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We Don’t Want You to Swim in the River

by Kathy Kelly April 14, 2014 In early April, 2014, the U.S. Navy unveiled its Mach 7 Magnetic Mangler, “a railgun straight out of Star Trek that can take out targets at 100 miles with a projectile flying at nearly 7,000 feet per second.”  So far, the U.S. military has spent $240 million developing the railgun over a period of ten years. CBS News reports that the railgun won’t go to sea until 2016, but one ...

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As We Forgive: Listening to Rwandans Tell their Story

Theorizing about evil may itself be an evil thing to do. I was gently reminded of this by a comment about a recent article I wrote called “Does God create Evil? Mimetic Theory and Isaiah 45:7.” Ben wrote, “theorizing evil seems irresponsible when it’s right there in front of you and demands a more practical, immediate response.” Amen. It’s great to have an explanatory theory about violence and evil in the w ...

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Rigorous Truth: Baseball, Errors, and Resurrection

When I was growing up, I had three older cousins who were my model for being awesome. They were funny, smart, athletic, and they loved baseball. And so I wanted to be all of those things, but the one thing I could do without any effort was love baseball. But I had one major problem. I’m missing the athletic gene of the Ericksen family. While I could share in the love my cousins had for baseball, I couldn’t ...

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Hating Charlton Heston and Following Jesus

Scandal is an essential aspect of religious consciousness. It is not simply negative. The victim who offends us also helps us to recognize that the 'normal' way we do things is fundamentally flawed. So are we willing to let ourselves be scandalized in a way that challenges us? Jeremiah Alberg I have never held a gun in my hands or fired a weapon of any kind, but (and?) I am steadfastly in favor of gun contr ...

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The First Lie: Language’s Big Bang

Once a person begins to desire what the model desires, he learns very quickly that disclosing the desire – naming it, speaking it – is the shortest route to making certain that he will never obtain the object. In this situation only dissimulation will succeed, and the best way to dissimulate is to say the opposite of what one means. Jeremiah Alberg, Beneath the Veil of the Strange Verses: Reading Scandalous ...

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Positive Mimesis: Confessions of a Soccer Player

We see it all the time in sports – a player fakes being tripped or fouled to gain an advantage over the competition. This lack of sportsmanship is a form of cheating. In the National Basketball Association it’s called “the flop.” NBA superstar LeBron James is a frequent flopper and has inspired teens to imitate his superior flopping abilities. In this video you can watch teens “LeBroning” (yes, that is the ...

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Attn SBNR: Biblical Violence Matters to Peace

It baffles me when people who are deeply concerned about peace and peacemaking define themselves as “spiritual but not religious.” In pursuit of personal and/ or global peace, they shun organized religion in favor of indigenous spirituality. Celtic music, eastern spiritual disciplines like yoga and meditation, and the Native American relationship with nature all seem so attractive and obviously non-violent. ...

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The Battle for Ukraine and the Peace of Christ

Three months ago, the Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych sided with Russia and against the European Union. Since then, we’ve witnessed a crisis unfold in Ukraine. Ukraine’s loyalties are split down its geographical middle, with the western half wanting to join the Union and the eastern half claiming loyalty to Russia. After weeks of protests and 80 deaths, the Ukrainian Parliament voted Yanukovych out of ...

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Scandalized by Gangs: A Live Chat with Rev. Romal Tune

Before we chat with Rev. Romal Tune at Teaching Nonviolent Atonement this Wednesday, February 26, I need to make a confession: I wish that the young people who join gangs would go to church instead; if there’s a God in heaven, then gangs should wither and die and church youth programs take their place. It doesn’t sound like much of a confession, does it? Before I met Rev. Tune, author of God’s Graffiti foun ...

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Sex and Violence Go to Church: Breaking the Habits of Machismo

Sojourners is offering an important opportunity for Christian churches to examine their attitudes towards women. Following up on an article by Michelle A. Gonzalez entitled “Breaking the Habits of Machismo”, Gonzalez and Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners, will conduct a live video discussion on Wednesday, February 12 to “discuss what the Bible really says to encourage, affirm, and empower women and girls ...

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