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The Army Chaplain Who Quit Over 'Unaccountable Killing' of Obama’s Secretive Drone Program

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  • Antal said he “hopes to see greater empathy” among Americans for the victims of the U.S. drone program and is “deeply saddened by the numbing of our culture” to U.S.-led violence abroad.
  • “It’s becoming very easy for Americans to just go shopping and forget that this violence is happening,” Antal said.
  • Related: In Drones We Trust: Christians and the Kill List

Michael Edison Hayden, ABC News

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Rev. Chris J. Antal, the minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Rock Tavern, atte Bob Fernandez/Philadelphia Inquirer

May 28, 2016 | As a witness to the removal of fallen U.S. troops from Afghanistan, Army Chaplain Christopher John Antal can’t recall a time when that solemn ceremony wasn’t conducted without the presence of drones passing along the horizon.

They were sleek and quiet, making a gentle humming noise as they flew over the flight lines — where aircraft can be parked and serviced — of the Kandahar airfield in Afghanistan, where he was stationed in 2012. Not everyone had access to the flight lines, according to Antal, but he was responsible for participating in dignified transfer ceremonies, also known as ramp ceremonies, which were set there to greet the caskets of fallen service personnel as they were returned to base, en route to the U.S. On these occasions, he would watch the drones drift in and out, loaded with Hellfire missiles.

Michael Edison Hayden serves as a Breaking News Writer for ABC News in New York City.

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Related:

In Drones We Trust: Christians and the Kill List, William Alberts, The World Can't Wait

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  • Many Christian leaders are chaplains of the status quo.  Their bottom line is about maintaining profits not being prophets.  Rather than finding their voices and speaking truth to power, they provide the Invocations and Benedictions for those in power—and also punish those who threaten the status quo.
  • The US Military Christian Chaplaincy: Helping Soldiers Adjust to Committing War Crimes
  • Have They No Shame?

 

Special Report | The Francis I Chronicles: Employers not offering health insurance are 'true leeches.'

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  • "Living off the blood of the people: This is a mortal sin," said the pope. "It is a mortal sin. And it takes much patience, much restitution to convert ourselves from this sin."
  • Related: It's time for business leaders to stand up for the community.

Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Mike Steigerwald

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/End%20Corporate%20Greed%20Occupy.jpg May 19, 2016 | Pope Francis has condemned employers who exploit their workers by offering only temporary contracts or not providing health insurance, calling them "true leeches [that] live on the bloodletting of the people they make slaves to work."

Reflecting Thursday on the day's Mass readings during his homily at Casa Santa Marta, the pontiff also said that Christians err when they think there is a "theology of prosperity" in which God "sees that you are just and gives you much wealth."

Joshua J. McElwee is NCR Vatican correspondent. 

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Related:

It's time for business leaders to stand up for the community, Robert MacGregor, Minneapolis (MN) StarTribune 

Corporate elites nearly moved mountains for the good of society, residents and cities. Here's a wake-up call to get going again. 

 

The Journalist and the Bishops: CNS Editor Fired For Tweeting Opposition to LGBT Discrimination

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Spence’s firing, and the lack of respect for both freedom of the press and individual conscience it reflects, shows just how transactional the bishops’ relationship with fundamental American freedoms really is.

Patricia Miller, Religion Dispatches

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http://religiondispatches.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/bishopsspence.jpgApril 21, 2016 | If anyone needed more evidence of just how cynical the U.S. Catholic bishops’ manipulation of the principle of “religious freedom” is, look no further than last week’s dismissal of Tony Spence, the editor in chief of Catholic News Service, for tweeting his opposition to bills that would codify LGBT discrimination.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops built its “religious liberty” campaign, which was largely responsible for creating the broad, corrupted definition of religious liberty that has resulted in a wave of anti-LGBT bills across the country, around the idea that religious liberty is the “first, most cherished liberty”and that to deny it is a violation of core American values.

