This picture has been going viral lately.
It is easy to draw conclusions from it. You see a homeless man with a sign asking for money. Standing next to him is a Wal-Mart employee with a “Hiring” sign. The Wal-Mart employee is looking right at the homeless man (as if to invite him to apply), but the homeless man is not looking at the Wal-Mart employee.read more
Like a cosmic singularity, the jam was so tight and strong, so energetic and energizing, that it ended with a Big Bang. The movement really began when the marchlesss marches ended, after the long waits at crowded subway stations. We got home, turned on our screens and gazed awestruck at the images of ourselves standing shoulder-to-shoulder, filling squares and boulevards and bridges, spilling into side-streets. Now we move from protest into organized, long-term activism to stop the inhumane, immoral, and unpopular agenda of Trump and the Republicans.read more
We know, deep down in our being, that we are all connected. We have this fundamental knowledge. It’s instinctive. It’s just something that is just known in the universe.
We know all humans are brothers and sisters. It follows that we have a responsibility to each other that stems from that relationship.
When we see someone suffering, we instinctively feel it, too. We know they are a part of us. We feel their pain, too. Their pain is our pain. Despite the unjust world we see before us, with its patterns of death, decay and misery, in ways we are at a total loss to explain, despite all evidence to the contrary, we know deep in our bones that nobody wins unless everybody wins, and that this is a fundamental law written into the very fabric of the universe.read more
… keep awake–Christ may come suddenly and find you asleep. So be prepared. Keep awake! Watch for we know not when Christ comes. Watch, so that you might be found whenever and wherever Christ comes. Prepare the way for Christ.read more
In a world so filled with forced migration and walls of division, the three Abrahmic faith traditions can share a common pilgrimage of faith over belief. It is an act of trust. Put another way, it is an act of submission that draws one into another kind of journey. In this sense, all children of Abraham are “muslims.”read more
“You don’t know when you will die, celebrate tonight, you don’t know when light will dawn, celebrate the storm…”read more
Gentrification of neighborhoods always disrupts existing communities within them. In the past several years, Harlem’s empty lots and burned-out buildings have sprung up luxury condos, upscale restaurants, boutique shops, hotels, B&Bs, and unimaginable improved services in an area the city had long forgotten. And the resentment of this shift has targeted both Harlem’s recent and life-long LGBTQ communities.read more
But why not all of them? Surely that’s the biblical answer to the “how many can we take?” question. Every single last one.read more
Since the very beginning, Xavier Rudd’s ability to connect with people has been his most powerful gift. The more he has toured the world, the more hearts he has touched and the more of the world he has put back into his music.read more
Even non-theists and progressive Christian types love to sing Christmas carols. And, as the British atheist, Alain de Botton, once said, “Religions are intermittently too useful, effective and intelligent to be abandoned to the religious alone.” The annual observance of one holy nativity is the perennial reminder to respect and beatify the dignity and sacredness of every birth, everywhere.read more
Although Christmas is mostly thought of in terms of feasting and celebrating, Jesus’s, birth — like his death — was born of struggle, and that struggle was to be fully accepted. Similarly, when I think of the birth of Jesus, one of the themes that looms large for me is LGBTQ youth and young adult homelessness.read more
Like many others, the Thanksgiving holiday is another reason I love the autumn season. The occasion gives us the allocation of a few fleeting moments to pause and express appreciation for whatever we have, but only for the time being.
In a world either terrorized or abused by those who have little regard for it, it has become downright dangerous and nearly complicit, to encourage the illusory notion of any sweet by-and-by; expecially for those who can’t seem to wait for it. If there is to be any knockin’ on heaven’s door, the place is always here, and the time is always now.
Since none of us can imagine with any certainty whatsoever that unknown reality from whence we have all come, all we can really know is what is. And, considering all those most authentic, very earthy and non-religious parables Jesus used to try to describe a “reign of God” – or, if you prefer, “kingdom of heaven” – they all seemed to be very much of this earth, and the stuff of daily life.
I do not believe in any afterlife of my own. And I’m done with any notion of a heaven that is anywhere else than on the face of this earth; with whatever we make of it, and for the time being. The poet, Robert Browning, once wrote, “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?” The painfully obvious fact that we have so utterly failed to grasp such a paradise, does not yet mean we should hold back our reach of it.read more
“I don’t come here to hand out a sandwich, that is just a tool. I come here only to show my love for a fellow human being. To recognize them as a person, to recognize them in their dignity, in their god given dignity that is in them. And no police and no force in this country can stop me from loving them. And that’s why I’m here.”read more
(My office hosted a group of Tibetan monks, who made a mandala in our Fishbowl Room at the USC Office of Religious Life. I watched them create it over the course of a week, and then watched as they ritually destroyed it in an elaborate ceremony. As I watched them sweep their creation away, I wept for mother, who had died the week before. After 88 years of creating her life, it was swept away like the sand of the mandala.)read more
In a powerful speech to a joint session of Congress Thursday morning, Pope Francis pushed the United States to confront several political issues that tend to divide Republicans and Democrats, including immigration, climate change, the Iran deal, Cuba, poverty, and the death penalty.read more