Long Overdue Reform of Gun Control

Not because of Vegas (or Columbine, Aurora, Virginia Tech, Orlando, Dallas, or even Sandy Hook) and not because of the 50 women who are murdered by their significant other every month, but because a predictable 32,000 Americans die every year from gunshot wounds and another 100,000 are wounded. No other western democracy comes anywhere close to our astonishingly high numbers and we cannot just nibble at the edges of this issue any longer. It isn’t “bump stocks” or semi-automatic weapons that gives us this annual bloodbath. It is primarily hand guns but on the whole, the USA is holding nearly half of the guns in the world and we just have to move in the direction of more sane and effective gun laws.

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“How do your beliefs and spiritual values inspire you to do meaningful work in the world?

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Tribalism, Narcissism, Nationalism, and their Offspring

The religious left often finds itself at odds with the marketplace but when it comes to refugees and the undocumented, there is a purely profit driven approach that can give spiritual people a reason to cheer. There is more than a moral reason not to deport the 80,000 DACA youth living in the USA, looked at purely for their law-abiding, tax-paying potential, we need for them to stay here! A similarly strong economic argument can be made in favor of granting citizenship to foreign students who come here to earn advanced STEM degrees. Looked at from either a spiritual/compassionate perspective, or from an economic viewpoint: we do not need a Muslim ban, we don’t need a wall on the Mexican border, and we need to be much more welcoming of refugees.

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Survival @ 2.5 Minutes to Midnight

For 70 years, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has maintained the Doomsday Clock, a graphic representation of the level of danger to the planet from nuclear weapons and other threats. Partly because of the election of Donald Trump, it has moved the clock from 3 to 2.5 minutes from midnight. The danger has been dire for many decades, and now it is worse – but only by a small increment.

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The church’s role in U.S. racism

With the #TakeAKnee movement growing, what do you think the Church’s role in racism in the US is?

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Islamophobia: misinformation and blatant lies

Lots of people are worked up with fear and misinformation. Sometimes it seems that facts just don’t matter anymore. But don’t give up! Keep paying your dues to the reality club and keep your Islamophobia decoder ring handy. Don’t let people who are taken in by every anti-Muslim snake-oil salesman that comes around derail your commitment to what I think Jesus would want us to do: to treat “the other” with respect and dignity. Practice hospitality. Build genuine relationships with those who are excluded or lied about. And maybe, “all of a sudden,” a whole new world will emerge.

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That Time a Woman Stood up in Church and Called Me a Muslim

By Bert Montgomery for Patheos

When my friend Sue first met Tom, whom she would eventually marry, he was introduced to her as a Sunday School teacher at a Baptist church. Her immediate response was, “you don’t look like a Baptist Sunday School teacher!”

Sue had a mental template, a way of categorizing what Baptist Sunday School teachers should look, dress, and act like. Tom didn’t fit any of those things. Her mind scrambled to categorize him so she could know how she should speak to him, how she should relate to him. But, in her mind’s filing system, Tom was not anywhere close to her “Sunday School teacher” box. (By the way, Tom was, and still is, a Sunday School teacher at a Baptist church; and he still doesn’t look the part).

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Is God punishing Texas & Florida for the governments they elected or … ?

Many in the Right Wing fringe blamed Hurricane Sandy and other disasters on gays and Liberals. Could it be time to analyze why Texas and Florida are the two states that God sent Hurricanes to decimate this season?

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How You Become Like Your Enemies

I think this is what Jesus was warning us about when he told us to turn the other cheek. A punch in the cheek seems to demand a punch on the cheek in return. However, whether you “win” or not by punching the other person, the other side has controlled you and gotten you to play their game. Play this out long term, and you realize there is no winning as life simply deteriorates into an endless game of king of the hill where no one stays on top for long.

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What “Men on Boats” tell us about American History

“Men on Boats” is more than just a belly of laughs about ten men in four boats surveying an uncharted canyon. “Men on Boats” is an eye-opening and provocative comedy/drama about the polemics of white cisgender male power and privilege to conquer the wilderness girded by their unflinching God-given belief in the 19th-century doctrine of Manifest Destiny to do so. Also, these men had the power and privilege to write America’s history of exploring westward to spread “democracy” by conquering anything and anyone in their way.

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Race, Drugs, and Prisons

The War on Drugs has failed to reduce drug use but it has succeeded in the original plan of the Nixon administration which was to incarcerate minorities and political dissidents. In a magazine interview in 2016, John Ehrlichman confessed, “Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

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The Gospel Is Not Good News For Everyone

By Alexis James Waggoner for Sojourners

I’ve been operating under a false assumption. An unexamined theology, of my own making, that I have been forced to confront: The gospel is good news, but it is not good news for all. At least not in the way we want it to be.

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Support LGBTQ students with these resources

86% of LGBTQ students report being harassed at school. Jewlyes Gutierrez, a transgender teenager, reported bullying to her vice-principal for two years without recourse. Pushed to physically defend herself, she faced criminal assault charges while her two attackers only received suspensions.

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Broken for Good

BROKEN FOR GOOD takes the general public on a wild ride into the upside down world of nonprofit management. Hailed as both provocative and uplifting BFG uses an “emperor has no clothes” approach to confront the “crazy-making” that’s paralyzed the charitable sector for the past fifty years. Relying on vivid story-telling BROKEN FOR GOOD “challenges the existing order of things” inspiring society to solve global problems by first transforming the nonprofits in whom they invest.

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Spiritual Care During Times of Disaster

Spiritual health can often be a casualty of war in times of unprecedented upheaval and change. There are a number of shifts that occur in times of disaster in regards to an individual’s faith, beliefs and spiritual practices. I think sometimes this can get neglected or overlooked, especially by mainstream media coverage, and yet it is every bit as important as our emotional and physical well-being. People not only seek the basic survival needs – shelter, safety, water, food, sanitation and sleep – but they also yearn to make meaning of what is happening in relation to God and in relation to each other.

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Family and Politics: Why I’m Against ‘Keeping the Peace’

There are times when we need to speak up.

We live in an age of sharp division. According to the Pew Research Center, an “overwhelming majority” of Americans (86%) believe the country is more politically divided than it has ever been before. These political and ideological differences aren’t merely a matter of red or blue states; these same sharp divisions exist within many families, potentially alienating parents from children, sisters from brothers. When we disagree with those we love about some of our most closely held beliefs, must keeping the peace always mean keeping quiet?

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Happy 150th Birthday to LGBTI Activism

August 29 2017 marks the 150th birthday of LGBTI activism, which all started with Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, the father of LGBTI activism and the first modern gay man.

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Confluence

  It’s the coming together sometimes in not so wonderful ways sometimes with the cleansing power of justice like an ever rolling stream. I used to watch the mighty Ohio as a young boy. At the convergence …

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