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Rape Culture on College Campuses: Advice for Victims

Have you ever blamed yourself for some horrible thing that happened to you? When I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 45, I immediately started to wonder what I had done to cause my body to betray me like that. Maybe I’d eaten the wrong foods or not taken good enough care of my health – I know it wasn’t exactly logical, but I needed to find a cause and “me, myself and I” turned out to be a conve ...

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Wealth Vs. Money

“There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?” The words are those of Jonas Salk, developer of the polio vaccine, speaking to Edward R. Murrow in 1955, as quoted recently in an essay by Paul Buchheit. What was he thinking? Six decades later, the words have such a counter-resonance with prevailing thought. They exude an old-fashioned humility and innocence, like… striking it rich isn’t necessarily th ...

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Slavery And Freedom: Teaching the American Revolution, Pt. 5

No context, no meaning. Know context, know meaning. In my last post, I explained that if we want to understand the causes and meaning of the Revolution to American colonists, we need to place the events that get into the textbooks—the Boston Massacre, the Tea Party, the shots fired on Lexington Green—into the larger fabric of their lives. This will necessarily involve figuring out what was going on in their ...

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Repent For Lent: Renewing Our Minds With Mimetic Theory – Swords

Apologies, Friends, for the absence of this column last week. If part of Lent is about finding blessings through suffering, then I was given a prodigious opportunity to do just that while recovering from the stomach flu! In the midst of my struggle, I found many reasons for gratitude, including the fact that my family remained well, my husband was able to take care of me and we were both able to care for ou ...

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Ted Cruz and God’s Political Subversion

Ted Cruz became the first major candidate to declare a presidential run for 2016. His formal announcement came this morning at Liberty University, the largest Christian university in the world. Cruz’s announcement at Liberty University was an important political strategy. Cruz is the poster child of the Tea Party movement. He wants to spread his influence by appealing to evangelicals. There is no better pla ...

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Crosscurrents

By the time I leave Kentucky's federal prison center, where I'm an inmate with a 3 month sentence, the world's 12th-largest city may be without water. Estimates put the water reserve of Sao Paulo, a city of 20 million people, at sixty days. Sporadic outages have already begun, the wealthy are pooling money to receive water in tankers, and government officials are heard discussing weekly five-day shutoffs of ...

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My Biggest Concern for My Gay Son is Religion: On Being Catholic and Gay

I recently wrote about a former member of my church youth group. She was everything that a youth pastor could ask for in a student. She was kind, welcoming, smart, funny, and she took following Jesus seriously. And I’ll never forget the day that she told our youth group that she is a lesbian. Fortunately, she continues to be a faithful follower of Christ. I’m a proud member of the United Church of Christ. W ...

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Rocka My Soul

“I wanna be ready . . .” And suddenly the glass case shattered. You know the one, perhaps. I’d been agitated by it for the past hour or so, sitting as I was maybe 25 rows back from the stage at Chicago’s ornate Auditorium Theater, watching the Alvin Ailey troupe dance their hearts out, moving their bodies with such lithe precision and grace. A huge hunger, a wanting, a hope stirred in the cage inside my bre ...

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Know Context, Know Meaning: Teaching The American Revolution, Pt.4

Let’s return to the American Revolution. In a previous post on my American Revolution course at Wheaton College, I explained that I never begin a course by immediately diving into the subject matter. I like to think out loud with my students about what we are going to be doing, and why it might be important to us. We start with a series of foundational questions that it’s good to revisit regularly: What is ...

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Putin May Not Be Crazy!

Since the toppling of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych by street protests just over a year ago, NATO countries and Russian President Vladimir Putin have not been able to agree on a basic point of fact: has Russia invaded Ukraine? NATO says yes, Putin says no. Putin’s denial of military involvement in the face of undeniable violence in the very regions that are strategically important to Russia seems ir ...

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