Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

The Dictator Who Waged War on Darfur Is Gone, but the Killing Goes On by Declan Walsh: “But while the revolution brought some change to Sudan’s cities, that is not the case in Darfur, where the notorious janjaweed — nomadic Arab militias — still ride free. Heavily armed gangs continue to massacre, plunder and rape in scorched-earth tactics that recall the worst days of Mr. al-Bashir’s rule.”

The Great Climate Migration by Abrahm Lustgarten: “According to a pathbreaking recent study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the planet could see a greater temperature increase in the next 50 years than it did in the last 6,000 years combined. By 2070, the kind of extremely hot zones, like in the Sahara, that now cover less than 1 percent of the earth’s land surface could cover nearly a fifth of the land, potentially placing one of every three people alive outside the climate niche where humans have thrived for thousands of years. Many will dig in, suffering through heat, hunger and political chaos, but others will be forced to move on.”

Immigrants and the American Dream by Chris Arnade: “They still put their personal desires second to longer term social connections, including family, faith, and local community. The result is they maintain strong communities centered around the church social, the backyard bbq, the sports league, and other things not connected to career building.”

William Barr, nation’s top lawyer, is a culture warrior Catholic by John Gehring: “Douglas Laycock, a prominent scholar of religious liberty law at the University of Virginia who has argued for both same-sex marriage and the rights of religious objectors before the U.S. Supreme Court, questions Barr’s commitment to religious liberty at all. “He clearly cares about conservative Christians and protecting their liberty. He is at best less concerned with the religious liberty of everybody else,” Laycock said, noting that such an attitude is not rare in the United States today.”

How Trump and Biden are courting Catholic voters by Michael O’Loughlin: “Some Democrats are urging their party to soften its stance on abortion to send a signal to pro-life voters that they are an important constituency. The Democrats for Life of America sent a letter to Democratic Party officials on July 24, asking them to “embrace policies that protect both women and children” as they draft their platform, in the hopes that some pro-life voters who are unsettled by Mr. Trump might be more comfortable voting for Mr. Biden.”

Held back by Dana Stevens: “After putting our lives on hold for what, by the time school starts, will be nearly half a year, parents and teachers are now in the position of fighting tooth and nail for an outcome we never wanted. Most of us are resigned to go back to the hell of online learning, because the only alternative our leaders have left us with is even worse.”

The Trump Administration Is Reversing 100 Environmental Rules. Here’s the Full List. by NY Times: “After three years in office, the Trump administration has dismantled most of the major climate and environmental policies the president promised to undo.”

A Quarter of Bangladesh Is Flooded. Millions Have Lost Everything. by  Somini Sengupta and Julfikar Ali Manik: “Torrential rains have submerged at least a quarter of Bangladesh, washing away the few things that count as assets for some of the world’s poorest people — their goats and chickens, houses of mud and tin, sacks of rice stored for the lean season.”

Contemplating creation through the lens of a wildlife camera by Nick Ripatrazone: “The photos and short videos offer moments of shared contemplation and awe in response to God’s creations—a daily reminder that the world is more than humans alone and that we can appreciate wildlife without harming or bothering them. It’s a daily devotional that we hope will cultivate a sense of wonder in our daughters.”

Raising the Coronavirus Generation by Sandi Villarreal: “Schools, neighborhood associations, churches—these could be the places where we gather to mourn what we lost, but also to reimagine what comes next.”


Around the Web: Articles on Racial Justice and Reform

Check out these recent articles from around the web on racism, racial justice, and reform:

The Fullest Look Yet at the Racial Inequity of Coronavirus by NY Times: “Latino and African-American residents of the United States have been three times as likely to become infected as their white neighbors, according to the new data, which provides detailed characteristics of 640,000 infections detected in nearly 1,000 U.S. counties. And Black and Latino people have been nearly twice as likely to die from the virus as white people, the data shows.”

Toward a Catholic Understanding of the Phrase “Black Lives Matter by Fr. Matthew Hawkins: “If a person understands the history and circumstances that have given rise to this cry, then they will not misinterpret it, they will not feel threatened by it, and they will not feel excluded from it. Properly understood, “Black Lives Matter” is an expression of fundamental Catholic values of family, community, universality, life, and faith.”

