Thomas Paine on Monarchy and Hereditary Succession (Happy Birthday to the New Royal!)

Thomas Paine (1737-1809)

One of my favorite sections of Thomas Paine's Common Sense is his section on the monarchy and hereditary succession. It is one of the most interesting uses of a social contract-style historical critique. Of Monarchy and Hereditary Succession MANKIND being originally equals in the order of creation, the equality could only be destroyed by some subsequent circumstance: the distinctions of rich and poor may in a great measure be accounted for, and that without having recourse to the … [Read more...]

“Who Cares Wins” by Anthrax (Hymns of Social Justice)

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With the first installment of Hymns of Social Justice coming from Emmylou Harris, I wanted to follow that up with a heavy metal selection. "Who Cares Wins" by Anthrax addresses homelessness in the late 1980s. It is gives particular attention to the way in which our society de-humanizes the homeless. The "State of Euphoria" album was a favorite of mine back in the sixth grade...but the social justice message of this song was lost on me until I re-discovered it in more recent years. The video … [Read more...]

The Nature of Religious Traditions

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I'm writing my first post as the new campus minister of Ecumenical Campus Ministries which represents a number of liberal protestant denominations at the University of Kansas. I met Chris when I was a pastor in Wyoming but apparently this summer is a time of transition for both of us. I wanted to tackle a post by Dan Fincke at Camels with Hammers. He's been dedicating his blog to theists every Thursday by tackling a topic or posing a set of questions. I plan to examine three of those … [Read more...]

“My Name is Emmett Till” by Emmylou Harris (Hymns of Social Justice)

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Emmylou Harris performed this in 2011. It struck me as appropriate given recent events. NOTE: This post originally featured a televised studio version. It is no longer available. Below is a live rendition from record at a 2012 concert (Update September 11, 2013): I am starting a series called "Hymns of Social Justice." The series will feature social justice themed songs from a variety of artists. This is the first installment of that series. "Like" Approaching Justice on … [Read more...]

Farewell, Wyoming

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I arrived in Las Vegas on Friday and Lyndee and the kids will be arriving over the next few days. I will miss my friends in Wyoming. Here is something I will not miss so much: Because...you know...President Obama is going after hunting rifles. Same truck. Our 3 years in Wyoming were an adventure. I am looking forward to continuing our family adventure here in Las Vegas! I think we will be spending a lot of time here: It is really warm here. Nothing we cannot survive … [Read more...]

Until we all view Trayvon….

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...as our own son, nothing will change. My son Shem almost always wears a hoodie...and he prefers to have candy in that hoodie. He does not face the same racism that Trayvon did. Luckily, we also have not had a neighbor like George Zimmerman. While we lament our gun-crazed violent and hateful culture, may our hearts and thoughts be with Trayvon's parents. Trayvon is their son. They can no longer hug him. They can no longer enjoy his smile. They can no longer listen to his laugh. We … [Read more...]

Patriot Act, Pope Francis, and Citizens United (Faith and Social Justice News Roundup) Mon. July 8

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Jeffrey Rosen suggests some ways make the Patriot Act more patriotic. E.J. Dionne notes that Pope Francis is showing some impressive leadership and "saintly politics." Today, Pope Francis criticized indifference toward immigrants' plight David Brooks pounds Tea Party Congressman on immigration. The "dynamic" movement to overturn Citizens United. How Government Made Fracking Profitable (and Left Renewables Behind)title Read about more about the Faith and Social Justice News … [Read more...]


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