Discussions about refugees and immigrants almost invariably include people who strongly express the need to protect borders.
Pope Francis has a helpful perspective that hits the nail on the head:
A person who thinks only of building walls, wherever they may be, and not of building bridges, is not a Christian.read more
With African Americans and Latinos markets viewed as providing soft drink companies a “lifetime of opportunity” these companies are disincentivized to create healthier beverages. And they don’t see it as exploitation, but rather as niche marketing.
“Do they owe these groups an apology? I don’t think so…. On many levels, the soft-drink industry is being demonized as if it were the new big tobacco.”read more
Reverend Bruce Sanguin talks about Blessed Are The Pure of Heart at Unity of Vancouver. See UnityOfVancouver.org for information and more talks.read more
In the wake of a week that saw sarin gas released once again on the people of Sryria, followed by the firing of U.S. tomahawk missiles, parading around waving Palm Branches seems as foolish as it …read more
Part 3 of a 4-part series leading up to Holy Thursday. Each day 3 disciples present at the Last Supper are highlighted. It is partially inspired by the Unity teaching of the Twelve Powers. Part 1 sets the context and Jesus speaks to Peter, Andrew and James. Part 2 is John, Phillip and Bartholomew.read more
Part 2 of a 4-part series leading up to Holy Thursday. Each day 3 disciples present at the Last Supper are highlighted. It is partially inspired by the Unity teaching of the Twelve Powers. Part 1 sets the context and Jesus speaks to Peter, Andrew and James.read more
Due to a drought, Jacob’s family fled to Egypt. They got the permission of the Pharaoh to do this. That’s wonderful. However, what would Jacob’s family have done if the Pharaoh did not grant this permission and give the equivalent of a “green card”? They would be faced with a tough choice—either watch their family and flocks die in the drought or escape into Egypt without permission. Every responsible father would do the right thing and break a law instead of watch his family die. You would do it. I would do it. And we would be called heroes, not criminals. This more accurately captures the situation of undocumented immigrants in the USA today. If the Pharaoh (i.e. US government) does not grant permission, the one who commits the sin is NOT the undocumented immigrant trying to feed his family—the one who commits the sin is the one who denies permission.read more
I am a big proponent of gratitude.
Acknowledging that I am in favor of gratitude seems silly. Who isn’t in favor of gratitude? In case you were wondering, I also like fresh air, holding sleeping babies in my arms, and freshly-made pie. Of course I am a proponent of gratitude! Gratitude is the basis of every spiritual practice. I have written, made videos, and talked about gratitude for years.
Science can demonstrate positive correlations between gratitude and academic performance. And there are studies that show a link between gratitude and higher levels of immunity.read more
Marching with thousands of joyful, passionate people at the Women’s March in Seattle last weekend and seeing all the causes their signs supported – health care for all, diversity, respect and equal rights for all people, I realized the ultimate expression of all the things we were marching for would look, to me anyway, very much like the Culture of God; like the “Kingdom of Heaven” described by Jesus in the beatitudes. At the march in Seattle and marches around the world, people were intent on creating what they might call a better world, or a world of peace and justice. And if Jesus is right, if the excluded will be blessed by inclusion in the culture of God; if those who take action to make this world more like the culture of God will be blessed for their efforts, then with all due respect to Jesus and the original recorders of his words, I’d like to offer some beatitudes for the 21st century.read more
This is an especially difficult concept for us in the United States. Many of the people who helped form this country tried to solve their problems by simply moving away from people they had difficulties with. This method of dealing with problems is deeply embedded in the American psyche. When people get on your nerves, you can simply “go west” to get a little peace and quiet, a little piece of your own ground, and live with minimal interactions with neighbors. You don’t have to learn to live with difficult people, rather you can just pick the people you want to be with. People first left the problems of Europe behind. When life here got too tense, many continued pioneering westward to get away from everyone. Part of the American Dream is the illusion that you can create and control the bubble you live in. Perhaps this method worked for a couple hundred years until the empty spaces ran out and we were stuck staring eyeball to eyeball with our neighbors, again. Still, the fantasy remains that the individual acting alone is the most advanced and enlightened form of human activity. Yet Christianity has always held that life is about “we” not about “me.”read more
A recent University of Michigan study looked into the curious fact that most people do not change their prejudices when confronted with contrary facts but rather double down on their mistaken beliefs. It seems that John uses blindness as a metaphor for choosing not to see in the account of the man born blind. Both then and now courageous faith asks us to love truth enough to reject prejudice, propaganda, and political lies.read more
Instead, we should be providing sanctuary for these refugees and immigrants who are fleeing persecution. Whether in our nation, churches, or our homes, we are to show loving-kindness, respect, and care for the well-being of all of our siblings. Isn’t this what we would want others to do for us if the circumstances were reversed? Honestly, isn’t this what Jesus would have us do?read more
As we seek to move beyond the tired binaries of Left and Right, let’s find ourselves in the fusion coalition that invites us to reconsider our prejudices and find common cause with our neighbors as we move forward together in doing justice, loving mercy, and walking humbly with our God.read more