Racist Litter by Randall Kennedy: “Acting strictly along party lines in states it controls, the Republican Party – which has increasingly become the white man’s party – enacts legislation that makes it more difficult for certain sectors of the population to register to vote. Asserting that such laws are required to stem fraud (a claim that has been repeatedly discredited), the Republicans impose new requirements that invariably and invidiously disqualify racial minorities in disproportionate numbers.”

Racism and resilience: An overview of Catholic African American history by Katie Scott: “Such painful experiences are echoed by generations of Black Catholics in Oregon and across the country. Some individuals have a handful of stories, others an extensive list. Each story is part of a long history of racism in the wider culture and the church.”

The real stakes in the David Shor saga by Matthew Yglesias: “People with unsound views are able to get operatives fired and render them unhirable. They’re able to shut down discussions on listservs meant for tactical discussions. And most of all, they create an environment where lots of people feel they need to watch their words very carefully. There is a genuine ongoing dialogue about whether claims made on behalf of racial justice should be subject to critical scrutiny.”

How partisanship is ‘weakening the Gospel witness’ in America by Sister Theresa Aletheia Noble: “Sadly, I can honestly say that I learned more about racism in my time as a punk rock atheist than I ever did as a Catholic. And while my personal story is unique to me, unfortunately, my experience’s broad brush strokes are far from rare among Christians in this country. In many congregations, parishes and homes around the United States, a partisan presentation of the faith is ever-present.”

Bryan Stevenson on how America can heal: “In the 250 years of enslavement in which Black people endured being kidnapped, put in chains, brutalized, mistreated, abused, raped — there was daily humiliation and degradation, the violence of slavery. That kind of abuse and mistreatment finally ends in 1865 after the Civil War, after the ratification of the 13th Amendment. And instead of seeking revenge or retribution or violence against those who had enslaved them, emancipated Black people said, We’re going to make peace here. We’re going to make community here. We’re going to commit to education. We’re going to commit to voting. We’re going to become ideal American citizens.When you think about all of the brutality and violence and abuse that Black people suffered and they still were willing to live in harmony with those who had abused them, it says something remarkable about the power of “we.” They believed in an America and they got no credit for that.”

The Dehumanizing Condescension of White Fragility by John McWhorter: “Despite the sincere intentions of its author, the book diminishes Black people in the name of dignifying us. This is unintentional, of course, like the racism DiAngelo sees in all whites. Still, the book is pernicious because of the authority that its author has been granted over the way innocent readers think.”

John Lewis’s Last Journey by Randall Kennedy: “Third, Lewis displayed a wonderful, empathetic, plainspoken cosmopolitanism. Attuned to the aspirations of African Americans, Lewis was also sensitive to the yearnings of others. A lifelong apostle of Rev. King, Lewis faithfully followed the teaching of his hero in embracing universal brotherhood and sisterhood. He eschewed tribal narcissism and embraced coalition politics. He was the most praiseworthy American activist-politician of his generation, a veritable fountain of instruction and inspiration.”

Black lives matter in the worshipping church by Kim Harris: “Black Catholic women know the view of the world from under and on the cross. It is in response to these experiences that our African traditions, our African American practices, our deep relationship with Jesus, our Black ways of being and doing manifest in cries, hums, moans, rocking, patting our feet and lifting our hands. We bring our wholly functioning, fully active and participating selves to the church as example and as gift.”

America’s Enduring Caste System by Isabel Wilkerson: “Caste is rigid and deep; race is fluid and superficial, subject to periodic redefinition to meet the needs of the dominant caste in what is now the United States. While the requirements to qualify as white have changed over the centuries, the fact of a dominant caste has remained constant from its inception — whoever fit the definition of white, at whatever point in history, was granted the legal rights and privileges of the dominant caste. Perhaps more critical and tragic, at the other end of the ladder, the subordinated caste, too, has been fixed from the beginning as the psychological floor beneath which all other castes cannot fall.”


Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

‘Cries for help’: Drug overdoses are soaring during the coronavirus pandemic by William Wan and Heather Long: “Suspected overdoses nationally — not all of them fatal — jumped 18 percent in March compared with last year, 29 percent in April and 42 percent in May, according to the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program, a federal initiative that collects data from ambulance teams, hospitals and police. In some jurisdictions, such as Milwaukee County, dispatch calls for overdoses have increased more than 50 percent.”

