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Author: John Pavlovitz

Unhealthy Relationships: How to love the people we no longer even like

The most common question people ask me when we talk either in person or virtually, is essentially a variation on a single theme: “How do I love someone I no longer like?” They have recently realized something about a friend, family member, or partner that they simply cannot reconcile with the person they once knew and loved: a theological belief, political affiliation, or stance on a social issue that is so far beyond what they consider within the bounds of decency. In many cases, these people have attempted for years to navigate these differences with difficult conversations or with...

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Invalid Opinions: Rejection of aid to Ukraine shows there are not two legitimate sides in every situation

Recently a stranger on social media was defending Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s disturbing and steadfast support of Russian President Vladimir Putin, along with the continual flood of atrocities being committed in Ukraine. When I pressed the self-identified Christian man and questioned how a faith-based argument could be made for this kind of advocacy, he left a reply I’ve received a few thousand times in similar situations: “Oh, you Liberals are so tolerant, unless someone disagrees with you!” Yeah, that’s not how this works. One of the greatest lies people propagate is that all opinions are valid: that every...

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COVID is Over: The pandemic is no longer a concern for those who have died and those who deny it still exists

COVID is over. That’s the single refrain of Conservative Americans right now. They shout it in red-faced, profanity-laden diatribes at the meetings of beleaguered school boards. They embody it as they stridently parade unmasked into local businesses waiting for someone to confront them so they can unload a prepared verbal assault. They pepper it throughout antagonistic social media posts to their constituents, church members, employees, and social circles. They parrot it in workplace break rooms, gathered around workout equipment at the gym, and sitting in crowded car repair waiting rooms. These oppressed and exhausted victims are sick of talking...

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How a generation of Americans went from fighting Reagan’s “Evil Empire” to praising Trump’s “Sugar Daddy”

Watching the slow and steady Russian advance toward Ukraine over recent weeks, a stomach-turning series of thoughts took up residence in my head… Americans are not going to side with Putin, are they? I mean, there is no way that will be their position, will it? My MAGA-leaning friends, Republican politicians, even the most morally-vacant Right Wing Network hosts and pundits would not go that far, would they? Sure, they voted for and fell prostrate before a spineless, amoral weakling who has showered the Russian dictator with effusive praise for decades. And yes, they repeatedly turned a blind eye...

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Walking Wounded: When each day feels like a funeral for the living with memorials to all that has been lost

Each day is a day of mourning for millions of Americans. You can see the bereaved everywhere you look. hey may not be dressed in black or sitting in a church pew or tearfully standing graveside or in the back of slow-moving cars with headlights flashing, but they are deeply grieving nonetheless. They are people who have lost someone they dearly love, though not to death but to something else, something much less expected, something much more unnatural. They have lost them to the knowledge of how unlike they now are; to a moral disconnect that has rendered their...

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Dangerous Books: Perhaps Bible-believing Conservative Christians should consider banning the Bible

A Tennessee school board recently voted to ban “Maus,” a Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust from their eight grade curriculum. This has become a familiar tactic of Republican parents, politicians, and pastors, working through local school boards to edit out vital creative works and voices from school curriculums, in the name of protecting children. In reality, it is continuing the time-honored Right-wing tradition of raising them to be historically unaware and racially intolerant by redacting the story they are told about the world. The incessant outrage over Critical Race Theory is the most current and brazen assault...

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