the Web Editors 5-22-2017

When 14-year-old Bresha Meadows shot her father after allegedly enduring a lifetime of his abuse, she could have just been one more girl processed through what’s become known as the abuse-to-prison pipeline. But instead, the #FreeBresha movement arrived to question the harsh, punitive nature of our juvenile justice system.

Sojourners' Women and Girls Associate Jenna Barnett traveled to Ohio to see how pastors, advocates, and Bresha's family members felt about the case. Listen here to understand the case, and to find out what the church can learn from a social media movement and the 14-year-old girl it rallied behind.

David Mislin 5-22-2017

Image via RNS/Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

President Donald Trump, like his predecessors before him, has discovered the potent language of religious tolerance and interfaith unity when discussing Islam, as he demonstrated in his speech in Saudi Arabia to leaders of some 50 Muslim nations. But unlike previous presidents, he has not linked that rhetoric with recognition of the large, vibrant Muslim community in the U.S. 

Brian Powers 5-22-2017

If we remember the morally injured on this Memorial Day, then perhaps we should also take a moment to critically examine the values that shape our collective ideas about goodness. 

the Web Editors 5-22-2017

This decision is one of numerous lawsuits that accuse Republicans of discriminating against black and other minority voters who usually vote Democrat. The NAACP called this habit “apartheid voting districts” and claimed Republicans weaken and minimize the voting rights of black voters by packing them into one district and diluting their influence while surrounding them with more white voters that are likely to support Republican candidates. This practice is also known as racial gerrymandering.

Image via Reuters/Gregorio Borgia/Pool

The fact that none of the five are Italian, and none hold Vatican positions, underscores Francis' conviction that the Church is a global institution that should become increasingly less Italian-centric.

 

For seminary administrations and faculty to operate with a business-as-usual approach after these experiences unflatteringly mirrors the indifference of U.S. society at large. Seminary indifference testifies not only to a lack of concern for human life — it also relays a message of indifference to the vocation of the very students they agreed to help upon admission.

Image via RNS/Reuters/Maxim Shemetov

Since the Russian Supreme Court labeled Jehovah’s Witnesses an “extremist” group, vandals have targeted followers and their banks accounts have been frozen. Stones were thrown at a St. Petersburg assembly hall, and someone tried to burn the Moscow home of a Jehovah’s Witness to the ground, a church spokesman said.

Kaitlin Curtice 5-19-2017

These times of resistance are also heavy, and in the daily work that tethers us to the people who came before, we also have to stop, rest, and remember things like Sabbath, so that we don’t grow too weary. And I am weary. So when the weekend comes, our family carves out extra time to stop and breathe

the Web Editors 5-19-2017

1. You Must Understand Why You Believe What You Believe — and How You Got There

In a world in which your opinions on a topic can change with a well-worded “well, actually” tweet, it’s more important than ever that we examine the roots of our beliefs. Read how, from The Establishment.

Strawn explains how dying languages revert to a pidgin-like form, with limited vocabulary and an even more limited sentence structure. The New Atheists, such as Richard Dawkins, often speak this broken language, Strawn says, picking and choosing the most extreme passages to support their arguments that the Bible is immoral or contradictory without bothering to understand the whole.

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