Should We Be Drinking Less? by Anahad O’Connor: “If accepted, the new recommendation would make the United States the latest country to issue stricter guidelines on alcohol consumption. In recent years, Britain, Australia, France and other countries have issued new guidelines lowering their recommended limits on daily and weekly alcohol intake. Health authorities in those countries have said that recent evidence suggests consuming less alcohol is safer and that even one drink a day increases cancer risk.”

America’s child care problem is an economic problem by Anna North: “Experts have been warning for months that this pandemic would cause an unprecedented child care crisis in the United States, a country whose system for caring for children was already severely lacking before the public health emergency began. But policymakers devoted little attention to the problem, and for months this spring, parents were left to figure out, largely on their own, how to do their jobs with schools and day cares closed.”

How the American Worker Got Fleeced by Josh Eidelson and Christopher Cannon: “Long before the pandemic, U.S. workers’ productivity and their median pay, which once rose in tandem, went through an acrimonious divorce. Compensation, especially in some of the country’s fastest-growing industries, has stagnated, while the costs of housing, health care, and education decidedly have not.”

In the Covid-19 Economy, You Can Have a Kid or a Job. You Can’t Have Both. by Deb Perelman: “Let me say the quiet part loud: In the Covid-19 economy, you’re allowed only a kid or a job. Why isn’t anyone talking about this? Why are we not hearing a primal scream so deafening that no plodding policy can be implemented without addressing the people buried by it?”

Is Hamilton a “Bootstraps” Story? by Amber Lapp: “Hard work that is not undergirded by a strong public system will reap fewer rewards than effort unaided. A truly just American system will not expect that individuals rise up by sheer dint of thrift and effort alone, but acknowledge that personal responsibility must be matched by public responsibility.”

As the U.S. Exports Coronavirus, Trump Is Blaming Mexicans by Antonio De Loera-Brust: “Since the beginning of his administration’s abysmal response to COVID-19, U.S. President Donald Trump has cast about for someone else to blame for the devastation the pandemic has wrought. It was only a matter of time before he returned to his favorite scapegoat: Mexicans.”

Not everything happens for a reason, says Kate Bowler by US Catholic: “At age 35, Bowler, now an associate professor at Duke Divinity School, had landed a tenure-track teaching position, married, and given birth to a son. By any prosperity preacher’s standards, she was blessed. Then she was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. While never considering herself a believer in the prosperity gospel, this experience made her realize how deeply engrained the idea of a divine reward system is in American mentalities. Bowler chronicles her experience of navigating intense suffering and the people who try to explain it in her New York Times bestselling memoir, Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved (Random House). She also hosts a podcast, Everything Happens, where she explores how to speak about suffering.”

Bishop McElroy’s hopeful vision for a church transformed by MSW: “This short homily puts the lie to the idea that the church in this country is on its last legs, prostrate under the weight of its own self-inflicted wounds or threatened by a hostile secularism. The text breathes a confidence in the Lord that is quite distinct from the programmatic, managerial or neo-evangelical and individualistic approaches some U.S. Catholics advocate.”


Around the Web: Articles on Racial Justice and Reform

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

Becoming a Parent in the Age of Black Lives Matter by Clint Smith: “My children are both respite from all the tragedy transpiring in the world, and a reminder of how high the stakes are.”

Black Catholics: Words Not Enough as Church Decries Racism by the AP: “Black Roman Catholics are hearing their church’s leaders calling for racial justice once again after the killing of George Floyd, but this time they’re demanding not just words but action.”

Black Catholic leaders say more integration in the Church is possible — if all are willing to do the work by Brian Fraga: “Figueroa and other black Catholic leaders told Our Sunday Visitor that the Church in the United States needs to step up to the challenge of bringing about greater racial reconciliation and confronting the toxic legacy of racism against black- and brown-skinned people that still manifests itself in sinful and unjust social conditions and institutions.”

As Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, to confront racism we must find the strength to love by Chloé Valdary: “This attempt to correct injustice is laudable, but the work of anti-racism must be rooted in the moral ethic of love and acknowledge the profound sacredness of human beings.”

