Idaho State Rep Wants to Turn Back the Civil Rights Clock

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In 1882, led by future state senator Fred T Dubois, the Territory of Idaho enacted a law disenfranchising all Mormons in the territory. This was done because at the time some Mormons practiced Polygamy and polygamy was an official teaching of the Church. This practice violated and offended the “sincerely held beliefs“ and Christian sensibilities of many of the other residents of Idaho. They felt that since they were morally offended by the Mormons way of life that they should be able to deny … [Read more...]

I’d Hammer Out Love

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It may be blasphemous to highlight a song performance by privileged White performers on Martin Luther King Day, but I love this song and this performance so much I will risk it. Peter, Paul, and Mary were one of several musical acts that performed during the March on Washington on 28 August 1963 (Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and others also performed).   The Hymn of Social Justice that they chose to sing was Pete Seeger's "If I Had a Hammer".  The song, written by Seeger and Lee hays in 1949, … [Read more...]

“I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” A Little #MLK on His Birthday

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Martin Luther King, Jr. was on January 15, 1929. To commemorate his birthday, I wanted to share with you the above clip from his "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech. This speech is his last. He delivered it on April 3, 1968. He would be gunned down on April 4, 1968. In the speech, he acknowledges that he might not see the completion of the work. This clip is a glimpse at an American prophet in action. Note not only his keen awareness of what is to come, but also his call to … [Read more...]

Have You Seen God Loves Uganda?

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I have not, but I really want to. Especially after some recent comments made on a Mormon blog about the treatment of gays in Uganda (those comments are addressed here). God Loves Uganda tells the story of the evangelical anti-homosexual movement in Uganda. Last night, Roger Ross Williams, the director and producer of the documentary, talked with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show. Take a look:   Here is a synopsis of the film from filmmakers: As an American-influenced bill to … [Read more...]

Believing in Santa Claus: Faith and Social Justice

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I believe in Santa Claus. He is not real, but he has spiritual significance for me. In this way, Santa is like Job. I do not think that Job was a real person, but I do think that Job is one of of the most powerful books of the Bible. Symbolism is very powerful. Watching A Christmas Carol (the George C. Scott version...of course), I realized that, for me, Santa Clause is the Ghost of Christmas Present. Now, I am not an expert on Dickens, but I have always loved this story and I have … [Read more...]

Video: The Life of Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

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I have been looking for a brief video that might serve as a good introduction to the life and times of Nelson Mandela. In particular, I was looking for something that I might share with my own kids and my future students. I really like this 12 minute biographical clip from the New York Times: Please share any thoughts, memories, or reflections in the comments below. … [Read more...]

Blood Diamonds for Christmas

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Last night, Stephen Colbert took a look The Neiman Marcus Christmas Book. "Its the perfect place to find a gift for person that has everything except taste," said Colbert. Colbert used this opportunity to not only remind us of the some of the idiotic excesses of extreme wealth, but also to remind us of some of the horrors that take place as part of the pursuit of extravagant luxury. I wonder if Neiman Marcus has a good Black Friday sale? … [Read more...]


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