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How a Group of Catholic Pacifists Took on the Nuclear State

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A review of Plowshares: Protest, Performance, and Religious Identity in the Nuclear Age ~ Kristen Tobey

Eric C. Miller, Religion Dispatches

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http://religiondispatches.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/plowsharesboook-307x460.jpg September 7, 2016 | Over the past four decades, a small group of Catholic activists has worked to symbolically disarm nuclear weapons. These activists have made headlines—and, in many cases, served prison sentences.

Plowshares activism was launched in 1980 by Daniel and Philip Berrigan, the duo of brother-priests previously known for their opposition to the Vietnam War. A select group of radical clergy and dedicated laypeople, the Plowshares have challenged the national security apparatus wielding little more than wire-cutters, hammers, prayers, and bottles of their own blood.

In Plowshares: Protest, Performance, and Religious Identity in the Nuclear Age, Kristen Tobey examines the methods of Plowshares activists, and she dives into their devout, dramatic, and often perplexing work.

Eric C. Miller is Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. A regular contributor at Religion Dispatches, his research area sits amid religious rhetoric and public advocacy.

 
 

The Fire This Time

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  • I know. You want me to say something profound, the hard thing. You want me to say something passionate, something to rally you, something to make you feel like there is hope, and that we’re going to change.
  • But that’s not what this piece is about.
  • Related: A Post-Dallas Challenge for Religious Progressives: Staying On Message About Structural Racism

Anthea Butler, Religion Dispatches

http://religiondispatches.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Screen-Shot-2016-07-09-at-8.38.54-PM.jpg Mural of Alton Sterling painted at convenience store near where he was killed.

July 10, 2016 | Three years ago this month, I wrote about America’s racist god. As a result of the threats I received, I had to move from a place I loved. I got used to being called a nigger, and to having my university and department faculty barraged by white racists calling for me to be fired.

Three years later, and after countless black deaths by police, I find myself being asked by the editors here at RD to write about the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, and about the five policemen shot and killed in Dallas.

Anthea Butler is a Contributing Editor to Religion Dispatches. Her forthcoming book, The Gospel According To Sarah: How Sarah Palinin’s Tea Party Angels are Galvanizing the Religious Right' (came) out in 2013.

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http://religiondispatches.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Storm-690x464.jpg "It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake." 

A Post-Dallas Challenge for Religious Progressives: Staying On Message About Structural Racism, Peter Laarman, Religion Dispatches

We progressive clergy types and theology professors say that we “get” all this. Well and good. But now, more than ever before, our teaching ministry is urgently needed in the public square. It must be an uncompromising and courageous ministry. No false equivalence between centuries of anti-Black police abuse and the actions of a single madman in Dallas. No mincing of words about the ongoing need to shake the very foundations of white supremacy.

 

Is America Willing to Be Freed from Its Demons?

  • The demons tempt us to violence, but there has always been a way to resist that temptation. We must follow the way of a God who will not release us either to our demons or to our despair.
  • Related: The Bandwagon of Hate: America’s Cancer

Willie James Jennings, Religion Dispatches

http://religiondispatches.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Screen-Shot-2016-07-11-at-12.24.08-PM-690x460.jpgMinnesota activists brought the police tape from the scene of where Philando Castile was killed to Governor Mark Dayton's residence.

July 11, 2016 | There is a poignant story in the gospel of Mark where Jesus encounters a young man tormented by a demon.

The boy’s father, who desperately wants Jesus’ disciples to help him, has reached the point of exhaustion. The disciples cannot free the man’s son from the demon. The simple question we face at this moment in the United States is can we be freed from our demons?

The murders of Alton B. Sterling, Philando Castile, the five Dallas police officers, and the other black men killed last week who did not make the news show us our oppression. The problem with invoking the demonic is that such invocation has been used as a rhetorical band-aid to cover a wound far too serious to imagine recovery. Yet we must invoke the demonic now not to cover over what Wendell Berry called the racial wound but in order to understand the kind of resistance we face to our liberation.

Willie James Jennings is Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Africana Studies at Yale University Divinity School and is an ordained minister.

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Related:

The Bandwagon of Hate: America’s Cancer, Odysseus Ward, The Angry Humanist

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  • We either challenge the system and our long held perceptions of the people it harms or do nothing, and thus, contribute to the collapse.
  • Related: Ending Human Violence is a Task for Each of Us
  • Related: Finally, the U.S. Steps Closer to Racial Healing With a National Truth and Reconciliation Commission

 

Beautiful words from the mighty Robin Williams .... gone but never, ever forgotten.

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Make your life Spectacular

 

Spotted Portsmouth

July 24, 2016

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Spotted Portsmouth: Media/News/Publishing

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A Post-Dallas Challenge for Religious Progressives: Staying On Message About Structural Racism

We progressive clergy types and theology professors say that we “get” all this. Well and good. But now, more than ever before, our teaching ministry is urgently needed in the public square. It must be an uncompromising and courageous ministry. No false equivalence between centuries of anti-Black police abuse and the actions of a single madman in Dallas. No mincing of words about the ongoing need to shake the very foundations of white supremacy.

