David Vanderveen 01-07-2016

Protests outside Wheaton's student union in 1990 after Wheaton administration took punitive action against Vanderveen and other students involved in publishing an underground newspaper called The Ice Cream Socialist. Photo courtesy by Carlos Vergara

What do we lose when we trade our humanity for social stereotypes rationalized by religious dogma?

That question is at the heart of an ongoing discussion my son, a junior at Kenyon College, and I are having around the recent suspension of a tenured Wheaton College professor, Larycia Hawkins, for wearing a hijab during Advent and stating publicly (via her personal Facebook page) that Muslims and Christians worship the same god.

Image via /

Some male pastors of the Seventh-day Adventist Church have changed their credentials in an act of solidarity with women who are not allowed to be ordained in the denomination.

The protest has occurred in several states across the U.S. after the global denomination voted in July not to allow regional church bodies to ordain women pastors.

Despite a worldwide ban, several U.S. conferences of Adventists have ordained women in recent years. But usually women may only hold a “commissioned” credential without being formally ordained.

David P. Gushee 05-06-2015

Solidarity Ethics: Transformation in a Globalized World. Fortress Press. 

Rachel Held Evans 08-21-2014
Photo by Elvert Barnes Protest Photography /

Justice for Michael Brown rally in Washington, D.C., Aug. 14. Photo by Elvert Barnes Protest Photography /

I’ve been calling it the Summer of Helplessness.

From the conflict in Gaza that has left more than 1,000 civilians dead, to the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over the skies of Ukraine, to the Ebola breakout getting worse by the day, to the shooting of yet another unarmed black teenager here in the U.S., the news of late is enough to make a person feel paralyzed with helplessness and despair. My prayers these days are of the tired, desperate sort: How long, O Lord? Will you hide your face from us forever?

But when it comes to violence and oppression, we are rarely as helpless as we think, and this is especially true as the events unfolding in Ferguson force Americans to take a long, hard look at the ongoing, systemic racism that inspired so many citizens to protest in cities across the country this week.

I’ve heard from many of my white friends and readers who say they aren’t sure how to respond to the anger and grief they are watching on TV or hearing from their black friends. They want to be part of the solution but don’t know where start. They may even feel a little defensive when they hear people talking about white privilege or inaction on the part of white Christian leaders. I’m in the process of learning too, but as I’ve listened to people of color whose opinions I trust, I’ve heard them issue several calls to action we can all heed.

Reggie L. Williams 08-05-2014

Excerpt from Bonhoeffer’s Black Jesus: Harlem Renaissance Theology and an Ethic of Resistance, by Reggie L. Williams

Lynne Hybels 06-04-2014

I wish I could end the war ravaging your country.

Tom Allio 06-03-2014

Pope Francis is bringing renewed attention to Catholic social teaching—and not only for Catholics.

Sara J. Wolcott 04-03-2014

I got on a bus to help someone else's justice movement—and discovered it was my own.

Danny Duncan Collum 03-06-2014

Pete Seeger (1919-2014)

He didn't just sing for the audience. He got them to sing for themselves.

Jean Stokan 03-06-2014

The growing militarization of Honduran society is fueled by U.S. support.

Lisa Sharon Harper 01-05-2014

Miriam Perlacio assembles a prayer quilt in the Fast for Families tent on the National Mall. Photo by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

We didn't eat for 22 days, but we did feast.

QR Blog Editor 08-26-2013

Mary Priniski wrote in the August 2013 Sojourners magazine about churches responding in solidarity with garment workers, disproportionately women, after the terrible fires in Bangladesh’s garment factories. Now, a global church alliance has been established. Ekklesia reports:

[The alliance] provides an action plan for grassroots campaigning, and a letter for consumers to send to their retailers demanding improvements to the pay and working conditions of garment workers. Real-life stories from garment workers in Bangladesh also highlight the oppression they face and the struggle to survive.


Lisa Sharon Harper 06-05-2013

From left, Lisa Sharon Harper, Bernice King, Virgil Wood, and Sharon Watkins discuss faith, race, and the future of the church.

If Bernice King had been born on time, her daddy's letter might never have been written.

