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My Christian manifesto for surviving dark times

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Illumination," Mary Southard, CSJ/www.MarySouthardArt.Org/LaGrange Park, IL 60526-1721 (Used with permission)

  • Sometimes our part to play means speaking truth to power and risking our lives, as did so many courageous religious leaders last weekend (Charlottesville, VA). And maybe then — Trump and company notwithstanding — God's new reign of justice and peace will dawn at last.
  • Related: Charlottesville and Trump: A spiritual exercise for the overwhelmed and exhausted

Christine Schenk, National Catholic Reporter

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Aug 15, 2017 | OK, so I haven't been in the greatest personal space lately. Maybe it's because I had a knee replacement in the middle of June followed by intensive and — thanks to long-suffering physical therapists — successful rehab. But I had little energy for anything besides watching cable news and HGTV reruns on the oh-so-appropriately-named boob tube.

I felt internally "flat" and missed the quiet sense of God within. This is always painful, since I tend to focus on everything that is wrong with me, with U.S. policy, and with the universe. Maybe it was anesthesia after-burn but I suspect there is more to it.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Christine%20Schenk.jpgChristine Schenk served urban families for 18 years as a nurse midwife before co-founding FutureChurch, where she served for 23 years. She holds master's degrees in nursing and theology.

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Related:

Charlottesville and Trump: A spiritual exercise for the overwhelmed and exhausted, Jim McDermott, America

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Two people comfort Joseph Culver of Charlottesville, Va., Aug. 12 as he kneels at a late night vigil to pay his respects for a friend injured in a car attack on counter-protesters rallying against white nationalists. (CNS photo/Jim Bourg, Reuters)

Each new day finds us inundated with more data, the latest takes and the prospect of another crisis.
How do you continue to “bear witness” when every three or four days there is another crisis?

Christian nationalism can no longer be ignored. Roy Moore’s win proves it.

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Roy Moore on election night. Credit: AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

“We have to return the knowledge of God and the Constitution of the United States to the United States Congress.”

Jack Jenkins, Think Progress  

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Sep 27, 2017 | When former judge Roy Moore bounded onto stage Tuesday night to declare victory in the Alabama Republican primary, he was quick to offer his own explanation for his resounding nine-point win.

“There’s one you don’t see up here [on stage], and let me just tell you, He’s done more for my campaign than anybody — and that’s almighty God,” Moore said to a raucous crowd. He then quoted a passage from Isaiah 40 before declaring: “We have to return the knowledge of God and the Constitution of the United States to the United States Congress.”

https://i0.wp.com/thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/jack.jpg?w=300&crop=0%2C0px%2C100%2C300px&ssl=1 Jack Jenkins: Senior Religion Reporter for ThinkProgress.

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Charlottesville and Trump: A spiritual exercise for the overwhelmed and exhausted

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Two people comfort Joseph Culver of Charlottesville, Va., Aug. 12 as he kneels at a late night vigil to pay his respects for a friend injured in a car attack on counter-protesters rallying against white nationalists. (CNS photo/Jim Bourg, Reuters)

  • Each new day finds us inundated with more data, the latest takes and the prospect of another crisis.
  • How do you continue to “bear witness” when every three or four days there is another crisis?

Jim McDermott, America 

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August 16, 2017 | Five days after the horrific events in Charlottesville, Va., our country continues to grapple with their significance. As has been true from the start of the Trump administration, each new day finds us inundated with more data, the latest takes and the prospect of another crisis. Simply trying to keep up with it all can be difficult. Gaining a broader perspective seems at times near impossible.

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For instance, we have condemned those who marched at Charlottesville in the strongest of terms; they have been outed on social media and excoriated in the press. But stepping back, that seems to be exactly what these groups wanted. Waving Nazi flags, shouting racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic slurs, they certainly were not looking for approbation. No, they wanted a public spectacle of conflict. They wanted to provoke opponents to show up and get in fights with them; they wanted the press and others to mock and abuse them. Those moves serve their argument that the “other side” is just that: another position of equal standing, its supporters just as aggressive and partisan as them.

https://www.americamagazine.org/sites/default/files/styles/medium/public/profile_photo/Jim%20McDermott.jpg?itok=4Lwq1XMB Jim McDermott is America’s Los Angeles correspondent. 

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A Forceful Essay Hits a Nerve

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  • The U.S. church is being asked to choose between the values of Francis and those of Trump.
  • Spadaro & Figueroa Are Onto Something

Anthony Annett, Commonweal

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July 28, 2017 | Over a decade ago, I was one of the co-founders of a small Catholic blog called Vox Nova. The goal of the blog was precisely that—to be a “new voice” for authentic and consistent Catholic social teaching. Most of us on that blog hewed to traditional teaching on social justice and were identified with the Catholic left. But we also tried hard to be consistent—we didn’t disdain Humanae Vitae, ignore abortion, call for women priests, or denigrate Church teachings on sexuality. In doing so, we sought to challenge the presumptions of those http://lacatholicworker.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/faith-and-politics-sign.jpg   who monopolized the mantel of “faithful, orthodox Catholicism.” We were attacked relentlessly for exposing their inconsistency. But in an ocean of right-wing Catholic opinion, Vox Nova was easily drowned out, in the end making only the tiniest of ripples. 

The same cannot be said of the forceful essay in La Civiltà Cattolica by Fr. Antonio Spadaro, SJ, and Marcelo Figueroa, which shone a light on the pathologies of a certain brand of American Catholicism. And the extent and vitriol of the pushback from the highest echelons of American right-wing Catholicism only shows that Spadaro and Figueroa have hit a nerve. 

Anthony Annett is a climate change and sustainable development advisor at the Center for Sustainable Development - Earth Institute at Columbia University and in this position is affiliated with Religions for Peace.

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