June 24, 2014

I don’t know where God gets the patience. We are absolutely the most difficult people to communicate with! As the Letter to the Hebrews begins, “Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets.” Many and various ways – thank you, God for trying everything you could think of to get through to us. And then, as Hebrews continues, “in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son”. And not just… Read more

June 23, 2014

With so much violence in the news, how do you find hope? A recent conversation with peace activist David M. Hazen of Eugene Peace Team motivates Adam and Suzanne to find hope for peace amidst today’s many violent news stories. David offers sage advice for how to read the news in a way that inspires peace. David worked with the Peace Alliance and lobbied for peace to Congress. He enacted “Eugene City of Peace” in 2009. David also helps to lead the… Read more

June 19, 2014

At five years old, my middle child has developed a defiant pattern. A typical day runs like this: It’s time to get dressed. No. It’s time to put on your shoes. No. It’s time to go to school. No. It’s time to eat dinner. No. It’s time to go to bed. No. His defiance has apparently nestled its way into my subconscious because I dreamt about it last night. We were visiting my childhood house. My son was in our… Read more

June 18, 2014

What’s the difference between fake goodness and the real thing? Good people want to know. In fact, we need to know because fake goodness is a marketable commodity. Companies know that doing the right thing is important to us, and so they work hard to connect their products with “doing good”. The success of Whole Foods Market (higher priced foods that are natural and organic) and the Tesla Model S (electric car for a hefty price) show how well companies… Read more

June 12, 2014

Suzanne and Adam discuss the current uprising in Iraq. Is more violence the answer? What can we do about it? Read more

June 12, 2014

Does the 2014 World Cup have anything to do with what we do here at Teaching Nonviolent Atonement? Implicit in the name of our site, Teaching Nonviolent Atonement, is a contrast with another type of atonement, the violent kind. Oddly enough, the “simmering resentment” in Brazil about the games provides an excellent vehicle to examine how violent atonement is supposed to work and what happens when it fails. Once we’re done with our analysis, we’ll be able to answer the… Read more

June 11, 2014

It seems like violence will never end. Portland. Seattle. Las Vegas. Isla Vista. Almost every day in Chicago. Not to mention Boko Haram, the conflict in Ukraine, and the continued war in Afghanistan. The Huffington Post just reported that “If it’s a school week in America, odds are there will be a shooting.” Since the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012, the United States has averaged 1.37 school shootings per week. And our culture is divided on how best to respond…. Read more

June 10, 2014

There is no society without religion because without religion society cannot exist. René Girard, Violence and the Sacred   The science vs. religion debate seems here to stay. Since Darwin published The Origin of Species in 1859, the debate has revolved around which side holds the key to the truth about human origins. Equally contentious is the debate about the cause and cure of violence: is it religion or secularism that holds the key? Are we destined for a battle… Read more

June 7, 2014

Anthony Bartlett claims in his book Virtually Christian that, In movies, on the web, on TV and radio, there is always the possibility of an image of compassion arising from the seminal presence of the Crucified, on that will produce a response of compassion in an individual. Tony calls this “subversive compassion.” Subversive is a good name for it, because while movies, the web, television and radio are often filled with violent imagery, there is compassionate presence that subverts that… Read more

June 6, 2014

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is free from the Taliban, but his freedom comes at high cost. That cost reveals America at our worst. The United States is in a sacrificial crisis and we can do better. Indeed, we need to do better because our greatest threat is not an outside enemy, be it the Taliban or Russia; our greatest threat is ourselves. Hours after President Obama declared the release of Sgt. Bergdahl, rumors and accusations began to swirl. Bergdahl left his… Read more

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