Articles related to Miguel De La Torre, Racism, Race


3 Responses to Our World's All-Too-Common Violence
3 Responses to Our World's All-Too-Common Violence

By: Brian Lee
With all the eruptions of violence, it's easy to overreact and paint certain groups with a brush that is far too wide and certainly unwarranted. How do we respond in light of all that is happening? Here are 3 ways.

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Will Your Compassion Break Through Racial Barriers?
Will Your Compassion Break Through Racial Barriers?

By: Terrell Carter
Many barriers divide our country today, but the most visible and contentious one is race - in particular how black and white people perceive and act toward each other. Who is worthy of your compassion?

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Facing Racism: Do We Really Know What Others Feel?
Facing Racism: Do We Really Know What Others Feel?

By: Dennis Bickers
The racial problems in America are not going away in the near future. It's time for churches and individuals to intentionally work toward understanding one another and developing relationships.

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What You Can Learn from Examining Your 'Roots'
What You Can Learn from Examining Your 'Roots'

By: Michael Helms
Your family roots have a deep influence on you. On your life's journey, you must recognize the parts of your family system that still exist around you and within you - and ask yourself what needs to change.

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Missouri Baptist Church to Host 'Provocative Conversations'
Missouri Baptist Church to Host 'Provocative Conversations'

By: EthicsDaily Staff
A Baptist church in Kansas City, Missouri, will hold a series of 'provocative conversations' - human trafficking, racism, foster care and the future of education - and how they affect their community.

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Baptist Leader Reflects on King's Visit to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Baptist Leader Reflects on King's Visit to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

By: Zach Dawes
Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary on April 19, 1961. A Baptist minister, then a second-year student, recalls the visit.

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A White Cracker and Colored Man Sat in the Same Boat
A White Cracker and Colored Man Sat in the Same Boat

By: Robert Parham
My grandfather put a small crack in the TV race barrier when he had an African-American guest on his local hunting-and-fishing show in the 1950s - a move that drew criticism from fellow church members.

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Theological Tradition: A Long and Dangerous Road
Theological Tradition: A Long and Dangerous Road

By: Joe LaGuardia
We often exercise theological gerrymandering to support our ideological beliefs about the day's most pressing issues. We must avoid any declaration that God is taking one side over the other.

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Racial Prejudice, Racism Intertwined with Baseball
Racial Prejudice, Racism Intertwined with Baseball

By: Grace Ji-Sun Kim and W. Mark Koenig
While baseball in the U.S. has challenged prejudices and stereotypes and seen some elements of racism dismantled, racial prejudice and racism have also intertwined with our national pastime.

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Heading for 25th Anniversary with Accomplishments, Shortcomings
Heading for 25th Anniversary with Accomplishments, Shortcomings

By: Robert Parham
Heading into the 25th year since the formation of the Baptist Center for Ethics is a good time to list some accomplishments and to acknowledge some shortcomings. Here are five of each.

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Disciples of Christ Pass Resolution on Environmental Racism
Disciples of Christ Pass Resolution on Environmental Racism

By: Chuck Summers
Racism continues to be an ugly scar upon the America's soul. While media have focused on acts of violence afflicted upon minorities, environmental racism doesn't receive a lot of public attention.

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South Africans Teach Global Baptists about Truth, Reconciliation
South Africans Teach Global Baptists about Truth, Reconciliation

By: Brian Kaylor
South African leaders spoke during the Baptist World Congress about the nation's Truth and Reconciliation Commission that helped the transition from racial apartheid.

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Harper Lee Publishes
Harper Lee Publishes "To Kill a Mockingbird" Sequel

By: Griff Martin
More than a half-century after Harper Lee published her only novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird," she returns to continue the story of Scout, no longer a child, and Atticus Finch in "Go Set a Watchman."

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What's the Next Step After Confederate Flag's Removal?
What's the Next Step After Confederate Flag's Removal?

By: Thomas Kidd
Even if it's only late-arriving symbolism, the Confederate flag's removal from South Carolina's statehouse is the right thing to do. However, its removal does nothing to address massive ethnic inequalities.

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Racism's Roots Found in Prejudices Learned at Home
Racism's Roots Found in Prejudices Learned at Home

By: Larry Coleman
The toxic racism that's torn at our nation has its roots in prejudice, a more subtle part of our worldview. To eradicate racism, we must first deal with the prejudices learned in our own homes.

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'I Don't Even See People as Black or White Anymore'
'I Don't Even See People as Black or White Anymore'

By: Michael Helms
As more and more news about racial tension tears apart our country, more of us need to model the spirit of Larry, an older African-American, who no longer sees "people as black or white anymore."

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Fighting Racism by Getting to Know Your Neighbors
Fighting Racism by Getting to Know Your Neighbors

By: Greg DeLoach
After 10 years serving as First Baptist of Augusta's pastor, I had never met our Baptist neighbors across the street. Following the Charleston massacre, I knew it was long overdue for me to meet them.

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How Can We Address Our Epidemic of Fear?
How Can We Address Our Epidemic of Fear?

By: Colin Harris
Fear can be a healthy response to danger. Others can manipulate fear in unhealthy ways. That fear seems to grip our collective consciousness. It's time to stop reinforcing it.

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Charleston Church Shows What Forgiveness Looks Like
Charleston Church Shows What Forgiveness Looks Like

By: Danny Chisholm
Members of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church taught us a lesson in forgiveness. The world needs to know there is an alternative to violence. And it isn't more violence.

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Racism's Wound Still Painfully Open, Needs Healing
Racism's Wound Still Painfully Open, Needs Healing

By: Guy Sayles
As the Charleston church shooting reminds us, division among races, made worse by educational and economic inequality, is a wound which remains painfully open. How do we heal it?

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Protecting Your Church in Charleston Aftermath
Protecting Your Church in Charleston Aftermath

By: Terrell Carter
In the aftermath of the Charleston church shooting, those of us in leadership within faith communities must re-examine how we protect those that we serve. Here are four steps.

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EthicsDaily.com Documentaries to Screen at Baptist World Congress in Durban
EthicsDaily.com Documentaries to Screen at Baptist World Congress in Durban

By: Robert Parham
Three EthicsDaily.com documentaries will be shown at the Baptist World Congress in South Africa, where thousands of global Baptists will gather in July.

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The Field
The Field

By: J.V. McKinney
In a field of dirt and grass in a small Arkansas town decades ago, a group of black and white boys learned a lesson playing baseball together - a lesson many adults never learn in their lifetimes.

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Responding to the Unrest in Baltimore
Responding to the Unrest in Baltimore

By: James Ellis
Is there a right way to respond to the uproar in Baltimore? Everyone responds to feelings of injustice and prejudice differently. To suggest any group should respond in one way is misguided. We can do better.

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Baptist Ethics Pioneer A.C. Miller Stayed Tethered to Bible
Baptist Ethics Pioneer A.C. Miller Stayed Tethered to Bible

By: Robert Parham
To understand better white Baptists of the South on race, you need to remember a forgotten figure, A.C. Miller, and a slice of history, 1954's Southern Baptist Convention.

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EthicsDaily.com Documentaries Set for March TV Broadcasts
EthicsDaily.com Documentaries Set for March TV Broadcasts

By: EthicsDaily Staff
Two EthicsDaily.com documentaries - "Through The Door," a look at the faith community's engagement with prisons, and "Beneath the Skin: Baptists and Racism," will air on TV networks in March.

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How Your Congregation Can Encourage Diversity
How Your Congregation Can Encourage Diversity

By: Terrell Carter
One of the simplest evidences of our commitment to seeing and treating people as equals before God is through the diversity that is found within our congregations and leadership.

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Why Churches Must Assist in Ferguson's Healing
Why Churches Must Assist in Ferguson's Healing
By: Terrell Carter
More than six months after Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson, Missouri, tensions still simmer. Some ask, "What can churches do?" But many other churches are silent.
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Why Current Ideas for Easing Racial Tensions Won't Work
Why Current Ideas for Easing Racial Tensions Won't Work

By: Reggie Warren
As long as the United States is divided into two groups over race relations, the opportunity to find common ground seems bleak. We need leaders willing to begin to build bridges.

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EthicsDaily.com Documentaries Air on Expanded TV Network
EthicsDaily.com Documentaries Air on Expanded TV Network
By: EthicsDaily Staff
Three EthicsDaily.com documentaries on prisons, racism and immigration are coming back for an encore on an expanding network focused on African Americans.
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Some Baptists in St. Louis Respond to Ferguson Crisis
Some Baptists in St. Louis Respond to Ferguson Crisis
By: Brian Kaylor
While most Baptist churches in the St. Louis region avoided publicly commenting on the crisis in Ferguson, a few churches offered words and actions to advance the common good.
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TV Network Will Air EthicsDaily.com Documentary on Baptists and Racism
TV Network Will Air EthicsDaily.com Documentary on Baptists and Racism
By: EthicsDaily Staff
Soul of the South Network will air EthicsDaily.com's documentary, "Beneath the Skin: Baptists and Racism," on July 28, with multiple broadcasts after the initial airing.
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TV Network Will Broadcast EthicsDaily Documentaries
TV Network Will Broadcast EthicsDaily Documentaries
By: EthicsDaily Staff
EthicsDaily.com is coming again to your television. Soul of the South Network, an African-American network reaching more than 20 million homes, will air three of our documentaries in July.
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"Beneath the Skin: Baptists and Racism"

The Web site for EthicsDaily.com's documentary Beneath the Skin: Baptists and Racism.

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Will This Election Season Mark Another Turning Point?
Will This Election Season Mark Another Turning Point?
By: Colin Harris
The images of brutality against civil rights activists in the 1960s led to a turning point in our history. Perhaps this election season with its expected assault of brutal attack ads will mark another turning point.
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Thunderous Yes
Practice resurrection. That’s our gospel today … to go from here to practice resurrection! There’s nothing shy at all about this response. We are to live fully in God’s thunderous YES! We are to live God’s resounding affirmation of the world and all God’s children who need God’s offer of love and reconciliation.
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"Beneath the Skin" to Be Screened in Metro Detroit
By: EthicsDaily Staff
Sponsored by an association of American Baptist churches in Detroit, "Beneath the Skin," EthicsDaily.com's documentary on Baptists and racism, will be screened at Detroit's First Baptist Church on April 12.
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The Place Where Racial Reconciliation Should Begin
The Place Where Racial Reconciliation Should Begin
By: Dennis Bickers
When people utter racial slurs, it reflects what's in their hearts. While laws prevent negative behaviors, they can't change a person's heart. That's why racial reconciliation must begin in church.
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Will Racism Always Be an Elephant in the Room?
Will Racism Always Be an Elephant in the Room?

By: Colin Harris
Some say racism is no more, but it still has an irrational hold on our collective thinking. The more we deny this, the less likely we can be helped. So here's how to deal with the elephant in the room.

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BWA Leader: Baptists Should Take Strong Stance Against Racism
BWA Leader: Baptists Should Take Strong Stance Against Racism
Churches have a responsibility to oppose racism that still persists, even in the church. Churches that refuse to do so are guilty of a major failing, a Baptist leader said.
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Skype Interview: Mandy McMichael on Miss America
Skype Interview: Mandy McMichael on Miss America "Firsts"
The Miss America pageant crowned its first Indian-American winner Sunday night. Learn about this and other Miss America firsts in the new Skype interview from EthicsDaily.com.
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Others Still Continue to Resist King's Dream
Others Still Continue to Resist King's Dream

Martin Luther King Jr.'s words still reverberate around the world today, challenging racism and discrimination wherever it is found. Despite the progress, others continue to resist the Dream.

