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Stories by Lowell Grisham

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Commentary: Arkansas bills preserve discrimination

Lawmakers’ efforts embrace unhealthy religion in state

Subscriber onlySegregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever. Continue reading...

Commentary: Certainties create rifts

Practitioners of faiths must reach higher

The world is being torn apart by religious people with militant, aggressive certainties. If we are to find peace, it is religious people who must promote a consciousness of humility and respect in our common spiritual journeys toward ultimate mystery. God is greater than any particular religious system, and God is gracious enough to reveal divine truth in every person, culture and religion. We must learn to live and grow together. Continue reading...

Commentary: Torture Damages U.S. Influence In World

"...after flogging Jesus, [Pilate] handed him over to be crucified. Then the soldiers ... clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him. And they began saluting him, "Hail, King of the Jews!" After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him. Continue reading...

Commentary: A Thanksgiving Chance To "Love Your Neighbor"

Subscriber onlyA few years ago all of the family went to my sister's house in Virginia for Thanksgiving. Four generations together. I'm particularly fond of my niece Elizabeth. Whenever I hear the verse "Blessed are the pure in heart," I think of Elizabeth. This particular Thanksgiving she was bringing her boyfriend, Gabe. Gabe was a law student at a prestigious school in D.C. and is transgender. Continue reading...

Commentary: Creating Safe Spaces In A Polarized Culture

Subscriber onlyA recent study by the Pew Center finds our nation has become remarkably more polarized. The research says media seem to stimulate and reflect the nation's polarization on either end of the spectrum: the 20 percent most liberal and 20 percent most conservative Americans show no overlap in their media consumption. In terms of news and information, they might as well be living on two different planets. The same news event can be presented to each audience with very different framing and often very different fact sets. Continue reading...

Commentary: Stay Focused On Postive Advocacy By Giving Up Scapegoat

Subscriber onlyPhilosopher René Girard and others have studied how human societies tend to expel our anxieties and frustrations by blaming. Nations, cultures, and groups hold together when they have a common enemy. If we can blame our problems on another, we will feel better. It's called the "scapegoat mechanism." When we feel threatened or insecure, we find a scapegoat who can be blamed for the problem. We attack or expel the scapegoat. We experience relief; we feel order is restored. Then the cycle begins all over again. Continue reading...

Commentary: The Good News? Health Care is Expanding, More Efficient

Subscriber onlyJesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them ... " Continue reading...

Commentary: Letting Friendship Cast Out Fear

Subscriber onlyA couple of things struck me during the recent community conversation about Fayetteville's resolution extending civil rights protection to our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender neighbors. First, many people are not well acquainted with LGBT friends. And, second, visceral feelings are powerful. Continue reading...

Commentary: Unity is Responsibility of Christian Followers

Subscriber onlyFrom a religious point of view, the most tragic, unfaithful thing we can do is to create divisions by regarding our fellow human beings as "others" and therefore failing to treat them with love and compassion. Continue reading...

Commentary: Bible Outlines Method Of Curing Economic Imbalances

God’s Sabbatical, Jubilee Years Are Ways of Restoring the Poor

Subscriber onlyThere is a fundamental orientation in Scripture: God expects us to take care of the poor and to relieve their need. Continue reading...

Economy Should Be Based on God's Will

Subscriber onlyJesus taught his disciples, "Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from evil." (Matthew 6:9-13) Continue reading...

Time Chips Away At Another Wrong

Subscriber only"It's been over 40 years since Mildred Loving was given the right to marry the person of her choice. The hatred and fears have long since vanished and she and her husband lived full lives together; so it will be for the same-sex couples. It is time to let that beacon of freedom shine brighter on all our brothers and sisters. We will be stronger for it." Continue reading...

Commentary: Unity Doesn't Erase Unique Characteristics

Subscriber onlyUnion is not the same thing as uniformity. Union and unity is the reconciliation of differences as the differences are maintained. Difference remains, yet is overcome -- transcended in unity. Continue reading...

Commentary: Healing Can Be Viewed As Good

Subscriber onlyThere's a story in John's gospel where Jesus and his disciples come across a man born blind. The disciples fall into a theological debate of blame. Whose fault is it that he is blind? His fault or his parents? Blaming the victim. It's not uncommon. Continue reading...

Commentary: Laws Backed By Religion Are UnAmerican

Subscriber onlyThe First Amendment enshrines our nation's cherished traditions protecting freedom of religious expression. The First Amendment also enshrines our rights to be protected from the civil enforcement of religious principles. Freedom of religion also means freedom from religious establishment. Continue reading...

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