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How (and how not) to address racism in the church

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  • As the Black Lives Matter movement and immigration concerns continue to shine the national spotlight on racism in the United States, surely church leadership shouldn’t be taking a step back.  
  • A pastoral letter from the U.S. bishops won’t solve racism. Becoming an intercultural church might.

A U.S. Catholic interview 

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http://www.truthdig.com/images/eartothegrounduploads/sonlaliblack_590.jpg May 2017 | In 1979 the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a pastoral letter on racism entitled “Brothers and Sisters to Us.” It was significant because it was the strongest statement by the U.S. bishops declaring racism a sin. However, a problematic title to this otherwise dynamic document seemed to perpetuate exactly this racial “us” versus “them” the document itself was trying to alleviate. Just who is “us”? critics asked, pointing out how the title implied that the American church’s membership and leadership was of European descent. Where were the black, Asian, and Latino Catholics in the conversation? 

It’s been almost 40 years since that document, and tense race relations in the church and society have anything but subsided. Father Simon Kim, a Korean American priest and theologian who has researched racism in the church and is currently serving on the committee drafting the upcoming bishops’ document on racism, believes that the church has “taken a decline, a step back from the momentum of the ’79 document, and we’re not doing as much or anything substantial or relevant right now.” 

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This Mom Of 4 With No Criminal Record Was Deported After Following ICE’s Rules

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Maribel Trujillo Diaz is a mother of four from Ohio. Courtesy of Trujillo Diaz Family 

Maribel Trujillo Diaz’s kids never got a chance to say goodbye.

Carol Kuruvilla, Huffington Post

04/20/2017 | Despite vigils, social media campaigns, and strong statements of support from church members, prominent politicians and faith leaders, the simple truth is this: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will show no mercy ― even to a mother of four American children with no criminal record.  

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Maribel Trujillo Diaz, who has peacefully lived in the United States for 15 years, was deported to her native Mexico on Wednesday, her lawyers confirmed

Carol Kuruvilla, Religion Reporter, Huffington Post

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ACLU | Why the Only Way to Fix the Muslim Ban Is Not to Have a Muslim Ban, Cody Wofsy, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) / Rise Up Times

  • Instead of abandoning this odious idea in response to widespread criticism and outrage, Mr. Trump candidly explained that he would change the wording of his proposal but not its substance.   
  • Related: Trump Scrubs Civil Rights, LGBTQ Rights, Climate Change from WhiteHouse.gov

Trump Leads the Religious Right to the Promised Land

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  • In a tweet last night, President Donald Trump posted this picture and wrote that the prayer circle occurred after he announced his nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court.
  • Evangelicals' alignment with Trump shows their affinity for power over morality.
  •  

Adele Stan, Moyers & Company

http://lacatholicworker.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/faith-and-politics-sign.jpg February 2, 2017 | It’s been a heady two weeks for right-wing Christian evangelicals. Never before has a president of the United States — not Reagan or either of the Bushes — delivered so much of their agenda in such short order as Donald Trump has just done. He capped off his string of early valentines to the religious right with the announcement of a Supreme Court nominee who is poised to revoke the rights of women, further tear down the “wall” between church and state and open wider the doors for big monied interests to buy the political system they want.

 

The right-wing press was breathless in its praise for 49-year-old Judge Neil Gorsuch, named by Trump on Tuesday night to ascend to the high court with the seat vacated by the death of Antonin Scalia, who was a ferocious opponent of reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights and significant remedial measures for ensuring civil liberties for African-Americans. Yet religious-minded conservatives may come to love their new man even more than the lionized Scalia: The New York Times places Gorsuch to Scalia’s right.

Adele Stan is a columnist for The American Prospect and a freelance writer.

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Because Passover is a refugee story, one synagogue invited refugees to Seder.

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Photo via iStock.

  • This year, Beth-El is preparing to host over 100 congregants and some special first-time guests: about 50 refugees, most from Afghanistan.
  • "There’s a saying in Judaism that a little light dispels a lot of darkness," Rabbi Michael Knopf says. "So even though we’re just one little community in one little city, I think we’re doing a lot of illuminating for at least this group of people."

