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Religion & Spirituality

How Christianity Weaponizes Jesus and Hinders Racial Justice

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  • In whatever Christian denomination you choose to look at, you'll find despicable misdeeds left and right.
  • Part 1: Hatred is weaponizing Jesus: How violent evangelicals, faith-based con artists & serial abusers are using religion for the purpose of evil.
  • Part 2: Black America owes no forgiveness: How Christianity hinders racial justice.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest



Part 1: Hatred is weaponizing Jesus: How violent evangelicals, faith-based con artists & serial abusers are using religion for the purpose of evil.

In whatever Christian denomination you choose to look at, you'll find despicable misdeeds left and right.

Jeffrey Tayler, Salon

jesus_machine_gun-620x412.jpg(Credit: Renata Sedmakova via Shutterstock/Salon)

Sunday, Aug 23, 2015 | I’ve decided that, at least in the United States, the religiously devout really do have the interests of rationalist nonbelievers at heart, at least as far as providing us with (a sick, unseemly sort of) entertainment goes. They strive ceaselessly and tirelessly, without remiss, on holidays, weekends, and during the work week, to provide us with new episodes of the tragicomic—though mostly tragic—reality-show farce that is religion, and at their own expense. We might just as well call them the Falstaffs of Faith.

In the Roman Catholic cult, aging, supposedly celibate yet surely (concupiscently) turgid priests in frocks and beanies hide behind screens in confessionals and eagerly (probably pantingly) parse accounts of the sexual misdeeds of their flock members, and have the nerve to impose “penance” on them, even as dioceses continue to declare bankruptcy to get out of making payouts to their own sexual abuse victims. In the United States alone, by 2012, the Catholic Church’s victims numbered as many as 100,000, and payouts to them had amounted to as much as $2.2 billion.

Jeffrey Tayler is a U.S.-born author and journalist. He is the Russia correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly, a contributor to several other magazines, and the author of seven books as well.

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Part 2: Black America owes no forgiveness: How Christianity hinders racial justice.

Blacks are expected to absolve White America of its crimes. The rules change when the victim happens to be white.

Chauncey DeVega, AlterNet / Salon

ferguson_anniversary4-620x412.jpgSunday, Aug 23, 2015 | On the one-year anniversary of the death of an 18-year-old black teenager named Michael Brown by a (now confessed racist) white police officer named Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, Brown’s mother, Lezley McSpadden, was asked if she forgave Darren Wilson for his cruel and wanton act of legal murder. She told Al Jazeera that she will “never forgive” Darren Wilson and that “he’s evil, his acts were devilish.”

Her response is unusual. Its candor is refreshing. Lezley McSpadden’s truth-telling reveals the full humanity and emotions of black folks, and by doing so defies the norms which demand that when Black Americans suffer they do so stoically, and always in such a way where forgiveness for racist violence is a given, an unearned expectation of White America.

Chauncey DeVega: political essayist, educator, cultural critic, and ghetto nerd

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Robert Reich: America's Immoral Economy

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  • The social contract has become entirely one-sided.
  • The US Economy Continues Its Collapse.

Robert Reich, RobertReich.org / Alternet

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tyranny.jpg September 6, 2015 | An economy depends fundamentally on public morality; some shared standards about what sorts of activities are impermissible because they so fundamentally violate trust that they threaten to undermine the social fabric.

It is ironic that at a time the Republican presidential candidates and state legislators are furiously focusing on private morality – what people do in their bedrooms, contraception, abortion, gay marriage – we are experiencing a far more significant crisis in public morality.

Robert Reich has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. He also served on President Obama's transition advisory board. His latest book is "Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future."

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Related:

The US Economy Continues Its Collapse, Paul Craig Roberts, Countercurrents.org

  • Clearly, this is not an economy that has a future.
  • 35 soul-crushing facts about American income inequality,

Amazing Grace

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  • Church leaders in Baltimore, MD, and Decatur, GA, redeem themselves of cowardice and hypocrisy!
  • Part 1: This powerful footage of over 100 clergy arm-in-arm through Baltimore shows the power of community.
  • Part 2: Black Preacher absolutely unloads on church hypocrisy on LGBT and it's freaking awesome.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest



Part 1: This powerful footage of over 100 clergy arm-in-arm through Baltimore shows the power of community.

See the powerful scene on the streets of Baltimore as over 100 clergy members marched right up to a row of cops.

