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Suzanne Ross
Raven Foundation Founder

Suzanne Ross is a co-founder of the Raven Foundation and the author of two books: The Wicked Truth: When Good People Do Bad Things and The Wicked Truth About Love: The Tangles of Desire. Suzanne is a certified Montessori pre-school teacher, a curriculum designer and workshop leader, and a former director of Christian Education at her UCC church. Her blogs also appear at Patheos and Sojourners.

Number of Entries : 164

The Rise of ISIS and the Immoral Equivalency of War

The Rise of ISIS: A Threat We Can’t Ignore by Jay Sekulow is an extended essay attempting to draw a stark distinction between good guys (the U.S. and Israel) and bad guys (ISIS and Hamas). The author’s sole purpose is to justify the destruction of the bad guys by the good guys in good conscience and without remorse. That Jay Sekulow fails in his task is in no way due to the fact that real goodness and evil ...

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Why David Brooks Needs Mimetic Theory – and So Do You

Anyone honestly interested in a solution to the emergence of ISIL in Iraq needs to learn the basics of mimetic theory. Without mimetic theory, we fall victim to catastrophic failures of logic, which lead to equally catastrophic decisions made in ignorance of our own foolishness. New York Times columnist David Brooks provides an excellent case study for my claim with his article “The Good Order”. His flawed ...

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The Lieutenant of Inishmore: Playing With Violence

If you’ve ever seen a Martin McDonagh play, you know that he finds humor in the most unlikely places and his macabre dark comedy The Lieutenant of Inishmore is no exception. Now being staged by the Chicago theater gem, AstonRep, audiences find themselves roaring with laughter at the very unfunny problem of the plague of Irish terrorism known as “The Troubles”. Scene after scene weaves together the horrific ...

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What ISIL Beheadings Can Teach Us about God and The Cross

What’s the difference between a beheading and a crucifixion? I ask the question as a Christian because we profess that a method of execution every bit as shocking, and perhaps even more cruel, than the beheader’s axe is the vehicle of our salvation. If we do not reflect upon the difference (and the disturbing similarities) between our veneration of the cross and the state support of the beheader’s axe by th ...

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From 9/11 to ISIS: Resolving the Paradox of the US War on Terror

It’s been fourteen years since our government declared war on terrorism. How are we doing? It feels like a disastrous game of Whack-A-Terrorist, doesn’t it? We kill one terrorist hiding in one hole, and out pops another one from another hole. Now we are facing the newest threat, a terrorist organization seeking to set up a nation-state, ISIS or IS, as it is called. The Islamic State, at least, would be a co ...

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Has Jesus Forgiven John Lennon’s Killer?

Mark David Chapman shot John Lennon in the back four times, killing him outside his New York City home on Dec. 8, 1980. I remember watching the news on TV at my parent’s home in New Jersey and feeling that a great light had gone out of the world. Reading about the most recent decision to deny Chapman parole, I squirmed uncomfortably at his claim that even though he understood why the law could not pardon hi ...

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Sharing Space with God: A Possible Return to Eden

Was the Garden of Eden a shared space? The answer seems obvious – yes, God created the garden and then shared it with Adam and then Eve. But there’s that little problem of the tree that God didn’t want to share. “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden,” God told his newly created companions. “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you s ...

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A Defense of the Passive Voice

Would you rather be a noun or an adjective? That was the question a friend asked herself when she decided to be known as Nance instead of Nancy. “Why be an adjective,” she quipped, “when you can be a noun?” I laughed out loud! But hey, I am a writer and literature nerd, so thinking of myself as a part of speech tickled my funny bone. My immediate reaction was to agree with her – a noun is surely much grande ...

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Brian McLaren, World War I and the New (Old) Heroism

On July 29, 1914 the first shots of the Great War were fired from gunboats on the Danube River. Austro-Hungarian artillery shelled Serbia from the river and the war that was supposed to be over in weeks or months lasted four and a half years, nearly wiping out a generation of young men from across Europe. Wikipedia’s WWI entry reports that “The total number of military and civilian casualties in World War I ...

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Why Rewards Backfire with Children: Advice for Teachers and Parents

What impact does grading or rewarding our children for their school work have on their motivation to learn? There’s a wide range of thought on whether or not external rewards motivate kids to do well. But I am a Montessori pre-school directress, and so I am firmly in the camp of those against using external rewards. Here are my reasons. According to Dr. Maria Montessori, children are born with an intrinsic ...

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