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Author: John Pavlovitz

It does not take science to understand that monstrous words make monsters

Words are stunningly versatile things. They have the ability either to create or to destroy, to lift us or to level us, to give us wings to crush us beneath their weight, to inspire us to reach the loftiness parts of our nature or to drive us to the depths of our blackest darkness. We know this from the way other voices have shaped us in both redemptive and debilitating ways. The words of others can become for us the language for all we harbor unspoken in our hearts; every unfulfilled longing, each unhealed wound, every beautiful aspiration, all...

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Providence and the misguided political belief of being chosen by God

After a conversation about the recent Supreme Court hearings, a friend and Trump supporter who claims to be Christian, reiterated a recurring theme: Providence. “This is God’s doing.” she said very matter-of-factly. “Trump has been chosen by God.” Well, she was half right anyway. He has been chosen by someone — and it’s a national tragedy. As I think about the people I know who have tethered themselves to this President, many professing a faith in Jesus, I can see that they have made a decisive, precise, and unmistakable choice; one that has terribly altered two histories; both the...

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Thoughts on giving up: In an era of darkness we must keep shining our light

Yesterday I decided I was through fighting. I was finished pushing back and speaking up and showing up and going on. I concluded that it was all too exhausting and too painful to daily engage such hatred and to attend to so many wounds and to witness so much inhumanity — and I was done. I was officially retiring from giving a damn. You might be there, too. Maybe today you’ve been pushed to the precipice of your what you believe you can withstand, and walking any further feels like an act of self-violence. I’m not going to tell...

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We Will Never Forget: Remembering the day but not the lessons learned

Horrible days don’t usually start out as horrible days. As we woke up and went to work and got the kids off to school or got in our cars here in America, September 11th, 2001 was just another ordinary day to us — until it wasn’t. Soon, all hell would break loose, and we would face the one of the most catastrophic days in our history. For those who didn’t live through it, there’s no way to accurately describe the immediate existential free fall; the urgency and the chaos and the terror of those first moments and the hours...

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All good people should grieve when decency dies

Every day I meet professed Christians treating LGBT people like garbage and trying to convince me that God is making them do it. Whenever someone of character leaves this planet, the rest of us should mourn that loss, because the attrition leaves us all worse in its wake. As a tribe of connected people, we realize we are a bit lesser now, because those who have died have taken something precious with them to whatever lies beyond the last breath we take here: they have taken their specific humanity. Though there’s a great deal I vehemently disagreed with John...

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Taking a kneel fully exposed White America

Colin Kaepernick was right about us, white America. He was right to kneel because when he did, he fully exposed us. He exposed us as we became viscerally disgusted, not by the reckless disregard of black lives, but by the earnest and open declaration of black grief at their premature passing. He exposed us when we felt it was our right to tell another human being how to express their personal freedoms, during an anthem supposedly devoted to celebrating those personal freedoms. He exposed us when we treasured flags and songs over flesh and blood; when we repeatedly ignored...

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