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.

Islam, Friendship, and Truth: Esmail Koushanpour

Suspicion of Islam is in the air throughout the United States. That suspicion was already there, but President Trump has added fuel to the fire with statements like, “I think Islam hates us. There’s something there. It’s tremendous hatred.” According to the president, it’s not just certain Muslims, but all of Islam hates the United States. When it comes to hatred, Donald Trump and his close administrative allies would have you believe that your Muslim neighbor is no different than a member of ISI … [Read more...]

Saint Patrick, Druids, and the Snakes: The Truth is in the Middle

I love St. Patrick’s Day.The one day of the year when, for better or worse, Western culture allows me to claim my non-existent inner Irishman.Kiss me, baby. Okay. I’m done.The Legend of St. Patrick There are many stories and legends about the fascinating life of St. Patrick. One of the most famous legends recounts how this great 5th century saint banished all of the snakes from Ireland. Bad snakes. Bad.My work at the Raven Foundation during the last few years has taught me to … [Read more...]

Leaving Westboro Baptist: How Megan Phelps-Roper Moved Beyond “Us Against Them”

I was a blue eyed, chubby cheeked five-year-old when I joined my family on the picket line for the first time … I’d stand on a street corner, in the heavy Kansas humidity, surrounded by a few relatives, with my tiny fists clutching a sign that I couldn’t read yet – “Gays Are Worthy of Death.” This was the beginning. -Megan Phelps-Roper We live in a polarized culture. Many of us are looking for ways to heal the divisions that threaten our politics.A recent statistic claims that 83 percent of … [Read more...]

Trump, Satan, and the Resistance

Christians throughout the world recently celebrated the first Sunday of Lent. We told the story of Satan tempting Jesus in the wilderness. Satan tempted Jesus with food, glory, and political power.Jesus resisted Satan’s temptations, but we often succumb.Satan is usually known as the “Tempter.” But in Hebrew, the word literally means “Accuser.” Satan is best understood not as a fallen angel in a red suit with a pitch fork and horns. Christian tradition claims that evil doesn’t have a real … [Read more...]

7 Biblical Reasons for Churches to Be Open and Affirming

My church’s Facebook page has a picture at the top. It proudly displays members of our congregation at a gay pride parade. They smile as they hold a banner with a rainbow colored heart with the words, “Love YES! Equality YES!”We want people in our neighborhood to know that we are an Open and Affirming congregation. We proclaim the fact that God loves you, just as you are. You don’t have to become something you are not to earn God’s love. As we like to say in the United Church of Christ, “No m … [Read more...]

Valentine’s Day Originated in National Resistance

Forget flowers. Chocolate? Nah.Valentine’s Day is about one thing: national resistance in the name of love.Make no mistake. St. Valentine was hard core. He lived during the 3rd century, under the threat of persecution. Legend claims that the Roman Emperor prohibited young men to marry. He believed that married soldiers would be distracted by concerns for their wives and children. St. Valentine, National Resistance, and the God of Love St. Valentine rebelled against this national edict i … [Read more...]

Tom Brady and the Patriots: Leaving God Out of the Super Bowl

Once again, I’m compelled to write about my love-hate relationship with Tom Brady.It wasn’t supposed to happen this year. Brady was suspended for the first four games of the season because of “Deflategate.”  That penalty was supposed to ensure the Patriots would lose their first four games. Instead, the Evil Empire Patriots defied expectations and went 3-1.And they defied expectations during the Super Bowl with the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history. Headlines across the Internet clai … [Read more...]