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How (and how not) to address racism in the church

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  • As the Black Lives Matter movement and immigration concerns continue to shine the national spotlight on racism in the United States, surely church leadership shouldn’t be taking a step back.  
  • A pastoral letter from the U.S. bishops won’t solve racism. Becoming an intercultural church might.

A U.S. Catholic interview 

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http://www.truthdig.com/images/eartothegrounduploads/sonlaliblack_590.jpg May 2017 | In 1979 the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a pastoral letter on racism entitled “Brothers and Sisters to Us.” It was significant because it was the strongest statement by the U.S. bishops declaring racism a sin. However, a problematic title to this otherwise dynamic document seemed to perpetuate exactly this racial “us” versus “them” the document itself was trying to alleviate. Just who is “us”? critics asked, pointing out how the title implied that the American church’s membership and leadership was of European descent. Where were the black, Asian, and Latino Catholics in the conversation? 

It’s been almost 40 years since that document, and tense race relations in the church and society have anything but subsided. Father Simon Kim, a Korean American priest and theologian who has researched racism in the church and is currently serving on the committee drafting the upcoming bishops’ document on racism, believes that the church has “taken a decline, a step back from the momentum of the ’79 document, and we’re not doing as much or anything substantial or relevant right now.” 

U.S. Catholic: With a strong focus on social justice, we offer a fresh and balanced take on the issues that matter most in our world, adding a faith perspective to such challenges as poverty, education, family life, and pop culture.

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This Mom Of 4 With No Criminal Record Was Deported After Following ICE’s Rules

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Maribel Trujillo Diaz is a mother of four from Ohio. Courtesy of Trujillo Diaz Family 

Maribel Trujillo Diaz’s kids never got a chance to say goodbye.

Carol Kuruvilla, Huffington Post

04/20/2017 | Despite vigils, social media campaigns, and strong statements of support from church members, prominent politicians and faith leaders, the simple truth is this: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will show no mercy ― even to a mother of four American children with no criminal record.  

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Maribel Trujillo Diaz, who has peacefully lived in the United States for 15 years, was deported to her native Mexico on Wednesday, her lawyers confirmed

Carol Kuruvilla, Religion Reporter, Huffington Post

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ACLU | Why the Only Way to Fix the Muslim Ban Is Not to Have a Muslim Ban, Cody Wofsy, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) / Rise Up Times

  • Instead of abandoning this odious idea in response to widespread criticism and outrage, Mr. Trump candidly explained that he would change the wording of his proposal but not its substance.   
  • Related: Trump Scrubs Civil Rights, LGBTQ Rights, Climate Change from WhiteHouse.gov

Trump Leads the Religious Right to the Promised Land

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  • In a tweet last night, President Donald Trump posted this picture and wrote that the prayer circle occurred after he announced his nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court.
  • Evangelicals' alignment with Trump shows their affinity for power over morality.
  •  

Adele Stan, Moyers & Company

http://lacatholicworker.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/faith-and-politics-sign.jpg February 2, 2017 | It’s been a heady two weeks for right-wing Christian evangelicals. Never before has a president of the United States — not Reagan or either of the Bushes — delivered so much of their agenda in such short order as Donald Trump has just done. He capped off his string of early valentines to the religious right with the announcement of a Supreme Court nominee who is poised to revoke the rights of women, further tear down the “wall” between church and state and open wider the doors for big monied interests to buy the political system they want.

 

The right-wing press was breathless in its praise for 49-year-old Judge Neil Gorsuch, named by Trump on Tuesday night to ascend to the high court with the seat vacated by the death of Antonin Scalia, who was a ferocious opponent of reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights and significant remedial measures for ensuring civil liberties for African-Americans. Yet religious-minded conservatives may come to love their new man even more than the lionized Scalia: The New York Times places Gorsuch to Scalia’s right.

Adele Stan is a columnist for The American Prospect and a freelance writer.

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Because Passover is a refugee story, one synagogue invited refugees to Seder.

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Photo via iStock.

  • This year, Beth-El is preparing to host over 100 congregants and some special first-time guests: about 50 refugees, most from Afghanistan.
  • "There’s a saying in Judaism that a little light dispels a lot of darkness," Rabbi Michael Knopf says. "So even though we’re just one little community in one little city, I think we’re doing a lot of illuminating for at least this group of people."

Eric March, Upworthy

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April 7, 2017 | Rabbi Michael Knopf of Temple Beth-El in Richmond, Virginia, is marveling at the length of his to-do list for Tuesday's Passover Seder.

The food still has to be cooked, the Haggadahs proofread, and volunteers wrangled.

"[It's] a little bit crazy, but in a good way," Knopf says.

Eric March: Just your average red-blooded, all-American transit geek and musical theater fanatic. If you want to chat about dedicated bus rapid transit lanes or why "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" is actually a comedy song and not a ballad, join me on Facebook or Twitter.

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