Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders showed a more personal side as he hit the 2020 campaign trail for the first time on Saturday, describing the struggles of his working class youth and how it helped shape his progressive politics.
Her name is Heather Heyer. Today is the one-year anniversary of her death. She died while peacefully protesting a hate rally in Charlottesville, Virginia after a car mowed her down. In the midst of vile and vitriolic hate and violence she stood amid a large crowd for compassion and kindness, inclusion and diversity, justice and peace.
Trump voters in rural America from the rust belt through the farm lands of flyover country have not been forgotten. Though it is decidedly Republican policy that has decimated their livelihood along with changes in technology and culture that they themselves bear responsibility for being resistant to.
We live in a noisy world. In the cacophony of words and sounds that fill the air waves of radio and television and that stuff up our ears and cross our eyes from tweets to television news, advertising, and even the inner cries of our own being, innocent children are crying out for their parents from the prison of their own fear and the caged walls of an unknown room.
Faith communities are strategically and uniquely positioned to be on the front lines of defense against voter suppression in the upcoming midterm elections. By ensuring members of their community are registered to vote, know their polling place, and other voting rights, faith communities can ensure voter participation especially among persons of color and other minority groups. Faith communities can play a vital role in making sure every vote is counted.
Long after Donald Trump and his basket of scandals administration have left the White House, the shame of snatching kids from their parents and putting them in cages will endure.
The lifelong damaging effects of the trauma of this separation and the untold abuse and neglect including sexual harassment and assault suffered by these children will serve as a living reminder of this terrible and tragic chapter in American history.
Barbaric Policy Of Separating Children From Their Parents Can Cause Toxic Stress Disrupting Brain Architecture
In an Op-Ed column for the Los Angeles Times Dr. Colleen Kraft, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, tells of the disturbing short- and long-term effects the Trump era policy of separating children from their parents can have.
It is imperative that the Farm Bill and all policies that seek to meet human needs actually address the real lives of people and the systemic and structural oppression and injustice they face each day.
A blue wave will certainly go a long way in washing away the stench from the ever-growing swamp. Yet, it will require a transformation in our politics, in the soul of our country and of each person to root out the problems that paved the way for Trump’s election in the first place.
While the Samaritan was the surprising character to show mercy to the man left for dead in the ditch, the real twist came when Jesus asked the lawyer to lay aside his privilege and see the world though the beaten and bruised eyes of a man desperate to save his life.
Instead of demanding better from a president who is incapable, instead of holding him to the high standards of this office, instead of saying he is unfit and unable to serve, it has become acceptable to ask, Who are the “adults in the room” keeping him in line?
Reading the Second Amendment on its face value and in its historical context or original intent, it is clear that these ideas did not fall from heaven but were tied to particular realities of the day.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is a coward and a crook. Instead of working to pass legislation addressing the gun violence epidemic in our country, he is turning to gutting consumer protections in a banking bill.
At a time when Congress is trying to work out a deal for Dreamers and address other issues regarding our nation’s immigration system, this was especially offensive and ludicrous.
Republicans in Congress with all the power of their elected office are rendered powerless by mass shootings. All they can ever muster is boilerplate thoughts and prayers.
Senate Republicans know that their tax bill has the stench of rotting fish. They know they must stay ahead of an informed public to get their donors’ bidding done.
It doesn’t matter what the issue is. Right-wing Christians have been placing the priorities of the party before the tenants of the faith for decades. However, now they are reaching ever new extremes, emboldened by Donald Trump’s presidency and Republican control of Congress.
In the flurry and frenzy of new scandals and tragedies that wear on the spirit of our country, we must not forget the nine million children who have no say in these matters and the 700,000 Dreamers who enrich our country with their lives and service.
It is once again plug your nose week on Capitol Hill as House Republicans have released their tax bill with sweeping odious overhauls that steal away benefits for the poor and middle-class to pay for massive tax cuts for the most wealthy and largest corporations.
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz said, “There’s a moral imperative of the federal government to commit to the people of Puerto Rico. That moral imperative has not been fulfilled in the manner that it should be fulfilled.”
With the number of lies being told from the White House press lectern how will we the American people know when the truth is being told?
In a “Moral Moment” segment on AM JOY Dr. Barber exposed the public heresy of so-called “Value Voters” who value “cash and not Christ” and “greed and not grace”. “We cannot continue to call these things Christian,” Barber implored.
We can’t pray this problem away. We can’t continue to have moments of silence for thoughts and prayers and then claim to be shocked the next time tragedy strikes asking ourselves how could this have happened.