Immigration reform must include protection of workers' rights.

Wendy Tarr 01-14-2013
Photo: Community image,  Pavel L Photo and Video /

Photo: Community image, Pavel L Photo and Video /

"I expect and am willing to be persecuted, imprisoned, and bound for advocating African rights. And I should deserve to be a slave myself if I shrunk from that duty or danger." -William Lloyd Garrison, Abolitionist (1805 - 1879)

With Black History Month coming up in February, many of us will remember the civil rights struggles that have brought us to where we are today. I recently read a fascinating book about that movement focused on the role of women in those efforts called Freedom’s Daughters. It highlights past generations of women activists, both black and white. They led in the struggles for abolition, desegregation, civil rights, and women’s suffrage. These movements carry with them the roots of our contemporary work for justice.

As I considered the lessons from that book I found myself resonating with many challenges, failures, and victories these women experienced, much of which was based on the race and gender dynamics of the day.

As an educated white woman who began my foray into community organizing though a summer internship in my early 20s — like many of the young women in Freedom Summer coming down from the North — I had not yet delved into the complicated nature of race relations in the United States. I started my summer feeling competent, a person who could learn and adapt to changes as I had on many previous international mission experiences. I carried with me an overly simplified belief in the romantic “beloved community.” The beloved community would come about as we worked together, prayed, and marched. 

Danny Duncan Collum 09-01-2012

Solidarity may be all but dead in our politics, but it still lives around the edges of our culture.

Joshua Witchger 03-26-2012
Image via The Faith Community of St. Sabina,

Image via The Faith Community of St. Sabina,

Christians and other people of good faith nationwide stood in solidarity with Trayvon Martin this weekend by wearing hooded sweartshirts — aka "hoodies"— to church.  

Monday marks the one-month anniversary of Trayvon's slaying in Sanford, Florida at the hands of neighborhood "watchman" Gregory Zimmerman, who shot and killed the 17-year-old African-American boy in “self defense” for “looking suspicious” while dressed in a hooded sweatshirt.

Trayvon was unarmed, carrying only a package of Skittles, an iced tea and his cell phone.

Last week, people across the nation began wearing hoodies to work, school, and community marches in response to Trayvon's slaying and the injustice of the kind of racial profiling that it would appear directly led to it. On Sunday, many churches took that vision a step further as pastors and congregants donned hoodies and wore them to church for what some congregations called "Hoodie Sunday."

Joshua Witchger 01-13-2012

After vandals threw a 20-pound rock through the window of an Iraqi restaurant in Lowell, Mass., its owners, overwhelmed with fear at this unwarranted hate crime, came close to shutting its doors permanently.

That is, until a group of U.S. veterans flooded into the restaurant to support the owners.

Last week, Veterans for Peace organized war veterans and citizens to gather in solidarity with the Iraqi store owners. Their efforts filled the seats of the restaurant twice, and also brought the neighborhood a clear sign that city hate crimes won't be tolerated by people of good will.

Target. Image by Kevin Dooley via Wylio []

Target. Image by Kevin Dooley via Wylio []

Thanksgiving Day is a civil holiday, but it is a day of religious significance when we consider the ethics of commensality, the holiness of the table meal, the physical and spiritual importance of sharing a meal with family, friends or even with strangers. We share food, time, and lively conversation. We make memories. Such occasions are a part of the joy of life. When we consider the meaning of the communion elements as not only the body and the blood of Jesus, but as elements that signify the sustenance and the joy of life, then such occasions as Thanksgiving Day are joyful days that make life worth living.

Some people who work for Target, a major national retailer that plans to open its doors for Black Friday starting at midnight following Thanksgiving, have circulated a petition in protest. They are right to say enough. I stand in solidarity with them.

Joshua Witchger 11-22-2011
Joan Baez performs for Occupy Wall Street. Image from

Joan Baez performs for Occupy Wall Street. Image from

Earlirer this week, the latest of these online Occupy groups --  -- launched a press release, declaring solidarity with the 99 percent as a community of musicians, stretching across a wide scope of genres and fan bases. Daily, collective support of the movement is growing.