Patricia Miller, is a Washington, DC–based journalist and the author of Good Catholics: The Battle Over Abortion in the Catholic Church. Her work the intersection of politics, sex and religion has appeared in The Atlantic, Salon, The Nation, Huffington Post, RH Reality Check and Ms. Magazine.

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Daniel Berrigan, Poet, Peacemaker (May 9, 1921 - April 30, 2016)

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  • "He is a most remarkable person," Fr. J. Richard Neuhaus said of Berrigan in a telephone interview, "a most devout person and a devoted priest. 
  • We at Tikkun magazine, the voice of Jewish progressives, liberals, radicals and anti-capitalist non-violent revolutionaries, will deeply mourn the loss of our brother Daniel Berrigan.
  • Part 1: Daniel Berrigan, poet, peacemaker, dies at 94
  • Part 2: Father Daniel Berrigan, z'l  dead at 94

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

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Part 1: Daniel Berrigan, poet, peacemaker, dies at 94

"He is a most remarkable person," Fr. J. Richard Neuhaus said of Berrigan in a telephone interview, "a most devout person and a devoted priest. He is exemplary in different ways while also very much a restless spirit, which I suppose comes with being a poet, among other things."

Tom Robert, National Catholic Reporter (NCR) 

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Apr. 30, 2016 | Jesuit Fr. Daniel Berrigan, poet and peacemaker who was one of the most influential voices in shaping Catholic thinking about war and peace during the past century, died today. He was 94. 

His death was reported by a number of sources, including Jesuit Fr. James Martin, an editor of America Magazine.

Berrigan gained national attention for his work against the Vietnam War, including his participation in a striking act of civil disobedience with his brother, Philip, also a priest at the time, and seven others who became known as the Catonsville Nine. In 1968, the group burned draft records in the parking lot of a Maryland selective service office from which they had taken files.

Tom Robert is NCR editor-at-large. 

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Part 2: Father Daniel Berrigan, z'l  dead at 94

We at Tikkun magazine, the voice of Jewish progressives, liberals, radicals and anti-capitalist non-violent revolutionaries, will deeply mourn the loss of our brother Daniel Berrigan. Dan was a true spiritual progressive, and it was a great honor for us when he joined the Advisory Board of the Network of Spiritual Progressives. His memory will always be a blessing (z'l=zeycher tzadik liv'racha). --Rabbi Michael Lerner

Rabbi Michael Lerner <magazine@tikkun.org, Tikkun

May 1, 2017 | Daniel Berrigan was one of  the most inspiring figures of the anti-war and social justice movements of the past fifty years. He died on Saturday, April 30, 2016, and will be sorely missed by all of us who knew him. I was first introduced to him by my mentor Abraham Joshua Heschel in 1968 when he and Heschel and Martin Luther King had become prominent voices in the Clergy and Laity Against the War in Vietnam. He told me that he had been inspired by the civil disobedience and militant demonstrations that were sweeping the country in 1966-68, many of them led by Students for a Democratic Society (at the time I was chair of the University of California Berkeley chapter). Over the course of the ensuing 48 years I was inspired by his activism and grateful for his support for Tikkun magazine. Heschel told me how very important Dan was for him--particularly in the dark days after Nixon had been elected and escalated the bombings in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Those of us who were activists were particularly heartened by his willingness to publicly challenge the chicken-heartedness and moral obtuseness of religious leaders in the Catholic, Protestant and Jewish world who privately understood that the Vietnam war was immoral but who would not publicly condemn it and instead condemned the nonviolent activism of the anti-war movement because we were disobeying the law, burning our draft cards, disrupting the campus recruitment into the CIA and the ROTC, and blocking entrance into army recruitment centers and the Pentagon!

Here is a brief summary of Berrigan's achievements as written for the Catholic magazine AMERICA.   He co-founded the Catholic Peace Fellowship and the interfaith group Clergy and Laity.

(This summary of one part of his achievements was written by Luke Hansen, S.J., a former associate editor of America, now a student at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University, Berkeley, Calif.).

