As I watched the saga surrounding Kim Burrell's homophobic sermon unfold over the last week, I made several attempts to speak about it and could not. Why? Because I was afraid of what might have come out of my big lesbian mouth. I was too furious to write and I wanted this piece to reflect the ideals of my rainbow family.
Four years after the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and the emergence of BLM both as a political and social movement, the Christian church has largely failed to advocate for the lives of black people. At times silent and at others deliberately distancing itself from BLM, the church has sent a clear message: Black lives do not matter.
If our social media profiles can tint in support of Paris, Belgium, and Orlando, then why not change for Turkey, Bangladesh, and Iraq? Innocent lives taken in Turkey airport, and no vigils, or landmarks, but when an attack of similar degree took place in Brussels we did all of the above. I'm often asked why Muslims don't speak out enough, but perhaps this is something we all need to work on.
Is it too much to ask in the 21st century to self-identify based on the beliefs you hold so dearly? After all, who has the right to tell me who I am and who I'm not? Apparently the Pakistani government does, who have declared the Ahmadiyya community "infidel" and non-Muslim since the infamous ruling in 1974.
"Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere." These words of Martin Luther King Jr. accurately describe the world crisis we live in today. To avoid war and attacks as such, all nations must come together for the greater good and unite in their efforts to stop all forms of cruelty, persecution and injustice perpetrated in the name of religion or else wise.
There are times when bounced checks or the penalties for arrears exceed the cost of a payday loan. To end payday lending -- even if it is predatory -- might leave people worse off. What is needed is a better loan, and to get that, we need a better market that re-balances the interests of the lenders and the borrower.
A list of the terms our society uses to describe payday lenders almost tells you everything you need to know. It reads a bit like a description of a B-grade horror film: predators, thieves, vampires, slave-drivers, or (my favourite) rapacious usurers. But if they're so awful, why are they everywhere? Why is it that, despite a seemingly universal hatred for them, they have popped up like mushrooms in cities across Canada?
"Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you." This verse, objectively radical given its relevance today, is particularly applicable in the context of terrorist violence, where strangers are willing to viciously stab, shoot and murder total strangers. One need only think back to the Paris attacks and ask: how can such hatred be justified?
There is much commonality between religions in urging us to overcome our attachments to money, property and the material, to give generously of ourselves in as many ways as possible, and to realize that nothing is ours. In many ways, it's a call to overcome our selfish nature and to realize our deep interconnectedness with each other and all of creation.
Congratulations to me on having finally arrived at that wonderful place wherein it doesn't matter to me if people don't find me bright, interesting, engaging, articulate or attractive. I am finally -- at 52 -- happy with who I am. I have finally decided that I have things to say that are worth taking note of.
When it comes to solving climate change, we have all the technological solutions we need. But as the recent climate talks in Lima reaffirmed, political solutions remain more elusive, largely because of the vastly different perspectives of developed and developing nations. As well, it seems we as individuals have a ways to go, both in thought and action.
Despite spending most of my life as an atheist, I have come to realize that spirituality is part of the human condition. So is the ability to think for oneself, to follow one's own moral compass and to challenge stereotypes that others have created for their own purposes. If you agree, you might have a spark of Vesta's ancient fire in you after all.