Category: North America

Mockingjay’s Syrian refugees

Although The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 brings an otherwise excellent sci-fi franchise to an underwhelming conclusion, one provocative scene particularly resonates this week in the aftermath of recent terrorist attacks in Paris and the subsequent, polarizing conversation surrounding refugees. At this point in the Hunger Games narrative, ambivalent heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) has snuck…  [more]

Jesus was a refugee

Jesus was a refugee, along with his mother Mary and father Joseph. They fled their native Israel out of fear for their lives. They were able to return some years later, only after the politics of their homeland changed. Sound familiar? It should. It is happening today, and in the same neighborhood that the Holy Family was from. People there again fear for their lives. The vicious and brutal militants of ISIS are…  [more]

Watching the Washington Redskins during Native American Heritage Month

Football has been on my mind recently, as the debate over the Washington Redskins name rages on. California recently became the first state to ban the use of the “R-word” for public school mascots, while earlier this year a federal judge upheld a decision to cancel six trademarks held by the NFL team because they “may disparage” Native Americans. I understand that the team’s branding…  [more]

The aggressive exegesis of Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter is not one to shy away from bold, controversial statements. In her latest, Coulter rails against the “evangelical establishment” for its timidity and failure to support the antics of would-be president Donald Trump. According to Coulter, Trump represents “real Christian courage” when he “defend[s] America from destruction by immigration.” According to Coulter,…  [more]

How Christians can lead the way on maternity leave

What does the United States have in common with Papua New Guinea and Suriname, as well as the small island states of Micronesia, Palau, Tonga, Nauru and the Marshall Islands? Out of 185 countries, these are the only ones that do not provide some sort of paid maternity leave. This reality prompted Regan Long’s recent Huffington Post article lamenting the fact that many mothers in the U.S. are forced to return…  [more]

A Christian call to force the NFL’s hand on concussions

Last week, a group of leading concussion specialists gathered in Pittsburgh to address the crisis facing professional football in America. The National Football League financially backed the event, and for good reason. The nation’s most profitable sport faces a major threat to its survival if the negative publicity surrounding concussions continues. A recent PBS Frontline episode reported a 96% rate of CTE…  [more]

The great American identity crisis

On Sunday, my church transitioned from a church plant to an independently organized congregation. As part of this milestone, we remembered how our church was started and the people and events that shaped its character. We told stories about what brought each of us to the church, we worshipped together with our parent church and their council prayed over our newly commissioned one. This personal experience of communal…  [more]

Kelly Gissendaner and amazing grace

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. Kelly Gissendaner sang the words to “Amazing Grace” from an execution chamber in Jackson, Georgia, last month. Gissendaner’s life had been drenched in the brokenness of the world. She endured an abusive stepfather, repeated rape, failed marriages and seemingly every other kind of wreckage a young life can encounter. In 1997, she…  [more]

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 Protestants should applaud Pope Francis’ U.S. visit

If the attention he's received over the summer is any indication, then Pope Francis' upcoming visit to the United States is likely to receive a great deal of media scrutiny. Just picture the scene as the supreme pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church heads to the highest halls of political power: the U.S. Congress and the United Nations. The pope's visit provides a good opportunity to reflect on the…  [more]

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