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Author: John Pavlovitz

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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Powerless to heal: When prayers don’t work as people of faith think they should

I’ve been a pastor for twenty-five years and a Christian for most of my life, and I don’t think prayer works anymore — at least not in the way we people of faith often like to believe it does or claim that it does or how I used to teach that it does. When someone we know or love or read about is gravely ill, we default to asking people to pray for their healing; more specifically, we ask others to ask God to heal them. We enlist people to take our cause (this sick person) to the Almighty....

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If “All Lives Matter” then why can’t Americans love migrants as much as they do handguns

It’s a real shame that migrants aren’t handguns. If migrants were handguns, this President would treat them with kid gloves. He’d be ever so careful with his words so as not to cause offense. He’d exercise the rarest of restraint to avoid angering those who love them; couching his words in every moment, being the closest thing to decent that he ever is. He would suddenly find compassion for them. If migrants were handguns, Republican politicians would passionately protect them. They’d go to bat for them and plead for them and legislate every possible way to make their existence...

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