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Analysis and commentary on issues that concern the work of FaithTrust Institute.

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Dear Pope: Are We Talking?

Dear Pope: Are We Talking?

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I’m so glad you seem to be finding my advice helpful as you move to respond to the growing crisis over sexual abuse in the church. Your comments this week suggest that your understanding has deepened and your analysis is more on target.

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Dear Pope: Check This Out

Dear Pope: Check This Out

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I don’t know if you follow the National Football League in the U.S., but I think you will be interested in this.

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Dear Pope: It’s Me Again

Dear Pope: It’s Me Again

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I’m still waiting for your call, but in the meantime, I’m quite happy to provide you with a free consultation because it’s so important that you get this right. So let me suggest some fine tuning to your efforts this past week. Please pass this memo on to your PR people.

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Dear Pope: Call Me

Dear Pope: Call Me

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As the crisis erupts again in Europe and the U.S. with serious questions being raised about the Pope himself, one has to wonder if the men in charge have learned anything in the past 20 years. It would appear not. If the Vatican were to ask me for advice on how to handle this situation (which they will not), here are my ten steps to justice and healing.

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The Invisibility of Domestic Violence in Faith Communities

The Invisibility of Domestic Violence in Faith Communities

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Last week, Charles Parsons murdered his wife during a couples’ counseling session at Calvary Lutheran Church south of Seattle. He turned himself in and has been charged with first-degree murder and assault.

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Women’s Work Is Never Done

Women’s Work Is Never Done

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March 8 is International Women’s Day. So I was pleased this past week to be in New York City for events surrounding the 54th Annual meeting of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Not only is women’s work never done, our agenda continues to expand.

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Tiger Confesses, Apologizes; We’ll Wait for Repentance

Tiger Confesses, Apologizes; We’ll Wait for Repentance

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Why did I watch Tiger Woods statement to the press today? I guess because I continue to be intrigued by how high profile public figures address their misconduct publicly.

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O God, Deliver Us from the Pat Robertsons of This World

O God, Deliver Us from the Pat Robertsons of This World

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Much has already been said about the sheer stupidity of Pat Robertson’s “pastoral” response to the tragedy of the Haiti earthquake and I will not bother to repeat.

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Reflecting on Dr. King 2010

Reflecting on Dr. King 2010

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I grew up a white Christian girl in the segregated South. I remember the beginning of integration of our schools in junior high and of my local United Methodist Church.

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It Looks Like a Duck, Walks Like a Duck...

It Looks Like a Duck, Walks Like a Duck...

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It seems that we have a really difficult time in our culture calling rape “rape.” Plus we are inclined to give celebrities a free pass when it comes to sexual assault.

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"Don’t Let the Light Go Out . . ."

"Don’t Let the Light Go Out . . ."

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Jews have just completed celebrating Hanukkah, the festival of lights. Christians prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus. And we all celebrate the passing of the winter solstice which assures us that, in the northern hemisphere, the days will surely get longer now.

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Life Is Precious

Life Is Precious

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Last week Carolyn Scott Brown, the Director of Educational Resources at FaithTrust Institute, and I went to see the new movie, Precious.

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“The Bible Says . . .”

“The Bible Says . . .”

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“The Bible says I can have sex with my 8-year-old child . . .” “The Bible says I can beat my wife because she is to be subject to me . . .” These and other biblical justifications haunt my consciousness.

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The Work Is Global

The Work Is Global

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I don’t know how to work on anything but violence against women and children. I have no other skills. So it’s a good thing that I have a job where I get paid to do the one thing I know how to do.

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Not Done Yet -- The US Violence Against Women Act Since 1994

Not Done Yet -- The US Violence Against Women Act Since 1994

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This month is the 15th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in the U.S.

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Health Care Reform and Violence Against Women?

Health Care Reform and Violence Against Women?

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Health care reform is an urgent issue in the U.S. today. As the political “process” attempts to resolve legitimate issues in the debate, the crazies and the insurance companies are trying desperately to derail any efforts to fix a dysfunctional system. Okay. But what does this have to do with violence against women? Lots.

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“Let the children come to me and forbid them not . . . and let the healing begin.”

“Let the children come to me and forbid them not . . . and let the healing begin.”

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Through the eyes of three families, the documentary All God’s Children (70 minutes) www.alllgodschildrenthefilm.com tells the personal story of the first boarding school for children of missionaries to be investigated for abuse at the hands of the parents’ Protestant missionary colleagues.

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The Elders Name Religious Tradition and Practice as Sources of Harm to Women and Girls

The Elders Name Religious Tradition and Practice as Sources of Harm to Women and Girls

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“. . . we believe that the justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a higher authority, is unacceptable.”

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Jimmy Carter Challenges His Church

Jimmy Carter Challenges His Church

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“The turning point in every social justice movement occurs when the authentic leadership of survivors is met with the genuine commitments of our most power social institutions.” So said my colleague, Judith Beals, in 2002 in the midst of the disclosure of extensive sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests.

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"Bad News for 'Bad Men' . . ."

"Bad News for 'Bad Men' . . ."

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Good news for women. Lavetta Elk, 26, is a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe from Wounded Knee, SD. Sgt. Joseph Kopf, an Army recruiter, raped Elk after she inquired about joining the Army. In April, Elk was awarded $600K in damages for the “pain and suffering” she endured. The basis of this verdict was the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868.

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