Why some faith leaders see net neutrality as a religious issue

By Kelsey Dallas for Deseret News

Since the FCC’s decision last month, religious leaders have been circulating a petition that describes net neutrality as a moral issue. Nurturing a fair society includes protecting the open internet, although the connection between the two may be less obvious than feeding the hungry or caring for the sick, said Cheryl Leanza, a policy adviser on media advocacy for the United Church of Christ and co-founder of Faithful Internet.

“The internet has been one of the greatest levelers we’ve ever had,” she said.

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How Did We Get Here?

By Shane Phipps for Patheos

Welcome to Bizarro World. For more than a year now, millions of Americans have been walking around in disbelief. I’ve been struggling to put my thoughts on this into words for a while now. A quick perusal of my archives will reveal dozens of attempts to express my exasperation. Sometimes I fear I’m caught in a Groundhog Day scenario where I get up and write the same article day after day. I keep searching for a new way to say what I need to say in a way that satisfies. In the past 24 hours I have happened across a couple of bits of wisdom that have helped crystalize my thoughts enough to try, once again, to tackle the question that’s been eating away at me for months; how did we get here?

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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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Why Progressives Need God: An Ethical Defence Of Monotheism

Environmental destruction, poverty in the midst of obscene wealth, one war after another. Our biggest crises are getting worse. Secularism makes this inevitable by denying any moral authority higher than the ruling classes. By contrast, religious traditions offer accounts of who made us, for what purpose and how we should live, but whilst some are more constructive than others it is only monotheism, defined as divine harmony, that provides the philosophical and ethical framework necessary for people to lead better lives. Drawing on cultural analysis, political philosophy, Christian apologetics and theodicy the author shows why, in order to resolve our crises, progressives need to reaffirm the goodness of the natural environment as a blessing from a good god.

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Lessons in Political Theology from Jerusalem

On Wednesday (12/6/17), President Trump announced a dramatic change in Middle East policy by declaring the United States would move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Most Israelis were thrilled. The government of Israel declared Jerusalem to be its eternal capital in 1980. What is important to note about this declaration is that it is an expression of Jewish nationalism. The claim has little support in Jewish history or from Jewish scriptures.

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Watch Night with Simeon and Anna: Recommit to Racial Justice in 2018

By Leah D. Schade for Patheos

As a white clergy person, I had to learn the history of the Watch Night tradition. While it began with the Moravians in 1733, the service took on special significance for African Americans on the eve of January 1, 1863. That was when Abraham Lincoln designated that the Emancipation Proclamation would become law.
Read more at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/ecopreacher/2017/12/watch-night-simeon-anna-racial-justice/#4EvjxC2kIZbv1SzG.99

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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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Church, State, and Compassion

In a 2016 survey by the Pew Research Center, 23% of Americans said they have no religious affiliation, up from 16% in 2007. In 2017, 59% said it is not necessary to believe in God in order to be moral and have good values, an increase of 7% in three years. Fewer than 40% of Americans report attending church on a weekly basis, but that number is probably inflated according to church leaders, who say fewer than 20% are in church on any given Sunday.

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If I Lose My Faith

In Alabama’s special election this week, more than 70% of white voters, most of whom are church going Christians, voted for a known racist, homophobe, xenophobe, Islamophobe, who was very credibly charged with multiple counts of pedophilia. There is a serious disconnect between the message of the gospels and public ethic on display here, a gap we must insist upon closing.

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The New Jim Crow targets LGBTQ Americans, too

As a black lesbian in this Trump administration, I now feel like I am moving into a new Jim Crow era reestablishing discriminatory laws targeting LGBTQ Americans. I grew up knowing about racist placards that said “Colored Water Fountain,” “Waiting Room For Colored Only,”We Serve Whites Only, and “No N-word Allowed, to name a few.

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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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Should the sins of our spouses fall on us?

Democratic Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg, 68, looked heartbroken, shocked and devastated during an impromptu press conference outside of his office at the State House where he publicly addressed allegations that his spouse, Bryon Hefner, 38, groped and assaulted four men who do business before the Senate.

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If not for our sins, then why did Jesus die?

Sir, with all due respect, you shared well concerning how Jesus did not die because of sins. Please share your views on the reason or why Jesus died.

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Progressives must have a litmus test to secure the grassroots

Progressives must be strategic & opportunistic to make this year an electoral wave
If Progressives want to change America, if Progressives wish to reverse the juggernaut that is effectively destroying the middle-class, it is time to do the work the right way, and to support policies Americans can see will help their everyday lives. Nothing else will convince the voters to give up the status quo. They want folks who will fight for them not only with words but with deeds.

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Paul for the People: John Dominic Crossan Imagines a “Letter to the Americans” in His New Video Series

By Peter Laarman for Religion Dispatches

Crossan follows 201o’s “The Challenge of Jesus” with the newly released “The Challenge of Paul,” available free of charge to up to 1,000 congregations, colleges, or seminaries.

Intrigued by the idea of bringing high-end critical pedagogy to the people, I asked Crossan how his passion for biblical studies led him to want to engage with laypeople – and what that experience has been like.

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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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Addendum to book: Sixth Extinction ?

In recent years biosphere degradation has been forcing many scientists and nonscientists to focus
attention on the interacting dangers within the relationship between our human species and this
planet. Many are concluding that we humans have become an ecological force contrary to
biosphere stabilization and that this is so serious it could lead to our extinction. Renowned
physicist, Stephen Hawking is now sounding the alarm. He has even predicted that we have
less than 600 years before the planet turns into, as he describes it; “a sizzling fireball.”

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Nevertheless, love.

My words in this article will implore you to live a life of love. My tone borders on zeal. You will hear echoes of the Buddha, Chasidic masters, Mother Teresa, 1 Corinthians 13, and what you know in your heart to be true. If you are not able to consider living your life in more love, please do not proceed. If you read this and do not like parts of what I write, please respond so we can both learn and grow.

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