The Right of Conscience and the Crystallization of Conscience

Soul-Repair

“Crystallization of conscience” is the term the military uses for determining if a Conscientious Objector application is legitimate. I first heard that term when I was near the beginning of the seven-year period in which I served as the associate pastor and youth minister of a progressive Christian congregation in northeast Louisiana. Still early in my transition from seminary to full-time minister, I was reflecting a lot on how myself and the congregation were called to form the young people in … [Read more...]

Why “Spiritual And Religious” Is More Radical Than “Spiritual But Not Religious”

When-Spiritual-But-Not-Religious

Almost two years ago Lillian Daniel, the Senior Minister of First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, wrote a short blog for the Huffington Post — a mere 374 words — titled, “Spiritual But Not Religious? Please Stop Boring Me.” For whatever confluence of reasons, that blog post went viral and was expanded into a book she published this past year titled When "Spiritual but Not Religious" Is Not Enough: Seeing God in Surprising Places, Even the Church.This past summer, the Unitarian … [Read more...]

Conscience, Civil Disobedience, and Holy Obedience

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In 1973, Gene Sharp, who is now in his 80s, published a trilogy of books on The Politics of Nonviolent Action. Volume 2 includes a list of “198 Methods of Nonviolent Action,” outlines each method, and gives information about its historical use. The intent is to inspire the imaginations of future activists seeking to use nonviolence to transform our word for the better.The New York Times, writing about Sharp’s influence, has said: Few Americans have heard of Mr. Sharp. But for decades, his pr … [Read more...]

All Bodies Count: Memorial Day, Fallen Soldiers & Civilian Casualties

conscience

My father who fought in WWII, he tried to tell me that, “War is not as glamorous as they make it out to be.” But I was too stubborn and bull-headed to listen. When you are young, you want to get that experience for yourself . . . and, boy, I asked for it. I really found out. I saw more than I really wanted to see…. You [see] how war affects the civilians in the area. Every house you look at has bomb craters or bullet holes in it . . . .  It makes them put their humanity aside to make it in a war … [Read more...]

From Independence Day to Interdependence

Reborn

(Logan Mehl-Laituri, Reborn on the Fourth of July: The Challenge of Faith, Patriotism & Conscience, 2012, 239 pages.) This book review is a sponsored post that is part of the Patheos Book Club. One of my heroes is Clarence Jordan (1912-1969). In college, he began to experience cognitive dissonance between his patriotic love of country and his religious beliefs. He had been studying Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), and unexpectedly during ROTC calvary practice, Jesus' command to … [Read more...]


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