These numbers show that black and white people live in two different Americas by Sergio Peçanha: “Numbers can help put American racism in perspective. And here is what the numbers say: The United States is a vastly different country, depending on the color of your skin. For African Americans, hardship begins before birth. The infant mortality rate for blacks, for example, is more than twice that of white Americans.”

You Want a Confederate Monument? My Body Is a Confederate Monument by Caroline Randall Williams: “I have rape-colored skin. My light-brown-blackness is a living testament to the rules, the practices, the causes of the Old South. If there are those who want to remember the legacy of the Confederacy, if they want monuments, well, then, my body is a monument. My skin is a monument.”

Read Up on the Links Between Racism and the Environment by Somini Sengupta: “This week, amid a surge of protests over police violence against black Americans, there’s been renewed scrutiny on the links between racism and environmental degradation in the United States. To help readers understand those links, I put together a quick reading list about climate change and social inequities. These suggestions are meant to be starters, laying out a few entry points.”

Black Families Were Hit Hard by the Pandemic. The Effects on Children May Be Lasting. by Kelly Glass : “Eileen Condon, Ph.D., a nurse practitioner and postdoctoral associate at Yale University School of Nursing, and her colleagues examined the stressors related to the coronavirus pandemic, and how they disproportionately harm disadvantaged and marginalized families.Poverty, food insecurity and housing insecurity are major sources of pervasive stress, Condon said. When a child experiences toxic stress, their stress response is “essentially always activated.””

Elijah McClain’s final words haunt me as the parent of a child who is ‘different’ by Jackie Spinner: “I only knew that being different and black in America means that my son is vulnerable if stopped by police. A 2016 report, analyzing incidents from 2013 to 2015, found that nearly half the people killed by police had some sort of disability. A 2019 study of police-involved deaths found that 1 in every 1,000 black men is at risk of being killed by law enforcement.”


Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill U.S. Troops, Intelligence Says by NY Times: “American intelligence officials have concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan — including targeting American troops — amid the peace talks to end the long-running war there, according to officials briefed on the matter.”

There’s No Going Back to ‘Normal’ by Ekemini Uwan: “We are not going back to normal; we are pushing toward a new normal—one that is more sustainable and equitable than the one we left behind, one in which everyone might flourish.”

Failure Is a Contagion by George Packer: “Trump’s aspiration to rank among the world’s strongmen has always been hindered by his own weaknesses of character—laziness, ignorance, lack of self-control—and the ineptitude of his henchmen. For a year, Barr seemed to be the most competent of them. Spinning the Mueller report as an exoneration of Trump with some success was a masterpiece of propaganda disguised as legal reasoning. But in the past two months, Barr has made mistake after mistake.”

How a Raise for Workers Can Be a Win for Everybody by Seema Jayachandran: “Supporters of raising the minimum wage usually make their case based on fairness and equity. That rationale is important, but the central finding of these studies — that a higher minimum wage can boost work force productivity and save lives — is a powerful one, too.”

Romano Guardini: A Brief Introduction to the Theology of Pope Francis by Daniel Amiri: “Like Guardini, Francis understands the human person in terms of “I-Thou.” As he writes in Laudato Si’, if we get relationships right, then, and only then, can we get the world right (cf. LS, 119).”

Trump asked China’s Xi to help him win reelection, according to Bolton book by Josh Dawsey: “At the same meeting, Xi also defended China’s construction of camps housing as many as 1 million Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang — and Trump signaled his approval. “According to our interpreter,” Bolton writes, “Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which Trump thought was exactly the right thing to do.””

Stop Firing the Innocent by Yascha Mounk: “These cases do not negate the good that can, and hopefully will, come from America’s newfound determination to root out racial injustice. Given the gravity of police misconduct in this country, there is little doubt in my mind that the overall thrust of the changes set in motion by the protests over the murder of George Floyd is highly positive. Nevertheless, it would be a big mistake—especially for those who deeply care about social justice—to dismiss the fate of people such as Cafferty, Shor, and Wadi as a minor detail or a necessary price for progress.

