Mysterious people with political connections arrived from a country off in the East. They brought news the ruler did not like. There was a new claim to the throne. An effort was underway to remove him and install another ruler. King Herod wanted to dismiss the claims as “fake news” and a “hoax” — not because the intelligence report was inaccurate, but simply because he didn’t like the news. These Magi, after all, had done their research.
There’s a difference between having a strong faith and being religiously obsessed, and religion can definitely be an addiction — in my view it becomes an addiction when it interferes with the rest of a person’s life, when following it means hurting oneself, or hurting other people. For me, I re-invented myself entirely in the wake of my conversion.
Advent began on Sunday and will continue until Christmas. In Advent, we are to turn our thoughts to the meaning of Christ’s coming and the deep significance of the season for followers of Jesus. I would go so far as to say that Advent and then Christmas are my favorite liturgical seasons because they demand that we do the work to prepare our hearts to answer this question: What does it truly mean that God came and lived as one of us in our world to show us God’s way? The incarnation was the beginning of the Jesus movement to change the world.
Compassion. Curiosity. Courage. To author Talia Carner, a writer needs these three qualities to tell a good story — and they are on full display in Carner’s latest historical novel, The Third Daughter. Based on “The Man from Argentina,” and the tales of Tevye the Dairyman and his daughters by Yiddish writer Sholem Aleichem, the book tells the story of the hundreds of Jewish girls from Eastern Europe who were trafficked by the Jewish pimps union, Zwi Migdal, and brought to Argentina and Brazil in the late 19th and early 20th century.
A door closing tight, shutting out an image of a man sitting on an elegant chair, taking the hand of a subordinate: a firm instruction to keep out. Another door half-open, behind which another man in physical decline sits, alone and afraid of the dark. Two cinematic perspectives on two doors. The first forms the conclusion of Francis Coppola's The Godfather, as Michael Corleone is effectively enthroned as a demonic king. The other may become comparably iconic, as Martin Scorsese's The Irishman’s Philadelphia mobster Frank Sheeran does the most he can to feel regret, to feel anything, after a life of theft, killing, and nihilism masquerading as protecting the ones he loves.
The Trump administration said on Wednesday it will make it harder for states to keep residents in the U.S. food stamp program in a move that is projected to end benefits for nearly 700,000 people.
The Religious Right was not wrong to tell people of faith that the Bible is political. Its critical mistake and enduring sin is not that it challenged Christians to engage in public life, but that it invited us to join a reactionary coalition driven by racial fear, male chauvinism, and corporate greed. Decent people with sincere motives joined the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition to put their faith into practice. But these organizations made fallible people worse than we would have been otherwise. They led us astray.
The past decade is almost certain to be the hottest on record, weather experts warned on Tuesday, painting a bleak picture of vanishing sea ice, devastating heatwaves, and encroaching seas in a report launched at a climate summit in Spain.
The similarities here are not only due to the presence of death and violence, but high tensions between government and people. Here we’ve witnessed images of police exercising excessive force on protestors, extensive arrests of nonviolent demonstrators, and vile displays of militarization in neighborhood streets, much like in Baltimore, Compton, and other cities in the U.S.
The Rev. Dr. Amy Butler is one of the most prominent pastors in modern America. She recently served as Senior Minister for the historic Riverside Church in New York City — the first woman to ever hold that position. Butler has dedicated much of her time and attention to smashing the patriarchy within the church — what many describe as shattering the glass ceiling.