Kicking Back Against Homophobia

“What does it mean to be queer and what does that say about your relationship with God?” An interview with Pamela Lightsey.

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A GLOBAL INTERFAITH COALITION CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE CEASEFIRE AND ADMINISTRATION OF AID IN YEMEN

Yemen is a nation in crisis. The impoverished country is facing a humanitarian crisis of mammoth proportions, including a devastating famine, in an ongoing civil war that is exacerbated by a scourge of religious violence. There is no time to spare in working to assist more than 3 million Yemenis that are displaced within the country, and over 280,000 who have sought refuge in other countries.

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God, We See in Sacred Story

God, we see in sacred story women suffering silent pain,
Living at the whim and mercy of the ones who troubled them.
What does history know of Dinah? Was she bold and smart and strong?
We just know her as the victim of a most horrendous wrong.

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Yanny’s Blue Dress. Love Haters.

If you are not familiar with this audio-clip phenomenon, you might not believe that two people can listen to the same sound, yet hear different words. If you’ve not done it, here is a link so you can try it and learn more. Listening to the same clip, some people hear “Laurel” and some people hear “Yanny.”

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The Martyrdom of Thomas Merton: An Investigation

Seldom can one predict that a book will have an effect on history, but this is such a work. Merton’s many biographers and the American press now say unanimously that he died from accidental electrocution. From a careful examination of the official record, including crime scene photographs that the authors have found that the investigating police in Thailand never saw, and from reading the letters of witnesses, they have discovered that the accidental electrocution conclusion is totally false.

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Aunt Helen, Nelson Mandela, and Donald Trump

How differently Aunt Helen, Nelson Mandela, and Donald Trump have applied the powers of positive thinking! Maybe we need a corrective text entitled, The Power of Magnanimous Thinking.

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ANIMA: Animals. Faith. Compassion.

This is great short film to get into places of worship. Please share it widely and with as many members and leaders of faith communities that you can.

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Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

I want to let you know about a religious group (“church”) that has continued to respond to new knowledge and new challenges. It is the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) founded in England in 1652 by George Fox and his colleagues.

It was founded as an improvement on the current state religion (Church of England) and the dissenting churches (Calvinism, etc.).

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Christians need be Christian and the Church to be The Church

No argument: the Christian church was complacent about standing up to Hitler and the holocaust. But … in the United States, it also failed to stand up to Vietnam. It has tolerated racism, slavery, lynching, torture, and the death penalty. It is substantially failing to stand up to climate change. And now, it is failing to stand up to Trump’s immorality, enrichment of the wealthy, military buildup, and trashing of the environment. What should our expectations be? I’m not convinced that saying “thank you” to God is adequate.

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Imagining a World Where Love is the Way (HT Bishop Curry)

By Morgan Guyton

n his sermon at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry invites all of us to “imagine a world where love is the way.” So I thought I would take a minute to do that. I will say that my first instinct sadly is to dismiss it as an overly flimsy concept reserved for a shallow Beatles song, a fake, feel-good, liberal “revolution.”

But a world where love is the way is actually a lot harder and more complex than a world where my team wins everything since we claim to be the team on love’s side. A world where love is the way is a world where empathy is not a zero sum game. It’s a world in which disagreements are not resolved through the categorically invalidating ad hominem attacks of postmodernity. It’s a world where nobody gets shot because somebody else was feeling afraid, where nobody gets mocked for crying, and where nobody’s feelings are more or less important than anyone else’s. It’s a world where the goal is not to make our enemies shut up and disappear but to sit at a table together and see each other fully.

A world where love is the way doesn’t dismiss nuance, nor does it use “nuance” to wave away uncomfortable truths. It doesn’t oversimplify the parties in one historical conflict as being identical to the parties in any other historical conflict. It doesn’t tell people that their humanity can be explained away by academic theories or sacred texts. It doesn’t apply labels to entire populations universally like terrorist or imperialist though it does recognize the existence of systemic realities like white supremacy, patriarchy, and colonialism that cannot be adjudicated individualistically. It doesn’t see suicide bombs as any more or less tragic than missiles from F-15’s, though it does recognize the reality of power differentials. In a world where love is the way, nobody is dehumanized and nobody is shielded from facing the truth.

