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Dietrich Bonhoeffer for the 21st Century

Some Christian pacifists say Bonhoeffer was wrong to resist evil with violence, but for millions of other Christians, Bonhoffer became an inspiring symbol of what it can mean, in times of crisis and every day, to practice what you preach.

Bob Abernethy, Religion & Ethics, PBS

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Dietrich_BonhoefferFebruary 3, 2006 | This weekend will be the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian put to death by the Nazis, whose writings and life made him a modern martyr. In the U.S. and Europe there will be observances in his honor, among them a documentary on Bonhoeffer to run on most PBS stations February 6. We have some images from that program.

Bonhoeffer was raised in a distinguished but not particularly religious family said to have been surprised by his decision to study theology. He was brilliant, getting his doctorate at age 21. Then he spent a year at Union Theological Seminary in New York. He studied ethics under Reinhold Niebuhr and also discovered the fervor and social consciousness of Harlem’s Abysssian Baptist Church, where he taught Sunday school.

Bob Abernethy is a former NBC News correspondent. Since 1997, Abernethy has served as the executive editor and host of Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, which airs on PBS.

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Why Isn't Anyone Telling Justin Bieber He's Acting Like a D-bag?

  • To be fair, I understand that 19 years does not a mature adult make, but has no one explained that there are consequences in the real world? Enough is enough with allowing Bieber to run around acting like a spoiled brat.
  • Mike Huckabee Actually Said This About Women Today

Caitlyn Becker, Huffington Post

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01/31/2014 | Justin Bieber's current string of arrests, mishaps and hijinks is annoying. It isn't sad or unfortunate; it's irritating. Sorry Beliebers. You know that kid in grade school who constantly got the whole class in trouble because they kept acting out and thought they were being funny? Yeah, that's Justin... only he's 19 and instead of the threat of after-school detention, it's the threat of federal detention.

The Biebs is not a unique snowflake: This story isn't new. It's been repeated and recycled a million times. And as much as we hate to admit it, there is something sort of cool and sexy about bad boys -- Robert Downey Jr, anyone? -- but not JB. Because there is nothing sexy about acting like a petulant child.

Caitlyn Becker is the Producer, HuffPost Live

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 Mike Huckabee Actually Said This About Women Today , Steven Hsieh, The Nation 

  • January 23, 2014 | During a meeting with Republican National Committee members today, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee made some really stupid comments about women.
  • Huckabee, who served two full terms as Arkansas governor, insinuated that women who use birth control “cannot control their libidos." He also claimed, “Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription.”

Rosa Parks: “I had been pushed as far as I could stand”

  • On her 100th birthday, a new book argues the civil rights icon's rebellion goes beyond that one famous refusal.
  • Excerpted from "The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks" 
  • The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks ~ Jeanne Theoris

Jeanne Theoharis, Salon 

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BlackHistoryMonth.jpg Sunday, Feb 3, 2013 |  “Whites would accuse you of causing trouble when all you were doing was acting like a normal human being instead of cringing,” Rosa Parks explained. “You didn’t have to wait for a lynching.” Such were the assumptions of black deference that pervaded mid-20th century Montgomery, Ala. The bus with its visible arbitrariness and expected servility stood as one of the most visceral experiences of segregation. “You died a little each time you found yourself face to face with this kind of discrimination,” she noted.


Blacks constituted the majority of bus riders, paid the same fare, yet received inferior and disrespectful service — often right in front of and in direct contrast to white riders. “I had so much trouble with so many bus drivers,” Parks recalled. That black people comprised the majority of riders made for even more galling situations on Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks coverthe bus. Some routes had very few white passengers yet the first 10 seats on every bus were always reserved for whites. Thus, on many bus routes, black riders would literally stand next to empty seats. Those blacks able to avoid the bus did so, and those who had the means drove cars. Black maids and nurses, however, were allowed to sit in the white section with their young or sick white charges, further underscoring the ways that bus segregation marked status and the convenience of white needs, and did not simply regulate proximity.

Jeanne Theoharis is a professor of political science at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York

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The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks ~ Jeanne Theoris, reviewed by Carol Reagan Shelton, Ph.D., Rhode Island College, Journal of Interdisciplinary Feminist Thought

Most contemporary people, including school children, have some knowledge of the role Rosa Parks played in the Civil Rights Movement. The image of Rosa Parks that has dominated the imagination of the American people is that of a tired, black woman refusing to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Hearing the story of Rosa’s act of disobedience of the bus driver’s order to move to the back of the bus, and her subsequent arrest for this act of civil disobedience, strikes most of us as unjust.


American State of the Union: A Festival of Lies

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  • Before the nation and the world, President Obama pledges to take “action” against “economic inequality,” while simultaneously holding secret negotiations on a Trans Pacific Partnership trade scheme that will quicken the pace of the global Race to the Bottom, deepening economic inequalities. “Lies of omission are even more despicable than the overt variety, because they hide.”
  • “When you say ‘jobs,’ he says tax cuts – just like the Republicans, only Obama first cites the pain of the unemployed, so that you know he cares.”
  • Obama’s State Of The Union Address: An Empty And Reactionary Charade

Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report

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Obama_always_turn_right.jpg Wed, 01/29/2014 | “Believe it,” said the current Prevaricator-in-Chief, in the conclusion to his annual litany lies. President Obama’s specialty, honed to theatrical near-perfection over five disastrous years, is in crafting the sympathetic lie, designed to suspend disbelief among those targeted for oblivion, through displays of empathy for the victims. In contrast to the aggressive insults and bluster employed by Republican political actors, whose goal is to incite racist passions against the Other, the sympathetic Democratic liar disarms those who are about to be sacrificed by pretending to feel their pain.

