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The Progress of Christ in Commercial America: A Review of Chris Lehmann’s The Money Cult

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Lehmann’s excavations may be sobering, but it is absolutely necessary for us to know this backstory if we are to have any hope of understanding the contemporary religious and political landscape, including the spiritual context that lies behind Trumpism’s rapid ascent.

Peter Laarman, Religion Dispatches

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http://religiondispatches.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/godtrust-690x460.jpgJune 9, 2016 At 400 pages, Chris Lehmann’s The Money Cult: Capitalism, Christianity, and the Unmaking of the American Dream examines in appropriate depth the “mystery [of] just how America’s once-austere and communal version of dissenting Protestantism developed into such a ripe recruiting ground for the sanctified capitalism of our financialized, upward-skewing, and uniquely destructive market order.”

Author Lehmann is neither a professional historian nor a religion specialist. He’s a brainy journalist, part of the Baffler set. His subtle treatment of complex subject matter reminds us that it’s always deep reading and a capacity to write clearly that matters most. His achievement reminds me of other significant historical works by “uncredentialed” scholars : T.J. Stiles on Cornelius Vanderbilt and George Armstrong Custer, James Bradley on racialized imperialism, and (most creditably) Douglas A. Blackmon on the significance of black convict labor.

Peter Laarman is a United Church of Christ minister and activist who recently retired as executive director of Progressive Christians Uniting in Los Angeles. He remains involved in numerous justice struggles, in particular a campaign known as Justice Not Jails that calls upon faith communities to critique and combat the system of racialized mass incarceration often referred to as The New Jim Crow.

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Pope Francis Slams The United States For Its “Brazen” Gun Obsession

 

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The Pope also chastised the world for numbing itself to people’s pain, saying “We are bombarded by so many images that we see pain, but do not touch it; we hear weeping, but do not comfort it; we see thirst but do not satisfy it.”

Ryan Denson, Addicting Info

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http://readersupportednews.org/images/stories/article_imgs6/6213-bible-gun-flag-032412.jpgJune 13, 2016 | Pope Francis, while appearing at the United Nation’s World Food summit, slammed the United States (and the rest of the world) over its obsession with guns after the terrorist attack in Orlando left 50 people dead and another 53 wounded. Calling the obsession “brazen,” the Pope chided world leaders for their “strange paradox” over the politics of food and international aid, but not guns:

It makes no difference where arms come from — they circulate with brazen and virtually absolute freedom in many parts of the world.

Ryan Denson, writer, Addicting Info

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From a trained therapist | 11 small ways to feel less helpless this week.

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When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” — Fred Rogers

Annie Wright, Upworthy

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Betty Culver.

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/Pulse%20Mass%20Shooting%20Memorial.jpgOn the morning of June 12, 2016, I’d imagine that you, like me, woke up to the story of the Orlando, Florida, mass shooting in the Pulse nightclub.

Like mine, your social media newsfeed was probably flooded with stories about the tragedy.

And perhaps you, like me, felt your stomach sink and your heart grow heavy. Another mass shooting. The worst in recent U.S. history. And one where the clear intent seems to be terror and hate.

Annie Wright: a Berkeley-based psychotherapist, writer, and social justice advocate deeply committed to helping individuals, couples, and families from the Bay Area and beyond to transform their lives, no matter where they're starting from. 

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Special Report | The Francis I Chronicles: Pope Francis Abandons Proposal to Prosecute Bishops for Covering Up Abuse

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  • The Survivor’s Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) expressed doubts that the clarified law would lead to any bishop’s dismissal:
  • A “process” isn’t needed. Discipline is what’s needed. A “process” doesn’t protect kids. Action protects kids.
  • A “process” is helpful only if it’s used often enough to deter wrongdoing. We doubt this one will be. …
  • Related: Pope Affirms Traditional Marriage

Emma Niles, Truthdig

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Jun 4, 2016 | The Catholic Church has been struggling to remedy internal proceedings ever since it was revealed in 2002 that bishops across the nation shielded pedophile priests from consequences.

Last year, Pope Francis looked to hold bishops accountable when he announced the creation of a tribunal with authority to dismiss bishops who played a role in covering up abuse. But now the pope has apparently changed his mind.

Emma Niles, an editorial assistant at Truthdig, graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a degree in Political Science. She has worked for the National Women’s Law Center and Ms. Magazine.

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Related:

Pope Affirms Traditional Marriage, Bill DonohueNewsmax

The Pope rejects the role of a scold, and looks askance at those who bury their head in the letter of the law. At the same time, he wants us to appreciate the wisdom of the church's teachings on marriage, the family, and sexuality. He has not changed the bar, but he is asking us to help everyone clear it.

 

The Army Chaplain Who Quit Over 'Unaccountable Killing' of Obama’s Secretive Drone Program

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  • Antal said he “hopes to see greater empathy” among Americans for the victims of the U.S. drone program and is “deeply saddened by the numbing of our culture” to U.S.-led violence abroad.
  • “It’s becoming very easy for Americans to just go shopping and forget that this violence is happening,” Antal said.
  • Related: In Drones We Trust: Christians and the Kill List

Michael Edison Hayden, ABC News

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Rev. Chris J. Antal, the minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Rock Tavern, atte Bob Fernandez/Philadelphia Inquirer

May 28, 2016 | As a witness to the removal of fallen U.S. troops from Afghanistan, Army Chaplain Christopher John Antal can’t recall a time when that solemn ceremony wasn’t conducted without the presence of drones passing along the horizon.

They were sleek and quiet, making a gentle humming noise as they flew over the flight lines — where aircraft can be parked and serviced — of the Kandahar airfield in Afghanistan, where he was stationed in 2012. Not everyone had access to the flight lines, according to Antal, but he was responsible for participating in dignified transfer ceremonies, also known as ramp ceremonies, which were set there to greet the caskets of fallen service personnel as they were returned to base, en route to the U.S. On these occasions, he would watch the drones drift in and out, loaded with Hellfire missiles.

Michael Edison Hayden serves as a Breaking News Writer for ABC News in New York City.

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Related:

In Drones We Trust: Christians and the Kill List, William Alberts, The World Can't Wait

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  • Many Christian leaders are chaplains of the status quo.  Their bottom line is about maintaining profits not being prophets.  Rather than finding their voices and speaking truth to power, they provide the Invocations and Benedictions for those in power—and also punish those who threaten the status quo.
  • The US Military Christian Chaplaincy: Helping Soldiers Adjust to Committing War Crimes
  • Have They No Shame?

 

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