Racism at our Core: The Divided United States

The US is built with layer upon layer of racism. The most obvious example is that the US was populated mostly by western Europeans who massacred their way across the frontier, wiping out whole cultures of people along the way.

Racism is a driving force even in our education and health care systems. How can this be?

We Americans just don’t see each other as members of the same family and society. If we did, it would be easy to convince each other of the value of investing in each other. We act very differently when we have that sense of shared commonality with others.

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King David the Louse

King David has long been one of my Biblical heroes—or so I thought. The story of David versus Goliath is a powerful metaphor for facing life’s challenges. The little guy takes on the big and the powerful—and wins.

I always envisioned the great King David as the prototype for who and what the Messiah should be: a powerful leader, admired by all, who would lead the chosen people to achieve the highest standards.

Then I bought the Great Courses DVDs on the Old Testament, which consist of twenty-four thirty-minute lectures by Dr. Amy-Jill Levine, a Biblical scholar from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

In lecture sixteen, Dr. Levine talked about who King David really was. That lecture was an eye opener—and not a nice one!

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The Other Side of Anger

I am convinced that the majority of us are people of hope. If we didn’t have hope we would find it difficult to get up in the morning or put one foot in front of the other as we struggled to get through ordinary and even difficult days. However, I believe it is important to know there is a place for anger to be embedded in hope and to spur us to release compassionate action.

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How Can We Help the Homeless This Summer?

Living as a homeless person is hard enough as it is. However, when you have to endure harsh weather conditions, like a heatwave, many homeless individuals may find themselves in an even tougher situation. As a result, the underprivileged need our help more than ever during the summer months.

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Questions for Conviviality

What questions can you ask to help move an acquaintance into a real friendship?

What questions are worth savoring – pondering – considering – without being in a hurry for answers?

What questions take us deeper into our own hearts, and into the hearts of others?

Here is a list of questions that can enrich your relationship with yourself and with other people. When you ask them, ask with genuine curiosity and openness, withholding judgments or preconceptions. Make room in your soul for surprising answers. Ask with a desire to learn, grow, know, and love.

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Progressing Spirit

An inclusive and pioneering exploration of Theology, Spirituality and Current Events

With thousands of subscribers around the globe, Progressing Spirit is the world’s leading outlet for an intelligent, inclusive, and pioneering exploration of today’s theological, spiritual, and social advancements.

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Toxic Theology: 
Religious Beliefs that Hurt Instead of Heal

In October 2015 a television news crew covered the story of a ten year-old boy named Kyler Bradley who was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer. The crew filmed Kyler in his classroom surrounded by his friends, while the teacher instructed the children to “pray for a miracle.” The reporter said: “Kyler believes in miracles. So do his classmates. Their teacher planted that idea when she told 30 ten year-olds about Kyler’s cancer.”

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What did Jesus really mean?

A Refreshing Rearticulation of Honest to God Truth

From his saying “This is my body” when breaking bread and “This is my blood” when pouring wine at what has since been referenced as The Last Supper with his disciples (see Matthew 26), it is clear that Jesus rationally grasped as well as mystically (that is, transpersonally) identified with the Oneness of Creation. If what he meant to communicate by way of such sayings had been truly apprehended, such utterances may indeed have been foundational in establishing an ecologically sane, holistically Lifeaugmentative civilization.

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Political Salesmanship and Christian Morality

  The reason I speak to them in parables is that ‘seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand.’ (Matthew 13:13)   Has overt Christian involvement in politics made public …

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Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling doesn’t crumple our opponents

As a black lesbian in this Trump administration, I now feel like I am unquestionably moving into a new Jim Crow era reestablishing discriminatory laws targeting LGBTQ Americans. I grew up knowing about racist placards that read “Colored Water Fountain,” “Waiting Room For Colored Only,” ”We Serve Whites Only, and “No N-word Allowed, to name a few.

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Ten Questions to Ask Your Pastor (and fellow parishioners)

How do you feel about me asking you some questions that may be hard for you to answer truthfully? Are you willing to tell me what you really think and feel and believe, even if it could get you into trouble with the church? And how can I support you if you do get in trouble for being fearless and telling your truth?

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Musing of a Progressive Christian Layman: Was Moses Hebrew or Egyptian?

Since Moses’ name is similar to the name of the Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose (or Tuthmosis) III, many scholars speculate that Moses was Egyptian royalty.

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Practice being who you want to be.

If you want to be angry, practice that.
If you want patience, practice that.

There is nothing that does not become lighter through habit and familiarity. – Shantideva

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Jesus the Tough Guy


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Returning the Genie to Its Bottle: A Christian Strategy to End the Horror of Nuclear War

During the Cold War years, the United States and the Soviet Union built nuclear bombs. By 1986, the U.S. arsenal included 23,000 such bombs with the Soviet arsenal reaching 40,000. Each of these bombs was, at minimum, several times more powerful than the nuclear bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1946. The yield of some of the larger bombs was 1,000 times more powerful than the ones used at the end of World War 11.

These national security policies of the two states were insane, morally bankrupt. An all out war between the two countries would have ended human life on the planet. And we came so close!

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What’s happening to Pride?

While pride events are still fraught with divisions, at their core, pride events are an invitation for communities to connect their political activism with their celebratory acts of song and dance in its continued fight for justice. They should highlight the multicultural aspect of joy and celebration that symbolizes not only our uniqueness as individuals and communities but also affirms our varied expressions of LGBTQIA life in America.

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A Climate of Trust

Why are so many people opposed to the conclusions that scientists have reached? No amount of scientific data seems to change some hearts and minds on this issue—even though it should. Sharing statistics, charts, data and reports doesn’t seem to budge the opposition. Most of us do not have advanced degrees in science but usually we do not need that to take what scientists do seriously.

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The Pretense of Omniscience

It’s not that we think we know everything. It’s that we think we’re right about everything we believe. In our highly polarized society, almost everyone believes that they have the facts, know what truth is, and anyone thinking otherwise is wrong. Political parties have their “base”, a segment of the population who are similarly aligned on the issues and who are definitely opposed to the base of the other party. So certain are they of their rightness that they are tone deaf to facts that challenge their belief system, just as they are equally susceptible to the ploys of those who would lead that self-certainty into deeper blindness and even violence.

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