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Never Give Up
The distractions we face and forces of evil we’ll confront each day as we run our individual races are alluring and intimidating. Only a resolve which matches their intensity will overcome them. If we don’t have this “I am not giving up” attitude, we’ll fall to the side and disappoint ourselves and others. By God’s grace, don’t let that happen to you.
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Racial Slurs Are Out-of-Bounds Regardless of Race
Racial Slurs Are Out-of-Bounds Regardless of Race
If it's wrong for whites to speak derogatorily about blacks, it is just as wrong for blacks to speak derogatorily about whites. Here's what goodwill people of faith can do about racial slurs.
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Zimmerman Case Reveals Deeper Malady
Zimmerman Case Reveals Deeper Malady
The encounter between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin reaches beyond racism. It illustrates that anyone who is different is an "other" whom our society views with suspicion.
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Replace the False Witness Over Race with Christian Witness
Replace the False Witness Over Race with Christian Witness
Bearing false witness reached a fever pitch following George Zimmerman's acquittal, but inflammatory rhetoric only makes a reasonable conversation on race next to impossible.
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To Bill Maher, Here's Why Words Still Matter
To Bill Maher, Here's Why Words Still Matter
TV commentator and satirist Bill Maher says Paula Deen's use of the N-word is just a word. While that may be true, it's also true that words still matter. Maher should know this.
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What Paula Deen Should Have Learned But Didn't
What Paula Deen Should Have Learned But Didn't
Paula Deen's admission of using the "N word" revealed her obliviousness to the changing world around her. She never learned her brand had to steer clear of the dark side of Southern history.
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3 Suggestions for Racial Reconciliation in Your Church
3 Suggestions for Racial Reconciliation in Your Church
Over time, people have come to realize that men and women of different races, cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds are all equal before God. What steps can your church take?
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Justifying Prejudice: What Will Our Grandkids Think?
Justifying Prejudice: What Will Our Grandkids Think?
Many Christians once used the Bible to justify their racism. Do we justify any prejudices today that will one day make our grandchildren ashamed of our ignorance?
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The Day-To-Day Racism That Many of Us Don't See
The Day-To-Day Racism That Many of Us Don't See
The Jim Crow days of the South are long behind us, but racism still rears its ugly head. Many of us, however, are oblivious to the outright ugliness that characterizes prejudice.
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Minority Scholars Draw Strength Sharing Their Stories
Minority Scholars Draw Strength Sharing Their Stories
The first-ever gathering of a group of minority scholars was a chance to share stories of oppression in the hopes of working toward restoration, justice and reconciliation.
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Unjust U.S. Prison System Needs Reform
Unjust U.S. Prison System Needs Reform
A disproportionate number of people of color face both prison time and capital punishment, leading groups like Amnesty International to conclude that our judicial system is discriminatory.
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Advocating for Migrant Workers' Rights in Lebanon
Advocating for Migrant Workers' Rights in Lebanon
Migrant workers in Lebanon are governed by a system prone to abuse and that gives too much power to employers, but churches offer reconciliation between Lebanese and migrants.
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For the World's Ultra-Poor, Hope is Not Apparent
For the World's Ultra-Poor, Hope is Not Apparent
The appearance of hope becomes an obstacle when it maintains rather than challenges the prevailing social structures that keep the poor on the margins. We need hopelessness.
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Why No Moral Outrage Over Torture
Why No Moral Outrage Over Torture
The U.S. has delivered prisoners to Syria, now engaged in a bloody civil war, for interrogation. Widespread abuse has been documented in Gitmo. Why no moral outrage to torture?
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More Carnivorous Diets Will Create Global Woes
More Carnivorous Diets Will Create Global Woes
As more people in the world crave a meat-based diet like the United States, some experts envision meat production doubling by mid-century. Can we sustain it?
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How James K. Polk Gave Us the U.S.-Mexico Border
How James K. Polk Gave Us the U.S.-Mexico Border
How did we end up with an 1,800-mile border dividing the U.S. and Mexico? The answer goes back to James K. Polk and an ideology known as Manifest Destiny.
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Will You Eat Less to Reduce Global Hunger?
Will You Eat Less to Reduce Global Hunger?
Eating less can substantially reduce global hunger, not to mention improve the health of those of us in the U.S., where obesity has become a national epidemic.
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Is It Impossible to Eliminate Racial Identity?
Is It Impossible to Eliminate Racial Identity?
If race remains a part of our lives, no one wins. While some see the task of eliminating race as impossible, others see it as inevitable. The world of race is passing away.
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Ethical Lessons from Everyday Lives of the Poor
Ethical Lessons from Everyday Lives of the Poor
To focus on the daily existence of the marginalized – as mundane as crossing a river with a bundle of banana leaves – is to critically analyze the good and bad that shapes and forms the daily life of the poor.
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Could Those Who Make Your Shoes Afford Them?
Could Those Who Make Your Shoes Afford Them?
We enjoy our middle- and upper-class lifestyles because of the poor. Yet we seldom consider the connection between our privilege and their economic disenfranchisement.
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Evangelism – Forcing Doctrine or Reflecting Love
Evangelism – Forcing Doctrine or Reflecting Love
Evangelism must cease to be making the "unbeliever" believe the same doctrines. Instead, we should reveal the Gospel by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, healing the sick.
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Ignoring Ethical Questions About Military Drones
Ignoring Ethical Questions About Military Drones
When we fail to consider the ethical ramifications of employing new military hardware, we risk setting a precedent that may create a less stable world as other nations acquire similar technology.
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7 Ways to Detect Any Type of Fundamentalist
7 Ways to Detect Any Type of Fundamentalist
Whether religious, atheist or political, fundamentalists disdain, dismiss and disrespect those who refuse to blindly accept their particular ideological worldview.
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Did Land Write His Apology for Racially Charged Remarks?
Did Land Write His Apology for Racially Charged Remarks?
Did Southern Baptist Convention agency head Richard Land write the apology statement for racially charged remarks issued under his name, or was it written by African-American Baptist clergy?
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Immigrant Abuse Runs Rampant in Border Patrol
Immigrant Abuse Runs Rampant in Border Patrol
A disturbing video of Border Patrol agents beating a Hispanic to death illustrates the rampant abuse of undocumented immigrants. How long will we remain silent?
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Climb Toward Reconciliation Often Slow, Painful
Climb Toward Reconciliation Often Slow, Painful
The process toward reconciliation is slow, often painful and usually unfinished. With time, however, today's controversial issues become tomorrow's embarrassing memories.
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How One Person Can Build a Better Community
How One Person Can Build a Better Community
Think one person can't make a difference? In 1947, a farmer petitioned his school district to provide bus transportation to all students, not just the white ones. His case evolved into Brown v. Board of Education.
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Should We Blame God for Tragedies, Deaths?
Should We Blame God for Tragedies, Deaths?
We all face tragedy, misery, illness and death. When seemingly unfair events occur, many of us question if any sense of cosmic justice and mercy truly exists.
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SBC Agency to Investigate Land's Plagiarism
SBC Agency to Investigate Land's Plagiarism
The Southern Baptist agency headed by Richard Land, the SBC's top ethicist, will investigate plagiarism charges against him but suggested that radio shows have different standards.
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SBC Official Issues Apology for Plagiarism
SBC Official Issues Apology for Plagiarism
Richard Land, Southern Baptists' chief ethicist, apologized on Monday for plagiarism during his radio show, saying he "failed to provide appropriate verbal attributions."
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Baptist Blogger Accuses SBC Ethics Agency Head of Plagiarism
Baptist Blogger Accuses SBC Ethics Agency Head of Plagiarism
Richard Land, Southern Baptists' top ethics official, quoted liberally from a conservative writer's column about the Trayvon Martin shooting without attribution, a Baptist blogger says.
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Fifteen Reasons Why I Left Race
Fifteen Reasons Why I Left Race

Can you rid yourself of racism without first ridding yourself of race? The more one writer understood her identity as a Christian, the less she relied on race. Here are 15 reasons she left race behind.

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Does SBC Leader's Rant Reflect God's Love?
Does SBC Leader's Rant Reflect God's Love?
Richard Land, a leading SBC official, denounced civil rights leaders calling for justice in the Trayvon Martin shooting. Is this how Southern Baptists demonstrate God's love to people of color?
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Race Made Me Do It: How Race Makes Us Unconscious
Race Made Me Do It: How Race Makes Us Unconscious
We behave as if we can't help being racially motivated, but race doesn't control us. It's time we die to our racial selves and be awakened to our new nature in Jesus.
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How the Poor Teach Us About the Divine
How the Poor Teach Us About the Divine
In a dirt-floor hut in a Mexican village, a poor woman's simple action taught students and their professor more about divinity than all of their textbooks could.
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3 Forces Threaten to Change Higher Education
3 Forces Threaten to Change Higher Education
Anti-intellectual politicians, universities too focused on their bottom lines, and the elimination of tenure all threaten to change higher education. And an educated electorate is vital to democracy.
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What Will Election of the SBC's First African-American President Mean?
What Will Election of the SBC's First African-American President Mean?
The Southern Baptist Convention may elect its first African-American president this year. It would be a powerful symbol, but will the SBC's white power structure allow that symbol to lead to transformation?
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Reconciliation: Tearing Down Racial Barriers
Reconciliation: Tearing Down Racial Barriers
Leaders from the Apostle Paul to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. recognize the church's mission as one of reconciliation. Yet churches still have much to do to tear down our nation's racial barriers.
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Arizona Schools Forced to Ban Ethnic-Studies Books
Arizona Schools Forced to Ban Ethnic-Studies Books
Arizona schools that are largely comprised of Mexican-Americans are eliminating ethnic-studies programs to avoid "biased, political and emotionally charged" teaching.
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Pastor Poised to Be First Black to Lead Baptists
NEW ORLEANS (RNS) Rev. Fred Luter told his African-American congregation that he will seek to become the first black man to lead the SBC.
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Is the Mormon Church’s Racial History a Problem for Mitt Romney?
(RNS) Marvin Perkins says God led him to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- but friends advised otherwise.
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Gingrich Uses Racial Politics in South Carolina Win
Gingrich Uses Racial Politics in South Carolina Win
Conservative evangelical voters lifted Newt Gingrich to his dramatic victory in South Carolina's GOP primary as the thrice-married politician won the first southern primary by invoking subtle racial arguments.
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Catholics warn Gingrich, Santorum on race baiting
(RNS) Catholic leaders have issued an open letter to Catholic candidates Gingrich and Santorum, warning them “to stop perpetuating ugly racial stereotypes.”
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Baseball Photo Shows Racism Can Be Overcome
Baseball Photo Shows Racism Can Be Overcome
During the 1948 World Series, a photo of two players from the Cleveland Indians – Larry Doby and Steve Gromek – showed the world a way white supremacy and racism could be overcome.
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Beloved Hymns Carried King Through Troubled Times

(RNS) At 87, the Rev. C.T. Vivian can still recall the moment, decades after the height of the civil rights movement.

