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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Try a Little Kindness: The Politics of Engagement

I was walking with a good friend about a month ago and another white supremacist rally was in the news. “Joe, what can we do about these people?” I asked. “How do we change their hate filled values?”

“We love them,” Joe responded. “Engage with them. Stop demonizing them. That was Martin Luther King’s approach to such people.”

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Why I Love Terrorists- Video by Prince Ea

It seems like wherever we go we can’t escape conversation, media, or general fear of terrorists. In this video I share why I love terrorists and why I think we should all shift the way we think about terrorists.

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My black lesbian body is a target for police brutality

The reality of unarmed African American women- LBTQ, gender nonconforming and straight- being beaten, profiled, sexually violated and murdered by law enforcement officials with alarming regularity is too often ignored – especially with the focus of police brutality on our males.

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Cherry Picking Religion – Roy Moore’s Twisting of Faith

By Rabiah Ahmed for Patheos

The Roy Moore scandal grows everyday; there are more accusers, more accounts of disturbing behavior. But even as the evidence mounts, Moore’s defenders remain steadfast. What is most striking is the language used by his supporters to say that Moore’s predation upon minors was not only unremarkable, but somehow ordained by God.

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Worshiping the Gun God is Killing Us

By Leah D. Schade for Patheos

But we have allowed ourselves to become convinced that the sacrifice of our citizens – including children – is simply the price that must be paid to the GunGod. The GunGod is the only one who will provide. “The gun is my shepherd, I shall not want,” [from Jeff Hood’s provocative gun-hermeneutic of scripture, Apostasy: Guns, God, and Sutherland.] The gun is the answer to all of our fears, the release for all of our anger. Is the teenager’s music too loud? Shoot him. Is he wearing a hoodie that makes you feel threatened? Shoot him. Are you angry at the politician? At the ones who have mistreated you? The women who have spurned you? The family member or neighbor or motorist who piss you off? The answer is the gun, always the gun. It is the final solution.

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An Open Letter to My Brothers (in light of #MeToo)

[Note: I realize that many of you who read my reflections aren’t ‘brothers,’ but sisters and non-binary siblings. But I’ve been encouraged to share these words – originally urgently written and shared on social media – more carefully and more widely, in hopes that we male-bodied types can do better. If you are not male, I beg your indulgence – and please feel free to share this with a man in your life who could use the challenge + encouragement.]

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Christians and Gun Ownership

What are your views about so many Christians being in favor of gun ownership? Doesn’t that completely contradict the Jesus of peace we read about in the Bible?

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Long Overdue Reform of Gun Control

Not because of Vegas (or Columbine, Aurora, Virginia Tech, Orlando, Dallas, or even Sandy Hook) and not because of the 50 women who are murdered by their significant other every month, but because a predictable 32,000 Americans die every year from gunshot wounds and another 100,000 are wounded. No other western democracy comes anywhere close to our astonishingly high numbers and we cannot just nibble at the edges of this issue any longer. It isn’t “bump stocks” or semi-automatic weapons that gives us this annual bloodbath. It is primarily hand guns but on the whole, the USA is holding nearly half of the guns in the world and we just have to move in the direction of more sane and effective gun laws.

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Excuse Me, Your Idols Are Showing: Why an Athlete Kneeling is Totally Biblical

By Kerry Connelly for Patheos

Many of the people who are sputtering and red in the face over the fact that athletes are kneeling are — no surprise here — Christians. White Christians. Christians who maybe have their gods a little confused, because I’m gonna take a hot second to say here: the flag is not supposed to be your god. The national anthem is not supposed to be your god. Excuse me, but your idols are showing, because if you’re more upset by an athlete respectfully taking a knee (and I’ll talk more about that in a minute) than you are about actual human lives being lost, then you should maybe add a Bible class to that Civics class you need to take. Also, maybe a Google spreadsheet class, because that program has this handy-dandy tool where you can number things and then sort your freaking priorities.
Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jerseygirljesus/excuse-idols-showing-athletes-kneeling-totally-biblical/#wV8Kl8ROyPaRr13s.99

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Hate. No. Radical Love. Always.

The other side – no matter how vile, how much they hate me – are human beings. Stereotyping and dehumanizing them is wrong. Causing harm to them is wrong. Period.

No matter how wrong someone is, we must not treat them inhumanely.

They might be the problem. They might shout at us. They might threaten us. But hate is never the solution.

Hate is a narrowing; it makes the table more and more narrow, inviting fewer and fewer people to be with us. Love invites more people to join us.

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Civil Rights Memories 1963-64

Three years ago many classmates gathered for a fifty year reunion. It was reassuring to hear many of them tell how this civil rights involvement shaped their later careers, where in different forms and contexts they became involved in many efforts to fight the results of bigotry, injustice, poverty and ignorance. Over a dozen went to Selma in ’65. One, as a rookie pastor, founded the first integrated day care in Louisiana, shortly after finishing seminary in ’68. Many are involved these days in welcoming immigrants, fighting for health, housing and nutrition and opposing injustice and discrimination in many forms.

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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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Fear

Fear can transform our rational, mammalian brains into reptilian, fight-flight-flee, us-versus-them brains.

Fear – as many are experiencing right now – paralyzes us and robs us of our very humanity.

Fear makes us scattered.

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Prayer of Lament – Sermon Video

Prayer of Lament, in the shadow of the tragic explosion of White Supremacy that we witnessed this weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia. In solidarity with churches nationwide. Rector Mike Kinman, All Saints Church, Pasadena (CA), Sunday, August 13, 2017.

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Say Something

We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.

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Love Your Enemies (i.e. Love Yourself)

Have you ever noticed that people hate the same qualities in other people that they themselves have?

Bossy people can’t stand other bossy people. Nosy people are irritated by other nosy people. Hyper-sensitive people seem to lack patience with others.

You shake your head and think, “you just can’t make this stuff up!”

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