People of faith have a choice to make

In America’s Gilded Age, slaveholder religion went national, blessing an alliance between industrial capital and white nationalism. “One Nation Under God” promised to save America from the “immorality” of the New Deal, Communism and the Civil Rights movement. Writing in the 19th century, when slaveholder religion was still taking root in white Americans’ consciousness, Frederick Douglass said, “Between the Christianity of the slaveholder and the Christianity of Christ, I see the widest possible difference.” People of faith have a choice to make.

Source: Why Evangelicals Support Trump, Despite His Immorality | Time

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Gun ownership is the one thing our country refuses to manage, and the result is a lot of dead people

Every weapon that a US Army soldier uses has the express purpose of killing human beings. The choice rifle for years has been some variant of what civilians are sold as an AR-15. These are not deer rifles. They are not target rifles. They are people killing rifles. Let’s stop pretending they’re not. In addition to cars, we manage drugs, alcohol, exotic animals, and fireworks. We restrict what types of businesses can operate in which zones. Gun ownership is the one thing our country collectively refuses to manage, and the result is a lot of dead people. We can enact gun control without infringing on the right to bear arms. You can have your deer rifle.

Source: “Fuck you, I like guns.” – Engineering, Parenthood, and a Solid Attempt at Adult Status

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The Greatest Showman Is The Wake Up Call That the Church Needs

Racial discrimination? Check. Gender inequality? Check. Class warfare? Check. Prejudice based on physical ability and differences? Check. The choice between family values and power? Check. The undying pursuit of the American dream at all costs? Check. The Greatest Showman is an allegory about what the church should be. If we don’t address the fissure currently dividing the church now, we will never put out the fire currently raging through our halls and hearts. Like Barnum, we have forgotten to love. To love people who look, sound, think and feel differently to us. To love other Christians who didn’t vote the same way we did.

Source: The Greatest Showman Is The Wake Up Call That the Church Needs – RELEVANT Magazine

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Generation Z could turn the tide on America’s gun culture

Stoneman Douglas students are organizing The March For Our Lives, scheduled to take place on March 24 in Washington, DC. It isn’t grownups speaking to other grownups. It’s teenagers, speaking without filters, to lawmakers who someday will need their votes, not to mention their expertise in every field. Student activism has been a force to be reckoned with through the past 60 some years of American history. These high school students are among a new generation, born from 1996 onward, that is alternatively called Generation Z.

Source: History shows Generation Z could turn the tide on America’s gun culture – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

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Trump gave those credulous enough to believe him false hope

None of his assurances can be counted upon. His talent is bluffing, not delivering results. The president who disingenuously promised to end carnage isn’t going to deliver elsewhere either. He won’t end the opiate crisis. He isn’t going to rebuild the country’s infrastructure. He makes lots of promises that he cannot possibly keep. Often, he’s not even trying.

Source: Trump’s American Carnage – The Atlantic

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Everyone approves of greater gun regulation except the people who want to sell more guns

“You cannot find an issue on which there is more agreement. The trouble is, we have a stalemate in congress. Too many lawmakers get their funding from the NRA (National Rifle Association) and they block changes that would help stop this. Everyone approves of greater gun regulation. The only people who don’t want this are the people who want to sell more guns.—Kristin Brown, co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

Source: Why is America unable to halt this epidemic of deadly gun violence? | The Independent

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Gun violence epidemic will continue without a humane response at the legislative level

The gun violence epidemic has not led to reforms that create a healthier, safer world. We accept the regular slaughter of innocents as the price we pay for the right to own assault rifles and bring them wherever we want, no matter how troubled we may be. As long as we are unable to muster an effective, humane response at the legislative level, the killing will continue.

Source: Commentary: Florida School Shooting and America’s Response | Fortune

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America’s cult of guns has a lot of money behind it

Guns are a religion now. And too many of our fellow citizens — including evangelical Christians, of all people — will continue to heedlessly worship at this altar, despite the dead children, the dead teachers, the dead concertgoers and the innocent bystanders who must sacrifice their lives for others’ overriding faith in their weapons. It is safe to say that nobody in the cult of guns listens to Jesus. None of this will stop unless the cult of guns is curbed. This won’t be easy; the cult has a lot of money behind it.

Source: America’s cult of guns (opinion) – CNN

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Christian nationalism, a belief supported by Dominion theology, wants an American Christian theocracy

Christian nationalism is the false belief that America is a Christian nation, a belief supported by Dominion theology. It is a radical right wing movement composed of Christian extremists that want to rewrite American history, and replace the secular values upon which this nation was founded with a Christian theocracy.

Source: Trump Promotes Christian Nationalism At National Prayer Breakfast

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Trump-speak allows open discussion of problems usually only spoken about behind closed doors

Trump’s “open source” thoughts are unprecedented in any modern politician. Trump, by breaking from the “offend no one” style of political discourse, still appeals to those Americans who share beliefs with him that are largely overlooked by the incumbent political class that the president is dismantling. His takeover of the Republican Party was a hostile one that paid lip service to most of the party’s ideological dogma. What Trump is about is remaking the American body politic. Trump-speak is a key component of that overhaul, because it allows for the open discussion of the many problems America and the world is facing but are usually only spoken about in whispers behind closed doors.

