Allyson McKinney Timm, founder of Justice Revival, is a theologically trained human rights lawyer and elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

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Undermining Human Rights in the Name of Religious Freedom

by Allyson McKinney Timm 09-23-2019
The Pompeo commission is at odds with Jesus' radically egalitarian teachings.

Illustration by Michael George Haddad

THE 2018 STATE-SPONSORED execution of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist, was a brazen violation of his right to life by a repressive regime, yet the U.S. executive branch responded with near indifference. Then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had already said that advancing U.S. interests should come before promoting U.S. values—such as defending human rights—and his successor Mike Pompeo has followed suit.

The Trump administration has disavowed the longstanding commitment to human rights by the U.S. in foreign policy. It has withdrawn from the U.N. Human Rights Council, ceded a voice on the U.N. body addressing racial oppression, and ignored the chorus of international condemnation of its family separation policy.

Looking Backward

by Allyson McKinney Timm 09-23-2019
The Pompeo commission is another Trump administration attempt to undermine human rights.

THE 2018 STATE-SPONSORED execution of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist, was a brazen violation of his right to life by a repressive regime, yet the U.S. executive branch responded with near indifference. Then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had already said that advancing U.S. interests should come before promoting U.S. values—such as defending human rights—and his successor Mike Pompeo has followed suit.

The Trump administration has disavowed the longstanding commitment to human rights by the U.S. in foreign policy. It has withdrawn from the U.N. Human Rights Council, ceded a voice on the U.N. body addressing racial oppression, and ignored the chorus of international condemnation of its family separation policy.

When There Is No Justice in Scripture: The Rape of Tamar

by Allyson McKinney Timm 10-12-2015
Francis Wong Chee Yen / Shutterstock.com

Photo via Francis Wong Chee Yen / Shutterstock.com

When I first read about the rape of Tamar, I was astonished. This tragic story of a beautiful princess — sexually violated by her half-brother and then betrayed by her powerful father — left me aghast. What could I do with this troubling tale, tucked among pages of scripture where I sought spiritual guidance?

Throughout my life in the church, I had never heard the name “Tamar.” No reference to this daughter of King David. No remembrance of her profound suffering and grief.

It’s not an easy story to hear, especially within the biblical narrative of God’s love and providential care for God’s people. It’s like a well-guarded family secret no one dares mention, as if it might swell into a crushing typhoon, leaving devastation in its wake. Following tradition, I hoped not to encounter Tamar’s story again.

If shunning the ancient biblical story of Tamar is all too easy, avoiding news of unrelenting violence against women is becoming harder.