30 Years Ago, Romania Deprived Thousands of Babies of Human Contact Here’s what’s become of them. by Melissa Fay Greene: “Glimmering through the data was a sensitive period of 24 months during which it was crucial for a child to establish an attachment relationship with a caregiver, Zeanah says. Children taken out of orphanages before their second birthday were benefiting from being with families far more than those who stayed longer.”

A three-step plan to become a contemplative-in-action by Elise Italiano Ureneck: “I am confident that creating the space and silence for God to speak is a crucial first step in discovering what’s mine to do. Maybe you’ll join me. There is certainly no shortage of rough and difficult corners that need his grace and healing touch.”

Slowing the Coronavirus Is Speeding the Spread of Other Diseases by Jan Hoffman and Ruth Maclean: “As the pandemic lingers, the W.H.O. and other international public health groups are now urging countries to carefully resume vaccination while contending with the coronavirus.”

New St. Louis archbishop connects with a pope who ‘connects the dots’ by Don Clemmer: “I oftentimes say that Pope Francis is the pope who connects all the dots. I remember as a kid, and you probably remember this too, there were different puzzle books that had numbers, and you connected the dots. And when you connected the dots, you got a picture. That’s how I feel Pope Francis preaches the Gospel. He connects the dots. He relates issues together with the Gospel. And then he points the way how to effectively deal with those issues.”

Trump has raised the white flag in the fight against covid-19 by Michael Gerson: “Being pro-life means placing additional moral and legal emphasis on the lives of the weak and voiceless. It means speaking up for human beings who are often regarded as expendable in utilitarian calculations — particularly human beings at the very beginning of life, human beings with intellectual and physical disabilities, and human beings near the end of life.”

The sycophancy of Raymond Arroyo by MSW: “To be sure, many American Catholics, on both right and left, place their partisan loyalties ahead of Catholic moral and social teaching when they enter the voting booth. But those many American Catholics are not lead anchors on a television network that claims to present “trusted Catholic news.” Here is where the bishops must recognize in Arroyo no mere man with a poorly formed conscience, but a direct threat to the integrity of the teachings of the church.”


Around the Web: Articles on Racial Justice and Reform

Check out these recent articles from around the web on racial justice and reform:

Policing in America is broken and must change. But how? by NY Times: “The killing of George Floyd in police custody shows how far the country has to go; the resulting protests have pushed the Minneapolis City Council to take the previously unthinkable step of pledging to dismantle its Police Department. But what does that mean, and what should other cities do? We brought together five experts and organizers to talk about how to change policing in America in the context of broader concerns about systemic racism and inequality.”

How Black Lives Matter Reached Every Corner of America by NY Times: “Cumulative rage, despair and grief surged like a tidal wave at dawn. Protesters stormed the intersection where Mr. Floyd drew his last breath. Hastily scrawled posters, held steady by clenched fists, rose above the sea of heads. A black man killed — this time in Minneapolis, this one unambiguously captured on video — gave way to collective anguish and demands for action.”

A monumental shift by Christine Emba: “In 50 states and 18 countries, protesters have sparked a long-delayed conversation about structural racism, persistent inequality and the long history of white supremacy that has enabled injustice to persist. Statues and obelisks celebrate the questionable heroes of a racist past, and the protests have spurred reconsiderations of these memorials in Congress and in legislatures around the world. But rather than wait for official decisions to trickle down, protesters have taken action themselves. It’s a monumental shift.”

We Can Fight for Racial Justice While Tolerating Dissent by Stephen L. Carter: “We’re living at a dangerous intellectual moment. In the wake of the coldblooded police slaying of George Floyd on a Minneapolis street corner, people are marching for racial justice, a development that’s all to the good in our broken country. But when those demands turn to restricting the universe of permissible conversation, they cross a democratic line that’s worth defending.”

How can I explain the color of my skin—and racism—to young white students? by Alvan Amadi: “I wanted my students to see what God sees: the beauty of diversity. But I also wanted them to know another truth. The African-American poet and Pulitzer-prize winning author Maya Angelou said it beautifully when she observed that “we are more alike than unalike.” For a long time in the history of the United States, however, race has been used to divide, demean and degrade. This is the great sin of racism.”

