michigan

Image via Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Shutterstock.com

The old model was that God created the earth, and human beings were given dominion over it. The earth was a “thing” separate and apart from God. A “thing” to be used by human beings. The new model, and one that makes profound sense to me, is that the earth is the embodiment of the divine presence. It’s not that incarnation happened once and only once in the body of Jesus, but in fact the entire landscape of planet earth is God making incarnate God’s self over and over again.

Image via RNS/Alliance Defending Freedom

According to the lawsuit, Country Mill is the only business to have been prohibited under the market’s anti-discrimination policy.

In a statement, the city of East Lansing said the farmer’s refusal to host a same-sex wedding violated a “long-standing ordinance that protects sexual orientation as well as the Supreme Court’s ruling that grants the right for same-sex couples to be married.”

the Web Editors 1-19-2017

Image via John Lucia/flickr.com

Bills criminalizing peaceful protest have been introduced to state legislatures in five U.S. states, reports The Intercept. The five states are Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Washington. The bills have been proposed by Republican lawmakers.

The bills proposed in Iowa, Minnesota, and North Dakota aim to effect highway protests. The bill introduced in North Dakota, if passed, would give motorists the legal right to kill with their vehicles any protesters standing in the road, if the protester is struck accidentally.

the Web Editors 12-12-2016

Oceti Sakowin Camp, Cannon Ball, ND. Image via @anomadphotog

Wesley Clark Jr., the head of Veterans for Standing Rock — a group of more than two thousand U.S. military veterans who went to Standing Rock to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline — announced last week that the organization is headed to Flint, Mich., reports ABC News. There, the veterans will assist in dealing with the town’s dire water situation.

“We don’t know when we are going to be there, but we will be heading to Flint,” said Clark Jr. 

Image via RNS/Reuters/Darren Ornitz

“The picture is mixed,” said Besheer Mohamed, a senior researcher at the Pew Research Center who specializes in religion.

“On the one hand, its seems clear that Muslims are a pretty small part of the population. On the other hand, they are concentrated in some states and metro areas that might increase their voting powers in those specific areas.”

Image via RNS/Yonat Shimron

On the day after the election, Mervat Aqqad’s 7-year-old son woke up and asked who got elected president.

When Aqqad broke the news to Ibrahim, a second-grader at the Al-Iman School in Raleigh, his first question was, “Do we have to move now?”

Image via RNS/Reuters

The family of a Muslim recruit who died during Marine Corps training is pushing back against claims by military officials that he committed suicide.

Raheel Siddiqui, 20, was in basic training with the Marines on Parris Island in South Carolina when he died March 7 after falling 40 feet in a stairwell. Marine officials have said that Siddiqui killed himself, but in a statement released Sept. 13 through their attorney, Shiraz Khan, the family said “they do not believe the story of Raheel committing suicide.”

“We believe there is a lack of material evidence needed to support ‘suicide’ as the most probable cause of death in this case,” the family said through Khan.

Martina Guzmán 5-25-2016

Photo by Cybelle Codish. Image by JP Keenan/Sojourners.

Long before national outlets covered water shutoffs in Detroit or toxic water in Flint, Monica Lewis-Patrick, Debra Taylor, Nayyirah Shariff, and Claire McClinton were protesting, marching, and going door-to-door to inform citizens of the problem. Their efforts helped inspire the first investigative reporting on the crisis — and since then, these four women have become de facto leaders in a movement that went on to have massive implications for race, public health, and city governance in America today.

Ryan Hammill 5-04-2016

Screenshot via The White House

President Obama came to Flint, Mich. on May 4 to address the ongoing water crisis in the city, where he gave a rousing speech to an auditorium full of residents.

“Flint’s recovery is everybody’s responsibility,” Obama said in his speech. “And I’m going to make sure that responsibility is met.”

the Web Editors 4-20-2016

Up to four people may face felony and misdemeanor charges from Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette for their role in the Flint water crisis, according to the Detroit Free Press.

 

Gerald D. Cardwell 4-18-2016

While Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has admitted that mistakes have been made and takes full responsibility, the residents of Flint to this day have not found remedy. His initial action was to have city fire stations serve as bottled water and water filter distribution points. Michigan National Guard personnel provided water to residents there.

And the nation knows the crisis — high lead levels in children’s blood tests and a spike in Legionnaires disease.

The crisis in Flint, Mich., has sparked outrage and condemnation, hitting covers and front pages of national media outlets, and pointing to yet another example of our country's original sin of systemic racism. Photographer Heather Wilson shares with us this image from Flint: the old water pipes — blamed for high levels of lead in the city's water, leading to neurological damage in infants and children — v. the new pipes in the background.

