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Author: John Pavlovitz

Save those “thoughts and prayers” because your political fear is killing us

Once again we find ourselves here in this terribly familiar place. We are grieving again. We are watching in disbelief again. Dozens of families are planning funerals again. On Saturday, August 3, as the death toll climbed we heard the graphic details, watched the unfathomable video, saw the media frenzy, and the deja vu of it all was stomach-turning. The questions come once more: “Why the hell are we doing this again? Are we ever going to fix this? How much death do people need to care?” It is as if we are watching the replay of a horror...

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The dangerous white lie about migrants of color that is hindering America’s greatness

If the migrants were white, things would be very different right now in America. We would never have heard anything about building a wall during the 2016 Presidential campaign. It would not have become a Republican rally chant, a Conservative hashtag staple, a MAGA t-shirt favorite, a Donald Trump fixation. Republicans would not be forever declaring a “national emergency” at our southern border. There would be no talk of the lawless streams of bad people currently “overrunning” us. Republican politicians would not be continually working to create connections between exhausted, desperate families — and drug dealers, rapists, and gun...

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Allow the Outraged: Exposure to repeated trauma should never be accepted as commonplace

Something often happens to people exposed to repeated trauma. Gradually, they become conditioned to accept the horrors as commonplace. Time and brutality starts to wear down their defenses and sap their emotional resources and they begin learn to live alongside the most malignant sickness as if it were ordinary. Slowly but quite decidedly they grow numb to the unthinkable cruelty and the sustained violence until it all begins to seem normal. Eventually they lose the ability to be outraged or to push back or to even care. Self-preservation begins to craft a story in their heads where the most...

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Maybe one day people of faith will actually love other living people as much as they do embryos

Conservatives tell us all the time how much they love embryos. They speak effusively about them in conversation, publicly revere them, shed crocodile tears over them, accost strangers entering clinics over them, viciously troll people on social media over them, sermonize on street corners about them. They even claim to have voted for an otherwise reprehensible monster they would never otherwise tolerate to lead them—solely because of them. Republican people of faith regularly fall all over themselves, carry on wildly, and tear their garments in showy grief over embryos; unleashing all manner of histrionics at those they deem a...

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MAGA Christians cast a terribly tiny God in their own image of hate

I feel sorry for professed Christians who support this President. They have a profound and fundamental spiritual problem: their God is too small. They passionately worship a deity made in their own image: white, American, Republican, male—and perpetually terrified of just about everything: Muslims, immigrants, gay children, Special Counsel reports, mandalas, Harry Potter, Starbuck holiday cups, yoga, wind turbines, Science — everything. Their God is so laughably minuscule, so fully neutered of power, so completely devoid of functioning vertebrae that “He” cannot protect them from the encroaching monsters they are certain lurk around every corner to overwhelm them. MAGA...

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Monkey See, Monkey Do Not: Calling yourself a Christian when you avoid emulating Christ

Everyone but white Evangelicals understand the message and teachings of Jesus. I love my Atheist and Agnostic friends. I love my Muslim friends and Jewish friends, my Buddhist and my Hindu friends, my backsliding, formerly Christian friends, my self-admitted heathen friends, my “I’m definitely going to Hell” friends. I love the way they all emulate Jesus. I love how Christlike they are. Not in flowery prayers, effusive social media posts, or showy Sunday sermons; not in brazen bumper stickers, self-righteous public protests, or finger-wagging table side lectures — but in their very lives. Where the rubber meets the road,...

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