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.

Nonviolence Is Nice, But What Would You Do If…

Trigger Warning: This article discusses nonviolent responses to situations that might create an emotional reaction in readers. My hope is to provide an example of a nonviolent response in an extreme situation. This, I realize, may trigger a reaction within you, so I wanted to provide a warning before you read further.When I talk about nonviolence, someone will inevitably say, “That’s great, but what would you do if someone had a gun to your wife’s head?”Responses to nonviolence often go t … [Read more...]

Does God Command Murder? Moses, Rabbis, and the Senate’s Worship of Guns

After Moses came down from Mt. Sinai, he saw the Israelites worshiping a golden calf. Next came one of the most horrific events in the Bible. Moses exclaimed, Who’s on the Lord’s side? Come to me … Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, “Put your sword on your side, each of you! Go back and forth from gate to gate throughout the camp, and each of you kill your brother, your friend, and your neighbor.” Exodus 32 states that the tribe of Levi was “on the Lord’s side.” The Levites volunteered to k … [Read more...]

Let Me Introduce You To “Radical Islam”

Let me introduce you to "Radical Islam."Abdul Ghaffar Khan lived in India under the British Empire. He stood up for independence by creating a 100,000 person nonviolent army. They resisted occupation with nonviolent methods. Why? Because Abdul Ghaffar Khan knew deep down in his Muslim bones that his enemies deserved to be loved, not killed. That's Radical. That's Islam.Malala Yousafzai. Good lord, people. She is radical Islam. She was shot in the face and how did she respond? "I do not … [Read more...]

Deliver Us from Evil: Orlando and American Self-Reflection

I went to church on Sunday, hoping to be consoled after the deadliest mass shooting in American history. But church did not console me. It challenged me.She was a first time visitor to our church and she wore a rainbow tie – which isn’t entirely unusual for a member of the United Church of Christ. Our denomination took a stand long ago that we would be open and affirming – standing in solidarity with our LGBTQIA sisters and brothers. I thank God for that stance, especially in the wake the sho … [Read more...]

RavenCast: Preston Shipp – From Prosecutor to Criminal Justice Reform Advocate

Preston Shipp is a former prosecutor who is now a criminal justice reform advocate. He has been featured on the Huffington Post and you can watch a documentary about his life on YouTube called “Redemption of the Prosecutor.”I first met Preston at the recent Theology and Peace Conference, where he spoke about his experience of “waking up” to the injustice of the American justice system. His speech was challenging and inspiring. I knew I wanted to talk more with Preston, so I invited him to be … [Read more...]

Muhammad Ali: The G.O.A.T., White America, and Islam

Muhammad Ali was a giant. A legend whose persona was larger than life. He is known for being the G.O.A.T.If you’re a boxing fan (which I’m not), you know that G.O.A.T. refers to Ali being the “Greatest of All Time.” Part of Ali’s greatness was his unabashed self-confidence. He frequently boasted, “I am the greatest!” His verbal punches were as powerful, and as entertaining, as the punches he threw in the ring.But if you’re a mimetic theory fan (which I am), G.O.A.T. doesn’t refer to the “ … [Read more...]

A Boy, a 450 Pound Gorilla, and a God Who Is Not In Control

Harambe was his name. Last Friday, he celebrated his 17th birthday. He was killed the next day, shot dead by the people who were supposed to protect him.Harambe was the gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens. He was killed because a three-year-old boy managed to climb under a fence, through wires, around bushes, and fall 15 feet into Harambe’s enclosure. I don’t know how a gorilla is supposed to act – not being a gorilla myself – but video shows Harambe acting as you might expect … [Read more...]