News & Politics


Another Day, Another School Shooting

Were it not quickly becoming a fact, this headline would be offensive in its seeming glibness regarding the murder of students on campuses across the nation. Tragically, there were two more episodes this week, the most recent being the attack on Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Oregon, 12 miles east of Portland. Jared Padgett, a student at the school, shot and killed another student, Emilio Hoffman, before taking his own life. For the families and friends of the two boys, the tragedy is obvious. What about for the rest of us? Is......

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Learning from the Bergdahl Controversy - What Should Have Happened

How many Americans knew the name of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl before last week? For that matter, how many of the members of our dysfunctional Congress, yet alone our polarizing pundits knew about this POW? Just about everything wrong in our culture’s politics has shown itself in the aftermath of the exchange of five senior Taliban detainees at Guantanamo for Bergdahl. Everybody played their role to a tee creating another contrived and unnecessary controversy, further tearing away at our social fabric and eroding any sense we are citizens in this together. Conservatives did......

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Video: Bowe Bergdahl and the 70th Anniversary of D-Day

Bowe Bergdahl, the just-swapped for American prisoner held for five years by the Taliban, was definitely the story of the week. But today, June 6th, recalls the story of the 20th century, D-Day. Seventy years ago today, allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy and the world began a momentous shift whose results still shape our lives today. I think they can also shape how we make sense of the story of the week, and it all comes down, as it does so often in life, to the ability to simultaneously......

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Video: Fearful of Being Happy in Iran

From Odyssey Network’s Faith on the Record video series: This week seven young Iranians were arrested for creating a video of Pharrell Williams’ hit song “Happy.” The move to arrest them was motivated by fear. The important issue, not just in Iran, but for all of us, is the danger of acting out of fear. Seems to me it’s not the best way to make decisions. Watch my video below for more commentary on this: Here is the video that the director and dancers made: Odyssey Networks tells the stories of faith......

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This Is Real Courage

I recently wrote about Palestinian professor Mohammed Dajani’s visit to Auschwitz with 27 of his students. On Holocaust Memorial Day 2014, Dajani spoke on “Breaking Holocaust Taboos in Palestinian Society” with some 100 faculty and students of Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School. In his speech, he described how his feelings and ideas evolved from the day when a member of his family received medical treatment at Hadassah Hospital, not as an Arab but simply as a patient and human being. Dajani is the founder and director of Wasatiya, a movement to study and......

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The Botched Execution of Clayton Lockett

From Odyssey Network’s Faith on the Record video series: The scheduled execution of Clayton Lockett by the State of Oklahoma went terribly wrong Tuesday night when the cocktail of drugs administered did not provide the swift, antiseptic death promised by “lethal injection.” Instead, Lockett died of a heart attack following a gruesome reaction to the drugs. No matter how clean and tidy we try to make the death penalty, the bottom line is we are killing people. Odyssey Networks tells the stories of faith in action changing the world for the better.......

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The Sterling Decision - Was Racism Addressed?

Working with remarkable speed and efficiency, but perhaps with more limited wisdom, the NBA is fining Donald Sterling $2.5 million, barring him from further contact with his team, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said that he would “do everything in (his) power” to force Sterling to sell the Clippers. Really? Don’t get me wrong, Sterling said some pretty gross and hurtful things, and I believe in consequences. I am just not so sure about these.? Here’s why: 1. What leverage is there for a guy to pay a fine when he already......

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Donald Sterling, Cliven Bundy and the Truth about Racism

When you picture a racist, what images spring to mind? I ask, because in a single week, my own answer to that question has come to include images of otherwise seemingly innocent types, and in that shift, lay important cautions regarding identifying and combating racism. A racist? I would quickly picture someone in the kind of Nazi or KKK uniforms favored by F. Glenn Miller, who is accused in the murder of 3 people on the campuses of the Kansas City Jewish community. And without equating their words to his murderous deeds,......

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Imagining the Other Side - Learning from a Palestinian Field Trip to Auschwitz

Whatever political views we have on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is pretty clear that conventional diplomacy has resulted in all process and little peace. And whatever the desire for peace on either side, for a variety of ideological, political, cultural, historical, and theological reasons, the psychic reward and security that comes from maintaining and “managing” the conflict is for just about everyone greater than the imagined rewards for peace. Perhaps we are at a point where there is so much trauma and such deep mistrust that more than the combatants are creating......

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Video: The Supreme Court, Money and Democracy

From Odyssey Network’s Faith on the Record video series: Money in politics is nothing new but healthy societies are about balancing equal access and laws that are equally applied. What do you think? Odyssey Networks tells the stories of faith in action changing the world for the better. Their stories explore a wise range of issues including peace, tolerance, social justice and the environment.? Visit Odyssey Networks at www.odysseynetworks.org.   To view more of Brad’s Faith on the Record discussions, please click here....

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