Religion can be a tool for oppression or a force for good. As we greet 2013, I hope that we can all work for a more compassionate faith.
Rather than delivering us to the peace and fulfillment of a love that will never end, the Black Friday ritual hollows us out, leaving us only with a hunger that can never, ever be satisfied.
As far as I know, I am the only practicing Hindu at Union Theological Seminary right now, and this leaves me in a tough spot. This is because I am not sure how I, as a Hindu, as a "Hare Krishna," fit into the fabric of social justice that defines Union.
The same day that I begin a week of eating on a budget of $5 per day -- the equivalent of living off the average food stamp benefit in Illinois -- a stipend is deposited in my bank account. On any other week, this could afford me more than 10 times the weekly SNAP allowance.
On Yom Kippur about 2,500 years ago, Isaiah walked into a crowd that felt good because (having fasted for about 18 hours already) it felt bad. He called out that merely refraining from food and drink was not the point.
It has never been more important to raise the issue of debt forgiveness and do something about it in concrete ways than it is in 21st century America. But how could the biblical Jubilee possibly be an economic plan in today's economy? Enter Occupy Wall Street's "Rolling Jubilee."
The Evolver Social Movement has just released a free e-book anthology examining the unprecedented spiritual activism of the Occupy Movement.
Stand beside her, and guide her, through the night with the light from above. For all who sang that song from the heart after Sept. 11, the Occupy Movement was part of God's answer to that prayer.
Our world is full of enemies, and we tend to fight them, not meet them. What Occupy hasn't seen is how we can work to become so united as a people.
We should commend his service and giving for social good just as we might the activist, but none of this should shadow the reality that poverty and injustice exist because of an unjust system that favors victors with spoils and curses the less fortunate with misery.
I felt that, as natural as it is in one sense to feel anger at some of the entities on Wall Street, as a spiritual person my engagement must go deeper. It must include yet transcend the rage.
It is high time that Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf address our communities and put his "hand in the wounds" of our families. It's time for him to see and feel the mental and financial toll experienced by the millions of homeowners.
The week evokes memories and teachings about resistance to tyranny, racism, economic inequality, ecological disaster and militarism. Remembering this past, we should renew our work to resist these evils in the present.
t's easy to forget that we are up against something bigger than flesh and blood people. And it's particularly easy to forget that people are not the enemy when people are shooting pepper spray in your face.
God is waiting, just beyond the veil of our faithless actions, just outside the moment of history, and all it takes is for us to heed God's call to hear the prayers of the poor.
Occupations create a common public space for assembly, free speech and intense, transformative conversations. Occupations are also prophetic speech acts; they stand in a long and distinguished biblical tradition.