About Adam Ericksen

Adam Ericksen is the Education Director for The Raven Foundation. He writes blogs and films vlogs at Teaching Nonviolent Atonement and the Raven Foundation website that explore the intersections of mimetic theory, the news, religion, and popular culture.

President Obama, Christianity, and the Truth about American Exceptionalism

President Obama speaking in Kenya (Photo: Screenshot from Youtube, KTN News Kenya)

President Obama just laid to rest all the speculation that he isn’t a Christian.During his speech in Kenya, he said one of the most Christian things any U.S. president has ever said. No, he didn’t shove Jesus down anyone’s throat. He did something much more important. He definitively pointed to what makes the United States a “Judeo-Christian Nation.” "What makes America exceptional is not the fact that we are perfect. It’s the fact that we struggle to improve. We’re self-critical. We work to … [Read more...]

My White Dad and Sandra Bland: On “Assaulting” a Police Officer

Sandra Bland being arrested. (Photo: Screenshot from YouTube)

“I fixed the problem with your car,” the mechanic told my dad. “You can pick it up now.”It was the mid-1990s. I was a junior in high school. My dad and I drove to the auto shop to pick up my new car. Well, it wasn’t new per se. It was used, very used, but it was new to me.Needless to say, I was very excited. And my dad was excited for me. I remember him being very proud of me. He has always been a proud, patient, and joyful father. I can only remember him getting angry twice during my chi … [Read more...]

The Planned Parenthood Scandal: Beyond the Morality Police

Photo: Flickr, Flbonacci Blue, Creative Commons Licence, some modifications.

Planned Parenthood was put on the defensive last week when a heavily edited video surfaced of a Planned Parenthood executive discussing the organizations procedures for organ and tissue donations.The scandal provides a perfect moral dilemma for our culture to discuss the morality of Planned Parenthood. The older I get, the more I realize that morality is tricky business.That’s because in these types of culture wars everyone couches their arguments in the name of moral goodness. Each side … [Read more...]

The Iran Deal and American Self-Deception

Copyright: kagenmi / 123RF Stock Photo

Politicians and pundits on both sides of the American political divide are debating the merits of President Obama’s deal with Iran. While Obama claims he has forestalled an Iranian nuclear weapon for at least another 10 years with unprecedented weapons inspection, Republicans state that the deal will only encourage the world’s most dangerous sponsor of terrorism.Only time will tell us about the merits of the deal. For now, I’m interested in the response from our Republican presidential candi … [Read more...]

Wednesday Sermon: Backstory to a Beheading – Mimetic Theory and the Gospel

"Michelangelo Caravaggio 021" by Caravaggio - The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN 3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Michelangelo_Caravaggio_021.jpg#/media/File:Michelangelo_Caravaggio_021.jpg

Pastors have a frequent question when they begin to discover mimetic theory. “That’s great. But how does it preach?” Reverends Tom and Laura Truby shows that mimetic theory is a powerful tool that enables pastors to preach the Gospel in a way that is meaningful and refreshing to the modern world. Each Wednesday, Teaching Nonviolent Atonement will highlight Tom and Laura’s sermons as an example of preaching the Gospel through mimetic theory. In this sermon, Tom and Laura explore the beheading of … [Read more...]

40 Questions for Rainbow Flag Waving Christians – But Only One Question Matters

Photo: Flickr, NathanMack87, Rainbow America, Creative Commons License, some changes made.

A few weeks ago, Kevin DeYoung of the Gospel Coalition posted an article in response to the Supreme Court’s decision bemoaning the fact that we can no longer discriminate against people who identify as LGBTQ.The court’s decision has people like DeYoung in a bit of a depression. He writes, “There are many reasons for our lamentations, from fear that religious liberties will be take away to worries about social ostracism and cultural marginalization.”I sympathize with DeYoung on this point. … [Read more...]

Black Forgiveness, the Hypocrisy of White America, and Atonement

Vigil for the Charleston 9 (Photo: Flickr, The All Night Images, Creative Commons license, some changes made

“I will never talk to her ever again. I will never hold her ever again. You hurt me. You hurt a lot of people. But God forgives you. I forgive you.”Those words of accountability and forgiveness were spoken to Dylann Roof at his bond hearing by the daughter of one of his victims.How are we to understand such radical forgiveness?The spirit of forgiveness and accountability was on full display during the bond hearing by the family members of the victims. Many have seen that forgiveness a … [Read more...]