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Questions from Selma: Where Was the Love?

After watching Selma, I had a weird feeling that the filmmakers thought they were making one kind of movie but unintentionally made a very different one. I gleaned from rave reviews and interviews with the actor David Oyelowo (Dr. King) and director Ava DuVernay that they thought they were making a tribute movie to a hero of the civil rights movement in the United States, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. They se ...

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John McCain, Mitt Romney, and America’s Insane Foreign Policy

John McCain recently held a press conference where he speculated on a third Mitt Romney presidential campaign. He said that Romney would be a “viable” candidate, especially when it comes to foreign policy. Just to show how good Romney’s foreign policy would be, he attacked Barack Obama’s foreign policy. Welcome to the presidential campaign. McCain stated about the debates between Romney and Obama during the ...

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Top 5 Ways to Be More Peaceful in 2015

At 35, I discovered years ago that New Year’s resolutions are a practice in failure. By January 15, I haven’t lost any weight, I keep swearing, I’ve stopped flossing my teeth, and I haven’t learned any new recipes…but I can still make a pretty mean batch of Top Ramen. Here’s another resolution I’m going to fail – be more peaceful. That’ll last until about 12:15 am on January 1st. But if you’re like me, you ...

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Advent: The Faith to Scream “It’s Not Okay!”

She sat in total shock. Her head rested in her hands as her long hair hid her face. She was silent for forty-five minutes. And then the river of tears began to flow. It was the most traumatic event I’ve experienced in ten years of ministry. The pain and distress of a murdered family member were unbearable. As she wept uncontrollably, her sister stepped into the void to hold her. “It’s okay. It’s okay,” her ...

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American Values: Why the Torture Report Didn’t Go Far Enough

Last Tuesday, the Senate Intelligence Committee released its report of the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques following 9/11. The report is a 500 page summary detailing the CIA’s techniques and reveals the absurdity of the term “enhanced interrogation technique.” Enhanced interrogation technique is a soft, friendlier term that intentionally hides and sanitizes the truth that we tortured people. And, in ...

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Big Hero 6: How to Love like a Superhero

“I love Baymax! He is the nicest superhero ever!” – My son, age 7 “Of all the threats presently looming over us, the most dreadful one…the only one that really matters, is ourselves.” – René Girard, The One by Whom Scandal Comes, 3. Big Hero 6 is Disney’s latest superhero animation film. It’s a profound story that explores the human condition. It’s a story about love, rivalry, betrayal, violence, loss, deat ...

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Thanksgiving and a Theology of Despair

Are you feeling pressure to be thankful? We are in the midst of the Thanksgiving season. I’m reminded everywhere I go to “Be thankful!” Well, call me the Scrooge of Thanksgiving, but I’m just not feeling thankful. The more someone tells me to “Be thankful!” the more I feel a sense of despair. Be thankful? In the midst of Ferguson, Missouri? Jim Wallis writes over at Sojourners that, “Many black families wok ...

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What ISIL Beheadings Can Teach Us about God and The Cross

What’s the difference between a beheading and a crucifixion? I ask the question as a Christian because we profess that a method of execution every bit as shocking, and perhaps even more cruel, than the beheader’s axe is the vehicle of our salvation. If we do not reflect upon the difference (and the disturbing similarities) between our veneration of the cross and the state support of the beheader’s axe by th ...

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The NFL, Ray Rice, and Keith Olbermann – I Accuse Us

A second video surfaced on Monday that confirmed what many already knew to be true – Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocked out his future wife, Janay Palmer, with a punch to the head in a hotel elevator last February. The first video of the incident surfaced a few months ago. It should Rice dragging an unconscious Palmer from the elevator. Later at a press conference, Rice admitted that his actions ...

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Battling to the End in Israel/ Palestine

Sometimes a blog just writes itself. I’m preparing to attend the annual academic conference on mimetic theory being held near Munich, Germany July 21-24, 2014. We will be focusing on René Girard’s book on war called Battling to the End in the context of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I. Girard’s analysis of war centers on his reading of another famous treatise written in the aftermath o ...

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