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Bill O’Reilly, Brian Williams, and Jesus: On Goodness and Love

I’m cringing as I write this. That tells you a lot about me. When it comes to politics and theology, I identify as liberal. I firmly believe that Jesus wanted everyone fed, wanted universal health care, and that the Kingdom of God is about politics. It’s about structuring our personal and communal lives in a nonviolent way that ensures everyone has food to eat, debts are forgiven, and healing is freely prov ...

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Deeper Wisdom

A month has passed since I last wrote to you guys, and I apologize. I’ve had lots of good intentions, but I’m not sure they count for much. (Something about the paving on the road to hell comes to mind.) One of the things that have kept me busy has been a new course that I am teaching on the American Revolution, and my goal going forward will be to share with you some of what I am thinking as that course un ...

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The Oscar Scandal: Sean Penn, Alejandro Iñárritu, and Responding to Racism

“Sean Penn’s ‘Green Card’ comment may have ruined the entire Oscars.” That was the headline at the Huffington Post this morning. I didn’t watch the Oscars, but I’m always curious about pop-culture scandals. What could Sean Penn have said that was so egregious that it threatened to ruin “the entire Oscars”? Penn delivered the award for Best Picture, which went to Birdman. After Penn opened the card, he took ...

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Should Advanced Placement U.S. History Be Banned?

The Advanced Placement United States History test is back in the news again. That’s never good. As a society, pretty much the only time that we pay attention to American history is when it is used as ammunition in contemporary political debates. This instance is no exception. If you missed it, the breaking news two days ago out of the Sooner State was that a committee of the Oklahoma legislature had recomme ...

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Finding Reconciliation in the Greatest Rivalry in College Basketball

“You may not know what this means because you don’t live in North Carolina” my friend began. “But, for us, if just for a moment, hell froze over.” He was talking about the greatest rivalry in college basketball: Duke versus North Carolina. They played last night at Duke University. It was the 239th game of their rivalry. The teams are similar in their successful histories. Even their different shades of the ...

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Happy Presidents Day! – On Mimetic Theory and How I Lost Political Ambition

Like many children growing up in the US, I had dreams of becoming the President. My political career got off to a pretty good start. In high school, I was Freshman Class President, Junior Class President, and then Student Body President my senior year. During college, I was involved in the Student Senate and my senior year I was the Vice President of the Student Body. I was well on my way to becoming Presid ...

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Nationwide: What We Can Learn from the Worst Super Bowl Commercial Ever

“That was a total buzzkill.” The Nationwide commercial just finished. Entitled, “Make Safe Happen,” it stars a sorrowful young boy. He talks about his dreams of learning to ride a bike, learning to fly, traveling the world with his dog, and getting married. But he never did any of those things. Why? He explains, “Because I died from an accident.” Then we see various “accidents” – a tub overflowing, toxic ch ...

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Why I Hate Tom Brady: Reflections on the Super Bowl

As a Seattle Seahawks fan, born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, I hate Tom Brady. With a passion. Of course, my hatred for Tom has grown since Sunday’s Super Bowl. I’m sure you’ve heard by now that Tom and his Patriots beat my Seahawks in a heartbreaking loss, made worse by how the game ended. My Seahawks had the ball on the one (1!) yard line with seconds left and three downs remaining. Despite having ...

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Selma: Does Ava DuVernay Tell Truth to Power?

Editor's Note: This post was submitted by Rev. Ellin Jimmerson. There is much to like about Ava DuVernay's film, Selma. It is a long overdue movie about Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it is undeniably powerful, exceedingly well acted, and gorgeously shot. As a ticket buyer, I liked it very much. Selma, however, is being hailed as a movie which tells truth to Power. My question is whether it succeeds in t ...

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Healing The Criminal Justice System

“It’d be really hard to have a higher recidivism rate than we have in Cook County.” Maybe this is the place to start a brief meditation on changing the world, or at least Chicago . . . known to some of its residents as “Chiraq.” The speaker is Elena Qunitana, executive director of the Adler Institute on Public Safety and Social Justice, which, in partnership with Roosevelt University’s Mansfield Institute f ...

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