggle against hatred is as old as humans, and it will continue after each of us is gone from the planet. But God has given us this moment to join the struggle against the ideologies that that inflict such evil upon our families, our communities and our world.
As executive director of the Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign, my professional life is concentrated on counteracting anti-Muslim discrimination and violence. When I started this work, there were many from my white Christian community of origin that wondered if I had converted to Islam — as if that’s why I started doing this work. I understood where the people asking this question were coming from, but the assumption behind it bothered me. They assumed the only reason Christians would care about anti-Muslim hate in the United States is if they had converted to Islam themselves. The assumption caused me to dig deeper into why I would care enough about this issue to devote myself to it not in spite of my Christian identity but because of it.
If congregations could conceive of their buildings differently, could we address the nation's major affordability gap? A look at the trend of faith-based organizing for affordable housing.
In our faith walk, there is much to celebrate, but insistently characterizing life as a triumphant march from glory to glory can alienate people who don’t find life quite as sunny. Church culture can feel painful for people who deal with various health issues or certain kinds of inner suffering that make it difficult to sense God’s presence. There’s little discussion in church of the “dark nights” that are a normal part of the faith journey, or the fact that such nights can last for years in some cases.
Let me tell you what it’s like to walk into a classroom studying world religions after a mass shooting at a house of worship. I know because I’ve done it twice in six months. Last October, my students and I returned to class after 11 people were gunned down in Pittsburgh during Shabbat services. Last Friday, we awoke to a shooting that killed 50 people during Jumu'ah prayers at a New Zealand masjid.
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