We Can Stop the GOP’s Disenfranchisement of Black, Trans Voters

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has voiced opposition to making Election Day a federal holiday. However, allowing American voters a more accessible and a stress-free trip to their voting precincts should be a no-brainer. And, H.R.1 — For the People Act of 2019 would do just that.

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Justifying the Inexcusable

An economic system is nothing more than the agreed upon method of distributing resources. Any nation can change their economic system if it isn’t working for the best interests of the majority of the citizens. Our economic system has become much worse since Dorothy Day called it a “filthy rotten system” almost a century ago. We don’t have to accept it. In fact, we must not.

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Thanksgiving: The original hate crime

Thanksgiving is an excellent time to give a closer look at the rising escalation of hate crimes in America- its origin and its legacy.

America’s origin of hate crimes can be traced with the treatment of Native Americans and how America celebrates Thanksgiving. For many Native Americans, Thanksgiving is not a cause of celebration, but rather a National Day of Mourning.

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Cancers Grow from Within

Though art and movies usually portray villains as being hideous, the truth is that the most evil temptations are usually irresistibly attractive. Israeli scholar, Yuval Noah Harari, has written about how we are drifting towards fascism in the west, not by conscious decisions, but by being tempted towards tribal power and justification of prejudice. To avoid fascism, we have to be aware that we really don’t want to go down that path, even when our personal tribe might have momentary successes.

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Please tell me that I am wrong

The news headlines paint a consistent picture, and it’s frightening. From only the last few days: A mob at a Trump/Cruz rally chants “Lock him up, lock him up”, referring to Beto O’Rourke, the Democrat running for a senate seat from TX. A man on an airplane grabs a women’s body, “because President Trump said it was ok”. A Republican congressman says that George Soros is paying members of the Central American caravan heading north, and someone plants a bomb at Soros’ house. Other bombs are sent to CNN, Holder, Biden, Hillary, Obama, and more being discovered even as I write. Meanwhile the billionaires are buying land in New Zealand, preparing for the demise of the very system that created their wealth, blindly believing that the south Pacific will be exempt from the apocalypse.

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Confronting the Denial of American White Racism (Part 4 of 4)

Intergenerational White Victimhood

For my last installment on the topic of ‘Confronting the Denial of American White Racism’, I humbly submit a discussion on the pervasiveness of white victimhood through generations of American history; in fact, I call it: ‘Intergenerational White Victimhood’ (a psychological theory I’m developing). The basis for my research comes from a Newsweek/Gallup Survey, August 19, 1969, one year after the death of Dr. King, revealing that 44% of whites believed that black people had a better chance than they did at obtaining employment and earning a higher wage. 88%, in the same survey, outright stated that their chances were worse, insisting that they knew this to be true, not just a mere belief. Moreover, 80% of whites said that black people already possessed equal or better educational opportunities as well; only 17% of whites said otherwise (3% were indifferent). Remember, we are talking about 1969…

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Confronting the Denial of American White Racism (Part 3 of 4)

The Protests will NOT Stop!

On Tuesday evening, I joined the distressed voices of many freedom fighters protesting the brutal murder of Stephon Clark by the Sacramento Police Department. We converged upon city hall to confront SacPD, the mayor, and the city council, letting them know, in a way that we (the people) deemed necessary, we will no longer stand for the intimidation, violation, brutalization, and killing of our neighbors, especially those of color. As has been well documented, America has a history of oppressing communities of color through city, county and state police units. The citizens of Sacramento, CA want to make it abundantly clear: NO ON OUR STREETS! This ain’t Alabama; this ain’t Mississippi, or any of those other good ole’ boy, backwoods, country, down home states; this is California, and we will act by any means necessary before we allow state executions in our streets—any means necessary!

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Resisting With Our Feet

(and our hands and our hearts)

Bless the hands that vote. Ask people you meet: “With which hand will you be voting in November?” Grasp that hand, look the person in the eyes, and bless them, saying: “May love guide your hand to vote for the common good.” Voting is a ritual. By putting even more ritual into it, by getting people implicitly committing to vote, we engage them in the ritual and increase the likelihood that they’ll show up and do it.

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Confronting the Denial of American White Racism (Part 2 of 4)

About five years ago, my best friends and I sat down at Leatherby’s Ice Cream one evening, and we began to discuss race relations in America. Three of us at the table recognized the fact that (systemic) racism was still a problem, while one of us was vehemently maintaining that it was not. We tried to have a conversation about this friend’s own white denial of racism, but this friend was NOT having any of that conversation. This friend became flustered, red, and angry at the entire discussion. Yes, this friend is a white male; one who in no way, shape, or form wanted to converse about American white racism. I knew, right then, this was not only a social issue, it was psychological. (It’s also spiritual, but that’s another post.)

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It’s Bumpersticker Season!

A lot of people think they know what Christians are against:  gays, lesbians, the right to an abortion, other religions – and the list goes on.

But do they know what Christians are for?

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Be Subject to the Governing Authorities

Within the last few days, Attorney General Sessions and Press Secretary Sarah Sanders each invoked biblical authority to justify the separation of parents and children seeking entry into the country. The reference was to Paul’s letter to the Jewish Christians in Rome to whom he advised “be subject to the governing authorities”, who are put there by God. Through the ages, this phrase has been used by slave owners to justify slavery, by Nazis to justify extermination, by Royalists in pre-revolution America to insist on loyalty to the king, and by just about anyone who wanted to promote dictatorship.

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Progressives & Democrats must be strategic if we are to win 2018

It is important that we point out problems we all perceive within the Democratic Party or within Progressive groups that fall out of scope with the tenets of the party or Progressive values.

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Independence Day Celebration for Whom?

When patriotism is narrowly defined, as it is today, it can only be accepted and exhibited within the constraints of its own intolerance, and narrow worldview, like Trump’s travel ban (a.ka. Muslim Ban), upheld last week by SCOTUS in a 5-4 decision.

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Political Salesmanship and Christian Morality

  The reason I speak to them in parables is that ‘seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand.’ (Matthew 13:13)   Has overt Christian involvement in politics made public …

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Playing Favorites

The Problem with Blessings and Curses

“Have a blest day?” What in this world does that mean? Better luck or good karma, instead of bad? In the ancient world, denoting someone as “blest” was a way of expressing a deity’s special favor towards that person. If that sounds quaint, there are still plenty of people today who believe they can curry favor or improve the odds of achieving more blessings than curses; while politicians routinely conclude their speeches by invoking the Almighty to bless the good ‘ol USA. There’s just one problem. It doesn’t work.

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A warning to Democratic Party, don’t let the party lose its progressive soul

Today’s show is a continuation of many shows I’ve done before. It is an urging of Democrats to not fall into the Republican-lite trap that started with Bill Clinton’s triangulation. The party has been following that tenet ever since. It should be noted that Bill Clinton was never the political juggernaut as many would have you believe. But I will leave that for the blog of the week.

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My Year of Preaching with Donald Trump

As a theologian and minister, how can I not address these weekly rants by the President in my sermons? How can I not stand up and denounce xenophobia? His bullying discourse and reprehensible behavior? How can I not stand up for justice and compassion for the broken, the marginalized, and the forgotten people of this world? How can I not remind people that an “eye for an eye” is attitude that will leave all of us blind, and that a nation only thrives when all its citizens are thriving?

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What does the Advent season call us to do in troubled times?

A Trump presidency is what I can best depict as a “disastrous opportunity,” because it encourages an intersectional dialogue as well as activism against potential erosion if not dismantling of decades-long civil rights gains. Americans on the margins have the most to lose in a country pivoting away from their full protections and participation in a multicultural democracy.

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