To be sure, Muslim women are among the survivors of sexual assault and violence. But narratives of oppressed Muslim women suffering from a violent and sexually abusive religion have often functioned as a distraction, a means of keeping the attention of our elected leaders on the presumably greater threat posed by lecherous Muslim men so that they need not come to terms with the full extent of the physical and sexual abuse women in the United States experience, nor with the ways white evangelicals contribute to the conditions facilitating this abuse.
The day when I was a kid, I watched that bird escape and fly away, not once did I consider what the ordeal it must’ve been like for it. How afraid it must’ve been being swallowed up in the darkness. The loneliness it must’ve felt. Confusion. The hurt and anger of being violated and victimized. And what of the consequences had it never returned to the nest. Would its family miss it? Would there be songs to mourn its absence? Were there young that depended on its safe return for survival?
Modern, Euro-American Christianity is deeply implicated in the colonial legacies which have crushed indigenous peoples. Reckoning with this is not easy. The doctrine of discovery provides an example. The doctrine of discovery was a Christian invention which justified dispossessing indigenous peoples of their land, parceling it out among emerging nation-states, and turning it into private property for settlers. In this framework, indigenous peoples are left with either extermination or assimilation.
Every fall, Sojourners welcomes 8 - 10 leaders to our office here in Washington, D.C. for a year-long internship program focused on spiritual formation, professional development, vocational discernment, and communal living. Program members are placed in different departments and work full-time alongside our staff. Throughout the program, interns practice intentional community living: sharing a budget, meals, spiritual practices, sorrows and joys, among many other things.
This weekend, more than 80 faith communities in Maryland will lift up climate justice as part of the fourth annual “Climate in the Pulpits / on the Bimah / in the Minbar” event. Jointly organized by Interfaith Power & Light (DC.MD.NoVa) and the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the event is a multi-faith effort to carry the message of creation care from the pews to policy makers.
These attacks on people’s innate dignity and sacred worth assault our most cherished moral and religious values. We read in Genesis that all people are made in the image of God. In Paul’s letters, he proclaims that in God earthly divisions fall away, that all people form part of God’s body. Jesus himself promises: Whatever you do to the least of these, you do to me. Attempts to excuse human rights abuses committed against some people are thus not just unconstitutional — they assault God by denigrating and desecrating that divine, indwelling spark.
"There's no justification for shooting Laquan McDonald that night," prosecutor Jody Gleason said on Thursday. "Not one shot. Not the first shot. Not the sixteenth shot."
Mukwege heads the Panzi Hospital in the eastern Congolese city of Bukavu. Opened in 1999, the clinic receives thousands of women each year, many of them requiring surgery from sexual violence. Murad is an advocate for the Yazidi minority in Iraq and for refugee and women's rights in general. She was enslaved and raped by Islamic State fighters in Mosul, Iraq, in 2014.
Asking for a friend …
To start: listen.
Rain and a palpable heaviness covered the Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford hearings last week. This afternoon, Cancel Kavanaugh: Believe Survivors marchers perspired under a hot sun while they shouted resistance to the Supreme Court nominee.