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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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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