Enough!

Beatrice Nyariara lives in Korogocho, which is widely considered to be Nairobi’s most dangerous slum. When elderly women were targeted in shocking attacks at night, the 75-year-old decided enough was enough. It was time to fight back. It was time to develop a community!

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Courageous Faith: How to Rise and Resist in a Time of Fear

For Christians, resistance is written right into our baptismal vows. Following Christ means resisting oppression and evil wherever we might find it. Doing that work requires us to first rise up, face our fears, and cultivate courage that can sustain us for the journey. Weaving together wisdom from sources as diverse as Reformed theology, recovery communities, social justice visionaries, and Twentieth Century history, Heath creates a way forward for those who wish to live lives of faithful, sustained, courageous resistance.

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Nevertheless, She Persisted

In a late night session on February 7, 2017, during Jeff Session’s confirmation hearing for U.S. Attorney General, just weeks after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, the United States Senate voted to silence Senator Elizabeth Warren after she read comments made decades earlier by Edward Kennedy and Coretta Scott King that criticized the civil rights record of Senator Sessions. Warren was censured because Senate Rule XIX prohibits ascribing “to another senator or to other senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a senator.” To silence her, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell led a party-line vote that forced Senator Warren to take her seat and refrain from speaking. McConnell later said “Senator Warren was giving a lengthy speech. She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

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Post 9-11 Sewing Circle

As a peace activist opposed to war, and later as a bagpiper serving with the Vietnam Vets honor guard in Florida and Texas, I played at many military funerals. None is a happy occasion. The saddest moment, for me, was the flag folding ceremony. This reflection is drawn from those rituals. Sam Gould’s poem, Don’t Stand to be Recognized, comes to mind.

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In the Walking, Talking and Breaking of Bread: The Road to Emmaus and Immigration

  I usually like to have things all figured out before I do something. I don’t support charities without researching them nor vote for politicians without applying the same scrutiny. You can get burned if you don’t …

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The Difference between a Pacifist and a Passivist

Pacifists and passivists are agreed in being nonviolent. The latter, however, is determined not to react or respond to violence with any actions of opposition; whereas the former may be very determined to oppose violence by any means except violence.

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Sage Advice

We are exhausted with reports of corruption in government, a judicial system that is bereft of justice, and a penal system that seems to institutionalize social revenge rather than reform. While we will never acquiesce to the injustices of our judicial and penal systems, we will not surrender to corruption in business or government, we do recognize a need to live as wisely as possible to avoid turning our fate, or the fate of our children, over to a system that has shown itself to be rife with racism, classism, and corruption. The Proverbs call to us to love wisdom and reject the temptations of a foolish and dangerous life.

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Right and Wrong Times and Places

Those who believe there is a right and wrong time and place to protest injustices are those whose privilege keeps them from the injustices. Those who with Rev. Dr. M.L. King, Jr., live by the principle that the right time to do the right thing is now, privileged or not, remind us of the immorality of acquiescence, apathy, indifference, denial, negligence, and procrastination in confronting injustice and evil.

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Getting Old or Getting Better?

Our culture over values youth and devalues those who are elderly, bringing us to a point where the suicide rate is rapidly growing among those over 85. We must accept that while the mortality rate is 100%, there are qualities that are of value to every stage of life. We must always bear in mind the “why” we have for living even when the “how” of life is challenging.

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Souls “Flung Up to Heaven”: Maya Angelou and Hildegard of Bingen

Recently I co-lead a contemplative retreat at Sacred Heart Monastery in Cullman, Alabama. Four years ago on this site, Dewey Weiss Kramer gave an uplifting course on Hildegard of Bingen for Columbia Seminary’s Spiritual Formation Program. I decided to adapt today’s post from my reflections on that experience

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How can we change the world

New lyrics to the tune Jerusalem.

New lyrics to the tune Jerusalem.

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Consciousness or Collapse? The Choice is ours.

What’s really happening? Where are we headed? Is human civilization really coming apart? Will we all come together as never before? What does this mean for us personally? What can we do? How can we ‘be the change we want to see in the world’?

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The Economics of Happiness

The happiness of Americans peaked in 1956 and has been going downhill ever since. People around the world are now taking matters into their own hands to forge a different future from the one governments and big businesses want. Find out how.

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Humanity’s awakening is the change you wish to see in the world.

As the moment for humanity’s Grand Awakening draws ever closer the energy of the Tsunami of Love continues to intensify to assist you in your preparations for this most wondrous event. I know that many of you have doubts, because it seems that you have been waiting for this divinely promised event for a very long time, while chaos and conflict throughout the world seems to be increasing and intensifying. You do have a lot of issues to resolve, each and everyone of you presently incarnate as a human, before the awakening can occur. It is a question of acknowledging all that you are aware of having thought, said, or done that is not in alignment with God’s Will, namely judgment, bitterness, resentment, hatred etc., and the letting go of any right you feel you have for restitution for wrongs done to you.

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Responding to Those Who Persecute

What if I simply do my job, even if it requires abhorrent treatment of asylum-seekers and their children, because I am told that law or a new policy requires it. What if I make statements to the press or in court that I know are false because superiors have ordered me to do it? What if I am near retirement and stand to lose my pension by refusing to knowingly traumatize children. Choosing to follow Jesus by refusing to participate in acts of persecution calls for extraordinary heroism in Trump’s America.

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Discrimination or Discernment in the name of Religious Expression

Postscript of an Independence Day Observance

What happens when the discernment of one citizen’s religious beliefs are deemed to be discriminatory; infringing upon the civil liberties and rights of another citizen? In fact, what constitutes any set of beliefs as “religious,” with the constitutional protections accorded it?

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Love, please. Love please. Please, love. Please love.

I am doing my part as I am certain you are doing yours. And, the state of the world right now requires us to double down and do more. So, let us pepper the world in a myriad of small, little, unsexy ways of being more loving, compassionate, caring, long-suffering, kind, humble, gentle, virtuous?

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Talking Back to the Bible: A Historian’s Approach to Bible Study

Millennials seeking a new approach to spirituality, those who identify with the “emerging church” identified by Marcus Borg and others, anyone interested in Christ’s Jewishness and the elimination of anti-Jewish bias from Bible study, and women, LGBTs, and others who seek a Biblical approach that overcomes insistence on obedience to questionable Old Testament commands will be intrigued by the new book by Edward G. Simmons.

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