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Procedure Steamrollers Immigrants' Human Rights
Procedure Steamrollers Immigrants' Human Rights
Instead of deporting undocumented immigrants, we've created an elaborate and expensive legal procedure that violates their basic human rights. Is this justice for all?
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Man Sentenced for Burning Black Church
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (RNS) The second of three city men was sentenced to nearly 14 years in prison for burning a local black church after President Barack Obama was elected.
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Church Secretary Says Interracial Marriage Got Her Fired
FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) A white church secretary is suing her former employer, arguing that she was fired for marrying a black man.
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Detaining Immigrants: A Lucrative Industry
Detaining Immigrants: A Lucrative Industry
Because detaining the undocumented is a billion-dollar industry, inmates are often denied basic needs and face abuse. The most vulnerable are at the mercy of corporations that profit by their detention.
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The Long Road from White Supremacy to Equality
The Long Road from White Supremacy to Equality
The road from white supremacy to equality is a long one. Those folks who make the journey begin a legacy for their grandchildren. Here's one man's story.
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As America's Rich Get Richer, Hispanics Suffer
As America's Rich Get Richer, Hispanics Suffer
Even though past generations of Hispanics bought into the American Dream, the economic structures have been – and continue to be – constructed to maintain their disenfranchisement.
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Two Pastors Continue Work to Heal Racism's Scars
Two Pastors Continue Work to Heal Racism's Scars
Two St. Louis Baptist pastors – one black, the other white – reached out to help their racially divided city in 2008 after a gunman killed five people at a council meeting.
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Baptist Journal Releases Volume on Racism
Baptist Journal Releases Volume on Racism
A Baptist theological journal examines the issue of racism among Baptists but with a twist, showing examples of racial and cultural progress that can serve as role models for others.
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Economy Transfers Wealth - From the Bottom Up
Economy Transfers Wealth - From the Bottom Up

Our current economic system transfers wealth from the bottom of society to the top, creating a growing income disparity between the rich and poor, many of whom are disproportionately people of color.

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Civil Rights Icon Fred Shuttlesworth Dies at 89
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (RNS) The Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, the driving force behind the Birmingham integration efforts, died at age 89.
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How Language Use Forces Minorities to the Margin
How Language Use Forces Minorities to the Margin
For many Hispanics, once their "broken" English is detected, they are relegated to the margins, facing hostile congressional laws and proposals unless they can certify they belong.
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U.S. Evangelical Zionists Misuse Bible, Harm Palestinian Christians
U.S. Evangelical Zionists Misuse Bible, Harm Palestinian Christians
Following their end-of-the-world beliefs, Christian Zionists in the U.S. misuse the Bible to theologically justify displacing and oppressing Palestinians, thwarting efforts for Middle East peace.
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The Real Class Warfare: Protecting the Super-Rich
The Real Class Warfare: Protecting the Super-Rich
Those who question the disparity of wealth in the U.S. are often accused of promoting class warfare. But the real class warfare is being waged by politicians protecting the super-rich – and they're winning.
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Religious Leaders Laud King in Memorial Service

WASHINGTON (RNS) Religious leaders and civil rights veterans said King's legacy is unshakable.