Barack Obama, who has presided over the sharpest increases in economic inequality in U.S. history, adopts the persona of public advocate, reciting wrongs inflicted by unseen and unknown forces that have “deepened” the gap between the rich and the rest of us and “stalled” upward mobility. Having spent half a decade stuffing tens of trillions of dollars into the accounts of an ever shrinking gaggle of financial capitalists, Obama declares this to be “a year of action” in the opposite direction. “Believe it.” And if you do believe it, then crown him the Most Effective Liar of the young century.

Glen Ford is the Executive Editor of Black Agenda Report

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Obama’s State Of The Union Address: An Empty And Reactionary Charade, Joseph Kishore, World Socialist Website

Joe Kishore is the current National Secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (United States) and writer for the World Socialist Website

  • 29 January, 2014  | US President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday was, perhaps even more than his previous addresses, a cynical and reactionary charade. Empty rhetoric was combined with a complete disconnect from the reality confronting millions of people and an assertion of executive power.
  • The thrust of the speech was a mixture of pro-business nostrums, militarist jingoism and a jumble of penny-ante proposals. The media’s attempt to promote the speech as a major address on inequality was a deliberate falsification aimed at drumming up interest among a generally indifferent and hostile population.


A Conversation with Craig Childs

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  • Craig Childs, author of this year's Orion Book Award winner Apocalyptic Planet, sat down recently to answer a few questions about the fate of Earth, the fate of humanity, and traveling to some of the harshest, most remote corners of our planet. 
  • Cold? Really, it’s warmer than ever

Andrew Blechman, Orion

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Apocalyptic Planet coverApril 24, 2013 | Managing Editor Andrew Blechman speaks with Craig Childs, whose book Apocalyptic Planet: Field Guide to the Everending Earth won the 2013 Orion Book Award. Childs discusses the fate of our planet, the fate of humanity, and traveling to some of the harshest, most remote corners of our planet—including a hellacious camping expedition through a massive Iowa GMO cornfield—while exploring the cycles of life and death on a scale most of us rarely think about.

Andrew Blechman is Managing Editor of Orion

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Cold? Really, it’s warmer than ever, Susan Webb, the People's World


Treating Extreme Wealth As a Disease

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  • If people suffer from mental illness, they deserve some compassion, but we also have a responsibility to protect the larger whole from their dangerous behavior. It's time we look to solutions to this devastating disease cluster. 
  • Series | The Pathology of the Rich: Chris Hedges on Reality Asserts Itself, Part 1

Rob Kall,

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Koch_Brothers_as_ClownsJanuary 23, 2014 | Psychiatry has been shifting to a model that is designed to identify psychiatric pathologies in most of the population. If there are no biological markers or indicators then the psychiatric diagnostic manual puts together patterns of behavior. Once it's characterized" there's, very conveniently, a drug for that. 

Using this Big-Pharma driven model of diagnosis creation, I'm partially playfully and partially seriously offering some potential diagnostic categories for the very wealthy.  Remember, this is half satire, I am not a mental health expert and I'm not doing serious references to support this exercise. Also, there are absolutely wealthy people who are decent people. The problem is, as Lord Acton observed, "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." I would argue that there are so many risks and dangers in giving people the ability to accumulate huge amounts of money and the power that comes with it, that we should put limits on wealth and even tighter limits on inheritance of wealth. 

rich_peoples_movements-620x412.jpg  Rob Kall is executive editor, publisher and website architect of, Host of the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show (WNJC 1360 AM), and publisher of, President of Futurehealth, Inc, and an inventor . He is also published regularly in the

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Series | The Pathology of the Rich: Chris Hedges on Reality Asserts Itself, Part 1, Paul Jay, The Real News

  • On Reality Asserts Itself with Paul Jay, Chris Hedges discusses the psychology of the super rich; their sense of entitlement, the dehumanization of workers, and mistaken belief that their wealth will insulate them from the coming storm.
  • 5 Ways Super-Rich Are Betraying America

Roy Bourgeois | An Open Letter to Pope Francis

Belief banner

  • Any movement rooted in love, justice, and equality is of the Divine and cannot be stopped. And so one day our Catholic Church will have women priests and marriage equality.  I do hope, Pope Francis, that you will implement these changes as soon as possible.
  • Pink Smoke Over the Vatican

Roy Bourgeois, Religion Dispatches 

January 21, 2014 | Dear Pope Francis,

I have been inspired by your humility, love, and compassion. I was especially moved when you said, “I see the Church as a field hospital after a battle.”  You said the Church must “heal the wounds, heal the wounds.”

220px-PinkSmokeOvertheVatican.jpgAnd so I ask that you reach out to the women and gay people in our Church who have been wounded by Church teachings that demean and discriminate against them. I ask this as someone who was expelled from the priesthood after 40 years because of my public support for the ordination of women in the Catholic Church (this happened just four months before you became pope).

Roy Bourgeois had been a Roman Catholic priest for 40 years when he was expelled at the end of 2012 for refusing to recant his support for Roman Catholic women priests. He is the author of My Journey from Silence to Solidarity (available at

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Pink Smoke Over the Vatican, directed by Jules Hart, IMDb 

Pink Smoke Over the Vatican is a documentary film about the controversial movement of women seeking ordination in the Roman Catholic Church. More and more women are answering a spiritual calling to take on the vestments of priesthood and seek equality in the religion they love. These daring women have risked banishment, loss of livelihood, and even excommunication to take part in what the Church calls illicit ordinations. The Vatican has vowed to end this threat to the male hierarchy, even forbidding the mere discussion of female priests. The papacy has reached a time of crisis and the controversy over women's role, and their place in the Church, must be addressed if the Vatican is to have any relevance in the 21st century.


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