Interview with Toni Renolds – “What is the story of your faith journey?”

Toni Reynolds, a Union Theological Seminary student and “Young Leader in Religion”, shares her thoughts on what it means to be a Christian.

These interviews were conducted by ProgressiveChristianity.org at a Westar meeting as part of a series on Christianity, spirituality, religion, church, God, Jesus, sacred community, social justice, youth, and social transformation. More to come soon!

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Yes, Trump is a white nationalist but remembering he is screwing us all

This is the week where many Trump supporters are realizing the evils Trump represent. But let’s not take our eyes off of the ball. While it is clear that by his actions Trump must be considered a white nationalist, it is only a tool to achieve his destructive agenda. So as we cover all the Alt-Right stories, let’s not forget to expose all the sabotage on many fronts effected by the Trump administration and the Republicans.

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Race in America

The removal of Confederate memorials from government properties and the racist tensions created by these decisions becomes an opportunity to have a serious conversation about America’s original sin of slavery and the lingering racism that still haunts this nation. Donald Trump’s failure to provide clear leadership in the midst of the current racial crisis also demands the serious consideration of everyone who hopes for a better America.

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Say Something

We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.

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“They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our . . .”

The other day a friend sent me a good story that has been around a long time, but it’s still as relevant as it was the first time I heard it.

I have no idea if this really happened, but every time I hear this story, I take a self-inventory. I ask myself: Could anyone tell that I am a faith-based person by my actions? What are my prejudices? Do they control me, or do I control them? Would folks know that I am a faith-based person without me telling them?

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How America Really Lost its Mind: Hint, it wasn’t entirely the fault of Hippie New Agers and Postmodern Academics

By Christopher Douglas

Kurt Andersen in the Atlantic has given us a superb think-piece on how we arrived at our post-truth irrationalism, an American “Fantasyland” dominated by conspiracy theories, paranoia, outlandish ideas, fake news and alternative facts. The new information age accelerated the relativism birthed in the 1960s, Andersen contends, and now we can all mentally furnish our own fantastic dwellings with facts and ideas we want to be true—and we can even find countless likeminded individuals on the Internet who will confirm and embellish our deepest alternate realities.

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Lambda Legal Blasts Trump and the DOJ Over Plans to Undermine and Sabotage Affirmative Action Policies, Dismantling Civil Rights Progress and Targeting of People of Color

  DOJ’s Plans to Continue Unraveling Civil Rights Progress Comes Just A Week After Trump Levies Series of Attacks on LGBT People Washington, DC – Today, Lambda Legal CEO Rachel B. Tiven blasted the Trump administration and …

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Bootstraps

People are not poor because they don’t work hard enough. In fact, many of them work harder than the wealthy–they have to, because their very survival depends on it. Vacations and “down time” are a luxury that the poor simply can not afford. Let’s look at Africa: Poverty is extreme, but there is no shortage of brilliant entrepreneurs doing amazing things to keep their families alive. Still, it’s not enough. The full weight of a system that works against them is often too much. Millions and millions of people are just barely surviving, despite their best efforts.

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Spirituality Beyond Theism

All religions combine belief with behaviors but the crucial divide between traditionalists and progressives comes down to this: Traditionalists emphasize right belief while progressives emphasize ethical behavior. Many of us have given up on orthodoxy to become entirely devoted to orthopraxy.

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Nearly 1,000 People of Faith and Religious Leaders Urge Senators to Protect Comprehensive, Affordable Health Care

Washington, D.C.—As lawmakers debate plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), people of faith and religious leaders are speaking out in defense of “comprehensive, affordable health care for all.” In a statement released today, nearly 1,000 people of faith and religious leaders proclaim that “stripping access to health care from millions of people is immoral and unjust.”

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Trump’s war on transgender service members

This week LGBTQ Americans received a one-two punch from the Trump administration.
The first punch was President Trump’s ban against transgender service members. In his inimitable style of communicating to the American public the order came in the form of a tweet:
“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” Trump tweeted. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you”

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Income Disparity: The Lethal DisEase

The growing gap between the incomes of the rich and the much smaller incomes of the poor poses the greatest threat to our nation’s future as a democracy. While Eastern European nations have managed to erect reasonable “guard rails” on capitalism that distribute wealth in a way that has eradicated the worst ills of poverty, the United States seems to be going in the opposite direction, hastening our own demise.

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Do Your Job – Part IV

Part 4 of a 4-Part Series

In his World Peace Day Message for 2017 Pope Francis states, “To be true followers of Jesus today also includes embracing his teaching about nonviolence.” This is a fine example of a bishop being what a bishop is commissioned to be by Jesus (Mt 28:19). He is teaching the disciples of Jesus “to obey all that I have commanded you.”

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3 Reasons Catholic Bishops are Holding their Tongues on GOP Health Care Debacle

By Patricia Miller for Patheos

When President Obama proposed requiring health plans to cover common contraceptives without charge, the Catholic bishops howled like the world was coming to an end. Dire warnings about the future of religious liberty were issued on a regular basis by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, then-head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, who personally went to the White House to complain to Obama. A special committee was formed. Legislators were lobbied. Lay Catholics were called on to protest. A scorching letter was read aloud by bishops at masses across the country. And threats were made about the Catholic vote in 2012.

But now, even as the clearly deceptive and immoral Trump administration plunges further into chaos and the Republican Party uses it as a distraction as it plots to take health care away from millions, the nation’s Catholic bishops have remained largely silent.

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America Will Be Great When…

The campaign cry of “make America great again” presumes that there was some halcyon time of American greatness that has been lost. Given our history of slavery, segregation, discrimination, unprovoked wars, and class disparity it is clear that unless you were white, male, and wealthy, America’s greatness is not something from the past wanting to be restored, but it is something yet to be realized in our potential future. America could be great but becoming great depends upon our willingness to make substantive changes in the direction of giving both freedom and justice to all.

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Carne y Arena: “Flesh and Sand”

Alejandro Inarritu drops a depth-charge into the souls of all who experience Carne y Arena. And he cuts a new trail in the desert of Hollywood toward a promised land of kindness and justice. Let us walk it through political action for protecting the undocumented in our midst, and let us follow him in employing this entertainment technology for social and spiritual progress.

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Do Your Job – Part III

Part 3 of a 4-Part Series

An institution is a humanly created means to achieve an end. All the activities within it are designed by human beings to reach that end. An institution is like a hammer. It is a tool devised by humans to do a job. But, the hammer in order to do the job for which it was developed, e.g. put a nail in a piece of wood, must be employed according to its own intrinsic logic. The handle is held and the head of the hammer hits the top of the nail. To use a hammer contrary to its own logic, for example, to hold the head of the hammer and hit the side of the nail with the handle, is to misuse the tool and render it ineffective to achieve the end for which it was created. Once the tool is chosen its intrinsic logic must be obeyed. 

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The Prodigal Pig

You can call me Wilbur. No, you are not hallucinating: I can talk. And yes, as you can see if you look carefully, I have been circumcised. And no, I do not recommend having it done unless you are an infant who won’t be able to remember.

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