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Author: John Pavlovitz

An Unfathomable Scale: How do we grieve the loss of 100,000 American lives?

Nearly 100,00 people, America. 100,000 lives in just over 100 days. 100,000 mothers, best friends, favorite uncles, beloved teachers, helpful neighbors, papas, grandmas, first loves, only children, soul mates. 100,000 givers and helpers and creators and lovers and thinkers and healers. 100,000 silenced laughs and interrupted plans and abandoned dreams and stilled bodies and quieted voices. 100,000 empty chairs and beds and house and embraces. In three months: 1 fully packed football stadium, 38 9/11s, 1.75 Vietnam Wars. How do you properly grieve this kind of subtraction of humanity? How do you adequately mourn the unfathomable scale and the...

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False comfort from misplaced faith: The COVID-19 pandemic is not part of God’s spiritual plan

I know many people fortunate enough to know god personally. They’re able to say with great confidence and precise specificity, what the Maker of All Things is doing at any given moment; his or her motives, methods, and intentions—especially in times of tragedy and consequence. I used to be one of those people. I used to toss words around lazily, ascribing purpose to the terrible seasons and painful circumstances people pass through. It wasn’t done with malice or with an intent to mislead people, I’d just convinced myself that I could make sense of senseless things—because, Jesus. Every national...

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White Society must condemn White Racism: Ahmaud Arbery is dead because he was a black man

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) arrested Gregory McMichael, age 64, and Travis McMichael, age 34, for the death of Ahmaud Arbery on May 7. They were both charged with murder and aggravated assault. Ahmaud Arbery is dead because he was a black man. He was hunted down by two white strangers in broad daylight because he was two things: he was black and running, which was enough reason for them to grab weapons and get in their truck and chase him down and assassinate him in the road. Being black and running was Ahmaud’s crime. To some white...

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This is MAGA America: The White Privilege to Terrorize

As a white man watching the Michigan protests of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home orders, all I could think was: Black people don’t get to do this. Muslims don’t get to do this. Latinos don’t get to do this. People who look different in any way don’t get to do this. They don’t get to swarm American capitol buildings in tactical gear with high-powered weapons, screaming in close proximity to police officers. They don’t get to dress up like Call of Duty cosplayers and attempt to physically intimidate politicians into bending to their wills. They don’t get to get to...

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If getting back to normal is not an option, then we need to embrace the new abnormal together

Ever since the restrictions and cancellations and changes in response to COVID-19 began a few weeks ago – back before we regularly used terms like social distancing, self-isolation, and flattening the curve, we’ve all been asking the same question: “When will things return to normal?” They won’t. Returning to normal, would involve some precise dividing line by which we could cleanly delineate the end of this event and the beginning of something else coming. It would also suggest that if there were such a line, that we could cross it unencumbered without carrying those days with us. That of...

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Trump supporters stage rally in Madison to promote their right to die and get everyone sick with COVID-19

To the individuals who gathered in Madison, Wisconsin on April 24 in protest of the state’s “Safer at Home” order, can we now say what has long been suspected? You never really were “Pro-Life,” were you? We suspected that you were not really burdened to protect humanity, as you cheered while families were separated at the border, as you ignored yet another bloody school shooting, as you applauded the dismantling of our healthcare system, as you turned away exhausted refugees, as you laughed during his anti-immigrant rally rants. We figured that outside of gun owners and white embryos, that...

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