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.

Cam Newton, the Super Bowl, and Racist Stereotypes Against a Black Quarterback

Photo: Cam Newton at a press conference. Screenshot from YouTube.

The NFL has made the Super Bowl into a week-long event, starting with “opening night” on Monday where the media are invited to ask questions to players. The event is largely playful as it “has become less about football and more about the eccentric in recent years, with costumes, props and bizarre questions filling the mass media availability session.”But one question in particular dealt with race. This year’s Super Bowl pits one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, Peyton Manning, who h … [Read more...]

Iowa, Ted Cruz, and the Evangelical Identity Crisis

Ted Cruz delivering his victory speech after the Iowa caucus. (Screenshot from YouTube, ABC News)

Ted Cruz ended last night with a yuuuuge victory over Donald Trump in Iowa. (Sorry, had to do it!) Religion played a big role in Cruz’s victory. The New York Times reports that Cruz’s victory was “powered by a surge of support from evangelical Christians.”For his part, Cruz reaffirmed his connection with his evangelical supporters by invoking divine favor upon his victory. “God bless the great state of Iowa! Let me first say, to God be the glory.”But I can’t help but feel uneasy about the … [Read more...]

Hillary Clinton’s Emails, Donald Trump, and Moving through Scandal

Photo: Flicker, Marc Nozell, Hillary Clinton in Hampton, NH, Creative Commons License, some changes made.

Former House Majority Leader Tom Delay claims that the Justice Department is preparing to file charges against Hillary Clinton for mishandling of classified information in her emails. Delay said in an interview, “I have friends who are in the FBI and they tell me they’re ready to indict.”I don’t know the veracity of Delay’s statement. Nothing would surprise me during this political season. His statement could be a complete fabrication made to cause more drama in a presidential election season … [Read more...]

How a Children’s Movie Solves the Immigration Crisis – Interview with Director Paul King

Image: Cropped from Paddington publicity poster.

Churches are often looking for ways to discuss the immigration crisis. The movie Paddington provides an important tool for that discussion.Paul King, writer and director of Paddington, won the Raven Foundation's 2015 Arts and Entertainment Award. Below you can watch Suzanne Ross's interview with Paul.The movie has profound lessons about Christian themes, specifically about hospitality. It chronicles the adventures of a Peruvian bear with a fondness for all things British and is based on … [Read more...]

Bible Matters: Ezekiel’s Political Theology

Copyright: jswinborne / 123RF Stock Photo

The United States is in the midst of a presidential campaign. How should theology inform our politics? The prophet Ezekiel provides important answers that may surprise liberals and conservatives.Ezekiel gave a clear political theology. He spoke during a time of national crisis in Jewish history. The Babylonian Empire conquered Jerusalem, destroyed the Temple, killed many people, and exiled others throughout the empire.Those who survived asked the question of theodicy. If God is good and … [Read more...]

Star Wars and Theology Part 2: Overcoming the Myth of Good and Evil

Images: Luke Skywalker after defeating Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi (Screenshot from YouTube) and Kylo Ren praying to Darth Vader's helmet (Screenshot from YouTube)

One common critique of the Star Wars saga is that it holds a simplistic view of good and evil. For example, Star Wars makes it easy to tell the difference between good and evil. The distinction is as plain black and white. The Jedi are good and the Sith are evil. The Rebellion is good and the Empire is evil. Even the costumes point toward a simplistic understanding of evil – the Stormtroopers are white, while the main villains, Darth Vader and now Kylo Ren, wear black. And, of course, their h … [Read more...]

Martin Luther King, Jr. – Justice, Love, and the New Jim Crow

mlk pic

In 1955, Martin Luther King found himself as the leader of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a movement that would start a revolution in the United States.Rosa Parks ignited the Civil Rights movement when stood up to the segregation laws of Jim Crow that demonized black people and forced them to live in conditions there were inferior to white people. Parks was arrested after she claimed her inherent dignity by refusing to move to the back of a bus. Just a few days after her arrest, King, who had … [Read more...]