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Pope Affirms Traditional Marriage

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The Pope rejects the role of a scold, and looks askance at those who bury their head in the letter of the law. At the same time, he wants us to appreciate the wisdom of the church's teachings on marriage, the family, and sexuality. He has not changed the bar, but he is asking us to help everyone clear it.

Bill DonohueNewsmax

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Betty Culver.

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Friday April 08, 2016 | Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation, "The Joy of Love," does not change a single teaching of the Catholic Church, but he does call on Catholics to be more understanding of the irregular family unions that so many find themselves in these days. 

The Holy Father acknowledges that there are those, in and out of the church, who harbor "an immoderate desire for total change without sufficient reflection or grounding." These Catholics will be disappointed, if not angry, that they did not get what they wanted. 

Bill Donohue is the president and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. 

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Charter for Compassion | Join the Global Book Club

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Are You a Reader? If so, read on ...

 

Charter for Compassion

 

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http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1449170454l/27817912.jpg April 2, 2016 | As many of you are aware, the Charter for Compassion has an established Compassion Book Club inspired by and built around Karen Armstrong’s Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life. Many of our members have formed book clubs and discussion groups surrounding this important work. Now, we are hoping to energize and broaden our Compassionate Book Club by inviting members to join in an All-Charter-Book-Read.

How will this work?

We have selected five books. Members can read these books individually, host book clubs, form discussion groups, etc. in our various and wide-spread places of residence. We will allocate several months for the reading of each book and then have the authors of the book lead an on-line discussion of their work generated by your questions.

Charter for Compassion International provides an umbrella for people to engage in collaborative partnerships worldwide. Our mission is to bring to life the principles articulated in the Charter for Compassion through concrete, practical action in a myriad of sectors.

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This Is How Real Change Happens

  • With your help, we’re building a Summit for 2016 that will truly live up to its mission: world change through faith and justice. 
  • The Summit, June 22-24, 2016, Gallaudet University, Washington, DC

Jim Wallis, Sojourners

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Molly%20Ivins%20%22Stop%20It%20Now!%22_1.jpg 03-31-2016 | Two years ago, we had an idea: What if we pulled together 300 leaders – from every justice movement and type of work you can think of – for a gathering focused on inspiration, collaboration, and relationships? I meet hundreds of passionate, hardworking leaders every year on the road, and Sojourners partners with even more in our day-to-day work.

We decided to bring them together to The Summit to find out what we could build together that we couldn’t build separately.

The results have been astounding.

Jim Wallis is president of Sojourners. His book, America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America, is available now.

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Is Pope Francis’ Abuse Commission A Fail?

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For abuse survivors, the move to silence Saunders (a sexual abuse survivor serving on the commission) confirms their fears that the commission was largely a PR tactic. “We never had high hopes for the commission,” David Clohessy of the survivor’s group SNAP told RD. He says church officials “know exactly what should be done in abuse cases” and have “unlimited resources” to do it. “They don’t need advice, they need courage and no commission will give them that,” he said.

Patricia Miller, Religion Dispatches

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February 10, 2016 | Pope Francis’ formation of a committee to advise him on long-term policies to stem clerical sexual abuse was hailed as a major step forward in the Catholic Church’s bungled handling of the abuse crisis. But an internal crisis within the committee—along with the glacial pace of any reforms—is raising questions about the credibility and effectiveness of the committee going forward.

Over the weekend, Peter Saunders, one of two actual survivors of sexual abuse serving on the committee, was booted off by a nearly unanimous vote of the other members. They asserted that the committee’s role is specifically advisory and limited to developing long-term policies to prevent abuse and that Saunders was upsetting the apple cart by advocating for more immediate action and intervention in specific cases.

Patricia Miller is a Washington, DC–based journalist and the author of Good Catholics: The Battle Over Abortion in the Catholic Church. Her work the intersection of politics, sex and religion has appeared in The Atlantic, Salon, The Nation, Huffington Post, RH Reality Check and Ms. Magazine.

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