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Media's Too Liberal? Try Too Lacking Diversity
Media's Too Liberal? Try Too Lacking Diversity
Many often bemoan that the media is too liberal. A far greater and more accurate concern is that most newsrooms have little to no diversity, and that affects their coverage.
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Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Harper Lee
Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Harper Lee
Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird" profoundly challenged racism's empty mythology. Today, insecure majorities still view anyone different, including Hispanics and Muslims, as a threat.
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King’s Nephew Named to Head Civil Rights Group
(RNS) The Southern Christian Leadership Conference has named a nephew of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as its new leader.
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Black Baptists Decry Disrespect Directed at Obama
WASHINGTON (RNS) A black denomination that began in support of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. has decried the “disrespect” shown to President Obama.
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Myth Busted: U.S. Not Founded as Christian Nation
Myth Busted: U.S. Not Founded as Christian Nation
The popular myth that the Founding Fathers were followers of Jesus who desired to start a Christian nation is a convenient fiction that threatens our democratic ideals of liberty and freedom.
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Gerald Ford: Standing Up to Fear and Hatred
Gerald Ford: Standing Up to Fear and Hatred
Former President Gerald Ford was honored this month with a statue in the House of Representatives. While best known for pardoning Nixon, Ford in his college days took a bold stand against racism.
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Burned Church Nears Completion as Suspect Found Guilty
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (RNS) As a white man surrendered to federal marshals, workers were rebuilding the pulpit of the Macedonia Church of God in Christ.
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White Man Found Guilty in Arson at Black Church
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (RNS) Breaking a two-day deadlock, a federal jury convicted a white man, Michael F. Jacques, on all three charges.
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Learning the Civil War's Painful and Joyful Lessons
Learning the Civil War's Painful and Joyful Lessons
The Civil War, which began 150 years ago, did not occur in a vacuum. It was part of a crisis born out of the horrors of slavery. The anniversary is a good time for us to recall the lessons – painful and joyful – of the past.
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Civil War, Freedom Ride Anniversaries Offer Time for Truth-Telling
Civil War, Freedom Ride Anniversaries Offer Time for Truth-Telling
Against a backdrop of simmering racial tensions, two fast approaching anniversaries – the Civil War and the Freedom Rides – offer a time for truth-telling by those of moral good will.
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How Some Use Christianity to Justify Racism
How Some Use Christianity to Justify Racism
Bigotry toward and hatred of the "other" is inexcusable on a human level, but even more so as followers of Jesus. We are called to love the other and work for justice and peace in this world.
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Trial Opens in Mass. Black Church Arson Case
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (RNS) The sole man to stand trial for torching a black church the night of President Obama’s election was confronted in court.
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What Politicians Mean When Extolling U.S. Exceptionalism
What Politicians Mean When Extolling U.S. Exceptionalism
When politicians talk about U.S. exceptionalism, their rhetoric implies that the ethical and moral imperatives keeping other nations in check don't apply to us because the United States is the "greatest country on earth."
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Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric Fuels Violent
Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric Fuels Violent "Solutions"
When politicians ramped up their anti-immigrant rhetoric to garner votes, violence against Hispanics increased 40 percent. Is it any surprise that even Hispanic U.S. citizens are fearful?
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Exposing Cultural Flaws That Aid Few, Afflict Many
Exposing Cultural Flaws That Aid Few, Afflict Many
A half-century ago, racism in the United States could no longer be ignored. Are we facing a similar situation today, in which a cultural flaw, defined this time in wealth instead of race, is being exposed and challenged?
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Widow's Mite Condemns Culture of Religious Greed
Widow's Mite Condemns Culture of Religious Greed
The story of the widow's mite is generally idealized as an example of Christian behavior for the poor. Instead, Jesus is denouncing a religious social structure that cons the widow out of what little she has.
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At 89, Civil Rights Icon Reflects on Faith, Activism
(RNS) The Rev. Joseph Lowery has always combined his work on secular causes with a sacred message.
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Obama Lost Egypt? When Did It Belong to Us?
Obama Lost Egypt? When Did It Belong to Us?
The radical right-wing media is blaming Obama for losing Egypt, but for one nation to lose another nation implies ownership. They prefer a U.S. that functions as an empire, not as a defender of global democratic movements.
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Leaving Everything to Follow Jesus
When Jesus heard the news that John the Baptist was taken into prison, something must have reverberated deep within him. Something profound must have been set loose in his soul and he had to do something in response. What did he do? He left home and moved out into the world with his own message. He sensed the shock of hearing about John’s imprisonment and it stirred him to leave home and begin his ministry.
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Ala. Governor Says only Christians Are his Brothers and Sisters
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (RNS) Newly sworn-in Gov. Robert Bentley said that people who aren’t “saved” Christians aren’t his brothers and sisters.
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Clergy Answer King’s 1963 Letter from Birmingham Jail
(RNS) A coalition of Christian churches answered the Rev. Martin Luther King’s 1963 “Letter from Birmingham Jail.”
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King’s Legacy Led Many to Think More Justly
King’s Legacy Led Many to Think More Justly
Martin Luther King Jr. and his associates were a powerful prophetic voice that called American society to a new way of being and cultivated future generations to think differently and more justly.
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Anti-Hispanic Assault Shifts to State Governments
Anti-Hispanic Assault Shifts to State Governments
The real threat to the freedom of Hispanics is shifting to state governments. Some state lawmakers are proposing to limit access to public colleges and to seize the property of those who "harbor" the undocumented.
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House GOP Appointments Are Bad News for Hispanics
House GOP Appointments Are Bad News for Hispanics
The recently announced committee chairs for the 112th Congress clearly indicates that the new GOP House leadership is detrimental to the well-being of the Hispanic community.
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British Group Withdraws Invite to Fla. Pastor
LONDON (RNS) A right-wing political group now says it has withdrawn the invitation because “he is not the right candidate for us.”
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Honoring the Sabbath When You're Out of Work
Honoring the Sabbath When You're Out of Work
In the Scriptures about the Sabbath, gainfully employed Christians focus on the day of rest. But there's another interpretation. Minorities, for whom the jobless rate is higher, are eager to honor the Sabbath with six days of work.
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Tea Party Movement: Patriotism or White Supremacy?
Tea Party Movement: Patriotism or White Supremacy?
White supremacy is one of this nation's oldest cancers. And it is the core consistent subliminal theme running throughout many of the Tea Party factions.
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Report on Tea Party Shows Movement's Real Fixations
Report on Tea Party Shows Movement's Real Fixations
A new report untangles the wad of Tea Party threads, and the movement laid bare shows less obsession with government and taxes and more obsession with race, ethnicity and Barack Obama.
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Tea Party May Regret Getting Government It Wants
Tea Party May Regret Getting Government It Wants
The angry rhetoric from Tea Party members may demand a greater say in how they're governed, but the rise of "strict constitutionalists" will threaten centuries of democratic advancements.
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What I Learned as a Christian Reading the Quran
What I Learned as a Christian Reading the Quran
Unlike those who keep misquoting the Quran in order to frame Islam as some type of terrorist religion, what if Christians took the time to read it as a way to seek dialogue with those who are also seeking the face of God?
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Your Invitation to Be a Born-Again Vegan
Your Invitation to Be a Born-Again Vegan
When we consider the damage that humans inflict upon the earth because they choose to be carnivorous, it makes sense that the original order of vegetarianism should be seriously reconsidered.
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WCC to Meet in Cleveland to Tackle Racism
CLEVELAND (RNS) Members of the World Council of Churches will gather to discuss how to expose and combat racism.
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Politicians Employ Hate and Fear to Oppose Mosque
Politicians Employ Hate and Fear to Oppose Mosque
To equate a mosque with terrorists is either the height of ignorance or depth of callous manipulation. It shows how hate and fear, two powerful political motivators, have been employed to rally the worst in Americans.
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Sexist Language Subtly Pervades Churches
Sexist Language Subtly Pervades Churches
White-biased imagery is common in our churches. Its inherent racism, however, is much more subtle than the blatant sexist language and patriarchal imagery that dominates our worship services and beyond.
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Is Sen. Webb Right? Whites Are Victims of Racism?
Is Sen. Webb Right? Whites Are Victims of Racism?
U.S. Sen. James Webb argued that present-day diversity programs have made whites the real victims of racism. His position would be laughable except a growing number of Euro-Americans seem to agree.
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"To Kill a Mockingbird's" Lesson Still Valuable
Published 50 years ago, "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee captured both the prejudice of a culture and the fearlessness of one man, Atticus Finch, to stand up for what's right. The book's lesson never ends.
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Mural's Ethnic Diversity Draws Politician's Ire
Mural's Ethnic Diversity Draws Politician's Ire
An elected official in an Arizona community took offense at a school mural featuring different ethnic children, questioning why the biggest picture was a black person. But, as the councilman tells it, that doesn't make him racist.
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Pastor: Public Education Can Be Redeemed
Pastor: Public Education Can Be Redeemed
As part of a church series on social issues, a former judge on the Arkansas Court of Appeals, who's now a pastor, addressed educational issues for African-Americans in the South.
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Lot's Wife: Vain? Materialistic? Or Just Human?
Lot's Wife: Vain? Materialistic? Or Just Human?
Lot's wife has been dismissed throughout history as a vain and materialistic woman who deserved her punishment. Maybe we should see her as we see the rest of us: a human who falls short of the glory of God.
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Using Racist, Sexist Language to Ignore Others
Using Racist, Sexist Language to Ignore Others
The problem with racist and sexist language is bigger than derogatory terminology. Equally devastating is when language is used to treat those of another race or gender as if they're invisible.
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Nothing Personal? The Smiling Face of Racism
Nothing Personal? The Smiling Face of Racism
The new racial reality is characterized by a belief that with the victories of the civil rights movement, America's race-related problems are behind us. But has our society simply entered a phase of gentler racism?
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What Arizona Taught Me about School Today
What Arizona Taught Me about School Today
Efforts at so-called educational and immigration reforms in Arizona have rightly brought about protests of racism and prejudice. Still, perhaps we should thank Arizona for a valuable lesson.
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A Free Market Cannot Guarantee Civil Rights
A Free Market Cannot Guarantee Civil Rights
The government exists for the welfare of all its citizens, not just the majority. The contention of Rand Paul, Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate, that the free market will work everything out is neither democratic nor logical.
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Where Rand Paul Wants To
Where Rand Paul Wants To "Take Our Country Back"
Rand Paul, Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate, was unable to give a straight-forward, yes-or-no answer to the question of his support for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. His position cannot go unchallenged.
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The Plight of One Undocumented Family
The Plight of One Undocumented Family
The story of God's people is the story of aliens. Throughout the biblical text we are reminded of God's concern for the alien and the stranger who reside among us.
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Tea Partiers Colorblind to Arizona's Fascism
Tea Partiers Colorblind to Arizona's Fascism
Arizona recently passed the most fascistic law imaginable. Heaven forbid if you are a Latina or Latino who left your papers in the hotel room. So why aren't tea party activists protesting? Maybe because fascism is selective.
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When Tea Partiers Come to Church
When Tea Partiers Come to Church
You are likely to find tea party members sitting in your church pews, based on a recent New York Times poll. How should churches respond? And how should we address the racial overtones in the movement?
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Defeating Racism at the Spiritual Level
Defeating Racism at the Spiritual Level
While racial discrimination is no longer legal, we've got a long way to go. As a spiritual disorder, racism is so deeply rooted in us that nothing short of a conversion experience can change a person's mind and heart.
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Health Care Foes Echo Civil Rights Objections
Health Care Foes Echo Civil Rights Objections
Once health care reform passed, the anti-reform minority became vitriolic, shouting racial epithets, carrying out acts of violence and claiming states' rights were usurped. It all mirrors the objections to civil rights in the '60s.
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Extreme Rhetoric May Set Stage for Violence
Extreme Rhetoric May Set Stage for Violence
The rhetoric of the Tea Party members and others, who were unable to make their will mandatory through the electoral process, is crossing a dangerous line into a social activism that condones violence.
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Women Pastors: Baptists' Loss Is Others' Gain
Women Pastors: Baptists' Loss Is Others' Gain
In too many Baptist circles today, the calling of a woman to pastoral ministry is still denied or dismissed. Yet, in churches where the principle of the autonomy of the local church is truly cherished, miracles occur.
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Failed Border Policy Causes Migrants’ Deaths
Failed Border Policy Causes Migrants’ Deaths
As tens of thousands are expected to descend on Washington, D.C., this weekend to call for comprehensive immigration reform, we must not forget the deaths caused by the government’s current border policy.
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A Lesson of Love Amid Racial Hatred
A Lesson of Love Amid Racial Hatred
As a 12-year-old, I couldn't fathom the uproar desegregation caused. My church barred blacks from entering. A mob gathered at my school. But my mother, who drove the school bus, provided the best lesson.
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Beck's Claim at Odds with Jesus' Teaching
Beck's Claim at Odds with Jesus' Teaching
Glenn Beck claimed that churches used "social justice" and "economic justice" as code words for Nazism and Communism. But many churches silently agree with him as they worship at the altar of personal piety.
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Breaking Barriers: Reading the Bible in Spanish
Breaking Barriers: Reading the Bible in Spanish
The language in which our Bibles are read can have more of an influence on the theology we derive from the reading than we are willing to admit. Reading in Spanish can offer a different interpretation than English.
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Laws – But Not Hearts – Have Changed on Racism
Laws – But Not Hearts – Have Changed on Racism
As a child growing up in church and segregated South Carolina in the 1940s, I was troubled when I realized black people weren't welcome in our church. The only answer given to me: "This is the way things are."
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Why a Journal on Race, Ethnicity and Religion?
Why a Journal on Race, Ethnicity and Religion?
Why do many scholars of color find it difficult to get their articles published or gain tenured employment? Perhaps the academic community's call for diversity is more for political correctness than intellectual prowess.
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Why is Pat Robertson So Quick to Condemn Haiti?
Why is Pat Robertson So Quick to Condemn Haiti?
The earthquake in Haiti will certainly not be the first time that we look around us and wonder why evil triumphs. But why are some Christians, like Pat Robertson, so quick to condemn in the name of God?
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Lessons from Niebuhr Put Obama at Odds with Poor
Lessons from Niebuhr Put Obama at Odds with Poor
Back in 2007, Barack Obama proclaimed Reinhold Niebuhr as one of his "favorite philosophers." But what the president took away from Niebuhr puts him at odds with the world's poor and oppressed.
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How to Determine When War is Just or Unjust
How to Determine When War is Just or Unjust
Just war theory is based on the assumption God condones wars that are conducted to destroy evil and rectify injustices. But we must ask: Who gets to define evil and injustices?
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Who's the Real Enemy of Immigration Reform?
Who's the Real Enemy of Immigration Reform?
When it comes to meaningful immigration reform, the marginalized have more to fear from political allies, who often are quick to profess solidarity but slow when they fear votes could be lost. Shame on them.
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Why Christ's Euro-American Image Afflicts Hispanics
Why Christ's Euro-American Image Afflicts Hispanics
Just as Euro-Americans have for centuries worshipped a Christ in their own image, it becomes significant for Latinas and Latinos to see the Divine as an ethnic Hispanic. Here's why.
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The Dream Continues: More Work Needed to End Racism
