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Author: John Pavlovitz

Making a “statement” by not voting only silences your own voice and abdicates that power to others

If there’s any statement choosing not to vote makes, it’s “I don’t care if I count.” I usually avoid small talk, as it is an introvert’s kryptonite. But recently at the pharmacy I made eye contact with the woman in line behind me and started up a conversation, which quickly morphed into much bigger talk. She began complaining about the stratospheric cost of her medications, to which I interjected with a smile and great optimism, “We’ll, hopefully be able to change that in the 2020 election!” “Oh, I’m not voting.” she replied matter-of-factly. She must have seen the color...

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Social Media Bumper Stickers: Hashtags warriors are not the activists needed to save us

I woke up this morning and there they were waiting for me, the latest round of digital saviors from the social media realm: the hashtag warriors. Some of them still remain from the previous day or two, but most have simply replaced those that resided in that same space twenty-four hours ago — yesterday’s supposed world-changing words, now forgotten. Tomorrow they too will be gone, having done nothing but hold space and give a little false hope to people who are slowly drowning. Hashtags are essentially bumper stickers. Bumper stickers identify you in a crowd and get you a...

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In order for things to be okay we need to wake up and actively make them that way

I am a newly retired optimist. I used to believe that things would always be okay: that no matter how bad circumstances seemed in the world, I trusted that people would do the right thing, that goodness would prevail, that the rational center would hold. I used to believe that our system of checks and balances would protect us from overreaching parties and mentally-unstable presidents and political leaders lacking a working moral compass. I used to believe that most people were basically decent, and that this decency would win the day, because our shared humanity was something we were...

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Greta Thunberg: The little girl who woke up a generation

Greta Thunberg is one in a million. (Actually, she is one in seven point five billion.) She is infinitesimally small, statistically insignificant, numerically inconsequential. She is a brief cosmic blip. Greta is also a once-in-history, never-to-be-repeated collection of dreams, struggles, doubts, joys, fears, flaws, and passions, the likes of which the world has never seen before and will never see again. Her presence is unprecedented. And yet, if you would had asked her one year and one month ago as she sat alone outside Swedish parliament, silently advocating for the planet — I imagine the shy, awkward, then 15-year...

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The MAGA Bible: A political translation of God’s Word for a corrupted faith

A previously undiscovered version of the Christian Bible was recently unearthed during a renovation beneath the bathroom of a Louisville, Kentucky Chick-Fil-A. This new ‘MAGA Translation,’ contains the ‘Gospel According to Don,’ and the ‘Book of 2 Republicans.’ The text’s origins are said to have been dated around the time of the 2016 Presidential Campaign, just after Donald Trump secured the GOP nomination. Below are excerpts from the just-released “new-and-improved testament,” which is already available on the White House website, at NRA meetings, Southern Baptist churches, straight pride parades, and your local homophobic bakery: 2 Republicans, Chapter 1, verse...

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A lesson from 1939: Holocausts begin when nations lose their humanity

No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible. History is a good teacher. If we pay attention to her, she reminds us that populations don’t become monstrous overnight, that nations don’t abandon humanity in a single moment, that generational human rights atrocities don’t form in an instant or in a vacuum. Corporate sickness is never sudden. There is always a slow, deliberate, almost imperceptible pattern: The metamorphosis of a people, begins with an opportunistic leader who understands the power of weaponized fear, who feeds them a steady diet of the things that terrify them: misinformation, fake emergencies, and abject...

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