Rebecca Eisenberg, Upworthy

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Betty Culver

Coffee%20%26%20Paper%20Graphic.jpgJournalism with real independence and integrity is a rare thing. All reader supported Evergreene Digest relies - exclusively!- on reader donations. Click on the donation button above to make a contribution and support our work.

crowd2-37e677b1fe6ae444cee28d666d9f08c1.gifAs years of understandable pent-up frustration with the police boiled over in Baltimore last night, there was one scene that really stood out.

"Over 500 Pastors out here declaring God and Peace on North Ave, what sight. The people have joined in this army to reclaim our streets. We love our City, Bmore!!!" Posted by Antoine Burton on Monday, April 27, 2015

Hundreds of faith leaders marched down the streets of Baltimore, praying and singing loudly.

Watching the men and women walk down the street, their crowd growing by the minute, was a bit of stunningly powerful imagery when put up against scenes of violence that seem to be on a loop.

Rebecca Eisenberg: A list of words that describes me is nerd, feminist, pop culture nut, Hufflepuff, comedy fan, TV enthusiast, bad at bio-writing, good at list-making. I'm hoping to make the world a better place by blogging in my pajamas.

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Part 2: Black Preacher absolutely unloads on church hypocrisy on LGBT and it's freaking awesome.

  • Pastor E. Dewey Smith of the House of Hope, Greater Travelers Rest church in Decatur, GA, gave an impassioned sermon, posted to YouTube on Thursday, in which he slammed church leaders for judging gay people but “you change wives like we change underwear.”
  • Move all your breakable and flammable stuff out of the way and make the jump to the video.

Toking Points Memo, Daily Kos

Pastor%20Dewey%20Smith%20on%20Church%20LGBT%20Hypocrisy.jpgFri, Jul 24, 2015 | I have little positive regard for the Church and preachers usually. Finding issues with this group is shooting big fish in a small barrel.

That said,  you have to check this guy out. Man, oh Man: he attacks the Churches in general who have been demonizing the LGBT population and he goes off. You can light a fire with this sermon.

Toking Points Memo: Daily Kos Contributor

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Muslim charities 'Respond with Love' to raise funds to rebuild burned-down black churches.

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  • They must rebuild and you can help, all houses of worship are sacred.
  • Part 1: Part 1: Muslim charities raise nearly $45K to rebuild burned-down black churches
  • Part 2: Respond with Love: Rebuild Black Churches, Support Victims of Arson across the South
  • Why The Media Refuse To Connect Those Church Fires With Race

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: Muslim charities raise nearly $45K to rebuild burned-down black churches

Three Muslim charities have ... launched a "Respond with Love" crowdfunding campaign to help damaged black churches rebuild and "stand united against hate."

Lindsey Bever, Washington Post / Chicago Tribune

m3-650x481.jpgJuly 12, 2015 | Over the past several weeks, a handful of predominantly black churches across the South have burned down. Some were ruled arson, others accidents — but they still recalled racist attacks against black churches throughout American history.

The church fires followed the mass shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, igniting concern over the possibility of a wave of hate crimes.

Three Muslim charities have since launched a "Respond with Love" crowdfunding campaign to help damaged black churches rebuild and "stand united against hate." The Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative, Arab American Association of New York and Ummah Wide have raised nearly $45,000 since starting the fundraiser last week.

Lindsey Bever: National reporter at the Washington Post

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Part 2: Respond with Love: Rebuild Black Churches, Support Victims of Arson across the South

  • Black churches across the south have been target of arson in the past week. Help them rebuild and stand united against hate.
  • They must rebuild and you can help, all houses of worship are sacred.

Faatimah Knight, Launch Good 

2Eday092512.jpgJuly, 2015 | 8 Black churches have been burned to the ground since the shooting of 9 parishioners at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC. These church burnings happened within the span of 10 days. Three were undoubtedly set by arsons; the others are pending investigation. But to many it is clear that these are attacks on Black culture, Black religion and Black lives. These kinds of attacks on Black churches are a very old form of intimidation in the South, historically used to strike fear into the hearts of Black people.

Its Ramadan and we are experiencing firsthand the beauty and sanctity of our mosques during this holy month. ALL houses of worship are sanctuaries, a place where all should feel safe, a place we can seek refuge when the world is too much to bear. We are calling on you to help add our support to faith communities across the country pooling their resources to rebuild these churches. There has not been anywhere near the amount of resources needed to rebuild these churches. The time is now, let's unite to help our sisters and brothers in faith. 

