Thursday, August 31, 2017

What he said — Jesus + The Nashville Statement

Father James Martin — Jesuit priest, editor at large for America Magazine, author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage and Building a Bridge,  consultor to the Vatican Secretariat for Communication​, and former chaplain to the Colbert Nation — responded to The Nashville Statement - so-called because it was ratified in the city

The Nashville Statement centers on 14 affirmations and denials; Martin repeated the pattern in a series of seven tweets, recreated here.

James Martin SJ @JamesMartinSJ  Aug 30 
Re #NashvilleStatement: 
I affirm: That God loves all LGBT people. 
I deny: That Jesus wants us to insult, judge or further marginalize them.
James Martin SJ @JamesMartinSJ  Aug 30 
I affirm: That all of us are in need of conversion. 
I deny: That LGBT people should be in any way singled out as the chief or only sinners
James Martin SJ @JamesMartinSJ  Aug 30 
I affirm: That when Jesus encountered people on the margins he led with welcome not condemnation. 
I deny: That Jesus wants any more judging.
James Martin SJ @JamesMartinSJ  Aug 30 
I affirm: That LGBT people are, by virtue of baptism, full members of the church. 
I deny: That God wants them to feel that they don't belong
James Martin SJ @JamesMartinSJ  Aug 30 
I affirm: That LGBT people have been made to feel like dirt by many churches. 
I deny: That Jesus wants us to add to their immense suffering.
James Martin SJ @JamesMartinSJ  Aug 30 
I affirm: That LGBT people are some of the holiest people I know. 
I deny: That Jesus wants us to judge others, when he clealrly forbade it.
James Martin SJ @JamesMartinSJ  Aug 30 
I affirm that the Father loves LGBT people, the Son calls them and the Holy Spirit guides them. 
I deny nothing about God's love for them.
What he said. 

Friday, August 25, 2017

I got your respect right here…. Raising Adults

[This week, Verlyn Giles, an extraordinary coach and human being, was inducted into the Leon High School Football Hall of Fame in Tallahassee Florida. Here’s what I wrote in Raising Adults about how Verlyn and a few other remarkable adults shaped my life back in the day.]
When I was a boy, my uncle, Bryant Kendall, my coach, Verlyn Giles, my high school principal, Robert Stevens, a youth worker named Shuford Davis, a campus worker named Bob Norwood, and more teachers than I can count. They listened to me and took my ideas seriously. They asked good questions. They talked straight. They gave me training and responsibility. My uncle helped me learn to mow lawns before my parents allowed me to touch anything with a motor at home. I had teachers who encouraged me to think outside the box and helped me learn to sort my thoughts and express them directly and economically. Verlyn Giles helped me learn to think and communicate under pressure and taught me to value ingenuity and skill over brute force. Bob Norwood asked questions that encouraged me choose between good and better. Shuford Davis engaged with me even though I was not part of his youth group, asking questions that caused me to address spirituality with my mind as well as my heart.
    Respect isn’t empty-headed acceptance of any and all behavior. Respect grows from the acknowledgment that all of us are in process. We’ve learnedeverything we know so far, and we have quite a bit more to learn before we’re done.
    Respect acknowledges that what’s obvious to one person may not be a bit obvious to someone else. And that’s a very good place to begin the conversation.

And isn’t that what life is all about, the ability to go around back and come up inside other people’s heads to look out at the damned fool miracle and say: oh so that’s how you see it!? Well, now, I must remember that.

—Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine, William Morrow, 2001, page xiii

    Shaming is a monologue. Respect is a dialogue. The surest way for me to show respect is to ask honest questions and listen carefully until, whether or not we agree, the other person is pretty sure I truly understand.

— from Raising Adults by Jim Hancock

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Growth of US Hate Groups from 2000 to 2017

A two-minute overview of the growth of hate groups in the US from from 2000 to mid-2017, courtesy of the Southern Poverty Law Center and The Atlantic.

The Atlantic writes:

According to research by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of hate groups has been increasing rapidly since 2000. Heidi Beirich, director of the Center’s Intelligence Project, links the rise in recruitment to the 2000 census that predicted whites would be a minority by 2042. Beirich says there’s been another spike following the election of Donald Trump, particularly among alt-right organizations who have attached themselves directly to the current president. In an interview filmed at the 2017 Aspen Ideas Festival, Beirich says that Trump’s limited commentary on hate crimes shows his lack of concern.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Silence in the Kitchen | a fragment from Raising Adults

Kids have an amazing capacity to learn new tricks. They don’t allow themselves to get very cold or hungry or lost more than once without pretty good reasons.

    One very good reason, of course, is to get under the skin of a parent who is a hijacker.

    When, on frosty mornings, I see kids on their way to school without their jackets, I imagine the sort of conversations that occurred on their way out the door. For example….

Interior. Morning. Kitchen. An eleven year old boy runs a piece of bread around the rim of a jelly jar and chews thoughtfully, having decided toast is too much trouble.  
From another room we hear an adult voice: Are you wearing your jacket? 
There is silence in the kitchen. The adult speaks louder: Are you WEARING your JACKET! 
The boy speaks, his mouth full of bread: Snot Cold! 
Adult: What? I said, are you wearing your jacket? 
Silence in the kitchen. After a moment the adult hollers: ANSWER ME! 
The boy glances up at the clock. Indeed, he is not cold at this moment. He is, however, tired of being yelled at from another room—though he is not about to venture from the relative safety of the kitchen, at least not voluntarily, to find out what the hollering is about. In an instant the boy decides he will placate the one in the other room but, for reasons he hardly understands, he will not satisfy her. His voice rises with the patronizing tone he will use again some fifty years in the future to explain to his mother why she must eat her strained vegetables: Mom, it’s too hot to wear my jacket in here. Don’t worry about it.
With that, the boy dips his finger in the jelly, rubs it on another piece of bread which he folds neatly in half, walks past his jacket and out the door into the cold, clear day of his youth.