It is scandalous that the President of the United States of America has given more time and attention to whether football players are standing or kneeling during the national anthem before a football game than to the citizens he is accountable for who are dying in Puerto Rico.
If the Republicans in Congress want to root out waste, fraud, and abuse, in government and government spending, they can start with the time spent on their immoral policies that fail to serve the common good.
As the debate over the minimum wage continues, we must consider the purchasing power necessary to afford the basics of life.
The rescinding of DACA last Tuesday put some 800,000 youth and young adults on a countdown clock with Congress. Without swift action from lawmakers in the House and the Senate to protect Dreamers, families will be torn apart, employers will lose workers, and students will be unable to complete their degree programs.
Disasters have a way of erasing all markers of division and bringing people together revealing the best of our shared humanity.
Tens of thousands of protesters rallied in Boston with a clear message: America rejects racism and hate. This has been the consistent message coming from nearly every corner of the country since the racially motivated domestic terrorist attack in Charlottesville.
While we must continue to condemn the white supremacists working in the White House and those this leadership has aroused from the margins of society with renewed legitimacy and fervor, it will be transforming the subtle and structural racism that people of color must face every day of their life that will be the true testament of our condemnation cry.
In what can only be described as a stunning assault on our nation’s founding principles and some of our most hopeful and aspirational values, Senators Tom Cotton (R-AK) and David Perdue (R-GA) introduced a bill that would make drastic cuts to family-based immigration as well as transform the employment-based system.
Senator Mazie Hirono’s (D-HI) plea for compassion has great relevance for healthcare policy moving forward as well as for all major legislation that affects people’s lives.
Every major piece of legislation is fundamentally more than a collection of policy provisions, it is a reflection of the deepest moral values of our country.
If Republicans in Congress wanted to demonstrate that indeed all lives mattered to them they would not be making drastic cuts to Medicaid, the largest insurance provider in the country.
The lack of transparency combined with the erosion of truth and trust in President Trump and his administration is resulting dire consequences following the lengthy meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin.
It is patently evident now that when it comes to giving tax breaks to the wealthy Republicans in Congress have abandoned all moral guides to pursue their heartless agenda of appeasing their benefactors at the expense of vulnerable people across the country.
This command explicitly states that we are not to endanger or harm the lives of other people in any way and also includes the imperatives to help and support people in all of life’s needs.
Long before the Russians interfered in the 2016 presidential election, Republicans were active hacking the humanity of people in this country and around the world their immoral policies laced with sexism and racism and topped off with various forms of xenophobia.
While the country hung on every word of James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday morning and then spent the rest of the day analyzing the Senators questions and his responses and the implications for the Trump/Russia investigation, House Republicans were quietly stripping away protections of the momentous Dodd-Frank Act.
This deal was between the Koch brothers and their fossil fuel industry cronies and the Republicans in Congress who routinely forsake the values of the country they swore an oath to uphold to do these billionaire brothers’ bidding.
In the case of our country’s budget, the allocation of funds into particular policies and programs reflects the priorities and principles of the people who propose and defend it.
This particular kind of lying and dishonesty centered around the defense of a particular political figure not only erodes the Christian witness in the public sphere but democracy itself as these are the seeds of authoritarianism.
The past one hundred plus days of this administration have not only been a constant battering to the fabric of our democracy but a neglect to the needs of the poor and vulnerable as well.
Eager to give their leader Donald Trump a “win” on passing any significant legislation these Republican Representatives voted not only for an economically disastrous bill, but one that is so morally repugnant as to be evil.
It will be no surprise that when actual numbers and clear policy plans do come they will heavily favor the most affluent and corporate interests over middle class and financially poor Americans.
In a sign of votes to come Justice Neil Gorsuch set aside his regard for human life and cast his vote to deny the stay of execution for death-row inmates in Arkansas.
That this this school shooting went by without any substantive cries to address our nation’s gun culture and safety laws, especially regarding domestic abusers, is another indictment against this impervious predicament.
We must look at the systemic misogyny and sexism in every workplace, not only the horrors made public in one television company.
When the air we breathe and the water we drink are imminently threatened so that corporations can make more money, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are on the line.
Critical cases are on the line and the civil rights of people hang in the balance for the present and long-term future of our country.
An administration that cared about taxpayer dollars would not maliciously cut from the smallest areas of discretionary spending and call it compassionate.
One does not need to be a Nobel Prize winning economist like Paul Krugman to see the achievements of Obamacare and the deathly dangers of Trumpcare.
The Party of Abraham Lincoln is no more and the Trump Russia scandal may not only destroy Donald Trump’s presidency but the entire party.
