Heroes

Yesterday I published a guest post by an academic who grew up in a progressive church. She wrote about the role religion can play in sustaining people in the face of bigotry or oppression. She noted that she is not religious. Neither am I, though I once was. But not being religious does not mean not having stories. It doesn't mean not having heroes. We do have stories, and we do have heroes. “I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who li … [Read more...]


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Taking Practical Steps: Charities and Volunteering

A reader messaged me recently asking if I would put up a post for brainstorming about charities to donate to---charities that do good work, and don't spend too much on overhead. A lot of people, myself included, have been thinking this week about ways they can make a difference locally and across the country through donating to charities---especially those focused on immigrants, LGBTQ individuals, women's healthcare, and the environment---and through engaging in volunteer work.Let's b … [Read more...]


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Do Western Lives Matter More? Let’s Talk Terrorism.

I'm incredibly saddened by the terrorist attacks in Brussels this week. There is way too much senseless death in our world. Political violence of this sort is difficult to grapple with, because the underlying causes are complicated enough to make it difficult to do more than damage control. We have to find ways to stop the violence at its root, which is much harder than simply tightening security. It's also complicated because we live in a world of increased technology, and identifying and … [Read more...]


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Compassionate Bigotry and the Future of Anti-Gay Rhetoric

In recent weeks, a Townhall.com article from June 2014 has resurfaced. I read the article based on its title---5 Truths You're Not Allowed To Say About Gays In America---and have decided to give it a once-over here on the blog. While the article is now twenty months old, many of the themes it covers are very much at the forefront of current debates over LGBTQ rights. Further, the article's entire approach seems to me emblematic of hew rhetorics opponents of gay rights have used in recent years. … [Read more...]


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A Tale of Two Photography Projects

Almost two weeks ago, a young French-Moroccan photographer was killed in an Al Qaida attack in Burkina Faso. According to NPR's article on the subject, Slain Photographer Sought 'To Give Life to the Forgotten': Among the 30 victims of Friday's al-Qaida attack on a hotel and restaurant in Burkina Faso was Leila Alaoui, a French-Moroccan photographer known best for her powerful portraits of Moroccans and intimate, sensitive images of migrants and the displaced. She and her driver, Mahamadi Oue … [Read more...]


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Martin Luther King Jr. and the Complicated Legacy of Our White Past

Yesterday was Martin Luther King Jr. day. Yesterday was also the day I told my six-year-old daughter that her great-great-grandfather was a member of the Ku Klux Klan during the 1920s. Once she got it---I had to explain what the KKK was, after all---her response was one of utter horror. Or rather, one of horror mixed with bewilderment. "Why?" she asked. "Why?!" When I told her that her great-great-great grandmother used to boast that black people weren't allowed in her county after sundown, her … [Read more...]


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Rejecting Witch Hunts and Embracing Criticism

I was raised in an evangelical home. I embraced my parents' and church's beliefs wholeheartedly. I was the sort of evangelical teen who hung out in the church library looking for new apologetics books to read. I was dedicated, and passionate, and wholehearted in my beliefs. As a young adult, these beliefs crumbled and fell through my fingers and I looked around, bewildered. How could I have been so very wrong, I wondered? That experience taught me something important---that I could be completely … [Read more...]


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