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Kaitlin Curtice 5-25-2017

Social media, and Twitter especially, has become a place where people of all beliefs can come together for conversations about all manner of things, from men’s rompers to views on abortion. And from our worship leaders and in our pulpits, we hear the word of God for the people of God again, this time in person. So we’re constantly processing, constantly asking what God is saying to us, constantly asking who we should be as an institution, as the body of Christ.

People participate in a protest against President Donald Trump's travel ban, in New York City, U.S. January 29, 2017. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

Tuesday's ruling by U.S. District Judge William Orrick in San Francisco was the latest blow to Trump's efforts to toughen immigration enforcement. Federal courts have also blocked his two travel bans on citizens of mostly Muslim nations.

Image via RNS/Creative Commons/Jason Howie

What a Christian author started on a whim rapidly turned into a whirlwind. Sarah Bessey, author of Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Review the Bible’s View of Women, created a Twitter hashtag on April 18 called #ThingsOnlyChristianWomenHear. She kicked it off with a couple things that have been addressed to her.

Since it was unveiled last week, President Trump’s proposed budget has been widely denounced as “immoral” and downright “evil” for boosting defense spending by billions while demanding drastic cuts to vital aid programs.

Yet if liberals and some conservatives are upset about cuts to programs that help ensure clean drinking water, give financial aid to low-income college students, and even help support Meals on Wheels — which delivers nearly a million meals a day to the sick and elderly — would Jesus have a problem with slashing assistance to the needy?

Image via RNS/Screenshot from CNN

With his anti-Muslim rhetoric and planned travel bans, you’d think President Trump would be a favorite target for Islamic State’s propaganda. The jihadist caliphate in Syria and Iraq must be pulling out all the stops to slam him as the epitome of Islamophobia.

Well, think again. The extremist group that Trump vows to “totally obliterate” has hardly printed or broadcast a word about him since before the November election. The caliphate’s Ministry of Media acts almost as if he didn’t exist.

Adam Ericksen 3-17-2017

"The truth is that the care shown to me by these strangers on the Internet was itself a contradiction. It was growing evidence that these people on the other side were not the demons I’d been led to believe. These realizations were life altering." 

I thank God for these people. Not just because they reached Megan, but because they restore my trust that love is still the most transformative power in the world.

the Web Editors 1-14-2017

On Jan. 13, Georgia Rep. John Lewis — civil rights icon who was beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., marching for voting rights for African Americans in 1965 — said he would not be attending President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration, a first for the longtime congressman since serving. Trump took to Twitter the morning on Jan. 14 to attack Lewis. 

Image via RNS/Rev. Tuhina Verma Rasche and the Rev. Jason Chestnut

For many Christians who observe the liturgical season of Advent, leading up to Christmas, an Advent devotional is a beloved companion.

Such devotionals typically include a short Scripture reading and reflection on the birth of Jesus.

But most are “crap,” according to the Rev. Jason Chesnut of Baltimore.

Image via RNS/Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

For some, the choice is not clear. Clinton-Kaine may be the more personally religious ticket, but Trump-Pence is more cozy with the religious right, aka the evil empire among atheists. Then there’s Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who has no chance of victory, but is the only candidate who reached out to nonbelievers and asked for their vote.

So what’s an atheist to do?

Image via a katz/Shutterstock.com

A report released on Oct. 19 by the Anti-Defamation League does not directly indict Trump for this upswing in anti-Semitism. But it explicitly connects some of his supporters to the hate speech.

“The spike in hate we’ve seen online this election season is extremely troubling and unlike anything we have seen in modern politics,” said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.

the Web Editors 10-13-2016

Image via arindambanerjee/Shutterstock.com

On Oct. 13, Lou Dobbs, an anchor for Fox Business Network, helped circulate the address and phone number of Jessica Leeds, one of the women who have recently come forward to accuse Donald Trump of inappropriate sexual contact. Dobbs tweeted a link to a news site that published Leeds’ address and phone number taken from public records and also quoted a tweet that included Leeds’ contact information. Dobbs has 794,000 followers.

the Web Editors 10-10-2016

Image via Ms Jane Campbell/Shutterstock.com

During the second U.S. presidential debate on Oct. 9, Donald Trump said, when asked about Islamophobia, that Muslims in the U.S. need to “report when they see something going on.”

