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Why Every Christian Should Watch ‘Calvary’ … and Avoid ‘God’s Not Dead’

I’m not going to mince words about this. Heaven is For Real and God’s Not Dead are not Christian movies. They are not even religious movies. They are schmaltzy, vacuous, “inspirational” movies. If a film leaves viewers with a fist full of answers rather than questions, with declarative reassurances that heaven is real and God is alive, then it’s [Read More...]

Tear gas shot at protestors

Ferguson and the Assault on Black America

“@kmoxnews: Photo: #Ferguson protester throws tear gas canister back at police http://t.co/XRDX4EsgNd” pic.twitter.com/sHaS78OVvZ — Antonio French (@AntonioFrench) August 13, 2014 The police don’t need the National Guard’s protection.  It’s the people who need protection.  The police have chemical weapons. The people have milk from McDonald’s.  But it’s not surprising. The state isn’t interested in protecting [Read More...]

Creative Commons Copyright U.S. Army

#WeAreN, But Are We Really? On Hashtags and the Harvests of War in Iraq

Over the past month, there has been a crescendo of outrage over the horrific acts of ISIS in Iraq and Syria in many American Christian circles. And it’s justifiable. In fact, it’s hard not to be angry and appalled. Reportedly, ISIS has been systematically exterminating religious minorities, a campaign of slaughter that left some 5,500 [Read More...]

Mosaic of loaves and fishes at the Church of the Multiplication in the Holy LandFlickr Creative Commons Copyright James Emery

‘Send Them Away’: A Homily for the Loaves and Fish (Proper 13A)

Proper 13 — Year A — Matthew 14:13-21  When I was on pilgrimage in the Holy Land earlier this year (thanks to the incredible generosity of my bishop and diocese), we stayed in small pilgrim’s hotel not far from the site where today’s story is said to have taken place. For 1,500 years, Christians have [Read More...]

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On Calvary and the Absorption of Pain: A Discussion with Brendan Gleeson and John Michael McDonagh

Last week, I had a chance to talk with actor Brendan Gleeson and writer/director John Michael McDonagh about their brilliant new film Calvary, which releases in the U.S. on Friday, Aug. 1. Calvary is one of those rare films that confronts the beauty and the faults of the Church without flinching. It follows the life [Read More...]

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Bulldozing Magdala: Feast of Mary Magdalene Amid the War in Gaza and Displaced Palestinians

We often think of Mary Magdalene in terms of resurrection. After all, she is called the Apostle to the Apostles, was the first to witness the resurrection, and was the first to proclaim that Good News to others. As a result, Christians — particularly progressives — see her as a patron for women who claim [Read More...]

Creative Commons Copyright Bradley P Johnson (Flickr)

Let Them Grow Together: On Gaza, Migrants, Refugees, Wheat and Weeds (A Homily)

Proper 11 — Year A — Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 A few weeks ago, I asked my boys to help me pull weeds in the garden. For me, I have been trained over 33 years to know what’s a weed and what’s not. I can look at my tiny plot of dirt and I can see [Read More...]

Creative Commons Copyright: Peter Haden

The Evil at Our Borders: Migrants, Refugees, and the Spiritual Crisis of Immigration

It is evil. Period. Treating child refugees like criminals is evil. Since October, some 52,000 children from Central America have been taken into custody as they crossed into the United States, overwhelming the U.S. system meant to handle only a few thousand. For more than a week, politicians, pundits, and pastors have debated how to handle [Read More...]

Creative Commons Copyright: Mike Schinkel

The Gospel of Murrieta and Migrants

Once, Joseph, Mary, and the infant Jesus fled in the middle of the night to escape a murderous ruler. Unfortunately, upon reaching the borders of Egypt, they were met with protesters, taken into custody, and soon deported back to their native land. The day after they were sent back, Herod completed his massacre of the [Read More...]

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Dirt is Resurrection and God is a Bad Farmer (Homily for the Parable of the Sower)

Year A + Proper 10 + Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 I love dirt. I love the way it smells early in the morning, still damp with summer dew. I love the way it feels between my toes when I walk on it after the sunsets, the warmth of the stars still radiating through the soles of [Read More...]


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