How Did We Get Here?

By Shane Phipps for Patheos

Welcome to Bizarro World. For more than a year now, millions of Americans have been walking around in disbelief. I’ve been struggling to put my thoughts on this into words for a while now. A quick perusal of my archives will reveal dozens of attempts to express my exasperation. Sometimes I fear I’m caught in a Groundhog Day scenario where I get up and write the same article day after day. I keep searching for a new way to say what I need to say in a way that satisfies. In the past 24 hours I have happened across a couple of bits of wisdom that have helped crystalize my thoughts enough to try, once again, to tackle the question that’s been eating away at me for months; how did we get here?

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The Search for New Vocabulary

Part Two

the second concept for which we might find common ground pertains to the actual difficulty we encounter when we try to love. How easy is it to act lovingly in an unconditional way? Are we capable, or does something stand in our way? And if there is a blockage, what might that be? The traditional Christian answer is, yes, there is a blockage, and it goes by the name of sin.

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Finding peace with reality, alphabetically.

All relationships require tune-ups.

Relationships between parents and children, relationship between co-workers, and relationships between ourselves and reality all require the occasional tune-up – and some forgiveness.

It’s the last relationship that I want to talk about – you getting right with (the) God (of your understanding).

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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

By the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948

  The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed …

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Out with the Mold, in with the True

Every spiritual truth is a paradox. Life is precious, beautiful and filled with joy, and it is painful, dark and lonely. A short time ago a vicious predator came into my life and took my breath, and didn’t ask permission. It forced me to surrender the only thing I had. Life. This demon penetrated its way into me, and now I am a troubled stranger lingering between hope and desperation. Yet simultaneously, I sit here demonstrating life in its most simple, precious, gracious, funny and authentic way by laughing and crying about my moldy refrigerator. I think we need both of these experiences -our joys and our sufferings are indeed our wholeness.

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How to define yourself by discovering and re-claiming who you really are.

  Question & Answer John from Tucson, asks: Question: First let me tell you I am an atheist. Prior to this I was raised in the Roman Catholic tradition and was a member in good standing for …

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My Top Ten Tips: “Expert Tips for Resilience”

“Expert Tips for Resilience,”

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The Foundational Way -The Human Life of Jesus

Although revered as a ’Jewish holy one’ Jesus was seen to much enjoy ‘secular’ life on the streets, and in doorways, on hillsides and seashores and in village centres. He was most often seen and heard in these ‘secular’ places for there he carried out nearly all his teaching, demonstrating and healing.

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“Old News”

It was MLK Sunday
A point of purpose
perhaps for dreamers
and churches and every
person of faith
and conscience with hope.

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Live the Love

Today we have large numbers of people who say they are spiritual but not religious. They are not interested in a ‘feel good religion that promises heaven.’ They want to be involved in making the world a better place and are tired of a religion that often comes across as bigoted and judgmental rather than accepting others in love and advocating justice for all.

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Interfaith Dialogue Quotations

ver the last few years, I have collected a number of quotations that relate directly or indirectly to the field of interfaith dialogue. These are attached. You may find various ways to use these quotations.

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The Personal Face of God

God is not a “thing” to be grasped or known or understood absolutely; yet the entire witness of scripture and saints and Jesus is that God is within our reach.

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#TimesUp

This is the second in a four part series on the #MeToo movement.

This is the second in a four part series on the #MeToo movement. This one, “#Time’s Up” addresses the hope for dramatic change in the nature of male and female coupling and the dangers inherent in allowing the revolution to lose its ethical moorings.

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Tillich’s Challenge: The Search for New Vocabulary

Part One

We started by asking if we could replace the word god with the word love. We have seen that both words are not easily defined or understood. And yet, given the importance of finding common ground, I think that at least for the time being, we should give it a try and replace the word god with the word love in the context of humanist/Christian dialogue. Christians can talk about god all they want when talking among themselves, just as humanists can deny god all they want when talking among themselves. But when talking to each other, using the word love, as exemplified by the Samaritan, would be a helpful way to begin the dialogue. If we can agree on love, then will follow the awareness that indeed we have much more in common.

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King’s dream of “the beloved community” extends to your community, too.

Martin Luther King articulated his dream of wanting every town and city throughout the world “Building the Beloved Community.” The King Center explains the concept:

“In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger, and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it. Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry, and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood.”

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A Prayer to NoOneUpThere

I first discovered the Reverend David Keighley and his poem “Leaving Home” years ago in a newsletter published by Bishop John Shelby Spong. I read “Leaving Home” every Friday as part of my early morning quiet time, when I do prayers (Progressive Christian style), relevant readings, and prep for the day. I always look forward to my weekly time reviewing “Leaving Home.” It helps me realize that I am not in this alone as I try to paddle upstream and show people an alternative to the church’s fourth-century approach to living in the twenty-first century.

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My Year of Preaching with Donald Trump

As a theologian and minister, how can I not address these weekly rants by the President in my sermons? How can I not stand up and denounce xenophobia? His bullying discourse and reprehensible behavior? How can I not stand up for justice and compassion for the broken, the marginalized, and the forgotten people of this world? How can I not remind people that an “eye for an eye” is attitude that will leave all of us blind, and that a nation only thrives when all its citizens are thriving?

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Reading the Gospels as midrash

  Question & Answer   Ginny from Reno, Nevada asks: Question: Why is it so important to you to view the Gospels as “midrash” rather than as history? Answer: Rev. Mark Sandlin   Dear Ginny, It’s not …

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