Tag Archives: religion & violence

The Gospel and Gun Violence: A Lenten Meditation

DWh3fOcXUAAtty8A chaplain’s life is measured in vigil candles.

I wrote these words when it came time to return to the University of Chicago Divinity School to think more deeply about religion and violence. The year was 2002 and the last time I had pulled the box of candles off the shelf in my office in Memorial Church was the evening of September 11, 2001. 

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Honor and Restraint

130313-M-RR352-026During my final year at Stanford, our newly appointed police chief died suddenly and without warning. Chief Marvin Moore was the first African American to hold the position. I found the officers devastated when I went to visit the department and offered whatever help I could. It had been their good fortune that they never lost a serving officer in or out of the line of duty for as long as anyone could remember.

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That same day [they] became friends with each other…

Patriarch Kirill and Pope FrancisThis week the Patriarchs of Rome and Moscow held a historic meeting in an airport in Havana, Cuba.

[Before I get to the meat of my issue, my inner pedant must clarify that the Internet is awash in incorrect headlines. I’ve added a section at the end addressing some of the issues.] Continue reading

Facing the Monster

Emanuel_African_Methodist_Episcopal_(AME)_ChurchI learned of the dreadful massacre at the historic Mother Emanuel AME Church in South Carolina while lying on a sleeping bag on the floor of my empty apartment.  This is the very church of Denmark Vesey (1767-1822), a former slave who bought his freedom.  He attempted to organize what might have become one of the largest slave revolts of the U.S. antebellum era.  Those who recruited black soldiers to serve in the Union Army during the Civil War invoked the name of Denmark Vesey.

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Homosexuality, Proof-Texting, and a dash of Girardian Mimetic Theory

An Open Response to Michael Hardin’s tag on Facebook

Preaching Peace logoMy friend, Michael Hardin, runs an organization called Preaching Peace, a nonprofit dedicated to “Educating the Church in Jesus’ Vision of Peace.”

Michael has traveled extensively around North America, Australia/New Zealand, and Europe, presenting seminars on nonviolent atonement and his hermeneutic of nonviolence that is heavily influenced by the theology of Karl Barth and the mimetic anthropology of René Girard.  Lately Michael’s FB wall has hosted several threads challenging people to rethink view on homosexuality and Christianity.  Michael tagged me to bring some extra perspectives into the conversation, which you will find below…


Hi, Michael.  I’ve been a pretty busy today and am just now in a place where I can respond to your Facebook tag.

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