Eric March, Upworthy

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April 7, 2017 | Rabbi Michael Knopf of Temple Beth-El in Richmond, Virginia, is marveling at the length of his to-do list for Tuesday's Passover Seder.

The food still has to be cooked, the Haggadahs proofread, and volunteers wrangled.

"[It's] a little bit crazy, but in a good way," Knopf says.

Eric March: Just your average red-blooded, all-American transit geek and musical theater fanatic. If you want to chat about dedicated bus rapid transit lanes or why "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" is actually a comedy song and not a ballad, join me on Facebook or Twitter.

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11 Grounding Techniques for Empaths to Avoid Apathy and Depression

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Let's help other empaths who need healing after the US election.

 

Editor, Gostica

 

 

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November 29, 2016 | Empaths, let’s all agree on one thing – I really think that it is a challenge for Empaths to stay grounded as they’re constantly being bombarded with a real mix of negative, external emotions. Even if they stay home and don’t venture out of their personal sanctuaries, their empathic antennas are picking up so much of the pain from the outside world.

Because of this, Empaths can easily become consumed with depression, listlessness and apathy and lose sight of what our roles here are to do. All of the following techniques have been tried and tested by yours truly and I can attest to the benefits of them, although I have to say on the darker days, especially when there is a lot of solar activity, even these techniques don’t always clear the emotional debris.

Gostica: to simplify the finding of Information … based on personal experience and summarization of extensive information and practicing esoteric spirituality as a way of life of modern, evolved human being.

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Spiritual Practice in the Time of the Mad King

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  • Ultimately, we need to find an electoral expression to decontaminate the land and restore sanity. But for now at least, acting every day makes a mark in favor of sanity and pushes back against the lies that are spreading like a fungus.
  • Related: 101 Ways To Take Care of Yourself When the World Feels Overwhelming

Rodger Kamenetz, Tikkun

http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/199014709_572866b8c1_b.jpg February 28, 2017 | Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav, an early 19th century Hasidic master, offered a parable about a king who foretold that the year’s harvest of rye would be contaminated with ergot, a fungus with effects similar to LSD. Whoever ate the rye would become mad. The prime minister said we must put aside enough grain so we won’t have to eat this year’s harvest.

But the king said, “But then we will be the only ones who will be sane. Everyone else will be mad. Therefore they will think that we are the mad ones. Therefore, we too must eat this year’s grain. But we will put a mark on our foreheads so at least we will know we are mad. I will look at your forehead you will look at mine, and when we see this sign, we will know we are both mad.” 

Rodger Kamenetz is the author of Burnt Books (Schocken 2010), a dual biography of Franz Kafka and Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlav. His blog is www.thenaturaldream.com

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101 Ways To Take Care of Yourself When the World Feels Overwhelming, Annie Wright, Upworthy

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  • A therapist shares small ways to practice self-care.
  • Related: How Bonhoeffer Dealt with the Despair of World Chaos
  • Related: From a trained therapist | 11 small ways to feel less helpless this week

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MN houses of worship prepare to offer sanctuary to some facing deportation

There's no timeline for when these houses of worship will need to be ready to host immigrants, but that it could be any day. Faith leaders say their spaces will be ready when they're needed.

Jon Collins, MPR News

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https://img.apmcdn.org/23e131822991e11f9592a231ab39abfe00e14dcf/widescreen/15b71f-20170309-shirtikvah02.jpg A sign on the entrance to the Shir Tikvah synagogue in Minneapolis declares the congregation's support of those threatened by deportation. Evan Frost | MPR News

Mar 10, 2017 | As President Trump vows to crack down on undocumented immigration and step up deportations, some Minnesota religious leaders are preparing to offer immigrants shelter in their places of worship. Their hope is that giving immigrants sanctuary will shield them, at least temporarily, from being removed from the country.

House of Hope Lutheran Church is an unadorned beige building in New Hope, a suburb northwest of Minneapolis.

Inside, Pastor Mark Vinge envisions wood-paneled storage rooms transformed into bedrooms, playrooms and other spaces necessary for people staying in the church for an extended period.

Jon Collins is a reporter for MPR News.

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