A world where love is the way does not have gated communities or walls to shut one group of people out so that another group of people can deny them as neighbors. It doesn’t marginalize suffering but allows the widest possible community to absorb and shoulder it together. In this kind of world, no one ever says, “I am not my brother’s keeper.” No one tries to write anyone else out of the story. In a world where love is the way, every story matters and stories that haven’t mattered are prioritized as a result.
There are plenty of ways that I fall short of that kind of world. Creating it would not be nearly as glamorous or emotionally satisfying as getting off on the outrage porn that has saturated everything today. But it’s never too late to engage in the tiny, banal acts of love that are infinitely powerful when they’re all gathered together by the God who is love. In every given moment, we are invited to resist the enemy who makes us all enemies and follow the lead of the savior who is our perfect model of the love that always takes sides and always works to create the best possible world for everyone.

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Progressing Spirit

An inclusive and pioneering exploration of Theology, Spirituality and Current Events

With thousands of subscribers around the globe, Progressing Spirit is the world’s leading outlet for an intelligent, inclusive, and pioneering exploration of today’s theological, spiritual, and social advancements.

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Living the Quaker Way: Discover the Hidden Happiness in the Simple Life

The long-held priorities of Quakerism–simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality–are so universally attractive and so urgently needed in today’s world, it begs the question, Is there a little bit of Quaker in all of us? As an antidote to the complexities and challenges of modern life, award-winning author Philip Gulley offers the opportunity to participate in a world where the values of the Quaker way bring equity, peace, healing, and hope. The Quaker Way invites readers to encounter the defining commitments of the Religious Society of Friends, and shows how those ideals can be incorporated in personal and public life to bring renewal and eliminate the clutter that is keeping us from deeper spirituality. His audience is a new generation of seekers who may be disillusioned with religious institutions and strictures but yet are deeply interested in spiritual matters. In the end, Gulley’s invitation isn’t to a centuries old church, but to an honest, peaceful, and promising way of life.

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Robert O’Sullivan homily at Brookings, OR Ecumenical Observance of the 50th Anniversary of the Death of MLK

Robert O’Sullivan homily at Brookings, OR Ecumenical Observance of the 50th Anniversary of the Death of MLK

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Wangari Maathai Tribute Film

To commemorate and honor the life and work of Professor Wangari Maathai, the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) opened Forest Day 5, one of the most intensive and influential annual global events on forests, with a short video about the Nobel Laureate.

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Open Letter to White Christian community: I need your help against police harassment

I am always worried to the point of nail-biting when my spouse leaves in the morning for work if she’ll return home to me, because she’s always stopped by the Cambridge or Boston police. They don’t see the revered physician she is at the hospital where she works. Her gender non-conforming appearance and driving a brand new BMW, that many cops derisively dub as a “Black Man’s Wagon, ” makes her a constant target of suspicion. When gender identity and sexual orientation come into play, the treatment by police can be harsher. And when the police realized my spouse is a woman, and a lesbian one at that, their unbridled homophobia surfaces.

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The Synonymy of Politics and Religion

Mixing politics and religion is far more than tampering with a combustible concoction. Because politics and religion both attempt to address the same needs, dreams and desires, values and principles – they are essentially synonymous terms.

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The Darth Vaderization of America through Guns

There is a cost to living like Darth Vader. Every piece of armor replaces your own flesh and blood. Every wall between you and someone else means another wall between a part of your own self. You could drape armor over yourself, never leave home without packing firepower and be always on the lookout for danger. Somewhere along the line, perhaps in shades of gray, you lose your humanity and become a hunted beast— always on the lookout, always afraid, always griping this metal extension of your body tightly. No one can shoot you, no one can beat you . . . but is there any “you” left?

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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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