What’s missing from the national conversation on race, violence, and lethal force? You. by Gloria Purvis: “We must, as Catholics, assert our moral view at these moments even when they may be difficult and uncomfortable. Indeed Imago Dei must be the cornerstone in our national conversations about race, violence, crime, and lethal force. Otherwise we cannot possibly address, let alone resolve, these societal problems. Without our engagement, the current division and hostilities worsen.”

How we can start systemically reforming the police by Bakari Sellers: “But to heal and create a system of policing where law enforcement officers accused of misconduct are brought to justice, we must leverage our anger and frustration to drive systemic change. For years, law enforcement has too often “stacked the deck” legally by undermining meaningful citizen oversight of police misconduct and limiting our ability to prosecute officers.”

If You Are Pro-Life, You Must Also Be Antiracist by Monique Schlichtman: “To be Pro-Life Literal and not Pro-Life Political, you have to actively fight against (through word, deed, and dare I say—your finances) any systems that have been created to demean, devalue, and destroy life at any stage.”

If racial justice and peace will ever be attained, it must begin in the church by Shannen Dee Williams: “The global protests over the long-standing plague of white supremacy, most recently manifested in the police and vigilante murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, have put our nation and church on the precipice of monumental change or devastating setback.”

The Familial Language of Black Grief by Jemar Tisby: “Police brutality feels like a problem that is both very old and freshly personal every time it happens. We feel the pain and loss of black life as if it were our very own blood that had been brutalized—because it easily could have been.”

Responding to the call to combat racism by Brian Fraga: “For 8 minutes, 46 seconds, the world watched in horror as George Floyd struggled to breathe. His neck pinned by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s knee, Floyd begged in vain for mercy. Before passing out, the 46-year-old Floyd called out for his “momma.” “That nearly broke me to hear a grown man call out like that in desperation,” said Gloria Purvis, a host of the EWTN radio show Morning Glory.”

I Have Only One Hope for Racial Justice: A God Who Conquered Death by Esau McCaulley: “As the protests press on, then, I pray today and every day that we remember the Resurrection, when the entire cosmos became something different. We have yet to realize the full scope of that change.”

What the Bible Has to Say About Black Anger by Esau McCaulley: “When these videos stack one upon another and are added to our personal slights, a deep unsettling anger rises in the soul of a disinherited and beleaguered people.”

Disbelieving black victims is the default position of conservatives. It’s shameful. by Michael Gerson: “One reason the president does not focus on the universality of human dignity in his rhetoric is because he systemically dehumanizes migrants and refugees as rapists, murderers and terrorists. He simply lacks the capacity to talk about our shared humanity. One reason Trump did not repudiate racist protesters in Charlottesville and Lansing, Mich., is because angry racists are his people — a valued part of his political base. In Trump’s eyes, no one who supports him can really be bad. And racists seem grateful to see their views mainstreamed.”

American Racism: We’ve Got So Very Far to Go by David French: “It’s hard even to begin to describe all the ramifications of 345 years of legalized oppression and 56 years of contentious change, but we can say two things at once—yes, we have made great strides (and we should acknowledge that fact and remember the men and women who made it possible), but the central and salient consideration of American racial politics shouldn’t center around pride in how far we’ve come, but in humble realization of how much farther we have to go.”

The Black Women Who Paved the Way for This Moment by Keisha Blain: “In cities across the United States, black activists are denouncing state-sanctioned violence and demanding radical changes to American policing. Black women leaders occupy a central role in these movements….But the prominence of black women in these protests is not a sudden development. In taking to the streets in support of their goals, they are building upon a rich tradition of black women’s organizing.”

Will it be different this time? Will we face our racism? by Michael Sean Winters: “These positive trends are the backdrop, also, for the outrage so many young people rightly feel and rightly express after watching the horrific video of the murder of George Floyd. How is it that racism, murderous racism, is still with us and still so systemic?”

Take the Confederate Names Off Our Army Bases by David Petraeus: “The magic of the republic to which many of us dedicated our professional lives is that its definition of equality has repeatedly demonstrated the capacity to broaden. And America’s military has often led social change, especially in the area of racial integration. We do not live in a country to which Braxton Bragg, Henry L. Benning, or Robert E. Lee can serve as an inspiration. Acknowledging this fact is imperative.”

