Monday, November 30, 2020

The Case Died with Her: Documentary about Emilie Morris of St. Louis and Her Claim of Abuse Against Her High-School Coach

For those concerned about sexual abuse and exploitation of minors by adult authority figures, and about the difficulties that how those blowing the whistle on their abuse usually face when they go public, I'd like to note an upcoming televised documentary. On December 6 at 7 P.M. EST, 6 P.M. CST, the Oxygen network will be airing a program called The Case Died with Her.

Monday, November 23, 2020

An Advent Sermon from Ruth Krall on First Sunday of Advent

The photo is by Hans Vivek, who has generously made it available for online sharing at Unsplash.

It's my privilege today to share with you a sermon my friend Ruth Krall has written for the first Sunday of Advent (yesterday, 22 November). Other previous postings on Bilgrimage by Ruth Krall can be found at the label with her name beneath this posting. Here's Ruth's sermon:

Friday, November 20, 2020

Jeff Altaras, "Evil Thrives When Good People Remain Silent": Discussion of Sexual Abuse in the Mennonite Context

I'm pleased to have the opportunity to share with Bilgrimage readers a fine statement by Jeff Altaras, commenting on the response of some members of the Canadian Mennonite community to the recent revokation of credentials for John D. Rempel by the Mennonite Church Eastern Canada. Rempel served as chaplain, residence director, and adjunct professor at Conrad Grebel Univcersity in Waterloo, Ontario, from 1973 to 1989. The action taken by Mennonite Church Eastern Canada was in response to multiple allegations of sexual abuse substantiated by the church.

Jeff is responding, in particular, to defenses/excuses of Rempel by some Canadian Mennonites who, as he proposes, reflect old world cronyism and denial as they seek to offer words of days gone by to address a situation in which the balance of justice increasingly falls heavily on the side of victims of sexual abuse and not perpetrators.

Because the kinds of excuses offered for perpetrators against the claims of victims are not confined to the Mennonite context, but can also be found in other contexts including the Catholic one, I find Jeff's statement valuable and want to share it with you. What follows is Jeff Altaras's essay: 

Monday, November 9, 2020

"We Need to Talk About the White People Who Voted for Donald Trump": "Only Group in Which a Majority Voted for Trump"

Brandon Tensley, "Millions of White voters are once again showing who they are":

One thing that this week has clarified is the lengths to which many White Americans are willing to go in order to protect their Whiteness, to centralize it, even after a summer that saw unprecedented support for the Black Lives Matter movement.  

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Church Bells Ringing Throughout the World, Horns Honking, Fireworks and People Dancing in the Streets: Celebration of the End of Trump Presidency

"The GuardianCNN's Van Jones brought to tears as Joe Biden wins US election"

Mark Sumner, "America is celebrating like a cloud has left the skies and a weight is off our hearts":

Right now, a pandemic is raging. Right now, the economy is in recession. Right now, the nation is suffering from four years in which Donald Trump did everything possible to rewind decades of progress and tear at the foundations of democracy.

But right now. Right now. All of that has to be set aside. Right now, it is time to shout. To cry in joy and in relief. To jump. To dance. To celebrate.

Friday, November 6, 2020

Snapshots of Intersection of Religion and Politics, American Style, as Indicators Point to Biden Win

On this day when the worm may be turning (if at sloth's pace) in the US presidential election, when many folks are expressing baffled surprise that four years of that person in the White House have resulted in even more exultation of "religious" people in his rule over us, a few snapshots. These are who we are, and we need not to unsee what they show us.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

A Piece of Personal Testimony on All Saints' Day: The Sanctity of Many Queer People and Their Loving Relationships

This All Saints' day, I think of a little iconostasis I kept for some years next to my desk. The saints whose pictures or icons I had on the iconostasis were my own personal saints — an idiosyncratic collection, almost all of whom would never be canonized by the church.