Turning the Tables and Righteous Anger

Jesus courageously confronted injustice. He challenged the temple’s hierarchy against the backdrop of the ongoing economic and social oppression of his times. Jesus was a non-violent revolutionary, but he was not passive.

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Cory and the Seventh Story

The story we tell about the world shapes how we live. Along Cory’s journey, readers will discover six familiar stories that have repeated through history, teaching us all how to dominate, fear, or withdraw from the world and the beautiful people in it. The good news is that there is another story, a path of openheartedness toward others. Cory’s discovery of the Seventh Story will inspire children and adults alike.

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Podcasts: It’s About Time

From The Parliament of World's Religions

The Parliament of the World’s Religions is proud to distribute It’s About Time, a weekly podcast produced in partnership with our allies at Religica.org and Seattle University.

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The MYSTERY Is LOVE

The embodiment of LOVE is achieved when we who are made of LOVE, recognize ourselves in the other, because LOVE is not something that we do, LOVE is who we are. LOVE bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, LOVE never ends. Now we see in a mirror dimly, but then we will see face to face. When we recognize ourselves in the other, we are the embodiment of LOVE. Now we know only in part, then we will know fully, even as we have been fully known. When we recognize ourselves in the other, faith, hope, and LOVE abide, these three; and the greatest of these is LOVE.

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Maya Angelou On Being Christian

To help kick off Black History Month, here are two bite-sized pieces of wisdom from the late, great literary genius, Maya Angelou. Like gems, these are ideas you can put in your pocket, and take them out whenever you need them 🙂

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A Paradox of Peace

Peace is one of those seemingly intangible, shape-shifting things in life, such as love, that molds our lives so intensely. It’s not necessarily something I can hold in my hand or perhaps physically give to you, and there are no words to adequately define the experience or even give a “correct” definition. Yet it is the foundation for all sacred wisdom. We continually seek the healing power and expression of peace because, at some level, we recognize this is where life is nudging us, and we are being called to live it more fully.

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Jailed transwoman fought for her dignity

Transgender people are in every facet of life- even prison.

Too often, however, because of physical and sexual assaults, and being housed in facilities according to their birth sex and not their gender identity, these inmates are not only serving time for their crimes, but they are also trying to survive their time while imprisoned.

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The Horror All Around Us

TRIGGER WARNING! This video contains brief talks by two ministers and two psychologists and an original song by a composer/musician about pedophilia. The topic affects so many people that we felt obligated to address it though it is easily the single most difficult topic any of us have to think about. If you are disturbed by the content of this message, please reach out to your therapist, or your pastor, to talk through these issues.

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Freedom Through Defiance

During the Indian Wars, most Americans believed that killing Indians was patriotic, heroic, and some even felt it was Divinely ordained. But, at the Massacre at Sand Creek, two officers ordered their men not to participate. Captain Soule and Lt. Cramer refused to be silent about the murder of 150 men, women, and children, and their reports sparked a Congressional investigation that ended in removing their commanding officer, Col. John Chivington (a former pastor), from service and began to change the way our country viewed the Indian Wars. Sadly, soldiers who wake up to the illegal and immoral nature of our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are not being sympathetically heard by Congress, through the essay written by Kevin Tillman, the brother of slain serviceman, Pat Tillman, tells an unvarnished truth rarely seen in the media.

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Social Justice, the Good Samaritan and Outsourcing Charity

One of the most common arguments I hear against “social justice” is this:

Many Christians believe the Gospel calls us to get personally involved in doing charity. They argue that we shouldn’t work to improve economic and political systems because that would be outsourcing our Christian responsibilities to a third party, such as the government. For example, they would say Jesus calls us to personally feed the hungry (Matthew 25:31-46), not to pay taxes so that the government can do that for us.

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SCOTUS upholds transgender military ban with a no “blanket ban”

With a conservative Supreme Court- Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr., Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh – it comes as no surprise that a 5-4 vote has revived Trump’s discriminatory policy on transgender service members, while the merits of the cases will continue to be challenged in lower courts.

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Perfecting Love

If God is love, then God is something we do, rather than somebody or something we try to believe in. If God is love, then God is a relationship, and not a Guy in the Sky or some other kind of supernatural entity. If God is love, God is nothing to fear. If God is love, when we really love someone – even of another religion, or of no religion at all – God is in that relationship, blessing it. So these three words wipe away all the theological debates about science and common sense versus religion. These three words sweep away the problem of evil, the perennial conundrum of how an all-powerful God could love people while allowing horrible things to happen to them. If God is love, then God is not in charge of the universe. Love is extremely powerful, but it is not directive. Love does not force anybody to do anything, nor to force anything to do anything to anybody. If God is love, then God is omni-attractive, not omni-potent.

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3 Lessons of Revolutionary Love in a Time of Rage

What’s the antidote to rising nationalism, polarization and hate? In this inspiring, poetic talk, Valarie Kaur asks us to reclaim love as a revolutionary act. As she journeys from the birthing room to tragic sites of bloodshed, Kaur shows us how the choice to love can be a force for justice.

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The Inward Journey, the Outward Gaze

Progressive Mysticism with Julian of Norwich

Theologian Karl Barth once counseled, “Take your Bible and take your newspaper, and read both. But interpret newspapers from your Bible.” In graduate school over 40 years ago, I heard a modification of Barth’s wisdom, “The preacher should have the New York Times in one hand and the Bible in the other.” This advice surely applies to the spiritual seeker and social activist as well. We must have our eyes trained on eternity while boldly living in our time and place. Touching eternity, the cosmic wisdom of God, grants perspective and hope in the moral arc of history. But the wide perspective – our hope in God’s arc of justice – is of value only if it guides our pathway in responding to the unique challenges of our time.

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Christmastide* Greetings

I hope you’ve been having a restful and reflective season. And, I realize that, for many of us, this has been a difficult season – whether simply feeling the weight of national and global tensions and tragedies, or the pain often borne uniquely in our immediate context.

I carried this paradox with me in my conversation with my dear friend Alexander John Shaia yesterday. It was our final Make Advent Great Again dialogue, and it’s too good not to share with you

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Journey of the Universe

What is our relation to this planet?
What is our planet’s relation to the cosmos?

Journey of the Universe provides a story that responds to these questions and to the shift in consciousness that the Earthrise photo initiated.

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Church Confession

I am the church, and this is my confession.  My last confession was 500 years ago.  I have oppressed women and kept them out of leadership positions.  I have oppressed gay and lesbian people.  I have judged people pointlessly for having normal sexual urges and relationships, treating sex like a disease instead of lifting it up as a precious gift from God. 

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Fighting Destructive Chaos…with Christmas Carols?

Like many people, I am absolutely appalled by the ugly, hateful and destructive chaos emerging in this country. I have also wondered what I, a retired Oakland High School English teacher and Berkeley pastor, now living in a small town on the Oregon coast, could do to somehow change the dialogue and direction as to where the nation is going.

I hope to do so through … Christmas carols!

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