Social Issues

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Religious Freedom?

Last Monday, I spent the first part of my day at the Indiana State House. Hoosiers gathered both in support and in opposition to Senate Bill 101, also known as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. SB 101 would allow businesses in Indiana to refuse service to certain customers based on religious beliefs. The specific language […]

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Evans Hall at the University of Oklahoma

White Noise: Why we need to stop talking about the SAE video

Dialogue is difficult, but never dangerous. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for all of the ways we exercise our freedom of speech. In the two weeks since the SAE video was revealed, we have expressed fear, outrage, disbelief, chagrin, dismay, utter ignorance and, perhaps the most powerful sentiment, a lack of surprise. As an […]

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What Two Cultural Memes Teach Us About All Religion and Spirituality: Humility

This past week, two cultural memes got their time in the public spotlight. One of them was new and one was a generation old. I’m speaking about The Dress and the fictional planet named “Vulcan.” Both of these memes teach us something about real human spirituality, politics and relationship. Please let me explain. At the […]

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Walking Together Through the “Valley of the Shadow of Death”

It seems almost a cliché to be sitting here writing about death, here in Boston with eight feet of snow pressing in on all sides, the bitter winter winds howling just outside my windows. But if seemingly endless winter can inspire the Russians to create such darkly beautiful literature, perhaps it can work its magic […]

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Image from Wikimedia Commons. "Day 12 Occupy Wall Street September 28 2011 Shankbone 33" by David Shankbone - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Day_12_Occupy_Wall_Street_September_28_2011_Shankbone_33.JPG#mediaviewer/File:Day_12_Occupy_Wall_Street_September_28_2011_Shankbone_33.JPG

The Kaleidoscope of Activism (Part 2)

(Continued from Part 1) Below is a catalogue of activist methodologies, defined and listed according to aims, vulnerabilities, recommendations, and real-world examples. This categorization may help you to develop some ideas about how to advance your movement, and to locate your efforts within the many types of activism. JOURNALISTIC ACTIVISM Methodologies: Write and report arguments and […]

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Image from Wikimedia Commons. "Day 12 Occupy Wall Street September 28 2011 Shankbone 33" by David Shankbone - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Day_12_Occupy_Wall_Street_September_28_2011_Shankbone_33.JPG#mediaviewer/File:Day_12_Occupy_Wall_Street_September_28_2011_Shankbone_33.JPG

The Kaleidoscope of Activism (Part 1)

Google dictionary defines activism as “the policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change.” But activism isn’t always vigorous and doesn’t always engage traditional campaign tactics. In fact, activism comes in many formats. According to Wikipedia, it consists of efforts to promote, impede, or direct social, political, economic, or […]

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The author Jenn Lindsay at the Vatican for an audience with Pope Francis with the Pontifical Institute for the Study of Arabic and Islam.

An Audience with Pope Francis—Dispatch from Rome

We were on our way to meet Pope Francis. We—the participants in the 50th anniversary meeting of the Pontifical Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies—departed together from the Urbaniana campus and rode an escalator cut inside the Janiculum Hill that dumped us out in front of the colonnades of Saint Peter’s. I walked with two […]

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Scales

Tipping the Scales

It was a cold January afternoon as I pulled into the parking lot of the Noor Islamic Center; the temperature gauge in my car was hovering at around 29-30 degrees. The moment I stepped outside, it felt a lot worse than that thanks to a bitterly frigid wind, otherwise known as the dreaded “wind chill,” […]

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"Clarence H. White (1871-1925)- Drops of rain (1903)". Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Clarence_H._White_(1871-1925)-_Drops_of_rain_(1903).jpg#mediaviewer/File:Clarence_H._White_(1871-1925)-_Drops_of_rain_(1903).jpg

What Nourishes Your Activism? Reflections on Interfaith Sustenance for Social Change

I stood in the pouring rain, my numb fingers frantically pressing the buttons on the intercom box of the brick building where my spiritual director has her office. Sloshing my way through that Saturday morning, I felt desperate for guidance, for re-connection. In the months since a jury let Darren Wilson walk out of Ferguson, […]

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In Praise of Slow Medicine

I’m one of the biggest consumers of the new faddish approach to medicine – the idea that what will “fix” medicine is right around the corner. Last month, I was mindfully eating raisins and sitting at the bedside of my patients. A few weeks ago, I was streamlining an approach to effective documentation. And yesterday, […]

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