This Guy Scares Me!

I don’t scare easily and am generally very accepting of people. However, I want to introduce you to someone who scares me and see if he scares you also.

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Nevertheless, love.

My words in this article will implore you to live a life of love. My tone borders on zeal. You will hear echoes of the Buddha, Chasidic masters, Mother Teresa, 1 Corinthians 13, and what you know in your heart to be true. If you are not able to consider living your life in more love, please do not proceed. If you read this and do not like parts of what I write, please respond so we can both learn and grow.

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From the Director – Why keep “Christianity” in our name and mission?

There have been many people over the years who encourage us to drop “Christianity” from our name. Here are my two cents on why I am not ok with that.

Progressive Christianity is a unique and beautiful movement. It is a vital landing space for hundreds of thousands of humans around the world. Though small, it is growing. And there continues to be a very large percentage of people in this world that consider themselves Christian. At some point many of those will question what they are being told in church. Many will find that the theology presented in their church does not match their understanding of science and/or their values. And they will, perhaps, consider leaving their church. But many will not if their isn’t a better alternative. People who have Christianity in their heritage, their culture, and their traditions are often not ready to straight up leave Christianity all together.

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Remembering our nation’s values in these troubled times…

The recent flap about athletes “taking the knee” during the national anthem in protest of racial injustice has been called disrespectful of our armed services. I realize the anthem’s imagery is of a battle, but our national anthem is about ALL Americans who have contributed to our nation’s character, from the seamstress who made the first stars and stripes to the seamstress who refused to give up her seat on a bus. The “land of the free and the home of the brave” values protest and the courage of activists. We actually have benefited from both. Important battles have been fought with picket signs, resistance, demonstrations, civil disobedience, and votes.

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Words I Don’t Want to Say Together: Active Shooter & Church

It seems horrifying to imagine that the places we have used for worship, sanctuary, community, fellowship, love and connection, places that for millennia have helped define our own identity are now having to be prepared for violence and death. I can’t even believe I am having to write these words. It pains me to know that shootings happen everywhere, every day, more frequently than you may realize, yet most go unreported in mainstream media.

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“Sacred” by J Brave feat. Kayt Pearl & Poranguí

In light of the recent natural disasters and climate changes, now more than ever must we praise Mother Earth on a deeper level. “Sacred“ is the most important piece of art I’ve ever created, and with the …

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Worshiping the Gun God is Killing Us

By Leah D. Schade for Patheos

But we have allowed ourselves to become convinced that the sacrifice of our citizens – including children – is simply the price that must be paid to the GunGod. The GunGod is the only one who will provide. “The gun is my shepherd, I shall not want,” [from Jeff Hood’s provocative gun-hermeneutic of scripture, Apostasy: Guns, God, and Sutherland.] The gun is the answer to all of our fears, the release for all of our anger. Is the teenager’s music too loud? Shoot him. Is he wearing a hoodie that makes you feel threatened? Shoot him. Are you angry at the politician? At the ones who have mistreated you? The women who have spurned you? The family member or neighbor or motorist who piss you off? The answer is the gun, always the gun. It is the final solution.

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Preserving Democracy

The real fraud in the voter fraud discussion in the USA is the unsubstantiated claim that it is a problem. There are no more than three or four instances of voter fraud in any election cycle so the new state laws requiring a government issued photo ID at polling places is a shameless attempt at suppressing the vote of 20 million poor, disabled, or recent immigrant voters. This attempt at reversing the gains made in the civil rights movement must be rejected by progressive citizens.

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From Ancient Times to the Present: Transferring Guilt Makes a Mockery of Justice

  One of the foundations of modern ethics is crumbling. Having rights is about being respected as a human individual who shapes his life through choices. Whether with respect to original sin, honour based violence, modesty dress …

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Working With God to Create the Education State

Part 2 of 2

A central theme of the Bernie Sanders Presidential campaign was growing income inequality. Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook published data that supports Senator Sanders’ claim. They recently reported that at the end of 2013 the United States was the most unequal in terms of wealth distribution among the top twenty developed nations. Seventy-five percent of all wealth in this country is held by the top ten percent of its people. Comparative figures for Canada, 57%; Australia, 50%; Japan, 49%; the United Kingdom, 53%; and Germany 61%.The United States also ranks lowest for economic mobility among the twenty wealthiest nations. It is almost impossible for those living in the bottom 20% to move into the middle class.

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How to respond to homophobic preachers

What can we do about a preacher in our state whose website is “Godhatesfags.com” and who is constantly harassing churches that seek to be open to new knowledge about homosexuality?

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Ways to Practice Thanks-giving

A gratitude practice for every day from Nov. 1 to Thanksgiving.

The Christian writer G. K. Chesterton had the right idea when he said we need to get in the habit of “taking things with gratitude and not taking things for granted.” Gratitude puts everything in a fresh perspective; it enables us to see the many blessings all around us. And the more ways we find to give thanks, the more things we find to be grateful for.

Giving thanks takes practice, however. We get better at it over time. Gratitude is one of the key markers of the spiritual life we include in the Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy. It is essential if we are to read the sacred significance of our daily lives.

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“Almost Like Praying”: The Religious Work of “Hamilton” Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda

In the wake of catastrophic destruction in Puerto Rico Lin-Manuel Miranda, the force behind Hamilton, has used theological rhetoric, declaring that Trump was “going straight to hell” for his lack of basic human compassion and his dismissal of the suffering of American citizens he was elected to represent.

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Christian Unity: Warts and All

I’ve noticed a generational divide in the quest for Christian unity. People of different ages often articulate different priorities.

Many veterans of the work for Christian unity focus on what Christians have in common. Younger ecumenists often talk of finding peace in the midst of real differences.

This divide follows a natural pattern of healing and reconciliation. It reflects more than just two sides of the same coin.

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The Church: A Fitness Center for Love

It’s not heavy lifting to love the children at church (unless they’re yours, squirming next to you in the pew). Everybody’s charmed by them as they scamper up to the altar for story time in worship.

But often it is heavy lifting to love the adults, particularly the prickly ones. The church can’t be the church without difficult people. They are among us – they are us – to remind us that we all have fallen short of the glory.

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Joining With God to Create a Better World

Part 1 of 2

The starting point for understanding how religion relates to politics is to determine how God functions in the world. Like many of you, I attribute the word God to experiences of beauty, love, and goodness that have no logical explanation. These encounters have depth. The reality of the experience is so much greater than the parts making it up.

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The Matthew Shepard murder revisited

With October being LGBTQ History Month it allows the LGBTQ community to look back at historical events. And Matthew Shepard’s murder is one of them.

This October marks nineteen years since the death of Matthew Shepard. In October 1998, Shepard, then 21, was a first-year college student at University of Wyoming. Under the guise of friendship, two men (Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson) lured Shepard from a tavern, tortured and bludgeoned him with their rifles, and then tethered him to a rough-hewn wooden fence to die – simply because he was gay.

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