I’m Not With Stupid Anymore

Fascism, A Warning, Madeline Albright’s new book, asks us to seriously consider how many familiar elements of the growth of fascism in 20th century Europe are now evident in 21st century America. This is a sobering matter that demands that spiritual people to take it seriously. Bonhoeffer wrote in his letters from prison that stupidity made it possible for fascism to rise in Germany but isn’t it really complacency? And though Russia meddle in the American election in 2016, they did not hack our voting machines, they just appealed to our fear and racism and that was enough to alter the course of an election and of history. It is time for us to decide that we are “not with stupid anymore.”

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Waging a War on Poverty

No Progressive Christian and very few others for that matter need convincing that poverty in America is a Christian issue. The focus of Old Testament Law, the preaching of the prophets, and the teachings of Jesus all speak to the importance of economic justice for the poor, the weak, and the vulnerable. This theme plays a dominant role in the Bible from Genesis 1 through the Book of Revelation.

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Prayer of Confession

O God who suffers at our spiritual and ethical failings, and rejoices at the turning to virtue of our hearts and spirits: We confess that we have gone astray by our thoughts, words, and deeds. We have been irresponsible by what we have done, as well as what we have left undone.

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Watching the Watchers: Mindful Mysticism and Social Change

It is no longer paranoid fantasy to say that we are being watched all the time.

GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon) are literally studying our every move. These corporate black holes, concentrating capital and power through their monopolistic legacy positions, silently observe our physical movements, purchases, clicks, and fine-grained preferences. Cambridge Analytica watched us during the last election cycle, snatching personal data about us from Facebook and targeting misleading messages to vulnerable subgroups for the benefit the Trump campaign. Russia’s ruling kleptocracy is watching us, refining strategies to manipulate our elections. The US government is watching us, sampling our mobile phone conversations, internet activity, and even our facial expressions in airports and other public places.

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Let Them Eat Cake

“Then let them eat cake.” Whether or not Marie Antionette actually spoke these words is doubtful, but there is no doubt that these five words accurately represented the attitude of the French court towards the nation’s starving millions. Of 23 million Frenchmen prior to the revolution, 10 million subsisted on charity while 3 million begged for a morsel of bread, even as the nobility feasted sumptuously and danced gayly about Versailles. They were totally and willfully oblivious to the plight of the people.

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The Political Role of Forgiveness: Amnesty, Mulligans, and Enabling

Eleven million is a significant number. In a week when we remember six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust, let us not forget there were eleven million victims altogether because five million non-Jewish victims were also exterminated by the Nazis. This should also be a week for remembering another eleven million terrorized people – the undocumented immigrants living under an American-style terror.

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Where Charity and Love Prevail: The Matthew 25 Solidarity Test

When people express opinions about a particular issue, I always look to see how charitable they are in this. Do they take the concerns of others seriously and try their best to get to the bottom of it? Or do they simply dismiss their concerns outright without getting involved? That is often a clue as to whether their opinions are in line with Christian discipleship.

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This Guy Scares Me!

I don’t scare easily and am generally very accepting of people. However, I want to introduce you to someone who scares me and see if he scares you also.

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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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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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My Day With Sheriff Joe Arpaio

We got to go behind the curtain and see the real Wizard of Oz that day, and came away unimpressed. Arpaio was all smoke and mirrors, his blather all for show, devoid of substance. When we watched Fox “News” that night, my students were horrified at the way their conversation with him was misrepresented. At Arpaio’s jail, it was obvious that his deputies disrespected him for being more of a media maven than a sheriff. What’s so tough about a sheriff who can’t win an election or a beat a court case?

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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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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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Refugee Ship art manifestation and Manifesto on the Artist’s role in a globalized world

The world is in disarray. The changing climate sets a course towards catastrophe for the future of our children. Social inequality is growing. Populists and notorious liars are closing in on democracy’and racism creeps forward from all corners.

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Pope Francis Calls For ‘Revolution Of Tenderness’

Pope Francis delivered a stern warning to the world’s powerful, saying they need to be more humble or face ruin, and he called on the masses to join him in a “revolution of tenderness.”
In a surprise appearance via video at the TED 2017 conference in Vancouver, Canada, on Tuesday evening, the pontiff said that tenderness is “the path of choice for the strongest, most courageous men and women.”

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The Sanctuary Church Movement in Colorado Springs

ICE (the immigration agency) recognizes churches, hospitals, and schools as sanctuaries, which means they have never invaded those spaces to deport anyone. Of course, schools are only sanctuaries during the day, and hospitals only for brief hospital stays. So, sanctuary churches are important because they can take in those in danger for days, weeks, months, or longer. Most who take sanctuary are at a church for just a few months.

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Deportee (aka. “Plane Wreck at Los Gatos”)

Words by Woody Guthrie, Music by Martin Hoffman

Some of us are illegal, and some are not wanted,
Our work contract’s out and we have to move on;
Six hundred miles to that Mexican border,
They chase us like outlaws, like rustlers, like thieves.

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Top 5 Demands of Christian Hospitality

Discussions about refugees and immigrants almost invariably include people who strongly express the need to protect borders.

Pope Francis has a helpful perspective that hits the nail on the head:

A person who thinks only of building walls, wherever they may be, and not of building bridges, is not a Christian.

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