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

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"What About Torture?"

"What About Torture?"

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“Punching, flogging, assault and bodily attacks, hitting with the hand, kicking, ear pulling, hair pulling, head shaving, beating on the soles of the feet, burning, scalding, stabbing, severe beatings with or without clothes, being made to kneel and stand in fixed positions for lengthy periods, made to sleep outside overnight . . .”

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“Where Are We?”

“Where Are We?”

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As I was presenting a workshop recently on how we should challenge the roadblocks which the church can present to battered women and affirm the resources, I noticed one participant was very quiet and reserved.

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“I Have Such Doubts!”

“I Have Such Doubts!”

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The movie “Doubt” depicts the enormous complexity of the possibility of sexual abuse of a child by a Catholic priest. Fr. Flynn is portrayed by Phillip Seymour Hoffman as a likable, middle aged priest deeply engaged in the life of the parish and school. He is open and progressive and wants to lead the parish forward.

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"Pray for the Dead . . ."

"Pray for the Dead . . ."

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Twenty years ago, 14 people were shot and killed in a classroom at a University in Montreal, Quebec, where they were studying engineering. Last week 14 people were shot and killed in an immigrant social service center in Binghamton, New York, where they were studying English.

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“. . . Better That a Millstone . . .”

“. . . Better That a Millstone . . .”

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There are times when the contradictions of life overtake me. I was flying home from the east coast last week and one of those times intruded. On the plane, I sat next to a mother and father and their two-year-old daughter; in front of them sat their five-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter. I was struck immediately by how thoughtful and respectful the parents were with the children and the siblings were with each other.

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"It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over"

"It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over"

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In baseball, there is an old saying about the game: "It ain't over 'til it's over." It's the reminder that you can't leave after the seventh inning and assume you know the outcome. As we have seen cases of sexual abuse by clergy emerge in recent years, it might be easy to assume that we have seen the worst of it. Yet the news continues to inform us of cases still waiting to be heard and justice still waiting to be experienced. It's definitely not over yet.

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The Guy Who Took Down the Signs

The Guy Who Took Down the Signs

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Like millions of other Americans on January 20, I was flooded with memories and emotions as I watched Barack Obama be sworn in as our President.

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Rick Warren’s Teaching

Rick Warren’s Teaching

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Since Rick Warren was invited to give the Invocation at the Presidential Inauguration next week, he has been attracting some attention and scrutiny. Warren is the Senior Pastor at Saddleback Church in California.

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Santa Targets His Own Family

Santa Targets His Own Family

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An ex-husband took advantage of the annual family gathering at his in-laws’ house to inflict his violence on his ex-wife and her family. He appeared at the door dressed as Santa, and one of the children let him in. He opened fire on the 25 people there and then set fire to the house.

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Is the Gospel of “More Sex” Really Good News for All?

Is the Gospel of “More Sex” Really Good News for All?

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So Pastor Ed Young of the Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas, got the attention of the media. And his church members. He called for a week of “congregational copulation” to take people’s minds off the economy. Pastor Young has added his blessing to our already highly sexualized culture.

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"Déjà vu All Over Again"

"Déjà vu All Over Again"

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Another murder in a church; another domestic terror homicide. On Nov. 23, Joseph Pallipurath entered the St. Thomas Syarian Orthodox Kananaya Church in Clifton, NJ and killed his wife.

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Muslim/Arab/Terrorist?

Muslim/Arab/Terrorist?

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I promised myself I wouldn’t discuss the election in my blog. This is not the place for partisan anything. But in this last week before the election, I do have to comment on the overt racism that continues to persist even unto the very end.

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The Fight to End Terrorism

The Fight to End Terrorism

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“Compare the raw numbers. In the same seven-year period [2000-2006] when 4,588 U.S. soldiers [in combat] and police officers [on duty] were killed by hostiles or by accident, more than 8,000 women – nearly twice as many – were shot, stabbed, strangled, or beaten to death by the intimate males in their lives."

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Corporeal Punishment, Child Abuse, and Christian Teaching

Corporeal Punishment, Child Abuse, and Christian Teaching

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Dr. Ted Tripp, the senior pastor of Grace Fellowship Church, Hazleton, Pennsylvania, came to Seattle recently preaching the importance of corporeal punishment beginning with infants. According to Tripp, he is commanded by God to preach to parents to spank their young children on bare skin and then tell them you love them in order to teach them respect for authority.

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“Another Hate Crime . . . with a Backstory”

“Another Hate Crime . . . with a Backstory”

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On a Sunday in late July, Jim David Adkisson entered the Tennesse Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville and opened fire. He said he hated gays and liberals and “all liberals should be killed.” He murdered two people and seriously injured 6 others before being subdued by other church members.

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“Rape and Miniskirts: Déjà vu All Over Again”

“Rape and Miniskirts: Déjà vu All Over Again”

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Let’s begin with the bottom line: lack of modesty in dress doesn’t cause rape. But this doesn’t stop Father Sergio Roman from condemning miniskirts.

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Southern Baptists: Yes, but . . .

Southern Baptists: Yes, but . . .

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“One sexual predator in our midst is one too many,” said Morris Chapman, president of the Southern Baptist Convention executive committee. “Sexual predators must be stopped. They must be on notice that Southern Baptists are not a harvest field for their devious deeds.” Good so far.

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Sex Offenders in Church in Georgia Part 2

Sex Offenders in Church in Georgia Part 2

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In my last blog, I took the position that the Georgia law that criminalizes all volunteer activities in a faith community by registered sex offenders is problematic because it allows the state to determine how we do ministry. Several of you disagreed.

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Sex Offenders in Church in Georgia

Sex Offenders in Church in Georgia

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The state of Georgia is trying to protect its children from sex offenders. To that end it passed legislation in 2006 (updated in 2008) that is viewed as the toughest in the U.S. There is only one problem: the law criminalizes all volunteer activities by registered sex offenders in religious organizations.

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Confusion Reigns for Southern Baptist Professor

Confusion Reigns for Southern Baptist Professor

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Bruce Ware, professor of Christian theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., actually does know why husbands abuse their wives.

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