Monday, February 10, 2020

The Holocaust and Christian Theologies of Sin and Forgiveness: Imperative Need for Christians to Listen to Jews

Elizabeth Johnson, The Quest for the Living God (London: Bloomsbury, 2007)

Ruth Krall's recent sounding of various ecclesial responses to the sexual abuse of minors and how they raise profound questions about theologies of sin and forgiveness has made me think about the valuable contribution of Jewish thinkers to Christian theological reflection about these matters. Ruth's essay includes a paragraph surveying some Jewish thinkers on the topic of sin and forgiveness.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

A Report from Trump Country on the United Methodist Split Over Whether to Welcome LGBTQ People or Not



This is a report from the ground, which is to say, from the white evangelical heartland of the U.S. that is solidly Trump country. It's a report of an encounter a cousin of mine had several days back at a bible-study group he attends, which is connected to a United Methodist church he no longer attends. He left that church — and, without a formal resignation, the United Methodist Church in general and any church in general — after the election of Donald Trump. As he says to me, "I told them that if I had wanted to join a Republican country club, I wouldn't have joined a church."

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Ruth Krall, "A Sin or a Crime?"

David Stoltzfus Smucker (age 75) wheeled into court in Lancaster, PA, Pittsburg Post-Gazette, 24 Jan. 2020

I'm happy to share today a recent essay by Ruth Krall that packs a lot of valuable information and theological reflection into a small space. Though it's specifically focused on questions about how abuse of vulnerable people is handled in her own religious community of origin, it offers a valuable lens through with those studying abuse in other religious or institutional settings can also look. Ruth writes:

Sentence: 38-76 years of imprisonment: This means that Smucker will likely die in jail.  The crime: 20 felony counts for sexually molesting children, i.e., rape, of his grandchildren.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Commentary about the New ProPublica Database of Catholic Priests Across the U.S. "Credibly Accused" of Sexual Abuse


Some commentary for you about the new ProPublica database of Catholic priests across the U.S. "credibly accused" of sexual abuse or misconduct, which is searchable online:

Monday, January 20, 2020

Now This in Diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina: "Advocate Wants Former Belmont Abbey Priest Named as Child Sexual Abuser"



In an article entitled, "Advocate wants former Belmont Abbey priest named as child sexual abuser," Nathan Morabito writes

The names of more than 40 clergy members credibly accused of sexually abusing children before, during or after their time in the Diocese of Charlotte are now public, but just weeks after church leaders released that long-awaited list, we've learned there are still others who served in our area who were not named.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Ruth Krall, "Bearing Witness, Part Two — Speaking Truthfully" (2)

Vincent van Gogh, "The Good Samaritan," original in the Kroller-Muller Museum in Otterlo, The Netherlands, uploaded to Wikimedia Commons for online sharing.

The posting that follows is the second half of Ruth Krall's essay "Bearing Witness, Part Two — Speaking Truthfully." The first part of this essay is here. As that previous posting indicates, this is the fourth in a set of essays Ruth has published discussing what it means to bear witness as one engages in the work of compassionate peacemaking. In this second half of her essay about speaking truthfully as one bears witness, she probes questions about how clinicians and others both safeguard the privacy and integrity of those who have entrusted their stories to them, and, at the same time, handle the professional and moral obligation to prevent harm. Ruth's essay follows:

Monday, January 13, 2020

Ruth Krall, "Bearing Witness, Part Two — Speaking Truthfully"

Vincent van Gogh, "The Good Samaritan," original in the Kroller-Muller Museum in Otterlo, The Netherlands, uploaded to Wikimedia Commons for online sharing.

With this posting, we're nearing the end of Ruth Krall's invaluable, thought-provoking essay series entitled "Compassionate Peacemaking: Healing the World's Wounds One at a Time," with the first part of the series comprised of four essays under the title "Part One: Bearing Witness." This is the fourth essay in the "Bearing Witness" set of essays, and is entitled "Bearing Witness, Part Two —Speaking Truthfully."

I'm posting this final essay in Ruth's essay series in two pieces. The first half of "Bearing Witness, Part Two — Speaking Truthfully." Endnotes begin with xliii because this essay is a continuation of previous essays in the series, the previous one in the series being here and here. Ruth's essay follows:

Saturday, January 11, 2020

"It Is Rarely Noted That Trump Was the Clear Choice of White America": Recent Commentary on White Evangelicals Continuing to Burn Hot for Trump




White evangelical Protestant attitudes about Donald Trump have moved through three distinct phases since PRRI has been tracking them beginning in 2015: 
1. Before Trump became the official Republican nominee for president in mid-2016, Trump's favorability never reached the majority among white evangelical Protestants. 
2. Between Trump's nomination and the inauguration, Trump’s favorability among white evangelical Protestants advanced past the 60-percent mark. 
3. By the time of his inauguration in early 2017, Trump's favorability among white evangelical Protestants jumped to nearly three quarters (74%). While Trump has struggled to lift his favorability numbers among the general population above the low-40-percent range, throughout his presidency, favorability of Trump among white evangelicals has remained exceptionally high, between 65% and 77% with an average favorability rating of 71%.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Ruth Krall, "Bearing Witness: Part One — Paying Attention" (2)

Vincent van Gogh, "The Good Samaritan," original in the Kroller-Muller Museum in Otterlo, The Netherlands, uploaded to Wikimedia Commons for online sharing.

The following posting is a continuation of Ruth Krall's essay "Bearing Witness: Part One — Paying Attention." The first half of this essay appeared in this previous posting. As that posting and others preceding it have noted, this essay is one in a series of essays Ruth has entitled "Compassionate Peacemaking: Healing the World's Wounds One at a Time." Clicking from one preceding essay to the next will show you the entire series posted on Bilgrimage thus far. 

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Ruth Krall, "Bearing Witness: Part One — Paying Attention"

 Vincent van Gogh, "The Good Samaritan," original in the Kroller-Muller Museum in Otterlo, The Netherlands, uploaded to Wikimedia Commons for online sharing.

This is the third essay in Ruth Krall's series of essays entitled "Compassionate Peacemaking: Healing the World's Wounds One at a Time." It argues persuasively for an understanding of faithful witness that is based on being fully present inside our life situation and carefully observant of our surroundings. Because this essay is rather long and rich, I'm going to post it in two pieces. What follows is the first half of the essay, whose title is "Bearing Witness: Part One — Paying Attention." (Note numbers begin at xxix because this essay is a continuation of two that preceded it.)