Faatimah Knight: Project Director, Respond with Love

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Related:

Why The Media Refuse To Connect Those Church Fires With Race, Carolyn J. Davis, Talking Points Memo

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  • “When it comes to church burnings, many African Americans see the difference between an official hate crime and an act of ‘vandalism’ as an issue of semantics, especially given the long, painful history of racists intentionally—and largely independently—setting fire to black churches all over the country,” – Jack Jenkins, ThinkProgress
  • Muslim charities 'Respond with Love' to raise funds to rebuild burned-down black churches

String of Nighttime Fires Hit Predominately Black Churches in Four Southern States

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  • In what may not be a coincidence, a string of nighttime fires have damaged or destroyed at least six predominately black churches in four southern states in the past week.
  • Black America is getting screwed.

Bill Morlin, Southern Poverty Law Center

1*eHaipQNA_ctiEIiGI4LxmQ.jpegFire at Briar Creek Street Baptist Church

June 26, 2015 | In what may not be a coincidence, a string of nighttime fires have damaged or destroyed at least six predominately black churches in four southern states in the past week.

Arsonists started at least three of the fires, while other causes are being examined in the other fires, investigators say.

The series of fires — some of them suspicious and possible hate crimes — came in the week following a murderous rampage by a white supremacist who shot and killed nine people at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C.

Bill Morlin: Correspondent, Southern Poverty Law Center

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Black America is getting screwed, David Dayen, Salon 

  • Shocking new study highlights the depths of economic disparities
  • Black retail workers are twice as likely to live below the poverty line, and twice as likely to be unemployed. Why?
  • 40 Reasons US Jails And Prisons Are Full Of Black And Poor People

To get love, you give love. Let a woman from San Francisco show you how she does it.

  • Shannon Weber knows a thing or two about the power of a simple love note.
  • Hugs. Gifts. Snuggles. High fives. Smiles. It's often simple gestures that have the power to truly make a person feel special, important, remembered, appreciated.

Mary Rindlesbach, Upworthy

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Med-efe0269d5b6b885f910f03a8bceb19c9.jpgFor Shannon Weber, it all started with a simple love note on a fridge.

A mom of three, Shannon wanted her kids to have a little reminder of her love all the time, so she stuck a note on her fridge. Seeing it every day made her (and her kids!) feel so great that she started placing love notes all over town; she wanted others to feel the same amazing positive mojo. "I feel alive when I do it. I feel connected to myself, to my kids, to the greater world."

Mary Rindlesbach I'm a pug-loving, red-headed feminist who spends her days traveling to the furthest edges of the Internet. I'm a sometimes college instructor, an all-the-time spouse and parent, a running enthusiast, and an armchair movie critic.

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Praying for Peace While Waging Permanent War?

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  • Only when we work for the day when the US is no longer the world leader in war will we have the right to pray for peace on Memorial Day.
  • The Big Dick School of American Patriotism
  • The War Prayer ~ Mark Twain

Bill Quigley, CounterPunch

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Stars%20%26%20Stripes%20Briefs.jpgMay 25, 2015 | Memorial Day is, by federal law, a day of prayer for permanent peace.   But is it possible to honestly pray for peace while our country is far and away number one in the world in waging war, military presence, military spending and the sale of weapons around the world?

Since 1980 the US has engaged in aggressive military action in 14 countries in the Islamic world alone, according to research published in the Washington Post: Iran (1980, 1987-1988), Libya (1981, 1986, 1989, 2011), Lebanon (1983), Kuwait (1991), Iraq (1991-2011, 2014-), Somalia (1992-1993, 2007-), Bosnia (1995), Saudi Arabia (1991, 1996), Afghanistan (1998, 2001-), Sudan (1998), Kosovo (1999), Yemen (2000, 2002-), Pakistan (2004-) and now Syria. In this hemisphere, US military forces invaded Grenada (1983) and Panama (1989), and landed 20,000 military forces in Haiti (1994).

Bill Quigley teaches law at Loyola University New Orleans.

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Related:

The Big Dick School of American Patriotism, Nan Levinson, TomDispatch

  • America's new military mystique and what we make of it
  • The Washington Post Will Kill Us All
  • War Is Not a Game: The New Antiwar Soldiers and the Movement They Built

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The War Prayer ~ Mark Twain

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It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and spluttering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spread of roofs and balconies a fulttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory with stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts, and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country, and invoked the God of Battles beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpourings of fervid eloquence which moved every listener.

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