Category: Justice

The particular place of shame when Christian campuses confront rape

For those with the emotional strength to endure it, Lady Gaga’s newest video, “Til It Happens to You,” is the kind of protest art that can’t be ignored. As graphic portrayals of sexual assaults against college women flash on the screen, Gaga sings, “Til it happens to you, you won't know, it won't be real.” The sad truth remains that far too many women can relate to the…  [more]

Why the Syrian refugee crisis must be met with Gospel-sized grace

“In His free grace, God is for man in every respect; He surrounds man from all sides. He is man's Lord who is before him, above him, after him, and thence also with him in history, the locus of man's existence.” Karl Barth What does it mean to be displaced geographically, spiritually and emotionally? This is the question millions of Syrians are facing amidst that country’s devastating…  [more]

When prisoners choose not to escape

Some Arizona prisoners made headlines when their transport bus crashed into an overturned semitrailer just after midnight on a remote stretch of desert highway last month. The newsworthy part wasn’t just the crash itself, as bad as it was, but the fact that when first responders arrived, they didn’t have to scramble law enforcement to round up a bunch of escaped convicts. Instead, they found the uninjured…  [more]

The Voting Rights Act: have we overcome?

“But even if we pass this bill the battle will not be over… It is the effort of American Negroes to secure for themselves the full blessings of American life. Their cause must be our cause too. Because … really it's all of us, who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice. And we shall overcome.” President Lyndon Johnson, March 15, 1965 The Voting Rights Act of 1965…  [more]

A Christian response to Amnesty’s call for decriminalized prostitution

Amnesty International, a global human-rights organization that works to protect people from various forms of injustice and violence, has recently made the controversial decision to support the decriminalization of prostitution. The effect of this is profound, as it will shape how Amnesty lobbies on the issue around the world.   So what exactly is decriminalization? And why is the response to…  [more]

Go Set a Watchman and “company manners”

"Company manners" is that set of cultural armor black people don as protection against racism. The breastplate is made of “Yes, ma’am” and “Yes, sir.” The shield is comprised of smiles and tips of the hat. The armor goes on in the presence of a person whose trustworthiness is questionable. In Harper Lee’s newly released novel, Go Set a Watchman, the…  [more]

Mourning Mark Zuckerberg’s miscarriages in the shadow of Planned Parenthood

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced on Facebook (of course) the good news that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are expecting a baby girl. He also revealed that the couple experienced three miscarriages before this pregnancy and expressed the desire that sharing their story would give hope to others in similar circumstances. “Most people don't discuss miscarriages,” he wrote, “because you…  [more]

California’s drought and a Christian ethic of water

A few miles from the town where I live on the San Francisco peninsula, there is a monument to water: the Pulgas Water Temple. It’s a Beaux Arts-style temple, with a reflecting pool set in a green, grassy lawn. The temple bears these words from Isaiah: “I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people.” The temple celebrates the 1934 completion of the Hetch Hetchy…  [more]

Restorative discipline: a gracious alternative to zero tolerance

The problem of school violence, truancy and student drug abuse needs to be addressed. No one disputes that. But it’s becoming clear that the zero-tolerance approach isn’t working. Consider Texas, where in recent years some 60 percent of middle school students will eventually be suspended or expelled at least once. Many of these students risk dropping out and landing in jail instead. Fortunately, it seems…  [more]

The Confederate flag and Christian allegiance

Last week’s racially motivated massacre of nine African-Americans at a South Carolina church has renewed debate over the Confederate flag, which accused killer Dylann Storm Roof can be seen displaying in photos. While some point to this and the flag’s association with groups such as the Ku Klux Klan as evidence that it is an expression of hate, others have argued that it’s simply a symbol of their…  [more]

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