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Jesus, Drawing Muhammad, and the Idolatry of Free Speech

Pamela Geller had every “right” to host a conference in Texas that mocked Muhammad with a “Draw Muhammad” contest. The United States gives her that freedom – the Freedom of Speech, which includes the freedom to defiantly ridicule whomever she wants. Geller is apparently not a Christian, but many Christians have come to her defense of the conference. Let me be clear: There is no Christian defense of a confer ...

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What About the Canaanites?: On the Bible, Violence, and Genocide

Suzanne and I recently delivered a workshop on the Bible and violence at the Faith Forward conference in Chicago. We highlighted the differences between the Roman myth of Romulus and Remus and the biblical story of Cain and Abel. You can read the description of our workshop here, but to summarize, in the Roman myth, Romulus kills his brother Remus, founds the city of Rome, and the god Mars vindicates Romulu ...

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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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License Plates And The Lost Cause: Concluding Thoughts

We’ll get back to the American Revolution in a few days, but before we head in that direction I’d like to share some concluding thoughts about the Texas license plate case recently argued before the Supreme Court. In a previous post I suggested that, whatever the constitutional merits of their case, the history promulgated by the Sons of Confederate Veterans is simply awful. The SVC’s position is that the C ...

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When Even Pope Francis Is Wrong: True Peacemaking And The Futility of Violence

Raven friend Michael Hardin of Preaching Peace recently declared, “Here is a place Pope Francis just does not get it,” regarding a New York Post article that stated, “the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics has said the international community would be justified in using military force as a last resort to stop “unjust aggression” perpetrated by Islamic State militants.” To say that Pope Francis “doe ...

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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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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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Caterpillar’s Surprise: An Easter Play For Children (And The Young At Heart)

Editor's Note: This is a puppet show with Easter themes that I wrote a few years ago for a church fundraiser. Because the fundraiser was open to the wider community and there were many different faith communities represented in the neighborhood, I do not directly reference scripture, but the parallels are easily recognizable. Parents are invited to share with their children, especially during Holy Week and ...

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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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