Another black Harvard man arrested

Racial profiling immediately comes to mind when we hear of an incident with white police involving black and brown males. And with Ohene, a Harvard student, you wonder if he were a white student standing naked and obviously in distress along Cambridge Common in Harvard Square would he had been so dehumanized and humiliated.

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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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Meeting hate with love.

Be like the peacemakers. Be like those who do not fight violence with violence. Find common humanity and celebrate it. Talk with people. Love people. Because hate does not dispel hate. Darkness cannot take darkness away. Only light can do that. Only love can cure what ails us.

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MLK’s assassination reminds nation of unaddressed gun violence

The 50th anniversary of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination is sadly a searing reminder of unaddressed gun violence in America. And, because gun violence has gone unaddressed for half a century, future generations of children residing in a safer and healthier America MLK spoke about so dreamingly in his speeches now in 2018 live in fear of guns -when they are not running scared for their lives from them.

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Prophets and Martyrs

This week we mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Last month was the 50th anniversary of the My Lai Massacre and this June we will reach the 50th anniversary of the killing of Robert Kennedy. These events remembered within the martyr account in the gospel’s passion narrative give us reason to look more deeply into the meaning of Easter, beyond a childish hope for eternal life, there is the challenge to be a prophet who refuses to be afraid.

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Easter Encouragement for the Journey

Remember that resurrection is more than mere resuscitation! It is life transformed!
It is faith in possibilities, when others are convinced of inevitability.

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Those Who Are Christ in Our Midst

I understand the very essence of Christ through the suffering of people. For example, twenty years ago this June, the remote east Texas town of Jasper consumed the nation’s attention because of a heinous crime against a forty-nine-year-old vacuum cleaner salesman named James Byrd, Jr. Walking home after a party one night, Byrd was offered a ride by some passersby. Little did he know that he would soon be chained by his ankles to the back of a pick-up truck and dragged to his death – because he was black.

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And the Children Shall Lead Us

I have no problem with people owning rifles and pistols, but I have a real hard time when I hear them talk about their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, which could theoretically include tanks, artillery, machine guns, and bazookas.

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“Prayer for Abundant Living”

O God of empty tombs and resurrection living:
Make us mindful of the pervasiveness of hope, 
the determination of faith, 
and the persistence of love.  

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The Integrity of Nonviolence

Nonviolence needs to be the means as well as the end to which we advocate and bear witness.

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Boys With Guns: The American Eschatology

It’s time to openly grieve for what we’ve lost. Only then can we have the conversation about what happens next.

It’s time for the “boys carrying pain” conversation. Only then can we have the “boys carrying guns” conversation.

It’s time to ask ourselves what MEN look like when they are spiritually mature, confident in their willingness, and powerful in their ability to love and forgive.

Only then can we recognize these men when we meet them.

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On Being Woke

Beyond all of the political and policy issues around the Russian hacking of the 2016 election, there remains the embarrassing moral awareness that this was not a hacking of voting machines or the electronics of media agencies. The Russians appealed to the prejudices of voters. They stoked belief in conspiracy theories rooted in hatred of Hillary Clinton. Our vulnerability to being led around by our ignorance and vitriol is a spiritual issue and not a complimentary one. It is time for us to awaken to a deeper connection to the truth.

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Prioritizing Our Values With Regard To Violence In Our Society

What is more violent than war? We are a country that is not only in perpetual war, but have successfully subverted opposition to war by diverting our attention to other things and brandishing anyone who objects to our violence-based methods and agendas as unpatriotic. Moreover, we have aggrandized militarism by countless monuments and memorials to war.

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The ONE sure way to stop future school killing atrocities – NOT with sissy promises of “thoughts and prayers”

As a spiritual theologian who has written at length on prayer and spirituality and on the mystics and prophets who know something about prayer, I am sick and tired of the insult that is hurled at prayer every time a politician stands up to shed tears over gun violence in schools (or night clubs or concerts or churches, etc. etc) while behind the scenes he is in bed with the NRA.

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After the MLK Assassination: Why “Oakland was not for burning!”

Major rioting broke out in many American cities after the April 4, 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King. There was significant rioting in 100 cities, with the worst taking place in Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Kansas City. Property damage and loss of life were rampant and much of the land was engulfed in grief and fear.

But Oakland, with a large African-American population long in conflict with local police, had no significant rioting, despite a shootout between OPD and the Black Panther Party which resulted in the death of 18 year old Bobbie Hutton and the wounding of Eldridge Cleaver, BPP Minister of Information and the well known author of “Soul on Ice.”

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The Spirituality of Nonviolence

There are two truths about practicing nonviolence that even many proponents of nonviolence often do not understand: 1) that while we may hope for world solutions by using the methods of nonviolence, the basis for being nonviolent has to be spiritually derived if such solutions are to be achieved; 2) the beauty of nonviolence lies not in its success rate in changing one’s enemies or achieving world solutions, but rather in granting purpose, meaning, and integrity to the lives of those who practice it.

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Kicking the Darkness Until it Bleeds Daylight

This is the sermon I delivered in the wake of the Sandy Hook mass murder just over five years ago. I offer it again today after the same horror has been visited upon us again.

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Haiti: A Case Study in Social In/Justice

How does one define social justice or social injustice in a situation such as this? There seems no question that the injustice side would include the slave trade itself, the impoverishment of a free nation by greedy boycott, crippling interest rates, and the invasion of a free state by an army basically doing the will of the foreign wealthy. Beyond that, the issue is more complicated. Given the difficulties of a poor nation absorbing refugees, a problem endemic in many parts of the world, the reaction of the Bahamas seems to be a balancing act of treating others justly while also treating one’s own citizens fairly. There are no simple answers. Defining social justice is no easy matter.

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