Crystal Valentine – “Black Privilege” Button Poetry

“Black privilege is me having already memorized my nephew’s eulogy, my brother’s eulogy, my father’s eulogy, my unconceived child’s eulogy,” “Black privilege is me thinking my sister’s name is safe from that list.”

read more

What Shall We Overcome? Getting Atticus Out of Egypt

Racism, the Imbalance of Power, and the Response of the Prophetic Voice

The literary world is in an uproar, learning that a prequel to Harper Lee’s great American novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” depicts the beloved Atticus Finch as a southern white racist. Is it possible that, like the fictional character, we can ever evolve and change?

read more

Racism is Still Alive – But the Flag is Just a Symbol

Approximately one thousand people gathered for an Independence Day rally to “Take Down the Flag” at the Confederate Memorial on the capitol grounds in Columbia, SC.  There has been hope among the demonstration organizers that Gov. Nikki …

read more

On The Charleston Shooting…

I wasn’t going to write anything because I worried words would fail, but I think keeping silent is worse. I am appalled and devastated that our country is so steeped in racial violence. It’s a sickness, and we aren’t getting better.

read more

The Weekly: Bishop John Spong [Extended Interview]

Catch Charlie’s complete, full-length interview with Bishop John Spong.

read more

AUDIO: BBC Conversation on Religion Dispatches Letter to Muslims on Same- Sex Marriage

Shortly after Reza Aslan and Hasan Minhaj’s, “An Open Letter to American Muslims,” was first published on RD this past Tuesday, it became clear that it had launched a critical discussion across the United States.

read more

UNBOUND: Liberty, Freedom and the Gift of Liberation

A Commentary for the Observance of Independence Day, 2015

Liberty and Freedom: People – especially politicians, it seems – frequently use the two terms interchangeably, as if they were the same thing. But while civil liberties can be legislated and personal freedoms can be infringed upon, there is something autonomous about personal choices and actions that can never ultimately be denied or encumbered. “Freedom is not something that anybody can be given,” the late author and civil rights activist, James Baldwin, once said. “Freedom is something people take, and people are as free as they want to be.”

An earlier commentary considered the two ideas of conscience and consciousness as a spiritual component and practice of human experience. These comments are written as we approach our nation’s annual observance of the Independence Day holiday; exploring what might constitute a progressive Christian perspective of a kind of liberating “freedom” that is comprised of loosing the bonds of all the little deaths we die, and binding oneself to that which can irrepressibly spring once more to life.

read more

In Joyous Praise of Our Creator

Covenant, the promise that humans, especially those who understand our mortality, receive from the Eternal One. Co-creation, the promise that our thoughts, decisions and actions during the regular course of the day matter. We either choose to be aligned in the ways of Spirit or we choose not to be. Sometimes our awareness of what we are choosing is conscious and sometimes it is not. When our choices are aligned in Spirit’s ways, we bring about God’s kin’dom, which is something of great value to earth.

read more

8 Ways Transformational Festivals Can Change Your Life and Change the World

A transformational festival is more than a music festival, more than a group campout, and more than a social gathering, although it has many of the same components. What exactly distinguishes a transformational festival like Lucidity from a more mainstream festival like Coachella? It is the emphasis on transformation – both of the self, through rapid personal growth and self-realization, and of society, through a focus on sustainable living, community, education, and wellness. These are usually three to seven day events defined as “counterculture festivals that espouse a community-building ethic and a value system that celebrates life, personal growth, social responsibility, healthy living, and creative expression.”1

read more

Book Review: Spiritual Defiance: Building a Beloved Community of Resistance

“This is Robin Meyers at his pastoral and prophetic best. Read it, and then for the love of God—RESIST!” –Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

read more

The Jesus Fatwah: Love Your (Muslim) Neighbor as Yourself

Much of what passes as information about Islam is weed-like disinformation rooted in stereotype and watered by fear. In The Jesus Fatwah, Islamic and Christian scholars offer reliable information about what Muslims believe, how they live out their faith, and how we all can be about building relationships across the lines of faith.

read more

The Chicken and the Egg

I have always suspected it is a chicken and egg phenomenon. What comes first? Personal transformation leads to the desire, or need even, to transform something in the world. Or do our efforts to change something that is unjust, something that causes suffering in the world lead to a personal and spiritual transformation?

read more

Entering Godmode – Video

Ever ponder the miracle of life? Or perhaps wonder about the evolution of intelligence? In Shots of Awe, “Performance Philosopher” Jason Silva chases his inspiration addiction as he explores these topics and more.

read more

Can This Woman Make Evangelical Christianity Sane Again?

Rachel Held Evans has been called “the most polarizing woman in Evangelicalism.” She is a New York Times bestselling author of three books and a popular blog in which she wrestles honestly with the cruelties and contradictions in her Christian tradition from the standpoint of a loving insider on a quest to understand God and goodness more deeply. In this interview by Valerie Tarico, Held Evans discusses both the book and her broader faith journey.

read more

The Church and LGBT Justice

A majority of American voters say they support a Supreme Court decision to allow same-sex couples the constitutional right to marry, but the issue remains far from settled among socially conservative religious communities that have repeatedly proclaimed biblical support for human injustice.

read more

Sacred Activism by Andrew Harvey

Andrew Harvey, Oxford scholar and visionary, believes that our survival depends on Sacred Activism, a fusion of profound mystical awareness, passion, clarity and sacred practice with wise, dedicated, radical action.

read more

Spiritual and Sustainable: Religion Responds to Climate Change

This interfaith conference addresses the issues and challenges of maintaining a sustainable planet. Focused on ways to engage, panelists examines the overlapping moral issues of climate change, sustainability, social justice, and mindfulness through the lenses of many of the world’s religious traditions.

read more

90 Second Sermon Diva Does Divinity

One gal’s observations during her “stumble-through” with God.

read more