April 2015

Web Extra

Education debt is crippling students, and America's response gets a failing grade. 
While statistics, tweets, marches, and articles can bolster and enliven movements, art brings in the endurance. Art makes injustice a song that gets stuck in your head. Art makes murals out of obituaries, and hope out of statistics.
War hasn’t been able to destroy Syria’s sacred music.


Nelson Mandela was one of the 20th century's greatest leaders, but the long walk to freedom in South Africa is far from over. 
In the gospels, at least, not a sparrow falls to the ground without God's attune. 
The high cost of U.S. education loans is causing a new form of indentured servitude. 
Image via Flickr / Alisdare Hickson / CC BY-SA 2.0
A military-only strategy won't defeat ISIS, and may even make things worse. 
Part of "setting captives free" is helping see the invisible bonds of structural racism. 
Image via Flickr / Aram Tahhan / CC BY-NC 2.0
Surprisingly, acts of civil resistance in Syria and Iraq have shown success against the so-called Islamic State. 


Pope Francis is restoring relations with Latin American liberation theologians. 
What it looks like when we go to Dick Cheney's "dark side." 
Two countries lumped together in the "axis of evil" have few similarities. 


Saints (and sinners) around the water cooler. 
These national uprisings are part of an ongoing black liberation narrative. 
As servants of a Lord who was tortured to death, we must commit to healing the wounds we have inflicted. 
If we are closed to faith language, we may find ourselves burned up and frozen out. 

Culture Watch

This is My Body: From Obesity to Ironman, My Journey into the True Meaning of Flesh, Spirit, and Deeper Faith. Convergent Books. 
Where the Cross Meets the Street: What Happens to the Neighborhood When God is at the Center. IVP Books. 
Tomorrow Is My Turn by Rhiannon Gidden / Sand Opera by Philip Metres / Tricked by Jane Wells and John-Keith Wasson / Tailings: A Memoir by Kaethe Scwehn 
Democracy requires universal access to the means of communication. 
How a punk-rock drummer came to love ancient Syrian spiritual music. 
If the purpose of art is to help us live better, then to have integrity, storytellers who feature characters who behave badly have a responsibility to illunminate their motivation and context. 
It Runs in the Family: On Being Raised by Radicals and Growing Into Rebellious Motherhood. OR Books. 


Reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary, Cycle B. 
I am grateful for Margaret Atwood’s reflections on the “Blessed are the meek” beatitude in “What about the Meek?” (January 2015).
Thank you, Jim Wallis (“‘We Were Strangers Once, Too,’” February 2015), for another sensitive editorial.
Mother, mother / There’s too many of you crying / Brother, brother, brother / There’s far too many of you dying            —Marvin Gaye
Lisa Sharon Harper’s “An Education in Implicit Bias” (January 2015) covers a number of good points, but contains one significant factual error.