What Does the Lord Require of You? A Message for Comfortable Christians

copyright The inequality in our world is obvious in so many ways. Economically – the divide between the rich and poor/near poor continues to grow at a rapid pace. Racially – young black men between the ages of 15-19 are twenty-one times more likely to be shot and killed by police than their white male peers. Ethnically – young mothers and their children from Central and South America are being rounded up and deported under new... Read more

Is Civil Discourse Possible on the Internet? or Tamping Down on Trolls!

123rf copyright Writing for popular audiences was a conscious decision that I made early in my career on the basis of my identity as a feminist, an activist, and a scholar. In addition to furthering the conversation in my field, my books are written to be accessible more broadly to educated audiences. As a feminist Christian social ethicist, I write on contemporary social issues with the hopes of helping to offer new insights into seemingly intransigent... Read more

What Does It Mean to Say “All Lives Matter?”

flickr credit On February 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin was shot to death by George Zimmerman. Just over a year later, Zimmerman was acquitted of murder, sparking deep-seated reactions in white and black communities across the country. In the wake of the Zimmerman acquittal, black communities embraced the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter as an expression of their deepest feelings of betrayal, anguish, and frustration at the structural evil of racism that continues to regard the violent deaths of black... Read more

Is Tribal Christianity as Dangerous as Tribal Islam?

123rf   Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. 2For with the judgement you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. 3Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? 4Or how can you say to your neighbour, “Let me take the speck out of your eye”, while the log is in your own eye? 5You hypocrite,... Read more

Peace on Earth? Is Misogyny Ever Innocent?

wikimedia commonsThere is a certain Christmas photo that has gone viral on the internet. This photo shows a family of five nestled between two rows of Christmas trees on a Christmas tree farm. The mother is in the center with her two daughters at her side and her husband and young son kneel and stand just behind the women/girls. The husband/father holds a sign that reads “Peace on Earth.” In many ways, it’s a typical Christmas... Read more

Is an Apocalypse Inevitable Before We Can Achieve Sustainability?

123rf While delegates in Paris have been hammering out a long-overdue global deal to lower greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to address climate change, US college students continue to prophesy plague, nuclear war, water wars, hurricanes, tsunamis, rising sea levels, ebola and other pandemics as a necessary apocalyptic intervention that will be required before we are able to move into a sustainable future as a human community. These visions are the result of one of... Read more

Homegrown Terrorism: Why Colorado is NOT the Action of a Lone Gunman

123rf It is neither incidental nor surprising that a gunman killed three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic on Friday. The fact that this statement is a truism is a reflection of our collective ability to recognize the abortion debate, and particularly the anti-abortion position, as a locus of terror and terrorism in this country. While I think its fine that the police don’t want to speculate about his motives, most of the country is pretty... Read more

Consumerism Gone Wild: How Swiffers are Sweeping Away our Common Sense

photo by Mike Mozart Swiffers represent all that is disordered about US American consumerism. For many thousands of years, people have made and used brooms to clean our homes and living spaces. In all parts of the world, throughout generations of human history – not only have brooms kept us clean but they have been constructed of local goods that are completely biodegradable. Well-constructed brooms might last for decades or longer. And then, in 1999, Proctor... Read more

Thanksgiving, Banquets, and Hunger: Pausing to Consider Justice in the Midst of Plenty

123rf “I was hungry and you gave me food.” – Matthew 25:35 Most people in the US have already started our preparations for Thanksgiving. Turkeys have been ordered or bought. Pies and cakes are being made. Shopping lists of stuffing, potatoes, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, broccoli, green beans, onions, milk, cream, eggs, tiny marshmallows, and butter – oh, the butter that will be needed! For some it will be a small intimate affair with immediate family. Others... Read more

Violence and Ambiguity – What Can We Assert?

123rf     Dr. Ellen Ott Marshall I teach Christian ethics in a theological school where my students and I have been talking about ambiguity this week.  Ambiguity differs from confusion and wishy-washiness, though it relates to the former and regularly gets slammed as the latter.  Ambiguity is, primarily, uncertainty.  It is an emotional and cognitive response to experiences that are rapidly unfolding, complex, emotionally-charged, multi-faceted, and subject to the contingencies of... Read more
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