Lindsey Paris-Lopez is editor-in-chief at the Raven Foundation, where she uses mimetic theory to provide social commentary on religion, politics, and pop culture.
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Love Dissolves Borders: A Prayer for Immigrants
If we don’t see you
In the mother pulled away from her child
In the father dragged from his home
In the child shivering in the detention center
Then we don’t see you at all.
Will We Keep Our Houses of Worship Gun-Free?
This is the hope of the life that never fades away, the life that extinguishes division and death. It is the life to which love has called us, which we must live out in daily acts of mercy and reconciliation. Rejecting the gun is the least we can do. There is no room in this life for instruments of death.
Dear Congress, the American Health Care Act Is Heartless
Pollution, poverty, and war take their toll on our health in ways beyond our control, and yet health care in our nation is still treated as a commodity for those who can afford it, rather than as a right for all. It is unthinkable that our nation can build pipelines that poison clean drinking water but expect citizens to suffer without affordable treatment due to lead exposure. It is unacceptable that some communities are trapped in cycles of poverty through discrimination often born of racism but cannot afford the medicine they need because their money must go to cheap, often less-nutritious food. And while it is unconscionable that our nation spends more on destroying lives abroad than it does on saving lives at home, the damage from war exceeds mere monetary cost. Investing in fighting an enemy abroad fuels enmity and distrust at home, putting undo stress on us and eroding our sense of compassion.
Are We Really Ready for New Life in Christ?
On the Monday after Easter, as the state of Arkansas fought a stay of execution for seven prisoners in order to put them to death, I meditated on a simple truth: When people are executed, Christ is crucified all over again.
The Hope in Sesame Street’s New Autistic Character
The purpose of the episode is not merely to introduce an autistic character, but to show how people with differing abilities can become friends. Sesame Street gently demonstrates the patience and empathy that make up the building blocks of any healthy relationship. It deftly navigates the misimpressions neurotypical children might have when they encounter an autistic person for the first time and shows that a little understanding goes a long way toward making a lifelong friend. When Big Bird first encounters Julia, he mistakes her unresponsiveness to him as a personal dismissal. He must learn that she takes her time answering, particularly when she’s deep in concentration on another activity. While he notices that she does things differently, he soon comes to realize that Julia’s way to play can be a lot of fun.
Trump’s Budget Devalues Life
We are awakening now to at least some of the consequences of devoting our dollars toward death. As we contemplate the toll that endless war is taking on education, the environment, housing, and healthcare, may our hearts expand in empathy — not only to our immediate neighbors, but to our neighbors around the world. None of us can afford to lose any more.
Where our treasure is, there our heart will be also. Let us invest our treasure in building one another up — here, and around the world — that we may mend our hearts and resurrect our humanity.
A Spirit of Enmity Is Destroying Us. Loving Our ‘Enemies’ Will Save Us.
“Love your enemies.” I’m reflecting on this, the hardest of Jesus’ commandments, as I grieve my own nation’s policies of war, exclusion, vengeance, and cruelty — policies envisioned through the lens of enmity. The lens of enmity warps our vision, inverting it so that the outside world is obscured by our inward fears. It contorts the human faces in front of us into monsters. It magnifies our own pain and obstructs that of others. It blinds us with lies.
The Sermon on the Mount: A Theology of Resistance
Suffering far outlasts any administration, and our commitment to the needs of those suffering must transcend partisanship. One problem with connecting advocacy to partisan political outrage is that often the needs of the people get lost in the desire to “win.” Jesus’s vision of healing a world in pain begins with blessing, not blame, so that we may keep our focus on those in need of comfort.
Gratitude in Darkness: Seeing Christ at Standing Rock
This Thanksgiving, I am struggling to be thankful in an angry, fearful, pain-filled world. The words of the liturgy suddenly pierce my consciousness: “Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and after giving thanks, he broke it …”
After giving thanks?
How do you give thanks on a night when imminent death is staring you in the face?
Down Ballot: What It Means to Vote for Life
All over the nation, stress levels are in the stratosphere as the election season comes to its frantic conclusion. The choice for president feels like life and death to many of us, and may indeed affect our lives in profound ways. But certain votes will have a direct impact on whether others live or die. If you live in California, Nebraska, or Oklahoma, you have a chance to vote for life, human dignity, and redemption by rejecting the death penalty.
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