Source: How Donald Trump is retooling politics for the 21st century

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‘Poor People’s Campaign’ readies nationwide mobilization

Poor people, clergy and activists in the Poor People’s Campaign plan to deliver letters to politicians in state Capitol buildings demanding that leaders confront what they call systemic racism evidenced in voter suppression laws and poverty rates. “Our faith traditions and state and federal constitutions all testify to the immorality of an economy that leaves out the poor, yet our political discourse consistently ignores the 140 million poor and low-income people in America,” the letter states.

Source: ‘Poor People’s Campaign’ readies nationwide mobilization – ABC News

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$700 billion for what? Military expenditures provide no benefit

Many left-liberal groups ignore the Pentagon’s swollen budget even as it devours resources that could be put to much better use. Sadly, a bipartisan majority in Congress gave [Trump] all he asked for [and] then some. Beyond spending sufficient to provide reasonable defense, military expenditures provide no benefit; they fail utterly to improve our quality of life. The growth in so-called “Islamist terror groups” was largely blowback — the result of and reaction to U.S. intervention in the region. The citizenry would be far better off if our nation abandoned the role of global hegemon, led the world into multilateral disarmament negotiations and redirected billions into investments in our people and infrastructure.—Mark Haim

Mark Haim is a longtime advocate for peace, justice, sustainability and climate action. He serves as director of Mid-Missouri Peaceworks, a grassroots activist group.

Source: $700 Billion For What? | The Indypendent

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Why evangelicals should rethink the Trump gospel

The choice is stark, unsettling and serious: between what Christians call the “Great Commission” and President’s Trump’s call to “Make America Great Again” (MAGA). The Great Commission is racially and radically inclusive, while MAGA, as a matter of rhetoric and reality, is racially exclusive and divisive. Jesus praised a foreigner, an ethnic outcast, and religiously unpopular “good Samaritan” as an example of great compassion.—Cornell Brooks

Source: Why evangelicals should rethink the Trump gospel (opinion) – CNN

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The Geography Of Poverty: Matt Black Photographs Poverty Across The U.S.

The growing gap between rich and poor in this country is consigning people to a fate that is largely inescapable. If you are born poor in America today you are likely to die poor. If you are born rich, the same. Poverty is not really an economic question. It’s a question of power: Who gets their needs met, which communities get their needs met and which communities don’t.

Lorain, OH. Downtown. Lorain has a population of 64,097 and 28.2% live below the poverty level.

Source: The Geography Of Poverty: Matt Black Photographs Poverty Across The U.S. : NPR

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Donald Trump has never shown much interest in understanding inequality

To say that “Americans are dreamers too” only makes sense under a misunderstanding of what DREAMers are actually asking for or under the zero-sum logic of status anxiety, in which any attention paid to a marginalized group must inherently mean that some other group must be losing ground. Donald Trump has never shown much interest in understanding this sort of inequality. Trump’s America is either a bootstrapper’s utopia where everyone has equal status and opportunity or the battered but rallying land of the “forgotten men and women” who have been threatened by foreign criminals and abandoned by cultural elites.

Source: State of the Union 2018: Trump’s biggest insult to immigrants – Vox

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Moral character DOES matter: Focus on the Selling Out of James Dobson

What has alarmed me has been the willingness of my fellow citizens to rationalize the President’s behavior. Yes, the rules have changed for the President. Character DOES matter. You can’t run a family, let alone a country, without it. How in the world can 7 out of 10 Americans continue to say that nothing matters except a robust economy? – James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, on the character of the President of the United States (1998)

Source: What James Dobson Said in 1998 About Moral Character and the Presidency | the way of improvement leads home

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Every word that a president utters projects American values around the world

When a figure in power reflexively calls any press that doesn’t suit him “fake news,” it is that person who should be the figure of suspicion, not the press. Mr. President, every word that a president utters projects American values around the world. — Senator, Jeff Flake (Jan 2018)

Source: Read Sen. Jeff Flake’s speech criticizing Trump – CNNPolitics

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Sunday is the most divided day in America

We hear it said that Sunday is the most divided day in America. For the past century Christians have filled mission stations with missionaries in faraway lands. We send checks and crates of supplies to the mission field and the missionaries, all the while living and worshipping in segregation. What we struggle with is sharing a pew, sharing a meal, sharing a living room on a Sunday afternoon. The inauthenticity is glaring. — Palmer Chinchen, Justice Calling: Live Love, Show Compassion, Be Changed

Palmer Chinchen is an author, speaker, pastor and an expatriate who speaks widely on issues of justice, spiritual transformation, and the need for a Christian response to affliction and poverty. Justice is a significant passion for Palmer, who regularly travels to places like Haiti, Cuba and Africa to help bring healing to a broken world.

 

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The Poor People’s Campaign is the most hopeful, most powerful coalition we have going. Nothing compares to it in breadth

The formal launch of the contemporary Poor People’s Campaign was held exactly 50 years after King announced the campaign in 1967 and is gearing up to be the largest nonviolent mobilization in the United States this year. One of the major strengths is its potential to appeal to Americans across party lines. It aims to unite the grievances of the marginalized white working class with marginalized communities of immigrants and people of color throughout the country.

Source: A renewed Poor People’s Campaign revives King’s dream of challenging class divide

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