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Author: John Pavlovitz

Inactivism: the privilege to not care about injustice

A letter to anyone with a friend who has been angry since last year’s election, and wonders what can be done to help. Dear Friend, Thank you for your note to let me know you’re worried about me, that you’re concerned about my health — that you’re not sure that I realize I’m coming across as really angry lately. Your assessment is correct. I am angry. I’m sorry. I can imagine I’m not all that fun to be around right now, and that from time to time my words come across as combative or abrasive. I’m probably more than...

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Op Ed: Banned CDC list is example of how Religious Right fosters terror

Donald Trump has reportedly banned the CDC from using the following words in their policies, budgets, and communications. This is not exactly true. This is not Donald Trump’s handiwork. He is not the author of this list: Evidence-based Science-based Fetuses Transgender Vulnerable Entitlement Diversity He isn’t smart enough to come up with a combination of words so perfectly synchronized to hurt and silence marginalized people. Only Evangelicals can do that. As a Christian and twenty-year pastor, one who’s served for much of that time in the American Bible Belt — the list is eerily familiar. It’s the extreme Evangelical...

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Annual campaign against fictitious “War in Christmas” highlights Evangelical hypocrisy

American Evangelical’s annual campaign against the supposed “War in Christmas” began early this year, with the President promising the perpetually oppressed faithful that we would once again be a nation that says “Merry Christmas.” “Praise the Lord,” shouted the ever-victimized choir. Yes, it certainly has been a long time since those happy golden days of yore, hasn’t it? Gone, the President assured them, will be the national scourge of “Happy Holidays” in all its pluralistic, inclusive sickness. After nine years of unmatched persecution, American Christians will once again be free to cram their religious beliefs down people’s throats; to...

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Ignorance is not a compelling justification for enabling racist behavior

Please Stop Giving Trump Supporters a Stupidity Pass. A friend recently offered a theory that I hear all too often from seemingly reasonable adults right now: Trump supporters are somehow victims of the partisan media/Religious Right Church alternate reality that they’ve been raised in and are still captives of. They’re surrounded by fake news and false stories, and so they aren’t bad people—they just aren’t seeing what we are seeing. We need to be more understanding. I’m sorry but this isn’t an acceptable justification. It may have been in a pre-Internet era, but today there simply isn’t a reasonable...

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Giving thanks for those who speak up to injustice

These are days when gratitude might not come easy. It’s tempting to scan the horizon each morning and to let your gaze rest and fix solely on the things that burden us; on the sorrow-bringers and the treachery they manufacture, on the terror we are daily surrounded by because of their seemingly boundless contempt for life. We can easily allow the perpetual, urgent storm of darkness they manufacture to obscure the light from view, to fool us into believing that the night has fallen on our best days. But this would be a mistake. It would be playing right...

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How American Christians Kidnap Jesus at Gunpoint

I turned on the T.V. today and saw the horrible news: They’ve kidnapped Jesus at gunpoint. Not terrorists or Atheists or Muslims or career criminals — but American Christians. The image on the screen is heart-wrenching and horrible to witness. They’ve got guns in their hands and Scriptures on their lips, and they’re violently twisting his words until I can’t even recognize them anymore. They’re wearing holsters and crosses, bullets and Bibles. They stand there, surrounding him, claiming to speak for him. They yell a lot about freedom, but it doesn’t sound at all like the kind he spoke...

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