Video: 175,000 Starbucks staff watched this video this week

Here’s the 8-minute video that Starbucks’ employees watched this week. Watch it. Talk to the Starbucks staff about it the next time you head to the Big Green.

From Starbucks: This short film by Stanley Nelson explores the impact of bias within public accommodations as well as the possibilities for a better future. On May 29, we closed 8,000 Starbucks stores in the United States for four hours—so 175,000 Starbucks partners could come together for a conversation and learning session on racial bias. This was a foundational step in renewing Starbucks as a place where ALL people feel welcome. Starbucks partners shared life experiences, heard from others, listened to experts on bias and racial anxiety, reflecting on the realities of bias in our society and talking about how all of us can work together to create public spaces where everyone feels like they belong.

Catholic Leaders Take Pope’s Word and Denounce Nuclear Weapons at Kings Bay Georgia

[April 19, 2018 update here.]

Seven Catholic leaders trespassed onto the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Georgia on Wednesday. This is the first major direct anti-nuclear action taken by U.S. Catholics since Pope Francis announced in November that Catholics should condemn not only the use of a nuclear weapon but their possession.

“The threat of their use as well as their very possession is to be firmly condemned,” the pope told participants at a conference on nuclear disarmament hosted by the Vatican in collaboration with the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons passed by the United Nations in July 2017.

The seven members of the Kings Bay Plowshares, a nonviolent movement committed to “beating swords into plowshares” (Isaiah 2:4), included Elizabeth McAlister, a revered leader in the American Catholic peace movement; Fr. Stephen Kelley, a Jesuit priest; Martha Hennessy, granddaughter of Dorothy Day who was founder of the Catholic Worker movement and currently considered for sainthood; with Clare Grady, Patrick O’Neill, Carmen Trotta, and Mark Colville.

Carmen Trotta and Elizabeth McAlister on Kings Bay submarine base, 4 April 2018
Blood was spilled on the weapons facility crest to call attention to the purpose of the facility, which is mass destruction.

In a video statement made before crossing on to the naval base, Hennessy said: “We plead to our Church to withdraw its complicity in violence and war. We cannot simultaneously pray and hope for peace while we bless weapons and condone war making. Pope Francis says abolition of weapons of mass destruction is the only way to save God’s creation from destruction.

Clarifying the teachings of our Church, Pope Francis said, “The threat of their use as well as their very possession is to be firmly condemned … weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear weapons, create nothing but a false sense of security. They cannot constitute the basis for peaceful coexistence between members of the human family, which must rather be inspired by an ethics of solidarity.”

Currently, all seven are held in Camden County jail in Woodbine, Georgia. They have been denied bond. At a support vigil held on Saturday, 7 April, at 10a (EST), the supporters read sections from the book of Acts until the sheriff’s department moved the vigilers away from the entrance gate to the base.

Famed Catholic attorney William Quigley will be leading the legal defense. (Contribute to the legal fund.)

The Kings Bay submarine Base is the U.S. Atlantic Fleet’s home port for U.S. Navy Fleet ballistic missile nuclear submarines armed with Trident missile nuclear weapons.–Rose Marie Berger

MEDIA COVERAGE:

April 5, 2018
From First Coast News
From Washington Post
From Common Dreams
From the Raleigh News and Observer
From the Tribune & Georgian
From National Catholic Reporter
From Franciscan Media

April 6, 2018
From News4Jax

April 4: The King of Love

Fifty years ago, Martin King was assassinated. As theologian Jim Douglass shows, the face-covering of the Unspeakable was lifted and we saw the true enemy of the great democratic experiment. Nina Simone sings into the moment as she wrestles with “Always living with the threat of death ahead / Folks you’d better stop and think / Everybody knows we’re on the brink / What will happen, now that the King of love is dead?”

For Christians and Americans, this is our Good Friday moment. And with every killing of Michael Brown, Sarah Bland, Trayvon Martin, and Stephon Clark … with every killing of Sandy Hook children Charlotte Bacon (age 6), Daniel Barden (age 7) and 24 others … with every killing of Yilmary Rodríguez Solivan, Edward Sotomayor Jr., and 48 others at the Pulse nightclub … with every high school leader at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland … with all known and unknown … we reveal that we are still standing – uncertain – at the foot of the cross staring at our Crucified Christ. Which side are you on? Which side am I on? –Rose Marie Berger

Video: Privacy, Surveillance, Arendt, and Gandhi

“A life spent entirely in public, in the presence of others, becomes shallow.”–Hannah Arendt

Roger Berkowitz (Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard College) and Uday Mehta (professor of political science at CUNY) discuss “private” and “public” life in the context of Hannah Arendt’s writing and Mohandas Gandhi’s writing. They discuss the “virtue of reticence” and the importance of public-private boundaries in order to allow for public judgement and standards as well as for the development of individual or communal “spiritual depth.”

Length: 1 hour (first 25 minutes are Berkowitz’s and Mehta’s presentation)

My notes:

When the right to security becomes a transcendent right, rather than one right among many that need to be balanced, then other rights become subservient to it. But for Christians, security is never a transcendent value. Our “security” comes from God.

Uday Mehta: For Gandhi, privacy mattered to him but not as a “right” provided to you by the state or anyone else. Gandhi does not think his bedroom life is “private” but there are somethings that are so important that they are only between the individual and God and this is private. But the state cannot infringe on this.

Arendt’s things that should be private:
1. Goodness can’t exist in the public sphere. If people know about your goodness then it dies. Friendship can be public, but love should always be private.
2. Birth and Death cannot exist in the public sphere. When you become of age as a public citizen, then the public should not ask about who you were beforehand.
3. Opinion/personal conversations should be kept private.

