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Jimmy Margulies | Religion and politics / media.cagle.com

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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With Creation of Little Noticed Department, Pope Francis is Securing Liberal Reforms

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Even if the conservative camp still holds an electoral majority at the next papal conclave, Pope Francis has at least begun to institutionalize his legacy within the Vatican bureaucracy, complete with a popular papabile leading the charge as he seeks to further secure his vision for the Church’s role in the world in 2017.

Cormac Shine, Religion Dispatches

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http://religiondispatches.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/popa.jpg February 17, 2017 | Unlike many of his fellow world leaders, Pope Francis had a good 2016. His emphasis on humanitarian kindness in a time of increasing political turbulence has been warmly received by many liberal observers, eager to find a source of hope in uncertain times. In particular, Francis’s statements on climate change, the migration crisis and the shortcomings of unfettered capitalism, and border walls, along with his obliquely progressive statements on social issues such as homosexuality and abortion, have won him continued plaudits in the secular media.

In an editorial on New Year’s Day, for example, the Guardian praised Pope Francis as a “champion of humanity,” outlining his paradoxical status as the defender of progressive causes now under attack around the world. Similarly, in a piece for the American Prospect, Alexander Görlach touted Francis as “A Sacred Populist,” lauding him for breaking with conservatives and preaching a simple message of acceptance in times of great political upheaval and conflict. Liberals have had all the more reason to rally behind the pope since the beginning of Trump’s presidency, as White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has allied with Francis’s bitterest opponents in an attempt to export his political revolution to the Vatican.

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Special Report | New Economic Perspectives: An Introduction to the Economics of Pope Francis

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Responding to Pope Francis’s Call for Dialogue

Robert M. Whaples, The Independent Review

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Francis%20I%2C%20Superpope%2C%20Italian%20Street%20Art.jpgWinter 2017 | As the contributors to this symposium show, Pope Francis’s views about the economy, especially about the poor and the rich, are deeply at odds with those of many economists. Several differences involve matters of economic fact and causation—and therefore in principle can be resolved by appeals for everyone to consider the same body of evidence. Although the clash over conflicting values is a chasm far more difficult to bridge, fruitful dialogue is the goal of this symposium.

Pope Francis has invited those concerned about the economy, the environment, and the destiny of the world—everyone—to join a dialogue. And there is a clear need for dialogue between Francis and economists because the pope and many in the economics profession do not see eye to eye at a fundamental level on many issues.

Robert M. Whaple is professor of economics at Wake Forest University and co-editor and managing editor of The Independent Review.

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