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Angel Boligan | Wars of Religion / politicalcartoons.com

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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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Why did this powerful church group struggle to denounce white supremacy?

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‘It would be a mistake to interpret this fiasco simply as a misstep.’ Photograph: Natalie Behring/Getty Images

  • The Southern Baptist Convention’s reluctance to condemn racism is not only true to its history but it reflects how white supremacy is built into the very DNA of American Christianity.
  • Related: White Racism in America's Police Departments Is So Much Worse Than Most Americans Understand.

Daniel José Camacho, the Guardian 

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http://cdn.billmoyers.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/takingaboutrace_606x154b.jpgSaturday, 17 June 2017 | Condemning white supremacy and the alt-right movement shouldn’t be hard. But the Southern Baptist Convention – the nation’s largest Protestant denomination– had its doubts about whether to do so this week.

During the annual meeting, they initially declined to pass a resolution doing just that. Chaos ensued at the denomination’s annual meeting and a firestorm of criticism quickly followed. Delegates eventually passed a modified version of the resolution – originally drafted by one of its black pastors – but the damage had been done.

Daniel José Camacho is a Contributing Opinion Writer at Guardian US. His writing has appeared in Christian Century, Religion Dispatches, Sojourners, Duke Magazine, and TIME, and his commentary has appeared in the New York Times.

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Related:

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White Racism in America's Police Departments Is So Much Worse Than Most Americans Understand, Jeff Pegues, Prometheus Books / Alternet

CBS News correspondent Jeff Pegues' new book exposes the under-reported "ghost skins": hidden white supremacists in law enforcement.

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