Uday Mehta: Gandhi’s perspective was that one should say nothing in private that one would not say in public. Because of this he never develops some of the pernicious aspects of “vanguardism.” Gandhi’s commitment to openness did not lead him to violate confidences.

Arendt: If privacy matters, then the only reliable safeguard for privacy is the right to private property, which might not be defensible on economic grounds, but is on privacy grounds.

If you try to balance privacy and security, privacy will always loses, because people will always choose security, convenience, and transparency. People don’t think that invasion of privacy takes away their dignity or autonomy and so they freely give privacy up.

Gandhi wanted to have a conversation between the Indian civilization and Western civilization (and he thought that Indian civilization was superior), but he did not want it to be a nationalist political struggle for sovereign rights.

Hildegard of Bingen: ‘Our Dangerous State’

“The beloved of the love of God came through the fountain of life to nourish us back to life and to help us in our dangerous state. The Word is the deepest and sweetest love preparing us for repentance.”–St. Hildegard of Bingen (Vision 2:4)


(A 3-minute video on visiting the Hildegard sites in Bingen, Germany.)

Video: Thoughts & Prayers Makeup Line

For those of you not glued to Facebook, I wanted to post this short satirical video related to the mass murder at the high school in Parkland, Florida. To me, this video carries some of the incisive political commentary of an ancient psalm. Not the praise psalms, but the laments (see Psalm 137), which carry a corrosive bitterness and yet liberatory power.

Video blogger Sailor J. took make-up tutorial to a new level in this video “(Thoughts & Prayers) Makeup Look.

Guadalupe Ramirez: Our Lady of Guadalupe (video)

A 9-minute video with Sr. Guadalupe Ramirez, MCDP, on Our Lady of Guadalupe. It’s part of the Catholic Women Preach video series.

“I have come to the conclusion that whenever I am presented with a new challenge, I want to ask ‘why me?’ I need to change that and ask, ‘Why not me?’ So I ask you, ‘Why not you?’”–Sr. Ramirez, MCDP

Video: Fr. James Alison – Reading Scripture and the LGBT Question

Fr. James Alison spoke in September at the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas. How do we begin to  understand the ways religion is used to marginalize the LGBTQ+ community? What are thoughtful ways to move out of the binds around faith and a desire to be affirming? James considers the framework around scripture pertaining to gender and sexuality.

Alison is one of my heroes for the gentle and tenacious way he opens scripture, especially using the interpretive lens of Rene Girard’s mimetic theory and scapegoating. Here he examines Genesis 9:20-29, 2 Samuel 10:1-5, Genesis 19 and Judges 19-21 (Sodomites and Benjaminites), Leviticus 18:22, Acts 10:1-11:18, Romans 1-3, Mark 5:1-20.

His talk is one hour, followed by 25 minutes of Q & A.

Video: Protecting the Sacred – Water, the Environment, and Climate Change

This 30 minute CBS News video includes some of our best leaders on water, climate change, and watershed discipleship.

Christiana Zenner Peppard is a professor of theology, science, and ethics at Fordham University. She wrote in Come Ye to the Waters (If You Can Afford It) in Sept-Oct 2017 Sojourners and is author of Just Water: Theology, Ethics, and the Global Water Crisis.

Tara Houska, Ojibwe, is a tribal-rights attorney and the national campaigns director for the indigenous-led environmental-justice organization Honor the Earth. She has served as adviser on Native American issues for Bernie Sanders’s campaign, cofounded Not Your Mascots to fight the appropriation of indigenous culture, and protested the Dakota Access pipeline at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

Katharine Hayhoe is a climate scientist at Texas Tech University. She wrote Climate Scientist, Christian on Climate Change and Wildfires for Sojourners, as well as the book A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions and contributed to the June 2017 Global Climate Report.

Melinda Harnish Clutterbuck (pastor at Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster) and Mark Clutterbuck are cofounders of Lancaster Against Pipelines. Sister Sara Dwyer, ASC, is peace, justice, and integrity of creation coordinators for the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. I wrote about their courageous witness in Developers Are Trying to Build a Pipeline Through a Watershed. These Nuns Built A Chapel In Its Path.

This week, Oct 1-6, Lancaster Against Pipelines and the Adorers will be defending their land and waterways through blocking Transco-Williams’ bulldozers. Please pray and contribute to the collection for these saints.

MARIA TERESA GASTÓN: Catholic Women Preach

“The reasons for moving made sense – closeness to family and new work, but my heart had not consented.”

(5 minute video)

I’m so grateful for the moments I’ve spent with Maria Teresa Gaston and her son, Martin (former Sojourners intern). And so proud that Maria Teresa participated in the Catholic Women Preach video series.–Rose

FIRST READING: 1 Kgs 3:5, 7-12
PSALM: Ps 119:57, 72, 76-77, 127-128, 129-130
SECOND READING: Rom 8:28-30
GOSPEL: Mt 13:44-52

Maria Teresa is an organizational psychologist and ICA certified ToP facilitator specializing in facilitation of collaborative discernment and decision-making. She received a BA in theology from Marquette University, an MA in Hispanic/Latinx theology and ministry through Barry University, and an MA/PhD in industrial/organizational psychology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Maria Teresa served for many years in social ministry in Immokalee, Florida and at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. She and her spouse, John Witchger, have three sons Felipe, Martin, and Luke and two grandchildren, Micaela and Theo. Maria Teresa lives in Durham, North Carolina where she directs Foundations of Christian Leadership, a formation program for Christian social innovators through Leadership Education at Duke Divinity School.