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Monica Lewinsky and Jesus Christ: How to Overcome the Place of Shame

Monica Lewinsky and Jesus Christ had the same experience. Their shared experience could have defined their lives. It could have made them bitter. They could have sought revenge. But they didn’t. Instead, they invited us to change. They invited us to live into a better world. Monica Lewinsky and the Place of Shame Monica and Jesus both occupied the place of shame. In 1998, Monica became a lightning rod for s ...

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Top 10 Ways Mimetic Theory Can Help Create Interfaith Empathy – A Panel Discussion

I was delighted to be invited to an international discussion about creating more empathy between people of different religions. The panel consisted of a Christian (that was me!), an atheist, and three Muslims. (You can watch the video by scrolling down.) The producer of the panel was Edwin Rusch, who is the founding director for the Center for Building a Culture of Empathy. Edwin’s goal is to create “a worl ...

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Ishtar vs. Easter: Pick Your Story

In the midst of my family’s Easter celebration yesterday, I decided to check Facebook. Most of my friends posted comments like “Happy Easter!” and shared pictures of their celebrations. But this meme also appeared on my feed: The meme is attributed to Richard Dawkins’ Foundation for Reason and Science and is meant to debunk Christianity and Easter as just another example of an ancient myth. The reasoning go ...

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Flock and Friends: Weekly Wrap-Up for the week of 3/29 to 4/4

Happy Friday, friends. It’s the week of spring break here in Glenview, IL and everyone is either on vacation, dusting off their Passover china or dying Easter eggs. Special good wishes for those observing the holy days of the Jewish and Christian calendars. In lieu of a weekly wrap-up, we thought we’d share some holiday songs with you – a little something to accompany your festivities. For Passover, here ar ...

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Book Feature (Good) Friday: “Did God Kill Jesus?” by Tony Jones

We were halfway through our youth group’s class on Holy Week. We discussed Palm Sunday as an act of political subversion and Maundy Thursday as the King becoming the Servant. We were on a roll and everyone was engaged, but he was becoming restless. I could tell it was much more than typical teenage angst. So I addressed him, “It looks like you may have something to say…” And then the question burst from his ...

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Why Christianity is Anti-Culture: Michael Hardin, Maundy Thursday, and the Eucharist

This reflection on Maundy Thursday is in response to Michael Hardin’s 5-part series Thoughts on the Eucharist. Michael’s series is worth reading and rereading. In light of Maundy Thursday, Michael invited me to reflect on his thoughts. In addition, Rob Grayson wrote a beautiful response to Michael’s series, titled A Revolutionary Meal. I did it again. We were at the copy machine printing documents for an up ...

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My Brainiac Faith on the Resurrection

For a long time I thought I was too smart for the resurrection. My progressive UCC congregation made a comfortable home for my intellectual faith – I wasn’t letting anyone force me to leave my brain at the sanctuary door. If my head couldn’t come along for the ride, my faith wouldn’t go there. And so my rational, scientific brain did away with miracles of all kinds. They were too easy to explain as metaphor ...

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Repent For Lent: Renewing Our Minds With Mimetic Theory – Holy Week (Poem)

Dear Friends, For a final "Repent For Lent" post, I offer a Palm/Passion Sunday Meditation that I delivered two years ago in the form of poem. These are some Girardian reflections on how Christ "takes away the sin of the world" by his death. The resurrection is crucial, but during Holy Week, I want to leave us in the dark and terrible recognition of our sin as we "look upon the one we've pierced." Still the ...

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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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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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