Peter Laarman, Religion Dispatches

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"It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake."

July 10, 2016 | The easily-predicted meme of the moment coming from law enforcement officials and their many political allies is a threefold rebuke to the entire criminal justice reform movement—not just #BlackLivesMatter but all of us who consider fighting the mass criminalization of people of color (and the engineered economic immiseration of people of color—most specifically Black people) to be the nation’s most urgent unfinished business.

The three main “beats” of the post-Dallas pushback are these:

  • The police put their lives on the line every day for public safety and deserve appreciation and deep respect for that;
  • They have been horribly smeared by a handful of opportunistic Black radicals, but the silent majority rejects the smear;
  • They are decent and honorable people who should not be smeared on account of handful of rogue individuals who wear the badge.

Peter Laarman is a United Church of Christ minister and activist who recently retired as executive director of Progressive Christians Uniting in Los Angeles. He remains involved in numerous justice struggles, in particular a campaign known as Justice Not Jails that calls upon faith communities to critique and combat the system of racialized mass incarceration often referred to as The New Jim Crow.

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How Bonhoeffer Dealt with the Despair of World Chaos

  • The chaos of the world makes many individuals want to throw up their hands and go hide in a bunker until the problems pass.
  • Related: 101 Ways To Take Care of Yourself When the World Feels Overwhelming

Annie Holmquist, Intellectual Takeout 

http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/sites/ito/files/bonhoeffer.jpg  June 23, 2016 | Recent years have seen an interesting trend taking place amongst Americans: they’re less optimistic about the future.

In fact, an international survey in 2014 found that only 29 percent of Americans believed their life would be better than that of their parents. This same sentiment was held by the young people in many other western nations as well. (Chart)

Annie Holmquist is a research associate with Intellectual Takeout. In her role, she writes for the blog, conducts a variety of research for the organization's websites and social media pages, and assists with development projects. She particularly loves digging into the historical aspects of America's educational structure.

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101 Ways To Take Care of Yourself When the World Feels Overwhelming, Annie Wright, Upworthy 

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  • A therapist shares small ways to practice self-care.
  • Related: From a trained therapist | 11 small ways to feel less helpless this week

 

The Deadly Plague Of Homophobia

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Religious convictions are not allowed as an excuse for violence.

Justin Utle, Huffington Post

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06/22/2016 | I was raised in Utah as a Mormon, in a strict, prescribed religion and culture that dominates the state. Like Islam and most religions, there is much good in Mormonism, including teachings of peace, free will and kindness. But there also exists self-righteousness, racial superiority, discrimination and sometimes hatred by people who claim to speak and act for the will of their God.

And there is also another doctrinal belief that many Muslims and Mormons share: That homosexuality is repugnant, a sin that deteriorates the family and is worthy of excommunication and exclusion from the one true path to God.

And if you “reject” that one true path, you are damned.

Justin Utley: Award-Winning Singer/Songwriter and Human Rights Advocate. Celebrated LGBT Icon and Ex-Gay Therapy Survivor. As seen on TV.

Full story … 

101 Ways To Take Care of Yourself When the World Feels Overwhelming

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  • A therapist shares small ways to practice self-care.
  • Related: How Bonhoeffer Dealt with the Despair of World Chaos
  • Related: From a trained therapist | 11 small ways to feel less helpless this week

Annie Wright, Upworthy

http://i.upworthy.com/nugget/575efaa68c6f78002200007b/attachments/MEDIUM-25d9ab9c21037c30504523224b362a04.jpg June 20, 2016 | I think that, for most of us, there are times in life when it all just feels like Too Much.

There may be some days, weeks, months, maybe even years when — for whatever reason — just getting through the day or going to work or putting one foot in front of the other feels hard. Really, really hard.

Maybe it’s because you’re wrestling with anxiety, depression, or some other mental illness.

Maybe it’s because you’ve had your heart broken. Maybe you’ve gone through a physical or emotional trauma. Maybe you’re deeply grieving. Or maybe there’s no easily understood reason for why you’re feeling bad.

Whatever the case, I want you to know that it’s OK if you’re going through a tough time.

Annie Wright: Counseling & Mental Health, Berkeley, California

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How Bonhoeffer Dealt with the Despair of World Chaos, Annie Holmquist, Intellectual Takeout 

  • The chaos of the world makes many individuals want to throw up their hands and go hide in a bunker until the problems pass.
  • Related: 101 Ways To Take Care of Yourself When the World Feels Overwhelming

***

From a trained therapist | 11 small ways to feel less helpless this week, Annie Wright, Upworthy

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When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” — Fred Rogers

 

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