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Heeding The Call: An Easter Message

Everything must change. Injustices around the world and here at home are coming to light despite a long, willful blindness. Half a world away, the long-muted voices of the victims of American military policy were allowed to break through the wall of propaganda and infotainment used to keep them hushed. A recent New York Times report reveals one of the worst-kept (actually un-kept, but vastly underreported) ...

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The Case for Child Labor

My grandpa was a Pennsylvania coal miner and a union man. He overflowed with gratitude for the unions that won miners shorter workdays, higher wages, and safer conditions. None of which could save him from black lung disease, which took his life before he turned seventy. But thanks to the unions, his widow, my grandmother, collected black lung payments from the government until her death. My grandmother tol ...

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How White People Corrupt Martin Luther King’s Message

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer made a huge mistake in reporting on the events in Baltimore. And it is a mistake that many white people make when discussing violent protests, but especially black violent protests. I’m guilty of making the same mistake. That mistake is corrupting Martin Luther King’s message of nonviolence. Blitzer interviewed Deray McKesson, an educator and community activist. McKesson began the intervi ...

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Moment of Silence

This is big. A new civil rights era births itself in terrible pain. Black men die, over and over. I can only hope that peace is the result, serious peace, bigger than new laws, bigger than better trained police — agape peace, you might say, peace that is, in the words of Martin Luther King, “an overflowing love which seeks nothing in return.” “‘We’re out here, and this is peaceful,’ Bishop Walter S. Thomas, ...

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Tale As Old As Time

Disney's Beauty and the Beast has all the ingredients needed for a great story--rivalry, conflict, an angry mob, a beautiful woman, and an eventual, yet unpredictable romance. In one “corner”, you have “the Beast” who, at one point was a handsome, yet frigid and egocentric prince. However, due to his selfishness, he has been transformed into a cursed, almost loveless monster. The  narrator even rhetorically ...

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Three Lebanese Armenians And The Anniversary Of The Armenian Genocide

Editor's Note: This article is used with permission from Frances Fuller. Her name was Sonya Aharonian. Many people knew her in Beirut as one of the finest piano teachers available, and, by some streak of luck, we who were new in the country had engaged her to teach our nine-year-old son. All we knew was that we dropped him at her house in West Beirut, ran an errand and picked up him again, and by some magic ...

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Bruce Jenner and God’s Response to Transgendered People

Caryn Riswold wrote a moving article about Bruce Jenner’s interview last night with Dianne Sawyer. In the interview, Bruce states, “For all intents and purposes, I’m a woman. People look at me differently. They see you as this macho male, but my heart and my soul and everything I do in life – it is part of me. That female side of me. That’s who I am.” Caryn's article is titled “How Should People of Faith Re ...

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Farkhunda: Their Scapegoat… And Ours

A month ago, a brutal and horrific tragedy took place in Afghanistan. A woman by the name of Farkhunda Malikzada was murdered by a mob of angry men. This is the story of a scapegoat, but it is also much more. Beneath the surface of this incident lies many layers of violence and humiliation. Reflexive rage against the killers, while understandable, would simply deepen the dark abyss of ignorance and refuel t ...

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Why Biblical Violence is Good for Children

What’s all that violence doing in the Bible? Does it make you uncomfortable? How are we supposed to teach these stories to children? I mean, the first family was marked by violence. Cain killed his brother Abel. How’s that for a dysfunctional family system? Just two chapters later, God floods the earth, killing everyone and everything on the planet except for one family and two of every animal… And somehow ...

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Idiots Of The World, Unite

“Sir, you are an idiot.” Wow, an insult wrapped in such old-fashioned politeness. I let the words hover and reach, as I always do, for peace: that is to say, for clarity, connection, common humanity. Last week I raised the idea of unarmed policing, as practiced in half a dozen countries around the world. I wasn’t calling for immediate gun surrender but, rather, the diversion of human energy away from short- ...

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