“Us Versus Us” – LGBT, Pope Francis, and Religion

“There is no they,” writes Andrew Marin in his new book Us Versus Us: The Untold Story of Religion and the LGBT Community, “It is, and always has been, us versus us.”Marin’s book is a timely and exceptionally well researched. His findings show that 86% of the LGBT community grew up in a house of worship, most likely a church.86%. It took a while for that number to sink in. That’s why Marin reframes this discussion from “us versus them,” to “us versus us.” In Marin’s own words, the church … [Read more...]

How Jewish Wisdom Could Save the World

There are so many problems in the world. I mean, from Brexit to Trump to Clinton to the economy. There’s a lot of personal and social anxiety. I don’t know about you, but my natural inclination is to find someone else to blame. Of course, I don’t think of it as blame, per se. It’s more like, “Who’s responsible?!” Which is simply my favorite veiled attempt to find someone to blame.So, in the midst of personal and worldwide anxiety, when I’m talking with friends someone is likely to bring up so … [Read more...]

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...]

Wednesday Sermon: All Means All

Pastors have a frequent question when they begin to discover mimetic theory. “That’s great. But how does it preach?”Reverends Laura and Tom Truby show 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 their sermons as an example of preaching the Gospel through mimetic theory.In this sermon, Laura and Tom discuss the story of the man po … [Read more...]

The RavenCast: Police Reform, Orlando and the War on Drugs with Major Neill Franklin

Major Neill Franklin of the Baltimore police was on the front line in the war on drugs for thirty-four years. He put hundreds of users and dealers behind bars. But he came to see that the war on drugs was a failed policy and he is now devoted to ending drug prohibition. What changed his mind? How did he find the courage to admit he had been wrong for so long? Listen in as Neill talks about his change of heart in the context of the massacre in Orlando. What lessons can we learn from the failed … [Read more...]

Transcending Phobias, Finding Hope, Building Peace after Orlando

Love must transform our fears, turn our arms of war into arms of embrace, strip us down to our human core. Love must make us one.On Tuesday night, in the raw heartache following the Pulse Nightclub massacre, I saw this love -- born from shared grief, vulnerability, and longing for peace -- in embraces that collapsed boundaries of religion and sexual orientation. I was at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Center in Glen Ellyn, IL, for a prayer vigil and iftar (Ramadan fast-breaking) dinner. What … [Read more...]