Thursday, March 26, 2015

"Religious Freedom Restoration" or: Religious and Civil Discrimination Reintroduced in Indiana

Every now and again I am embarrassed to be living in Indiana. This is one of those times.

SB 101, known as "Religious Freedom Restoration," recently ratified by the Indiana House and Senate, and to be signed in private ceremony by our self-professed Christian governor, Mike Pence proves something I've long said. When Indiana finally moved into the 20th century in 2006, I joked that we may be in sync timewise with the rest of the Eastern time zone, but it was still 1973 here.

I was wrong.  More like 1963. Which is especially ironic on this 50th anniversary observance of the events of Selma. This is an irony lost on the state legislators who approved this act and on our governor who is set to sign it -- in a private ceremony.  Gosh. One would hate to have a public ceremony where, gasp, somebody whose religion (or no religion) might be there to protest that their faith (or non-faith) needed no such restoration.  After all, though Pence, et al, may not be aware of it, that matter was supposed to be settled in 1792, in amendment one of the constitution -- "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."  Freedom of (or from) religion has been long established.

This new bill, repackaged old discrimination, especially concerns me because of my religious freedom and the beliefs I hold.  I'm a Quaker. I believe in the equality of all people.  I believe that at a variety of levels. The equality of all people to worship as they will, to work where they will, to live where they want, to vote, to shop where they want.

Well, everywhere but Indiana, I guess. Though this bill is aimed, not even subtly, against Indiana's gay citizens, there's no reason it couldn't be used against its agnostic citizens, mixed race couple citizens, Hispanic citizens, Jewish citizens, Buddhist citizens, Black citizens, ...  "My faith says that Muslims are infidels and so I don't have to serve them."

What happens when a Muslim taxi driver refuses to take on of our good Christian legislators to the airport based on the driver's understanding of the commands of the Koran?

As I said, I'm a Quaker. We Quaker have faced discrimination before -- but not much openly in the past 300 years.  But in the name of "Religious Freedom" for themselves, in 1659 and 1660 the Puritans of Boston not only refused service to three Quakers but decided to hang them for ... gasp ... being Quakers.  William Robinson, Marmaduke Stephenson, and Mary Dyer were hanged on Boston Common.

That couldn't happen today, I guess. But not long enough ago, on August 7, 1930,two African American teenagers charged with murder —Tom Shipp and Abe Smith -- were dragged from their cell in Marion, Indiana and lynched on the courthouse lawn. No one was convicted of this crime.

Nor will anyone be convicted -- either legally or spiritually -- I fear of the discriminatory, hateful crime that the legislators and governor are foisting upon the citizens of Indiana. I had hoped that Gov. Pence would live up to his promise to serve all the people of Indiana.  Alas, this does not seem to be true.  He is serving you if you are white, conservative politically, and conservative Christian.  So much for holding in high regard Jesus and his commands -- "Love your neighbor as yourself." 

While I cannot, alone overturn this monumentally evil piece of legislation, I will stand against it.  I stand against it a person of faith. A person of faith who takes seriously the words of scripture that say "...what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." SB101, and the legislators who enacted it, and Govenor Pence who is going to sign it into law, are not loving mercy nor walking humbly with God. They are acting as gods who place the value of some of our state's citizens about countless others. So much for honoring their oaths of office.







Sunday, March 15, 2015

"Embracing the Body" -- I Highly Recommend It!

This week, in addition to be the launch week of Jennie's and my Finding God in the Verbs, is also the launch of my friend Tara Owen's Embracing the Body: Finding God in Our Flesh and Bone.

Tara has written a fine and important book.  In it, Tara calls us back to our whole selves—body and soul—and in doing so helps us reconnect with incarnational living both through the central historical event that kicked off Christian movement and our ongoing task of being the disciples of Jesus cloaked in flesh and blood.






Saturday, March 14, 2015

"Embracing the Body" -- according to Micha Boyett

This week, in addition to be the launch week of Jennie's and my Finding God in the Verbs, is also the launch of my friend Tara Owen's Embracing the Body: Finding God in Our Flesh and Bone.

Tara has written a fine and important book.  In it, Tara calls us back to our whole selves—body and soul—and in doing so helps us reconnect with incarnational living both through the central historical event that kicked off Christian movement and our ongoing task of being the disciples of Jesus cloaked in flesh and blood.

Friday, March 13, 2015

"Embracing the Body" -- according to Stasi Eldredge

This week, in addition to be the launch week of Jennie's and my Finding God in the Verbs, is also the launch of my friend Tara Owen's Embracing the Body: Finding God in Our Flesh and Bone.

Tara has written a fine and important book.  In it, Tara calls us back to our whole selves—body and soul—and in doing so helps us reconnect with incarnational living both through the central historical event that kicked off Christian movement and our ongoing task of being the disciples of Jesus cloaked in flesh and blood.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

"Embracing the Body" -- according to Sarah Bessey

This week, in addition to be the launch week of Jennie's and my Finding God in the Verbs, is also the launch of my friend Tara Owen's Embracing the Body: Finding God in Our Flesh and Bone.

Tara has written a fine and important book.  In it, Tara calls us back to our whole selves—body and soul—and in doing so helps us reconnect with incarnational living both through the central historical event that kicked off Christian movement and our ongoing task of being the disciples of Jesus cloaked in flesh and blood.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

"Embracing the Body" -- according to Henry Cloud

This week, in addition to be the launch week of Jennie's and my Finding God in the Verbs, is also the launch of my friend Tara Owen's Embracing the Body: Finding God in Our Flesh and Bone.

Tara has written a fine and important book.  In it, Tara calls us back to our whole selves—body and soul—and in doing so helps us reconnect with incarnational living both through the central historical event that kicked off Christian movement and our ongoing task of being the disciples of Jesus cloaked in flesh and blood.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

"Embracing the Body" -- According to Lauren Winner

This week, in addition to be the launch week of Jennie's and my Finding God in the Verbs, is also the launch of my friend Tara Owen's Embracing the Body: Finding God in Our Flesh and Bone.

Tara has written a fine and important book.  In it, Tara calls us back to our whole selves—body and soul—and in doing so helps us reconnect with incarnational living both through the central historical event that kicked off Christian movement and our ongoing task of being the disciples of Jesus cloaked in flesh and blood.

It's Launch Week. You Can Help!! And Win a Prize!!!


It's the "official" launch week of "Finding God in the Verbs" -- you can help by:

1) posting a review on Amazon (or Barnes & Noble or Powells). The more reviews that a book has, the more money Amazon et al spend on promoting it. Please, if you're able, post even a short, one-line review, as soon as you can.

2) attend the online launch party Friday. To join the party, just go to one of the party sites below and order a copy or five of Finding God in the Verbs. Then, come to the "Finding God in the Verbs" Facebook page and post that you joined the party and where. If you're not on Facebook, just reply to this blog post with that information.

Every hour, one lucky party-goer will be selected at random via telepathy, casting of lots, or some other mysterious mean to receive, as a thank you, a copy of Brent's Mind the Light: Learning to See with Spiritual Eyes.

Party site 1 -- InterVarsity Press
Party site 2 -- QuakerBooks
Party site 2 -- Amazon
Party site 3 -- Barnes and Noble
Party site 4 -- Powells City of Books 

Or -- even better -- bop down to your local independent book store and get your copy there. Then post the name of the bookstore on our page and give 'em some free publicity!

3) spread the word. Tell your Facebook friends about the book and invite them to visit http://tiny.cc/nc89ux

Your support is really appreciated!