The Dream Continues: More Work Needed to End Racism
Racial discrimination and segregation are no longer legal, but Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream of seeing a nation united rather than divided by race has not made as much progress. It's a spiritual problem.
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Charles Wellborn: Baptists' Clear Voice of Conscience
Charles Wellborn: Baptists' Clear Voice of Conscience
Charles Wellborn opened membership in a Texas Baptist church to people of "all races and colors" in 1958. He received menacing phone calls and a cross burned on his lawn. He was 86 when he died Oct. 1.
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No Samaritans Allowed: U.S. Prohibits Helping Migrants
No Samaritans Allowed: U.S. Prohibits Helping Migrants
If America truly is a nation based on Judeo-Christian values, why does the U.S. prohibit us from being Good Samaritans to people desperate to migrate here? It repudiates Jesus' teachings.
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Dearly Departed: The Separation of Church and Jesus
Dearly Departed: The Separation of Church and Jesus
Minorities in church. Rushing to war. Alleviating poverty. For some Christians, certain areas of life are simply too important to run the risk of Jesus meddling with them.
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Merit-Based Health Care: The Shame of American Christianity
Merit-Based Health Care: The Shame of American Christianity
American Christians are under the impression that health insurance is a moral indicator for faithfulness and righteousness, even convincing ourselves the uninsured have made their own beds in terms of health care.
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Who's Really Hurt by America's Travel Ban to Cuba?
Who's Really Hurt by America's Travel Ban to Cuba?
Cuba is the only country in the world to which the U.S. bans its citizens from travel. The only ones suffering because of the embargo are Cuba's people, not Castro. Will 50 years of failed policies come to an end?
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Optical Illusions: Our
Optical Illusions: Our "Racial Lenses" Distort Reality
We don't often see them, but many of us wear racial lenses that distort our reality. Somehow we must find corrective lenses to help us conquer our racist distortion of reality.
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"Gran Torino" Is a Parable for the Age of Rage
Clint Eastwood's "Gran Torino" is about death and redemption as well as the loss of an American way of life. It's theological and timely given our age of rage against people of color.
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African-American Baptist Applauds Carter's
African-American Baptist Applauds Carter's "Courage"
Former President Jimmy Carter created an uproar by charging that some of the opposition to President Obama is due to continued racism. One African-American pastor applauded his courage.
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The Cancer Creeping into Our Nation's Character
The Cancer Creeping into Our Nation's Character
Protesters vilify a black president. A congressman enjoys public health care but votes against health care for veterans. And ministers are silent as black leadership is demonized. What's happening to our character?
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The Other: Standing Up for Those Who Are Different
The Other: Standing Up for Those Who Are Different
It's difficult to look outside our own lives and look at those who are different from us. It's harder to stand up for them and make sure they're included in our circle. Shannon Johnson knows.
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The America Glenn Beck and Company Long For
The America Glenn Beck and Company Long For
Right-wing pundits and politicians as well as angry citizens at town-hall meetings have called for a return to their America. But what kind of America do they really want?
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Why Do Some Parents View Our President with Fear?
Why Do Some Parents View Our President with Fear?
Parents pull their children from school so they aren't exposed to President Obama's speech. A Baptist pastor in Arizona prays for the president's death. What fuels such fear and hatred?
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Unhinged Southern Baptists, Republicans Slam Obama's School Speech
Unhinged Southern Baptists, Republicans Slam Obama's School Speech
Why is there such unhinged anger toward and paranoia about President Obama speaking to school children? Have the racist sins of the fathers finally visited the children?
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Countering the Nazi Party's Vision for America
Countering the Nazi Party's Vision for America
The National Socialist Movement, or Nazi Party, met in North Carolina recently. Their America is filled with bigotry and racism. We must stand up for an America where people work together for the common good.
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History Lessened: Exhibit Reveals Unvarnished Truth
History Lessened: Exhibit Reveals Unvarnished Truth
When we focus on the inspiring portions of history and gloss over the evils of our national heroes, history loses its value as an example and no longer tells the truth, W.E.B. Du Bois reminds us.
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Will You Take a Stand During Your Normal Routine?
Will You Take a Stand During Your Normal Routine?
Among the 125 notable vehicles of the 20th century in the Henry Ford Museum, including a string of presidential limos, you can actually board only one and sit where its most famous passenger sat.
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What's Really Motivating Angry Town-Hall Mobs?
What's Really Motivating Angry Town-Hall Mobs?
Members of Congress holding town hall meetings on health care reform are being shouted down by angry mobs of constituents. Pure paranoia? Not really. It's displaced racism.
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Talk of Post-Racial America Ends with Health Care Rallies, Better Way Needed
Talk of Post-Racial America Ends with Health Care Rallies, Better Way Needed
Racism is flourishing in the United States. What can churches do? Screen "Beneath the Skin" in Sunday school classes and sponsor public forums to dialogue about racism.
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 Immigration Reform Slides to Obama's Backburner
Immigration Reform Slides to Obama's Backburner
Rather than tackle the humiliations of being Hispanic today in this country, the president announced that legislation to overhaul immigration laws will be delayed until next year.
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Building Bridges: Crossing Valley of Racism
Building Bridges: Crossing Valley of Racism
Healing the racial divide is as important to Christianity as hot-button issues such as abortion and gay marriage, an African-American pastor said at a New Baptist Covenant regional meeting.
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Health Care's Two Masters: Healing and Making Profits
Health Care's Two Masters: Healing and Making Profits
We will never reform the health care system until we acknowledge the white elephant in the room. The system's current purpose is not to restore health but to make a profit.
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Harvard Prof's Arrest Illustrates Racism Thrives
Harvard Prof's Arrest Illustrates Racism Thrives
The arrest of a black Harvard professor outside his own home is an experience endured by many people of color. Why are we surprised that they do not trust the police?
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The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama
The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama
Gwen Ifill's book examines the new generation of black political leaders seeking to build futures for themselves and the people they serve in innovative ways.
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Baptist Luncheon Highlights Racism DVD, Panel
Baptist Luncheon Highlights Racism DVD, Panel
A panel attempted to unravel several tangled strands from “Beneath the Skin” during a screening of the award-winning documentary at the Baptist Center for Ethics luncheon at the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Assembly July 2.
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Claiming Colorblindness: A Myth That Needs to be Debunked
Claiming Colorblindness: A Myth That Needs to be Debunked
Sen. John Cornyn, as well as many Euro-Americans, perceives the ideal response to racism is to claim colorblindness. As noble as this may sound, it is a policy that is detrimental to communities of color.
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From Racism to Greed, Society Labels Its Greatest Sins Good
From Racism to Greed, Society Labels Its Greatest Sins Good
I was confronted by a man who said that when he was growing up, racism was accepted as fact; no one around him questioned it, so how could his failure to act differently be held against him? That is precisely the exceeding sinfulness of sin.
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Church's 'Beneath the Skin' Sessions Spark Candid Dialogue
Church's 'Beneath the Skin' Sessions Spark Candid Dialogue
When Churchland Baptist Church in Virginia used the "Beneath the Skin" DVD and study guide for a recent group session, it encouraged open and honest discussion that will hopefully trickle into further conversations in other settings.
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Sotomayor's Privileged Critics Hurl Clueless Charges of Racism
Sotomayor's Privileged Critics Hurl Clueless Charges of Racism
Critics of Supreme Court nominee Judge Sonia Sotomayor suggest her remarks in a 2001 speech reveal her racism. In fact, their criticisms disclose that those with power and privilege have no concept of what it means to be marginalized.
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Society's Structural Sin Oppresses Marginalized Communities
Society's Structural Sin Oppresses Marginalized Communities
Sin is not only a personal act. It also manifests itself socially through laws and regulations that permit the few to live in privilege and the many to live in want. That's why our society must move away from structural sins toward a more just society.
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Audacity of Faith: Reflection on Election of Barack Obama
Audacity of Faith: Reflection on Election of Barack Obama
America has come close to moments of racial reconciliation before, and in each instance the nation found a way or a reason to turn away from that opportunity. Will the election of Barack Obama be one more missed opportunity?
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National Ministries Announces Luncheon Screening of
National Ministries Announces Luncheon Screening of "Beneath the Skin" in Pasadena
"Beneath the Skin: Baptists and Racism" will be screened by National Ministries during a luncheon at the biennial gathering of the American Baptist Churches-USA in Pasadena, Calif., in June.
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Who Do We Really Worship? Prince of Peace or Tsar of Torture
Who Do We Really Worship? Prince of Peace or Tsar of Torture
Something is seriously wrong with American Christianity when more than half of white evangelicals believe that torture is often or sometimes justified. No matter how we try to manipulate the Scriptures, we simply can never reconcile Christ with torture.
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Baptists of Color Headline BCE Luncheon at CBF
Baptists of Color Headline BCE Luncheon at CBF
"Beneath the Skin," an award-winning documentary, and a panel of Baptists of color will headline the Baptist Center for Ethics' annual luncheon at this year's General Assembly of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
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Beneath the Skin: Baptists Discuss How to Cross Racial Borders
Beneath the Skin: Baptists Discuss How to Cross Racial Borders
During two breakout sessions at the recent Baptist Border Crossing, Baptists viewed EthicsDaily.com’s documentary “Beneath the Skin: Baptists and Racism” and discussed how they could cross racial boundaries.
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Dominant Culture Influences Our Reading of the Bible
Dominant Culture Influences Our Reading of the Bible
The minds of many people of color have become accustomed to seeing reality through the lens of the dominant culture. The horror is when they accept this false reality as truth.
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A Racial Unity Service Hits Home for Minister
A Racial Unity Service Hits Home for Minister
Staley caught the irony of singing and talking about progress in racial relations—yet until that service, two people who work in the same church every day had never worshiped together. She made a public commitment to doing something about it.
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Documentary Helps Community After City Hall Shooting
Documentary Helps Community After City Hall Shooting
On Feb. 7, 2008, a man walked into Kirkwood City Hall and killed six people. The shooter, a local man known quite well by several church members, was a black man. All of the victims were white.
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‘Pentecostal Wind’ Gives Energy to a Dying Event
‘Pentecostal Wind’ Gives Energy to a Dying Event
LITTLE ROCK, Ark.—New fruit is budding from a previous dying-on-the-vine event, which originated from some tiny seeds planted here in 1971.
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A Time for Not Talking About Race
A Time for Not Talking About Race
We like to talk—and act as if our latest opinion is the right one for everyone else to embrace. But our past actions do not afford us such a position on the subject of race. It is a time to shut up, reflect deeply and listen to others.
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Black, White Congregations Renew Relationships
Black, White Congregations Renew Relationships
I’m very grateful for “Beneath the Skin” as it proved to be an excellent resource to bring our two very different congregations together for meaningful discussion and planning.
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Office Has Potential to Remedy Some Biases
Office Has Potential to Remedy Some Biases
Is it really better for government and religion to stay out of each other's affairs? This is a question that Joshua DuBois most likely will have to answer time and time again. May his wisdom surpass his years; and from what I've read of him, it does.
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Film Offers Starting Point for Deeper Relationships
Film Offers Starting Point for Deeper Relationships
That’s the miracle of watching “Beneath the Skin: Baptists and Racism.” No matter where you are on the journey of race and reconciliation, the film offers a place for people to deepen their relationships with other people.
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DVD Showing on Racism Hits Home
DVD Showing on Racism Hits Home
Showings of “Beneath the Skin: Baptists and Racism” in two tiny south Arkansas towns hit home.
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Baptists in Search of Unity
Baptists in Search of Unity
It is an ambitious and even audacious idea. But it is a hopeful one. For too long we have skirted the edges of disaster existing as "us and them." It's time, not just for Baptists, but for everyone, to find a way just to be us.
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Baptists Show Unity at Birmingham New Baptist Covenant Event Featuring President Carter
Baptists Show Unity at Birmingham New Baptist Covenant Event Featuring President Carter
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (CBF) -- More than 1,000 people gathered in Birmingham, Ala., Jan. 31 for the first regional gathering of the New Baptist Covenant. The event, which was held at the historic 16th Street Baptist Church, St. Paul's United Methodist Church and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, occurred on the one year anniversary of the Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant, which drew more than 15,000 Baptists in Atlanta.
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Baptists and Racism
Baptists have a long and storied history on the issue of race and racism.
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Stop the Export of Terror
Terrorism, as a political tool, is abhorrent to all people of good will. Civilized nations have a moral obligation to eliminate the use of terror. We as a nation, due to our rhetoric of expounding the virtues of democracy, are held to a higher standard in ending the terrorism that is imported and exported.
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Hope’s Hard Work
Hopefully, the enthusiasm of this new reality will continue as the hard work of true change begins.
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EthicsDaily.com Documentary Accepted at Two More Festivals
An educational documentary on racism from EthicsDaily.com has been accepted at two more U.S. film festivals.
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Arkansas CBF Initiative on Racism Goes Viral
A virus broke out in early December in Little Rock, one that infects people of faith with a passion to do justice. Ground zero was, of all places, a Baptist church. And day one wasn’t even Sunday.
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From Conversation to Action: What Are We Doing Together?
The events in our country and our community make the timing of this DVD and the screenings that have been held in Nashville, Fort Worth, Louisville, Atlanta and now Little Rock perfect for creating a new day in race relations.
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Little Rock Screening of Racism DVD Prompts Substantive Dialogue
The DVD screening, sponsored by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Arkansas, brought old and painful memories to many in the diverse audience of about 170--a 60-40 mix of white and minorities.
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Little Rock to Host Event on Baptists and Racism
"Beneath the Skin: Baptists and Racism" will screen Tuesday, Dec. 2, at Second Baptist Church in downtown Little Rock from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The free event also features the participation of several well-known figures.
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Bob Jones University Apologizes for Racial Policies
The university's new interpretation of the Bible marked an about-face from a 1986 pamphlet, "Race Relations," written by a Bible department faculty member, Marshall Neal, who argued that racial segregation was based on the authority of the Bible.
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The South Must Awaken
Forty years after King's death, it is noteworthy that except for North Carolina and Virginia, voters in Southern states were not part of the dramatic voting that resulted in the election of Barack Obama as the next president of the United States.
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For Christians, Racial Reconciliation Is More Than a Habit of the Heart
In order for racial reconciliation to be an act of discipleship, white Christians must start at the ethical beginning, that place where we learn what sin is by learning of Christ's grace: worship.
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Regional New Baptist Covenant Meetings Planned
Inspired by the vision and success of the Celebration of a New Baptist Covenant held earlier this year, several Baptist groups are planning similar regional gatherings for 2009. Next year will also mark the 400th anniversary of the Baptist movement.
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The Myths of Transcending Race and Post-Racialism
Rather than speaking about a color-blind or "post-racial" society, the pundits and other observers of the Obama election should hope that it marks a society committed to "post-racism."
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See Gray in a World of Black and White
Methodists have historically had the ability to hold together the concerns of both liberals and conservatives, to preach both the evangelical and social gospels, and to attempt to understand and acknowledge the important positions deeply held by people on opposite sides of the theological or political divide, bringing them together in what some might call a "radical center."