“In San Bernardino, many people saw the bombs all over the apartment of the two people that killed 14 and wounded many, many people. Muslims have to report the problems when they see them.”

In response Muslims began to tweet using the hashtag #MuslimsReportStuff:

the Web Editors 7-19-2016

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) on MSNBC.

The Republican National Convention got underway July 18, and those who were anticipating drama did not have to wait long.

Even before the official start of the convention, Stephen Colbert stole the stage to announce the commencement of the “Republican National Hungry for Power Games” while imitating a character from the dystopian novels and movies, The Hunger Games.

Image via a katz / Shutterstock.com

Donald Trump can’t let it go.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee has faced days of pointed criticism for a Twitter attack on Hillary Clinton that used an image that looked like the Star of David and appeared to deploy anti-Semitic stereotypes.

Aysha Khan 6-28-2016

Image via  / Shutterstock.com

When Laila Alawa woke up on a recent morning, her phone wouldn’t stop pinging with Twitter notifications.

“You’re not American, you’re a terrorist sympathizer immigrant that nobody in America wants and for good reason,” one user tweeted.

the Web Editors 5-10-2016

John Cho with Harold & Kumar co-star Kal Penn. Image via DFree / Shutterstock.com

Hollywood, take notice.

The silver screen has been looking pretty white, and even those films that have more diverse casts haven’t been getting the recognition many think that they deserve, as #OscarsSoWhite can attest.

Pope Francis registers for World Youth Day with an iPad. Image via REUTERS/Max Rossi/RNS

The pope of the digital age is set to attract even more followers with the posting of his first Instagram photo. Having already claimed the title of the world’s most influential leader on Twitter—with over 27 million followers across his nine accounts—Pope Francis has a new social media platform in his sights.

Ryan Stewart 3-11-2016
Henry_IX / Twitter

Photo via Henry_IX / Twitter

Every now and then Twitter just nails a hashtag, and defends the fundamental value of the Internet. This time, with #MemeHistory, people are pairing a contemporary “meme” with a famous event from history. Although the theme of #MemeHistory isn’t explicitly religious, many Twitter users couldn’t resist turning to the good book for inspiration. 

All the greatest pieces of biblical drama are there: Jesus' resurrection, the Garden of Eden, Satan tempting of Jesus.

Jim Wallis 2-29-2016
JP Keenan / Sojourners

JP Keenan / Sojourners

TRAVELING AROUND the country this winter has given me a tremendous opportunity to promote multiracial truth-telling in many local communities as well as to foster multiracial commitments to action in service of racial justice.

During the first two weeks of the “town hall” tour around my new book, America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America, we engaged an audience of tremendous diversity—multiracial, intergenerational, interfaith, secular, and intersectional. The audience and panelists at these forums have been baby boomers, Gen Xers, and millennials, and again and again we’re seeing new insights and directions as a wide variety of people and perspectives are brought into the dialogue.

In Baltimore, leaders who were in the streets with their congregants following the death of Freddie Gray, such as Revs. Heber Brown III and Brad Braxton, talked about the lessons they learned from the protests and how those lessons must be applied across the country in the days to come.

In New York, Heather McGhee, president of the public policy organization Demos, said that successfully navigating our country into the new demographic reality—in a way that removes both privilege and punishment based on skin color—could be the first opportunity to truly realize our “American exceptionalism.” I often speak against the notion of American exceptionalism, but I wholeheartedly agree with McGhee’s assessment.

the Web Editors 2-04-2016
YouTube / CNN

DeRay Mckesson discussing protests in Baltimore on April 28, 2015. Photo via YouTube / CNN

Minutes before the deadline to file for the Democratic primary in Baltimore on February 3, DeRay Mckesson completed the paperwork and entered the race.

With nearly 300,000 followers on Twitter, DeRay, as he's often known on Twitter, has gained widespread notoriety for his role organizing and documenting the Black Lives Matter movement. A former school administrator and Teach for America alum, DeRay first caught the public eye during protests in Ferguson and Baltimore. He is the 13th candidate to enter the Democratic primary in his hometown.

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