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Abolishing the CIA

The shock resonating from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s CIA torture report isn’t due so much to the revelations themselves, grotesque as the details are, but to the fact that they’re now officially public. National spokespersons (except for Dick Cheney) can no longer deny, quite so glibly, that the United States is what it claims its enemies to be. We’re responsible for the worst sort of abuses of our ...

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Terrorists Win: “The Interview,” North Korea, and the Tragic Irony of Christmas

Unfortunately, we will not be able to watch Kim Jong-un’s assassination on the big screen this Christmas. We will not be able to cheer as the brutal dictator’s helicopter explodes in the air “while Katy Perry’s ‘Firework’ plays on the soundtrack.” We will not be able to fulfill this Christmas Day fantasy by watching “The Interview” because the terrorists have won. The FBI now claims that Kim Jong-un’s gover ...

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The Jesus Myth

  Editor's Note: This post was submitted by Andrew Robinson. Once upon a time there was a little girl named Emma who loved Christmas. She was infatuated with Santa Claus. Every year she would watch every Santa cartoon that came on. She would watch the news as the weatherman reported where in the world Santa was at this very moment, and of course, she would leave freshly baked homemade cookies and a big ...

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Advent: The Faith to Scream “It’s Not Okay!”

She sat in total shock. Her head rested in her hands as her long hair hid her face. She was silent for forty-five minutes. And then the river of tears began to flow. It was the most traumatic event I’ve experienced in ten years of ministry. The pain and distress of a murdered family member were unbearable. As she wept uncontrollably, her sister stepped into the void to hold her. “It’s okay. It’s okay,” her ...

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Drones and Discrimination: Kick the Habit

On December 10, International Human Rights Day, federal Magistrate Matt Whitworth sentenced me to three months in prison for having crossed the line at a military base that wages drone warfare. The punishment for our attempt to speak on behalf of trapped and desperate people, abroad, will be an opportunity to speak with people trapped by prisons and impoverishment here in the U.S. Our trial was based on a t ...

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American Values: Why the Torture Report Didn’t Go Far Enough

Last Tuesday, the Senate Intelligence Committee released its report of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques following 9/11. The report is a 500 page summary detailing the CIA’s techniques and reveals the absurdity of the term “enhanced interrogation technique.” Enhanced interrogation technique is a soft, friendlier term that intentionally hides and sanitizes the truth that we tortured people. And, in ...

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The Militarized Divide

This shattered nation. “Eric Garner was overweight and in poor health. He was a nuisance to shop owners who complained about him selling untaxed cigarettes on the street. When police came to arrest him, he resisted. And if he could repeatedly say, ‘I can’t breathe,’ it means he could breathe.” And, oh yeah: “You cannot go out and break the law. What we did not hear is that you cannot resist arrest. That’s a ...

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Book Feature Friday: Walking With Grandfather by Michael Hardin

“Some fool had spent some time with an Indian, learned about nature and I was supposed to get excited about this? This was drivel as far as I was concerned.” ~ Michael Hardin “In church I was taught that Jesus could do miracles because he was divine, he was God. What we learned in Philosophy class was that doing the miraculous is every person’s birthright, it is just a matter of listening to the Creator.” ~ ...

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Bible Matters: Lamentations: Political Protest, Grief, and Transforming Theology

Lamentations comes from the word “lament” which means a “passionate expression of grief or sorrow.” (For the entire Bible Matters series, click here.) The book was written during the Babylonian exile, a traumatic time for the ancient Jews. Jerusalem was conquered, the temple was destroyed, and many people were exiled throughout the Babylonian Empire. Lamentations is about grief. It implores us to express ou ...

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Why God is Sending Christians Straight to Hell

So much of Christianity has become about avoiding hell. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned as a hospital chaplain, it’s that God is sending Christians straight to hell. Christians need to stop thinking of heaven and hell as primarily places we go after we die. Heaven and hell are primarily realities that we experience here on earth. Jesus said, “the kingdom of God is among you.” For Jesus, the kingdom of ...

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