Ryan Beuthin 2-03-2016
Sign at UAW local asking for donations for Flint, Jan. 27

Sign at UAW local asking for donations for Flint, Jan. 27. Barbara Kalbfleisch / Shutterstock.com

I recoiled harshly when I heard suggested that white supremacy was at the core of the issues Flint had been dealing with for decades and continues to struggle with now. I knew what white supremacy was. Lynching, KKK, police dogs, etc. I didn’t think there was any way that my good intentions to help Flint had any white supremacist motivations. But that's where I, and to a large degree most white Christians, are wrong.

the Web Editors 6-12-2015
Image via lev radin/shutterstock.com

Image via lev radin/shutterstock.com

By the end of June — and as early as next week — the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the legality of gay marriage nationwide. In a pre-emptive move to refocus narrative and legislative control at the state level, two states this week enacted laws designed to protect religious objection to same-sex couples. Here's how.

Richard Wolf 11-07-2014

The National Organization for Marriage at the U.S. Supreme Court in March 2013. Creative Commons image by Elvert Barnes/RNS.

The same-sex marriage movement lost its first major case in a federal appeals court Thursday after a lengthy string of victories, creating a split among the nation’s circuit courts that virtually guarantees review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The 2-1 ruling from the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed lower court rulings that had struck down gay marriage bans in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

More important, it gives Supreme Court justices an appellate ruling that runs counter to four others from the 4th, 7th, 9th and 10th circuits. Those rulings struck down same-sex marriage bans in Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Utah, Idaho and Nevada, leading to similar action in neighboring states.

Circuit Judge Jeffrey Sutton, one of the Republican Party’s most esteemed legal thinkers and writers, issued the 42-page decision precisely three months after hearing oral arguments in the cases, with fellow GOP nominee Deborah Cook concurring. He delivered a rare defeat for proponents of same-sex marriage, who had won nearly all the cases decided from Florida to Alaska since the Supreme Court ruled against the federal Defense of Marriage Act in June 2013.

Sutton argued that appellate judges’ hands are tied by a one-sentence Supreme Court ruling from 1972, which “upheld the
right of the people of a state to define marriage as they see it.” Last year’s high court decision requiring the federal government to recognize legal same-sex marriages does not negate the earlier ruling as it applies to states where gay marriage is not legal, he said.

Brad Heath 10-07-2014

Participants celebrate the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling in Kansas City, Mo. on June 26. Photo by Sally Morrow/RNS.

The Supreme Court’s decision to sit out the legal battle over same-sex marriage will — for now, at least — leave the future of laws prohibiting gays and lesbians from marrying in the hands of lower state and federal court judges. But it also almost certainly means the couples challenging those laws are more likely to win in the end.

The court said Oct. 6 that it would not hear appeals from five states whose same-sex marriage bans had been invalidated by lower federal courts. The decision, issued without explanation, will likely lead to recognition of gay marriages in 11 more states. It also allows an avalanche of legal challenges to the remaining bans to keep going forward in state and federal courts, where gay and lesbian couples have overwhelmingly prevailed.

The court’s decision leaves unchanged 20 state laws blocking same-sex unions. Each is already under legal attack, facing challenges in state or federal court, and sometimes both. Challenges to marriage bans already have reached a handful of state appeals courts and the federal appeals courts for the 5th, 6th, 9th and 11th circuits.

Some of those judges had been waiting to see what the Supreme Court would do. The court’s instruction Oct 6. was: Proceed.

Lisa Sharon Harper 6-03-2014

Can a vote outlaw equal protection under the law? The Court seems to think so.

Charles Honey 9-30-2013
Photo courtesy of Charles Honey

The gun mural at Fountain Street Church, before erasure. Photo courtesy of Charles Honey

It didn’t take long to erase the gun.

Greg Bokor’s ArtPrize drawing of an assault rifle at Grand Rapids’ Fountain Street Church was rubbed out Sept. 21 after the public was invited to wield erasers imprinted with sorrow.

Normally festive art lovers obliterated the killing machine with erasers bearing the names of 83 massacred children and adults. They included Jesse Lewis, age 6, one of 20 children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School last December; Veronica Moser-Sullivan, also 6, youngest of 12 people killed in the 2012 Aurora, Colo. movie-theater slaughter; and the 45 victims of the Columbine High School and Virginia Tech shootings.

Within hours, the public had rendered the AR-15 just a faintly visible image. It was a powerful symbol of what many of us would like to see happen to these weapons of death so easily available to mentally deranged people seeking sick revenge.

Tragically, in real life, it is the children and other victims who have been so easily erased from our consciousness.

Adam Ericksen 4-08-2013
NCAA tournament bracket illustration,  Brocreative / Shutterstock.com

NCAA tournament bracket illustration, Brocreative / Shutterstock.com

Watching sports is not as much fun as it used to be.

I blame Jesus for that, because he just had to say:

“Love thy enemy.”

Or, as Chad Gibbs puts it in the title of his fantastic book on spirituality and sports, Love thy Rival.

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