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Racism Is a Sin
Three older pastors took me aside to offer some well-intentioned advice. In summary, they told me I wouldn't get far in ministry if I challenged racism. They defended their racist humor, insisting they meant no harm, declaring it was simply part of culture.
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African-American Baptists Reflect on Obama's Historic Victory
In light of Barack Obama's victory in Tuesday's presidential election, many people are considering what his election might mean for race relations in America. Reflections from several African-American Baptist ministers suggest that although they see Obama's election as an important moment, it must be just one step on a longer road toward racial reconciliation.
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New EthicsDaily.com Video to Screen at International Film Festival (Updated)
EthicsDaily.com's new video on Baptists and racism will be screened at an international film festival on Sunday, October 19, at 12:00 p.m., at the Avon Williams Campus of Tennessee State University in downtown Nashville.
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Beneath Black, White--and Brown--Skin
Laura Cadena, a fifth-generation Tejana, recalls a story about when her grandmother moved from Laredo to Dallas, Texas: "She remembers getting on a bus and the sign saying 'Whites Only' or 'Blacks Only,' and she didn't know where she was supposed to sit."
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'Beneath the Skin' DVD Examines Baptists and Race
Aidsand Wright-Riggins expected some sort of emotional response years ago as a religious-studies major in college when he illustrated a presentation on race and religion by tearing up an Ebony magazine portrayal of Jesus as an African-American.
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Ten Years Later
As we drove into the cemetery, I could see through the windshield of my brother's car the flagpole at the entrance, and the flag itself--flying at half-mast.
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9/11: A Day That Lives in Infamy
Not to sound trite, but 9/11 is indeed a day that will live in infamy. On this day a sovereign democracy was savagely attacked by a terrorist organization.
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Should We Apologize for Slavery?
The question came up on an American Airlines flight from Nashville to Dallas. I was reading the September-October issue of Sojourners, a liberal Christian magazine, and my seatmate was reading over my shoulder. We were both taken with a letter to the editor that opposed an apology for slavery.
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Former Coach, Now College President, Fights Racial Disparity in College Sports
On the football field a "crackback" is an unexpected blind-side block that takes a would-be tackler out of the play. When it comes to hiring black coaches, it's a standard part of the playbook, says Fitz Hill, former head coach at San Jose State University.
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Converting the Church
I must have been about 10 when I first went to Disneyland in Southern California around 1968. Going to Disneyland was a dream come true for me. My parents scraped and saved to make this trip possible.
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Integrating Churches Easier Said Than Done
One reason 11 a.m. Sunday remains the most segregated hour in America is because many church members want it that way, according to a recent article by CNN.
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Show Me a Sexist; I'll Show You a Racist
Ah! The good old days--when men were men and women were kept in the kitchen; when being white was right for America.
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James Dobson Preaches a False Gospel
For the past eight years, James Dobson's brand of Christianity has been normative in the land. Dobson has preached a Christ acceptable to the present Bush administration. When George W. Bush and company get down on their knees, they pray to the same Christ to whom Dobson turns for guidance in making moral decisions.
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Top Ten Questions Never To Ask a Hispanic Who Is Visiting Your Church
Over the years I have had the pleasure of visiting many predominant Euro-American churches. Without fail, some well-meaning person would usually approach me and ask a question that literally left me speechless.
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Fred Shuttlesworth: Prophet of Social Equality at CBF
While not as well known as Martin Luther King Jr., Fred L. Shuttlesworth was the Baptist pastor most responsible for the success of the civil rights movement in the Alabama city known as "Bombingham." Fifty racially motivated bombings between 1947 and 1955 epitomized southern resistance to integration.
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The Search for Equality Continues
I grew up in Brownwood, Texas, an ordinary segregated county-seat town. I gave little thought to the welfare or needs of the folks who lived in "The Flats," the place where the blacks lived.
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British Baptist Delegation Apologizes to Jamaicans for Slavery
A delegation of British Baptists in Jamaica this week apologized for England's role in the transatlantic slave trade, a scourge that shaped Caribbean history with effects that linger until today.
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Focus on the Undocumented Family
Family values have arisen as battle cry among Christians, specifically conservative Christians. During past presidential elections, family values were indicated as being a decisive factor for the electorate in arriving at the decision for whom to cast a vote.
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The Devil Is In the Doing of Evil
Reading sacred texts about an all-loving and all-powerful God raises questions and concerns when that image is compared to the realities of life. All have faced, or will face, tragedy, misery and death. Events will occur that appear unfair, leading most of us to question if any sense of cosmic justice truly exists.
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British Baptists Go to Jamaica to Apologize for Slave Trade
A delegation representing British Baptists travels Thursday to Jamaica to personally apologize for their nation's role two centuries ago in transatlantic trading of slaves.
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Power, Not Prejudice, Keeps Churches Segregated, Author Will Campbell Says
The church remains the last bastion of segregation in America not primarily due to prejudice but because of power, says civil-rights advocate and author Will Campbell.
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Environmental Racism: Another Inconvenient Truth
Most Americans are coming to terms with the environmental peril facing our planet. Documentaries, books, media attention and scientific research are raising consciousness to this very important issue. For this we should all be grateful. However, there exists an inconvenient truth within the present environmental movement. The greatest levels of environmental derogation exist where people of color live.
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Missouri Southern Baptist Leader Apologizes for Criticizing Confederate Flag
The interim executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention has apologized for calling the Confederate flag a symbol of hate.
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Seven Who Fought
It was a costly battle for many whose family, profession, prestige – even life itself were laid on the line. During the 1950s and 1960s the fight for dignity and human rights against bigotry, hate and apathy changed the lives of thousands of Americans.
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American Baptist Officials Say Pew Survey Paints False Picture of Denomination's Ethnic Diversity
Leaders of the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. said a recent Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life survey plotting America's religious landscape used flawed methodology in reporting the denomination as 81 percent white.
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Confederate Flag Issue Flies in Face of Anniversary of MLK Assassination
Racism is racism. Sexism is sexism. Wrong is wrong. Secular hate speech is as wrong as religious hate speech. Liberal untruthfulness is as wrong as conservative untruthfulness. Yet human nature compels us to rationalize, to justify and to defend our dehumanizing action and beliefs, and those of our friends, those on our side.
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Martin Luther King Jr. was Prophetic Voice for Peace
On Friday, April 4, the world remembers the 40th anniversary of the untimely and tragic death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King's legacy is large, and much of the progress we have made in race relations, although still inadequate, is due to his unwavering belief and commitment to justice, freedom, and equality for all.
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Missouri Baptist Editor Supports Confederate Flag
The editor of the Missouri Baptist Convention's in-house publication, "The Pathway," has strongly defended the controversial Confederate battle flag and aggressively attacked those who challenge it.
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BCE Luncheon to Explore Morality of Fair Taxation
An Alabama law professor who argues that fair taxation is a moral issue will present her case June 19 at a luncheon meeting sponsored by the Baptist Center for Ethics. The gathering is in conjunction with the 18th General Assembly of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, scheduled June 19-20 in Memphis, Tenn.
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Baptist Leader Terms Racism 'Insidious Cancer' in Society
Growing up black in America, Aidsand Wright-Riggins says he is used to hearing the "n-word." What bothers him is as a midweek air traveler he seldom sees more than one or two fellow African-American passengers, even though the United States is more than 12 percent black.
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What Do Obama, Clinton and McCain All Have in Common?
What do Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain have in common? All three are ontologically white males. No one can become the leader of the world's most powerful country (empire?) unless they are committed to what male whiteness symbolizes within the colonial process.
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Context Key to Understanding Jeremiah Wright's Remarks
Last week Barack Obama did two remarkable things. First he risked speaking directly to the reality of racism in America and American history. Obama framed his remarks with his signature phrase of "the audacity of hope." He claimed that his populist candidacy for the presidency is proof that audacious hope has a place in today's America.
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Barack Obama Talks Straight on Race
This has been a remarkable morning. It started with a phone call from Tony Brown, a radio talk show host in Alexandria, La. On the show with me were Jerriel Bazile, whose brother stands accused of selling drugs to an FBI agent in Bunkie, La., and a woman whose son has been charged in a shooting. We talked about the adversarial relationship between the Bunkie police force and the poor black community. Yesterday, Mr. Bazile reported, 100 Bunkie residents gathered to protest and organize.
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Did Skin Pigmentation or Prophetic Imagination Fuel Jesus' Vision?
What color was Jesus? Was it skin pigmentation that determined Jesus' message or was it the prophetic imagination that defined his mission? Are pigmentation and imagination separable or inseparable? How is it that we remake Jesus in our own image?
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Reaction Mixed to SBC Leader Calling Jewish Senator a 'Schmuck'
Should a Southern Baptist Convention leader resign for using a Yiddish slur against a Jewish senator, or is it "much ado about not much?" That's the range of reaction to Monday's EthicsDaily.com story quoting Ethics & Religious Liberty head Richard Land calling New York Senator Chuck Schumer a "schmuck."
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The Ethics of Waterboarding
On Feb. 22, the Justice Department revealed that an internal ethics review conducted by the Office of Professional Responsibility is investigating the CIA's use of waterboarding.
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Richard Land Must Go
Now we have a chance to see what the Religious Right is made of--if it truly stands for ethics and values, as its leaders profess, or whether its leaders can continue to engage in gutter politics and get away with it.
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SBC Leader Uses Obscene Slur to Describe Jewish Senator
A Southern Baptist leader lecturing at Criswell College used a gutter word to describe a Jewish U.S. senator.
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Study Says Baptists Losing Ground in America's Religious Landscape
Americans are leaving Baptist churches at nearly twice the rate that others are joining them, according to details of a study released Monday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
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Appeals to Anti-Semitism, Racism, Mar Democratic Congressional Race
A Tennessee congressional candidate is being criticized for not disavowing a flier that says the incumbent and Jews hate Jesus.
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Baptists Must See Crisscrossing of Race, Poverty and the Environment
Goodwill Baptists in North America are having feverish public and private conversations about next steps. Of course, trying to get Baptists heading in the same direction is like herding cats, a near impossibility.
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Can Baptists Bridge the Racial Divide?
As a person of color who attended the New Baptist Covenant, I was and continue to be a bit skeptical about the outcomes. I have learned in my 32 years of life how important it is for a person of color to keep his or her expectations low when discussing race and ethnicity with others. It's not that we do not hope for the best, but it is a way to protect ourselves from further cultural wounding.
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Panelists Urge New Covenant Baptists to Fight Institutional Racism
The church's struggle against racism is no longer primarily about skin color, but institutions that bestow privilege on some and penalties on others, an activist, denominational leader and scholar said in a special-interest session Friday at the New Baptist Covenant Celebration in Atlanta.
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Constantinian Christianity
Erick Prince, founder of Blackwater, testified last fall before the House Oversight and Government reform committee concerning his company's activities in Iraq. Steeped in conservative Christian traditions, the Prince dynasty has deep Republican roots whose fortunes were freely spent to support religious causes like James Dobson's Focus on the Family or provide seed money for the Family Research Council, ran by former presidential candidate Gary Bauer.
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Help Wanted: Black Friend
The great modern-day theologian--Steven Colbert of the popular Comedy Central show "The Colbert Report"--recently began accepting applications for the position of his very own "black friend."
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White Supremacists Headline Martin Luther King Day Protest in Jena
A controversial "pro-majority" group gathers today in Jena, La., to protest both the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and last September's rally that brought thousands of African-Americans to the small town in solidarity with six arrested black teens now famous as the Jena Six.
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Fred Shuttlesworth and Racial Justice: An Old Perspective for a New Millennium
The Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday affords Americans a built-in opportunity to revisit the issue of racial justice. It is also a window through which we may re-view the lives of others who, like King, pushed America toward becoming a "beloved community" of racial justice.
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Martin Luther King and Selma's 1965 Voting Rights Campaign
On Jan. 2, 1965, Martin Luther King Jr. led a "mass meeting" at Brown Chapel in Selma, Ala. This meeting kicked off the involvement of King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Selma's voting rights campaign.
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In Memory Of Martin Luther King
In his elegant little book, "Finally Comes the Poet," Walter Brueggemann writes that the task of the preacher is to be "a voice that shatters settled reality and evokes new possibilities." If he is right about that, then no preacher in the last century has been more effective than Martin Luther King, Jr. His words helped shatter the settled reality of segregation. He also gave voice to the possibility of what he called the "beloved community."
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New Baptist Covenant Celebration Chance to Move Forward in Race Relations
North American Baptists will soon have one of the best opportunities in our history to address the racial divisions that have too long defined us.
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'Great Debaters' Star Likes Unfamiliar Story
Denzel Whitaker turned 17 while shooting "The Great Debaters," the new movie directed by and starring Whitaker's namesake, Denzel Washington.
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Words Aren't Enough for New Baptist Covenant
Earlier this year, I posted about my excitement about the New Baptist Covenant. And I encourage as many people as possible to attend next January's celebration.
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'Amazing Grace'
"Amazing Grace" finally arrives on DVD today, nine months after its theatrical release.
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Finding Good News in Jena
Last month I watched the events in Jena, La., unfold with particular interest. Jena is hometown to one of my aunts. I have friends from college and in Louisiana life who grew up in Jena and who have family living there now. I was born in Alexandria, about 30 miles away.
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Symbolic Nooses Reveal Racial Divide
Protests sparked by the hanging of three nooses from a Louisiana schoolyard tree have sparked a series of copycat acts, further fueling a debate over America's lingering legacy of racial injustice and violence.
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Repairers of the Breach, Restorers of Paths
In the late 1970s, I was a not-yet-30-year-old pastor with four or five years of grassroots ordained experience under my belt. I was serving a congregation of fewer than 50 members in south-central Los Angeles, in a converted restaurant located in a community whose racial makeup was rapidly transitioning. Whites had long since made their flight from the economically declining neighborhood to points westward, seeking enclaves of homogeneity.
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What Happens When You Fry Baloney?
Ever wonder what happens when you fry baloney? I expect puzzled looks from my students every time I ask this question. Why would anyone in their right mind fry baloney? Still, usually a few students provide the correct answer: it bubbles up.
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The Biblical Call for Liberation
What guidelines, if any, can be derived from the biblical call for liberation? The past years have witnessed an attempt to come to terms with the presence of undocumented aliens. Regardless of the shape future legislation may take, as Christians, there exist moral guidelines by which our handling of undocumented aliens can be judged.
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The Alien is Jesus Among Us
On Aug. 22 a prayer vigil showing solidarity for Elvira Arellano, and all of the other families in risk of separation due to our inhumane immigration system, was held in Denver.
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Racial Reconciliation Is Not a Past Event

