Category Archives: Social Justice

I can't breathe

I Can’t Breathe: Eric Garner, Police, Jesus

I Can’t Breathe. Police Above The Law.

I can’t breathe.

The last dying cry of Eric Garner.

His voice echoes on earth through millions of voices in the streets protesting for justice. The people are crying out for freedom. Freedom from fear of police officers who shoot and choke the life out of their victims. Freedom from terror of a violent, racist police force.

I have heard the argument many times that most police officers are caring, upstanding citizens who are forced to work with thugs. Yes, I do believe there are some good officers out there. I read their stories of delivering babies on highway shoulders, saving suburban house from robberies, pulling over drunk drivers before they hurt someone. read more

uninsured in america

Uninsured in America: Broken Bone Morality

Two years ago, I was uninsured in America. All my efforts to find work had failed, so medical care was closed to me. One afternoon I tripped on a porch step and broke my ankle. The pain was overwhelming, but even worse was the realization that I would have to treat it myself.

A Visit to My Parent’s House

When we left Oregon, homeless and financially broken after years of trying to find work, we began the journey that eventually brought us to Minnesota. We made a stop at my parent’s house in Missouri.

They asked us to pray for my sister who was in the hospital with a mysterious illness. She had a good job, good insurance, and good doctors, but she was getting worse. We went to her bedside and prayed. Yahweh said he would heal her. She was released two days later. read more

Eric Duncan uninsured

Eric Duncan Uninsured Ebola Patient

Thomas Eric Duncan went to the hospital seeking care for a deadly, and highly contagious, disease. The hospital staff saw his race and his lack of insurance and sent him home. Eric Duncan uninsured Ebola patient, died. Now Ebola virus is spreading in the United States.

Eric Duncan Uninsured and Black with Ebola

Thomas Eric Duncan, whom friends called Eric, was a Liberian immigrant to the United States. After a recent visit to his Ebola-stricken home country, Eric came back home to America and fell sick. He must have been relieved to be covered by the world’s greatest medical system. But, tragically, unlike the other white, wealthy, insured Ebola patients who recovered in America, Eric Duncan was uninsured, so he faced closed medical doors and ultimately death in America. read more

International Day of Peace

International Day of Peace

Today is September 21, the International Day of Peace. Every country is encouraged to put down their arms and observe a cease-fire. Every person is encouraged to reflect on their place in the human connection, their story of the human experience, their role in the international day of peace.

World Conflict: The way of ego

Sadly, our world is full of conflict created through greed and ego. Bullies destroy lives and pillage dreams as they lust after land on the global playground. Fundamentalists declare that their way of life, their culture, their religion, is the only true way, and they take up weapons, emotional and physical, to defend this way. The rich destroy the poor. The strong destroy the weak. War is a game that destroys the sanctity of life and mocks the international day of peace. read more

pray for ferguson

Pray for Ferguson: The Prophetic Word

Pray for Ferguson. The city is erupting in violence and pain. The police are out of anyone’s control. Even our government has three branches of checks and balances and elected officials who are supposed to represent their communities. The police force has no election process, not even an outside regulatory agency. The police put themselves above the law.

But they are not above God’s law.

Pray for Ferguson: A War Zone

The images coming from Saint Louis are horrible. Green and black tanks thundering down the street. Giant military guns staring down the crowd through red cross-hair eyes. The police dressed in full military uniform, the camouflage of life and death. Full out war on civilians. read more

hobby lobby birth control debate, Hobby Lobby building

Hobby Lobby Birth Control

Hobby Lobby Birth Control: The Fear Bring to Life into America

There has been so much talk lately about Hobby Lobby birth control and the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act birth control mandate. There are many ramifications on religious and social freedom and women’s rights. One example is this NBC News article:

Supreme Court On Birth Control: What Hobby Lobby Ruling Means

While these are valid concerns, I think we need to have a frank discussion about how this issue highlights women’s fears as well as women’s rights. Life is one of the greatest fears in the United States. read more

victim of oppression, feet in bondage

Victim of Oppression

The Victim of Oppression Has Few Choices

Here’s a popular quote, attributed to an unknown source, that comes across my Facebook far too often:

Everything you do is based on the choices you make. It’s not your parents, your past relationships, your job, the economy, the weather, an argument or your age that is to blame. You and ONLY you are responsible for every decision and choice you make. Period.

There is a popular idea in the Christian and the New Age communities that there are no victims, only “bad choices” or challenges on one’s “life path.”In this magical thinking, there is no inequality or oppressive systems of hierarchy. read more

hands grasping for hierarchy against kingdom living

Kingdom Living Has No Human Hierarchy

American society is infatuated with hierarchy. We idolize those at the top of the corporate, entertainment, and sports arenas. We disdain, even harm, the lowly and oppressed, the “nobodies.”

Our cliches are filled with hierarchy. “Climb the corporate ladder.” “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.”

But is God’s heart in this “rat race?”

Sigh.

I hear these kind of platitudes all the time in the church. Christians just tend to qualify it as “prosperity” or “God’s blessing.” American living at its finest. Kingdom living at its worst. read more

stroller in the snow

Stroller In The Snow

The wind howled furiously around her, like a pack of ravenous wolves ready to devour the first living thing who dared to venture out in the bitter cold. She struggled and limped through the piles of snow on the sidewalk. Her husband walked beside her, mightily pushing their three-year-old son in his stroller in the snow. Wheels caught and bowed to the pressure of the snow, hardened by wind and footprints into biting balls of ice.

The young family decided to try to push the stroller on the street, where snow plows had helped clear a way. Almost immediately, cars veered dangerously close to the child, and drivers angrily honked their horns.
“Why don’t you get a job? You are horrible parents,” one driver yelled out as he hastily rolled his window down and back up. read more

caskets and mattresses, money casket

Caskets and Mattresses: Price of Death

Caskets and Mattresses and the Price of Death

I am taking a class in death and dying. It is fascinating to learn all the different cultural and religious beliefs around this subject. We are studying funeral traditions, and I read that caskets come in varying price ranges. One of the price determinants is the quality of the mattress on which the deceased is laid to rest. Cheaper caskets get straw mattresses; expensive caskets get spring coil mattresses and luxurious fabrics. Caskets and mattresses show your wealth and social prestige even in death. read more