For the party that talks so much about the value of life they sure put a whole lot of energy into polices that promise to be a slow death sentence
As sea levels rise and storms become more severe and as rates of chronic illness go up due to environmental pollution at least we know who to hold responsible.
From airports to schools and city centers to city streets the people of this country are showing up because they believe in what this country can be.
Like the financial costs to the taxpayers of this country, these human costs will continue to add up, and for anyone with a moral compass these costs are far more concerning and troubling.
Donald Trump in his inauguration speech promised to put America first, but his rhetoric and policies are doing just the opposite.
The marches across the country manifested the grassroots energy to continue bending the moral arc of the universe towards justice for all people.
Illness is indiscriminate and every person must be afforded the care they need when they need it.
It is time for the party of life to live up to their convictions and stop the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and continue to fund Planned Parenthood.
The fight for our democracy and the dignity of all will take the efforts of the global village coming together in defense of the principles and policies that make us strong.
What lesson is the supposed party of family values teaching our country’s children when its leaders put money and power over the good of the country?
Justice has not only been denied to a worthy Supreme Court nominee and the work of the high court. It continues to be denied to the American people.
If only this were a movie and not a metastasizing reality threatening the deepest values of our democracy, the welfare of every citizen, and our standing in a globalized world.
With each announcement the shock and trauma of what’s happening to this country, the civil rights of its citizens, and future of the free press is felt all over again.
A reminder of his greatness in times of grief as we face it once again. He has promised to lead us now, no less, and he will continue to give nothing short of his wholehearted very best.
The election results will the story of the hopes and dreams this country has for its future.
Imagine if working to end rape culture were treated with the same attention as Hillary Clinton’s emails.
Climate change is the greatest threat to life as we know it. It is the most urgent and important issue of our day.
This combination of failure and fruition has made the Trump campaign coverage hard to watch and stomach.
In the beginning…perhaps for people of faith and those committed to the common good of all in our democracy we need to begin here more regularly and intentionally.
Lazarus is lying at our gate. It is why our politics and our votes matter so much. In less than 50 days we will decide who will govern our land for the next two, four, and six years. Lazarus is lying at our gate. Will our votes take him into consideration?
I believe that it is finally through compassion and empathy for the suffering vulnerable ones that all the hate and fear will be overcome
In the midst of our tributes to the first responders of then and now, in our gratefulness for those who serve in our nation’s military and for those who have given their lives in this service, and in our hope for tomorrow, can we also make room again to ponder the call to welcome the world’s exhausted, suffering, homeless ones for whom this nation’s welcome light shines?
These ancient stories sound remarkably contemporary. With attentive interpretive grace we can hear the message in them for today. These living words echo through the ages with a continued call to compassion, love, and justice. As they tell of our own spiritual ancestry, they call us to remember our history and God’s liberating love from captivity in an oppressive regime of tyrannical productivity. And in Jesus we see God’s own identification with those fleeing for life and safety.
The rhetoric surrounding this presidential election is not only disturbing for reaching new lows, but also for its effect on the electorate who must endure it or be left largely uninformed, which is unacceptable for the responsible citizen in a democracy. The toll the Trump campaign has had on the human spirit along with the weight of the congressional conspiracy cloud that follows Clinton everywhere she goes is exhausting and distressing.
Feeding the hungry is about more than collecting canned goods. It’s about policies that affect the price of food. It’s about living wages and access to grocery stores. It’s about healthcare and food preparation.
It is important to keep in mind that scripture will always have a surplus of meaning and room for multiple understandings and interpretations as this living word continues to speak a fresh word to ever changing realities. Still, core values of caring for the weak and vulnerable, the poor and hungry, the orphan and oppressed persist along with the call to be stewards of creation and of our lives, money, and possessions. These are all matters that extend beyond the personal dimension of our lives and into the public square.
I do believe that constructive conversation on the morality of public policy can happen in a variety of forums from faith and civic groups to family dinners, even on social and mass media platforms. But these discussions can only happen if the people engaging in the conversation are committed to working toward the common good for all from the grounding of shared moral values.
By going to the heart of our deepest moral values, people of all faiths and those with no faith can come together and work for the common good of all in this nation and throughout the world.
The Republican National Convention may have hastened the end of days for the party with seemingly endless broadcasts blaring with hate, but we will all die a slow soft death if we continue to perpetuate a culture where victim blaming is the norm.
Before anyone utters “all lives matter” one more time in retort, I challenge them to think long and hard about that all. It seems currently this slogan is used as a platitude of self-righteous comfort for the denial of caring for real particular lives, especially the unseen lives of those who suffer in the shadows and on the the margins.