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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Occupy Love

Could the crisis of our time become a love story? This moving, transformative, and heartfelt film explores how love can unite as much as greed can divide.

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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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“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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#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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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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Recycling Our Lives, Recycling Our Religion

How can we re-use, re-purpose, recycle, reduce, and even compost the incidents and memories and experiences and trajectories of our lives into a new narrative that serves us and others better?

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“In the Bleak Midwinter” — New Verse to Old Carol

This carol features words by 19th century English poet Christina Rossetti which were set to music by composer Gustav Holst.

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Jesus as Critic of Hypocrisy, Then and Now

The very lifestyle chosen by Jesus showed little concern for the separateness purity required. Jesus was a practicing Jew who observed the Sabbath and kosher requirements; but he objected to the pride, self-righteousness, and pettiness of criticisms by scribes and Pharisees as he emphasized serving God through ethical action more than ritual observance. Jesus did not criticize purity in temple worship; however, extending temple purity to normal life resulted in focus on oneself rather than on ethical behavior toward others. His emphasis was on serving God through actions that recognized the rule of God now and helped prepare for complete realization of God’s sovereignty and justice in the future. Present and future depended on actions now.

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Why Progressives Need God: An Ethical Defence Of Monotheism

Environmental destruction, poverty in the midst of obscene wealth, one war after another. Our biggest crises are getting worse. Secularism makes this inevitable by denying any moral authority higher than the ruling classes. By contrast, religious traditions offer accounts of who made us, for what purpose and how we should live, but whilst some are more constructive than others it is only monotheism, defined as divine harmony, that provides the philosophical and ethical framework necessary for people to lead better lives. Drawing on cultural analysis, political philosophy, Christian apologetics and theodicy the author shows why, in order to resolve our crises, progressives need to reaffirm the goodness of the natural environment as a blessing from a good god.

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Spiritual Acceptance

  Acceptance is saying “what is is.” Acceptance The more we fight with reality, the less smoothly our lives go. The spiritual word for “not fighting with reality” is acceptance. (The religious word is surrender.) The more …

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