I often have college students do an essay on race relations and the Christian heritage in light of reading Martin Luther King, Jr. Most students express an appreciation of King's life and work but many add: "We are glad that the issue of race relations is over. We are glad that we don't have to work on that problem anymore."

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Conservatism Not a Choice
A recent study released by the Baptist Journal of Behavioral Science concluded that conservatism is not a choice, but rather a genetic trait.
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Do Southern Baptists Really Support 'Biblical' Marriage?
God bless you Paige Patterson! It is men of courage like you who will save the Southern Baptist Convention and the nation.
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For Southern Baptists, Racial Reconciliation Must Go Beyond Words to Deeds
Racial reconciliation can never be confused with the white dominant culture shedding crocodile tears while offering deep felt apologies. Unfortunately, this has been the pattern employed by my denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention.
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LA Police Attack on Hispanics Provides Civics Lesson From the Margins
Imagine you are part of a group of concerned citizens frustrated with Congress placing timetables on the military spending bill. Your group of mainly white, middle- and upper-class residents decides to hold a rally, partly to protest Congress' recent actions but also to support the president's handling of the war.
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Why the Latino Community Isn't Defending Gonazales
Poor Alberto Gonzalez. President Bush's embattled attorney general is fighting alone for his political survival.
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Mr. De La Torre Goes to Washington
I am honored today to participate in a press conference in our nation's capitol. Basically, I, along with several hundred clergy from around the nation, gather to urge Congress to pass two pieces of legislation before them: the hate-crime bill and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
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The Color of Money in America
Just as First World conditions exist among the elite in the Third World, Third World conditions exist in the First World.
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Lack of Racial Diversity Harms White Students
Until the 1950s, racial segregation in public schools was the norm throughout the United States.
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Living in the Borderlands
From Tijuana on the Pacific Ocean to Matamoros on the Gulf of Mexico runs a 1,833-mile border separating the United States from Latin America. Around the halfway point on this border is Ciudad Juárez. Flowing southeastwardly from Ciudad Juárez to Matamoros is the Rio Grande, literally the Big River.
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Moral Ambiguities and Guantanamo
Thinking about the moral ambiguities associated with the activities at Guantanamo, we usually concentrate on how prisoners are treated or the legal procedures employed for processing prisoners.
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God and Country
"Beside the rivers of the Potomac we sat and wept at the memory of our homeland, leaving our conga drums by the palm trees…. 'Sing,' they said, "some Mambo." How can we sing our rumba in a pagan land? Mi patria, if I forget you, may my right hand wither" (Ps. 137).
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The Chickens Come Home to Roost