What church leaders can learn from St. Paul about race and diversity by Ferdinand Okorie: “The poisoned relationship between men and women of different skin colors needs the elixir that is the gospel of the siblinghood of God’s children. The church must preach it to be truly a household of God.”

Listening to Robert F. Kennedy by Peter Wehner: “Words are the means by which we convey deep emotions and longings, knowledge and understanding, hopes and fears. We use them to teach, to warn, and to inspire; to promote harmony and provoke; to defend truth and attack it; to seek justice and attack injustice. Words shape our sensibilities; they are part of the civic and political fabric of a nation. This year in particular, we are seeing how the words of an American president who knows only conflict, escalation, and dehumanization—who loves to throw matches on dry kindling, to use the vivid imagery of a friend of mine—can inflict grave injury on the nation.”

Justice and Race: What We Can and Cannot Change by Matthew Loftus: “There are no easy answers to deal with the problem of police violence, although there are a lot of reforms that could focus policing to deal more exclusively with solving crimes while reducing the number of interactions that could turn fatal. While police abuses occupy a great deal of our discourse, they’re only a small part of the racial injustice that has haunted the church for centuries. The church, if it is willing to finally able to hear our brothers and sisters who are testifying to what is happening, will find strategies for battling the demonic power of white supremacy. If we are willing to listen and pray.”


Around the Web

Check out these recent articles from around the web:

The Last Anointing by Elizabeth Dias: “The country is facing a deeply personal crisis of spirit, not only of health or economics. A virus has forced a reckoning with the most intimate questions we have, questions not only about how we live, but also about how we die. About what we can control, and what we cannot. About how to name human dignity, despair and hope. And especially about how to make meaning of our final hours on this earth.”

The Still-Vital Case for Liberalism in a Radical Age by Jonathan Chait: “Politics is a matter of life and death. If you start with the premise that one side has a monopoly on truth, you inevitably land on the conclusion that questioning its ideas is dangerous.”

Celine Fariala Mangaza, Congolese Heroine of Disabled People, Dies at 52 by Lauren Wolfe: “Mama Leki had been tired of the stories of women who were sexually assaulted or beaten while home alone or forced to beg on the street, made all the more vulnerable because of their condition. Isolation, poverty and loneliness were part of their everyday existence until she brought them together to earn a little money by sewing brightly colored dolls, bags and dresses.”

Election Day 2020 could yield a catastrophic mess by E.J. Dionne Jr.: “Our country is divided enough as it is, and our democracy cannot afford to turn Nov. 3 into a cataclysm. After last Tuesday, we can’t say we weren’t warned. There’s a reason civil rights and voting rights have always gone hand in hand.”

Feeling Tedious? Change Your Perspective of Time by Dan Masterton: “To tap into meaningful moments, we need to be willing to be vulnerable; we need to commit to being present when spending time with others; we need to approach interactions with an attitude of humble mutuality and reciprocal encounter. These underlying attitudes can help foster kairos moments in our days, and when we experience more spontaneous kairos moments, they help underscore the positive impact of living out such values.”

Necessary Bluntness by John Gehring: “Archbishop Gregory has unsettled the guardians of the status quo in our church by speaking out against the use of a sacred space as a backdrop for a president who fans the flames of white resentment for political gain. There is an opening now for a more honest, and difficult, conversation about race and power in the Catholic Church. Do we have the courage to have it?”

Promoting human rights abroad when they’re being trampled at home by Tamara Cofman Wittes: “Our moral foundation for human rights advocacy is thus not — and in reality, has never been — our own perfect adherence to those ideals. Our moral foundation comes from our commitment, shared with others all around the world, to the rights inherent in every human being, and to the commitment to strive constantly to better realize those rights. It comes from solidarity.”

In absence of federal action, farm workers’ coronavirus cases spike by Liz Crampton: “Coronavirus outbreaks among farm workers are popping up in rural communities across the country, sparking fears within the agriculture industry that cases will skyrocket as harvest season stretches into summer.”

UN ‘appalled’ by twin jihadist attacks in Nigeria by BBC: “Dozens of soldiers and civilians are reported to have been killed in twin attacks by Islamist militants in north-eastern Nigeria’s Borno state.”