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Paths to Learning about Race and Racism

Paths to Learning about Race and Racism

Editor’s Note: This week’s post is by guest contributor Mark Docken and continues the question of how do we all work for more racial justice without shutting down communication through “us” and “them” approaches and “discussions”. Mark is a native of the Midwest, a retired pastor and friend and brings a fresh perspective to the discussions.

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In Ukraine, war takes its spiritual toll

In Ukraine, war takes its spiritual toll

Our little delegation has returned from Ukraine.

Four of us went to that war-torn country, at our own expense, to bear witness to the suffering of the Ukrainian people and to listen to their voices regarding the war. Our focus was on the trauma of war and the mental health of the people, two years after the full-scale invasion by Russia. We also wanted to meet people working with the Ukrainian military, to see how they are holding up and what they need.

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The 2024 elections and Faith in Action

The 2024 elections and Faith in Action

This post is about the persistent push in America for white supremacy and how people of faith respond to this cycle at any time, especially during a national election. This has been among the hardest posts I have written. The subject is complex, full of emotion and divided views and there are no obvious answers. So I am asking the readers of Critical Conversations and any friends or colleagues you think might add to this discussion to help shape an important conversation about what’s at stake in our upcoming national election and how we individually and collectively respond.

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The Forgiveness Man*

The Forgiveness Man*

After the launch of my new story collection, Universally Adored and Other One Dollar Stories (published by Vine Leaves Press), my friend and fellow writer Tom Adams invited me to submit a guest blog post for Critical Conversations, and I thought I should focus on hope.

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KEEPING THE FAITH IN THE AGE OF WHITE (SUPREMACIST) CHRISTIANITY

KEEPING THE FAITH IN THE AGE OF WHITE (SUPREMACIST) CHRISTIANITY

Editor’s Note: This week’s guest author courageously raises a challenging question for white Christians particularly and for all others committed to a world based on love and justice. My friend, anti-racist educator and activist A. Adar Ayira, decries the lack of response to the widespread Christian support for Donald Trump and his racist, oppressive policies. Adar is a founding member of Baltimore Racial Justice Action and the founder of Ayira Core Concepts LLC. Adar and her colleague Rebecca Pobee will join Racial Justice Conversations on Wednesday, May 1 at 5pm eastern time on Zoom to discuss this blog. For info on this session and the Zoom link, email me at [email protected].

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Together: Creating a Holistic Culture of Life

Together: Creating a Holistic Culture of Life

Human life is a precious gift, beautiful and sacred.  The very air sings the vibrancy of humanity– the cooing of a baby, the laughter of children, shared conversations, different cultures, and the worth of each person. Supporting the value and sanctity of life is paramount to the moral and spiritual health of a nation.  But what constitutes life?  Whom do we value and whom do we discard?  Currently, in our culture, there are two divergent ideas of the sanctity, and the importance of life.  We are living a spectrum, where on one end is the life of a woman, her needs and her right to choose whether or not she can support a pregnancy, and on the other end is the right of an unborn child to live.

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Applying respect and love to all: a personal and institutional dilemma

Applying respect and love to all: a personal and institutional dilemma

Editor’s Note: This week’s post focuses on a recently released document of the Catholic Church which continues a pattern of claiming to respect all human life and then disrespecting and condemning some people through its teachings and their interpretations.  I am sharing the statement of Frank DeBernardo in response to this recent document, particularly as it applies to transgender people. Frank’s message is a simple and direct one that emphasizes love and respect for all. This lesson has broad application for all of us – as individuals and as institutions. Frank, and I concur, finds it hard to accept any Church taking positions that preach love and respect for all and then uses out-of-date science and theology that disrespect and harm people.  Frank’s message below provides practical lessons for all.  There is an irony that the Vatican issued this statement on Monday, April 8 the day after proclaiming the preceding Sunday Mercy Sunday, a celebration of the always-available mercy and forgiveness of God.

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About Tom Adams

Tom AdamsTom Adams writes and speaks on topics vital to the intersection of our personal lives with our community and global lives. He has for decades been engaged in and written about nonprofit leadership and transitions, spirituality and spiritual growth, how we each contribute to a more just and equitable world and recovery from addictions and the Twelve Step recovery movement.