September 11 is a day burned into the consciousness of many. On that day a democratically elected government woke up to a violent act committed by a foreign power. These terrorists succeeded in bringing about the tortuous death of 3,200 citizens. These acts against humanity occurred in 1973.

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What I Learned from Tommy
Tommy, not his real name, was a good friend of mine. We met in the '80s at our local Southern Baptist Church, where I served as a deacon and Sunday school teacher. At the time we were both young, single and took our faith seriously.
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Their Terrorists and Ours
A bomb explodes aboard a plane, downing the airliner and killing all on board. At a hotel in a busy tourist section of the city another bomb explodes, killing and wounding vacationing Europeans. These acts were committed by those wishing to topple a form of government they hold in contempt, a form of government whose leader is often referred to as the great Satan.
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Columbus Day No Reason to Celebrate
Women were raped. Children were disemboweled. Men fell prey to the invaders' swords. Within a generation, the lives and cultures of the indigenous people of the Americas were forever changed. Avarice for gold and glory took its course and decimated the population.
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Baptists and Alcohol: What Would Jesus Do?
Thank the Almighty for men of God like Brad Reynolds, professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in North Carolina and pastor of Gravel Hill Baptist Church in Clarksville, Va. A man who is not afraid to stand firm on the Word of God, come what may.
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Catch an Illegal Alien
Wonder why some of us insist that the present Republican-led debate on immigration is a race-based attempt to win votes during the upcoming close election?
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Breaking Down Walls
Paul's epistle to the Ephesians provides an excellent illustration of tearing down walls that separate according to power and privilege.
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Justice and Peace Must Kiss
In 1985, Andean Indians wrote a letter to Pope John Paul II, signed by leaders of several Indian organizations.
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The Sin of Sodom
United States' history has proven that most of its presidents, congressional leaders and Supreme Court justices have been guilty of the sin of Sodom. Many of the religious leaders today, specifically conservative evangelicals, are also guilty of Sodom's sin. If truth be known, this writer is also guilty of the sin of Sodom. So are most readers of this column.
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Rhetoric Kills
Rhetoric kills--specifically the war rhetoric emerging from Washington D.C. to justify the invasion of a country which posed no strategic threat to the United States. As we prepare to celebrate the 4th of July, we can expect many politicians to throw around slogans like "fighting for freedom," "protecting our liberties" or "freedom isn't free."
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The Myth of Color-Blindness
For the past half millennium, racial and ethnic forms of economic oppression were normalized and legitimatized in the eyes of the overwhelming majority of Euroamericans, an entrenched understanding that found legal (eugenics was constitutional upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court) and religious justification.
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Speaking in Tongues
"Then Gilead cut Ephraim off from the fords of the Jordan, and whenever an Ephraimite fugitive said, 'Let me cross,' the men of Gilead asked him, 'Are you an Ephraimite?' If he answered 'No,' they said, 'Then say Shibboleth.' He would say 'Sibboleth,' since Ephraimites could not pronounce the word correctly. Thereupon they seized and slaughter him by the fords of the Jordan" (Judges 12:5-6).
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Bananas
They come here to take away our jobs and use up our social services. They come in search of the American Dream hoping to find a better life for themselves and their families. These are the two most common answers given when asked why They cross the border. Yet, the real reason They keep coming is bananas. Yes--bananas. And our refusal to honestly deal with the role of bananas contributes to much of the misinformation surrounding the current immigration debate.
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Christian Justification of Torture is Satanic
We all heard of Abu Ghraib, where prisoners were sadistically abused by U.S. military forces. We were told by our government that these abuses were an aberration conducted by a few rogue soldiers who have sullen the good name of all Americans.
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Happy Anniversary
Number of years since the U.S. invaded Iraq: 3. Number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq: 2,520.
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Selling Civil Rights
Andy, say it isn't so! Tell us you didn't sell your legacy for a pot of pottage! I simply cannot believe that you, who had walked with Martin Luther King, who had fought for justice, who had defended the marginalized, could possibly sell out not only to corporate America, but by far, one of the most abusive corporate entities.
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Racial Profiling is Everyone's Business
When I was in my mid-20s, I decided to spend a spring weekend in the Big Apple.
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A Biblical Budget
After reviewing President Bush's $2.77 trillion budget for 2007, I am convinced that he is a man who reads the Bible literally. Specifically Matthew 25:29: "For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him."
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Resegregating America's Schools
One of the greatest accomplishments of the Civil Rights Movement focused on a desegregated education. Until the 1950s, racial segregation in public schools was the norm throughout the United States.
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The State of the Empire
The president of the Northern Kingdom strutted toward the podium. Tonight he would address the empire, sharing his impression of the state of the union.
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A 'Spanglish' Christmas
As all good theologians know, Heaven is a lot like a tropical island in the Caribbean, where cool gentle breezes refresh the land and the soul from the heat of the day. Hence Christmas is best celebrated in shorts and a tank top, preferably at the beach. Forgive me, but I do not dream of a "white Christmas."
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'Full-Quiver' Theology Appeals to Race
In a July 27 column in Baptist Press, Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (my alma mater) insists that couples who choose childlessness are guilty of "rebellion against parenthood [that] represents nothing less than an absolute revolt against God's design."
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Justice for Tookie
On Dec. 13, Stanley Tookie Williams has a date with death. He sits in California's Death Row. The only thing that now stands between him and the executioner is a final appeal for clemency from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
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Columbus Day No Reason to Celebrate
Women were raped. Children were disemboweled. Men fell prey to the invaders' swords. Within a generation, the lives and cultures of the indigenous people of the Americas were forever changed. Avarice for gold and glory took its course and decimated the population.
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Recipe for a Perfect Storm
The recipe for a perfect storm is when an economic policy that is devastating to the poor is mixed together by an administrative kitchen of incompetency.
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Equal in God's Eyes, but Not in the Media
No doubt we are all familiar with Natalee Holloway. She's the blond, blue-eyed graduating honors student from Mountain Brook High School in Birmingham, Ala., who was participating in a senior trip with classmates on the Caribbean Island of Aruba when she disappeared.
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Shaking Off the Dust
"The spirit of the Lord is upon me, and has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor, proclaim freedom to the captives, provide sight to those who cannot see, bring liberation to the oppressed, and proclaim the Lord's year of jubilee!"
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Teaching the Bible in Public Schools
I'm concerned that public schools are debating the inclusion of a book in its curriculum that has disturbing sections. Should our young children be exposed to certain stories? Below is a section of a book that I'm sure will disturb many Christians:
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A Crusade for National Power
When tempted by Satan in the desert, Jesus was promised all the kingdoms of the earth in exchange for worshipfully bowing down to the Prince of Darkness. Jesus refused Satan's temptation of political power.
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How to Promote 'Diversity' Without Really Trying
Snap! Flash! Employees, board members, citizens and students of color are being followed around as they work, shop, study or play. But this time it's by camera-toting public relations folk eager to catch them in the act of representing the organization's commitment to diversity.
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Prophets of the King
Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, and Ahab, king of Israel, joined forces to make war against the king of Aram. But before marching off on their holy crusade, Jehoshaphat insisted on consulting the word of God.
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Which God is Dead?
The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) made the scandalous proclamation that "God is dead" in one of his well-known works, Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (1882).
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Illiterate Ethicist
My mother was illiterate and never had a chance to go to school. She fled Cuba for the United States during the political turbulence of 1958 with her infant son.
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God Loves Gays as People
To my gay bothers and sisters, may the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. I've received numerous communiques demanding an apology for a previous column I penned. And I agree. But if any apology is due, it should be to be made to the gay community.
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Quotations Track Church's Anti-Woman Legacy
"I am not giving permission for a woman to teach or to tell a man what to do. A woman ought not to speak, because Adam was formed first and Eve afterwards, and it was not Adam who was led astray but the woman who was led astray and fell into sin. Nevertheless, she will be saved by childbearing" (1 Ti 2:12-15).
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Wrestling With Controversy
Shortly before being murdered, Archbishop Romero said, "Those who have voice must speak for the voiceless." This is what it means to raise consciousness, raise awareness.
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When the Bible Is Used For Hate
Are you ready, kids? Whoooo lives in a pineapple under the sea? SpongeBob SquarePants! Absorbent and yellow and porous is he. SpongeBob SquarePants!
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'Uncircumcised' Hispanics Problem for Dominant Church Culture
When the pope made a papal visit to Miami in 1987, delighting Miami's large Hispanic community, a local enterprising Euro-American shirt-maker decided to capitalize on the event. He made thousands of shirts which in Spanish were suppose to read "I saw the Pope."
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Debate Over Creationism a Luxury for the Powerful
Euro-American evangelicals, supposedly empowered by the recent election, are demanding that public schools teach the religious concept of creationism (a literal reading of Genesis 1-2).
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Advent and War
This past Sunday at church we sang the familiar hymn, "Angels, from the Realms of Glory" by Henry Thomas Smart (1867). The words of Verse 3 led me to write this article.
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Moral Values and Torture
We, as a country, are attempting to make history without God. And although we've been flaunting the previous election as the triumph of "moral values," in reality we have exchanged the biblical mandate for justice for a human mandate determined to secure the power and privilege of the world's few at the expense of the world's many.
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Working Together on Abortion
Considering the depths of rancor existing between those advocating pro-life and those advocating pro-choice, we are left to wonder if common ground can ever be found.
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A Post-Election Prayer
Oh Lord, my Lord, how majestic is your name in all of the earth. For it is you and you alone, my God, to whom all power and honor and glory belongs. In obedience to your Holy Word, I lift up this prayer as a sweet offering for those who rule over us.
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It's Time to Choose
Late-night comedian Jay Leno described our present presidential election as extremely diverse--a contest between a rich privileged white man from Yale running against a rich privileged white man from Yale. During a recent conference I attended, Martin Luther King III, son of the slain civil rights leader, described the contest as a choice between Bush and Bush Lite.
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Something is Rotten in the State of Florida
When the ghost of Hamlet's father appears before his son, the faithful officer Marcellus sums up the reason for the apparition's appearance in his famous line, "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."
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Forgive and Forget
Many marriages run into trouble because of a lack of communication between the spouses.
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Chicken Hawk Affirmative Action
For the past two weeks, John Kerry has been hounded by an attack on his Vietnam record by a group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. And even though he still carries shrapnel in his body, he has been portrayed as a liar, a coward and an opportunist.
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Biblical Morality and Tax Cuts
Gov. Bob Riley of Alabama is a Bible-quoting, tee-totaling, Republican businessman who as a congressman represented a mostly rural district.
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Pop Quiz for Bible Believers
Here's a pop quiz for all who believe the Bible should be taken and followed literally:
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Trumping the Gospel
Every human--regardless of their race, gender, economic class, nationality, religious faith or sexual orientation--is created in the image of God, what theologians call the imago Dei. My Native American friends are teaching me to include the animal and plant nations among life that also contain the imago Dei, a lesson I am still trying to learn and incorporate.
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No Credible Evidence
PRESIDENT BUSH (2/8/03): "Saddam Hussein has longstanding, direct and continuing ties to terrorist networks. Senior members of Iraqi intelligence and Al Qaeda have met at least eight times since the early 1990s. Iraq has sent bomb-making and document-forgery experts to work with Al-Qaeda. Iraq has also provided Al Qaeda with chemical and biological weapons training. And an Al-Qaeda operative was sent to Iraq several times in the 1990s for help in acquiring poisons and gases. We also know Iraq is harboring a terrorist network headed by a senior Al Qaeda terrorist planner. This network runs a poison and explosive training camp in northeast Iraq, and many of its leaders are known to be in Baghdad."
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The Reagan Legacy
When we speak of the Reagan Legacy, we must first describe the old system being overthrown.
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Generation Ñ
Generation Ñ among the Hispanic young serves as a counterpart to the Euro-American Generation X.
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Iraq By The Numbers
According to Gen. Tommy Franks of the U.S. Central Command in Iraq, "We don't do body counts." But because God cares when even a sparrow falls, God counts bodies.
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Is CEO Greed Fueling U.S. Industry?
Two weeks ago Johnson Controls, following a trend all too common throughout the United States, announced it was shutting down its operations in my small town of Holland, Mich., and moving to Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, where they can employ workers for $80.77 a week.
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Teaching Outside the Ivory Tower
Teaching Christianity is useless if it is restricted solely to the classroom.
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Marginalized View the Cross Through Different Lens
I recently watched Mel Gibson's film "The Passion," a powerful interpretation of the last hours of Jesus' human life, which I'm sure will resonate with the dominant culture.
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Waiting for Castro to Die
A common joke among Cubans in Miami revolves around a pair of tortoises which were given to Fidel Castro for his 75th birthday. El jefe inquires as to the life expectancy of tortoises. An aid informs Castro that they have been known to live in excess of 150 years, to which Castro responds: "That's the trouble with pets. You become attached to them and then they die on you."
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Christians and the Creation
If the Creation story describes humanity's appointment as steward of the earth's resources, then as caretakers, humans are called to protect, preserve and safeguard those resources so that all can benefit and enjoy its fruits.
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President or Pitch Man?
Those of us old enough to remember the 1980s can never forget the television character Joe Isuzu, the slimy car salesman who would say anything, no matter how outrageous the lie, in order to sell a car. Fortunately, as Joe Isuzu spoke, a by-line appeared at the bottom of the screen providing the truth. I was reminded of Joe Isuzu while watching the State of the Union address, and kept waiting for that by-line to appear as Bush spoke. If it had, it might have looked something like this:
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Capital Punishment and Race
Are those with darker skin more likely to commit crimes than those with lighter skin? Is it because they are genetically prone to violence? Or is it because of how we have been taught to see them?
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'Merit' Scholarships Shifting Funds to the Wealthy
Kelly Ryan, a "B" average student at the University of Georgia, used her college trust fund to purchase a new Honda, trips to Italy, Switzerland and Argentina, and to invest (and lose) in the stock market. Enough was left over to possibly purchase her first piece of real estate upon graduation. Likewise, Kristin McKenna, whose parents' income is over $200,000 a year, used her college fund to purchase a Ford.
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Feliz Navidad
Under our Christmas trees, among the multitude of conspicuous gifts, we usually have a nativity scene. The baby Jesus rests comfortably in a crib, while angelic cows gaze upon the miracle. The proud parents (Mary and Joseph) survey the sanitary scene as kings and peasants come to worship.
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Feliz Navidad
Under our Christmas trees, among the multitude of conspicuous gifts, we usually have a nativity scene. The baby Jesus rests comfortably in a crib, while angelic cows gaze upon the miracle. The proud parents (Mary and Joseph) survey the sanitary scene as kings and peasants come to worship.
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Wal-Mart: Always Low Wages?
On Dec. 20, 2002, a federal jury in Portland, Ore., found Wal-Mart guilty of forcing its employees to work unpaid overtime. These employees were pressured to clock out after working 40 hours, but continued working in violation of the Federal Labor Standards Acts, which requires employees to receive time-and-a-half for all hours worked over 40. Employees in 27 other states have similar class-action suits pending.
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The Fox Is Regulating the Hen House
According to Republican Senator John McCain, who chairs the Science, Commerce and Transportation Committee: "The United States government is responsible for 25 percent of the worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. It is time for the United States government to do its part to address this global problem, and a discussion of mandatory reductions is the form of leadership that is required."
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Race a Variable in Euthanasia Debate
Race and ethnicity play a significant role in determining who is, and who is not, insured. African Americans are twice as likely as whites--and Latina/os three times as likely--to lack health coverage.
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'Soft Money' Links Regulators' Interests to Companies
During the 2002 midterm elections, television icon Art Linkletter, of "Kids Say the Darndest Things" fame, informed the public, in 30 second-spots, that their congressperson "has been fighting for real prescription drug coverage."
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Christianity Demands Reflection on Hard, Lite Torture
Can Christians engage in committing acts of torture? And if so, how is the act reconciled with the basic message of the gospel?
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'Neoliberal' Economic Policies Widen Gap Between Rich, Poor
We recently observed Labor Day with news from the Department of Labor that our nation lost 700,000 manufacturing jobs since Labor Day 2002. In fact, since Bush II took office, 2.5 million jobs have been lost, about 80,000 a month.
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Is U.S. 'Purveyor of Violence'?
The United States has given the world the gift of noble concepts like democracy, and it has the potential to be a light to a hurting world. While appreciating what this country offers the rest of humanity, I refuse to worship this culture as though it were a god, incapable of doing any wrong.
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Remember Sept. 15, 1963
"The only stained glass window in the church that remained in its frame showed Christ leading a group of little children," United Press International reported the day after the bombing. "The face of Christ was blown out."
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