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Mike Rivage-Seul is a liberation theologian and former Roman Catholic priest. Recently retired, he taught at Berea College in Kentucky for 36 years where he directed Berea's Peace and Social Justice Studies Program.Mike blogs at
http://mikerivageseul.wordpress.com/

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190 Articles, 0 Quick Links, 629 Comments, 3 Diaries, 2 Series, 0 Polls

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syrophoenician-woman Friday, August 18, 2017 (4 comments)     

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(Sunday Homily) A Chauvinist Jesus Gets Schooled by a Palestinian Mom If the story about the Syrophonecian mother actually happened, it's somehow comforting to know that Jesus was so human -- more like us than we've been made to think.

Trump Charlottesville Tuesday, August 15, 2017 (5 comments)     

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Trump Unwittingly Right about Violence 'on Many Sides' All 'violence' is not the same. Self-defense can sometimes be justified but is usually singled out for condemnation.

Fair Skies Tuesday, August 8, 2017 (11 comments)     

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For Lower Fares & Better Service, Nationalize Public Transportation! Delta Airlines wants us to campaign against what they call the "unreasonably low fares" offered by state-owned competitors. Why would we do that, instead of campaigning for the nationalization that makes such fares possible?

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A Diana Ross Concert Sparks Memories of the African-American Rebellion of 1967 The much ballyhooed "Detroit Renaissance" is nothing more than gentrification on steroids, where billionaires are subsidized to build glitzy high-rises and restaurants. Meanwhile on the periphery of the city, 40% of the population remains mired in poverty in a state where 48% of African-American children are poor.

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(Sunday Homily) Jesus' Anti-Imperial Parables: How to Resist (State) Terrorism Jesus' parable of the weeds planted by an enemy in a landlord's field can be read as addressing U.S. presence in the Middle East -- and how to resist it.

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(Sunday Homily) July 4th in the Land of the Regimented and Home of the Terrified Our call this July 4th is to speak the truth about our lost ideals, and then to endure patiently the fury of family, friends, and community. Our true family, we're reminded, is not composed of "Americans," but of the prophets, social activists, and "little ones" Jesus and Elijah championed so fearlessly.
Series: Sunday Homilies for Progressives (76 Articles, 107967 views)

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Aging Miraculously: Life's too Short to Give Up on Faith & Activism! As community elders, we are products of the hope-filled '60s. We have experience, knowledge, and (hopefully) wisdom unavailable to our children, grandchildren, and to the young in general. It's our vocation and responsibility to share all of that.

Einstein Sunday, June 11, 2017 (9 comments)     

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Einstein Would Grasp this Response to Terrorism: Why Don't Christians? (Homily for Trinity Sunday) What would it mean to recognize al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and ISIS as organizations composed of human beings like us? Each of them has ideas, hopes, and dreams. They all have families like ours. They are desperate people under attack, with homes they cherish every bit as much as we cherish our own.
Series: Sunday Homilies for Progressives (76 Articles, 107967 views)

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Republicans Are Terrorists, Not Christians (Pentecost Sunday Homily) These violent Christian fundamentalists are no more "followers of Jesus" than ISIS fundamentalists are followers of Mohammed.

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All Catholics Should See "The Keepers": It Will Scare the Hell Out of You (Sunday Homily) "The Keepers" is a shocking account of an unsolved 1969 murder of a young Catholic nun in Baltimore. It's about two priests there who used the confessional to identify young females who would be vulnerable to their sexual depredations. Eventually they ended up sharing their victims with school outsiders including police officials.
Series: Sunday Homilies for Progressives (76 Articles, 107967 views)

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(Easter Sunday Homily) As the Bombs Fly, I Can't Say "Happy Easter." Can You? Did you notice that just last Thursday Christian fundamentalists dropped (on Afghanistan tribal lands) the largest Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD) since Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
Series: Sunday Homilies for Progressives (76 Articles, 107967 views)

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Baby Victims -- Theirs & Ours: the Power of Photos Compare the Trump administration's response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria to similar crimes by the U.S. and U.K. in Fallujah in March and November of 2004.

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"Beautiful Little Babies": What Hypocrisy! On principle, the United States doesn't care about killing civilians or "beautiful babies." Somehow, it's the manner of killing them that is objectionable.

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An Angry Meeting with Our Congressional Representative The crowd's jeers showed it was clearly anxious to have its own voice heard. The representative and others from the audience had to repeatedly remind interrupters that they were only prolonging the congressman's painful monologue, and needed to allow him to finish.

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(Lenten Homily) Everybody's Right (Including Donald Trump) and Is Doing the Best S/he Can Lent calls us to compassion for (rather than vilification of) people like Donald Trump. He's frozen a an egocentric level of human development, and in his cabinet choices has turned the reins of government over to people like himself. Each of us has passed through a similar stage. None of us is any better.

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Sunday Homily: U.S. Christians Shouldn't Be the Most Violent People in the World (But We Are!) Here's an idea: why don't we Christians try following the actual teachings of Jesus as found in today's Liturgy of the Word? The resources freed up by doing so could literally turn our world into a paradise.
Series: Sunday Homilies for Progressives (76 Articles, 107967 views)

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The Ten Commandments: The Donald's vs. God's (Sunday Homily) Comedian, Bill Maher, put it this way during the campaign season: "It's hard to bring up the Ten Commandments when your candidate has spent most his life breaking all of them."

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Sister Giant: The Higher Consciousness Community Meets Liberation Theology With the arrival of Donald Trump, a highly political form of liberation theology has hit the "Higher Consciousness Community." I'm referring to the "spiritual, but not religious" seekers proliferating throughout the United States and the world.

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Trump's Anti-Catholic Persecution: a Personal Response President Trump is demonizing my fellow parishioners -- people I consider my brothers and sisters in Christ. I know them by name: Amelia, Carlos, Ana, Isidro, Graciela, Ramon. . . Criminals? Rapists? Drug dealers?

Image created from image crediting Sunday, January 22, 2017 (3 comments)     

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To Make a Nation Great again: Trump's Cabinet vs. Jesus' (Sunday Homily) In today's Gospel reading Jesus doesn't begin his campaign for a New World Order (God's Kingdom) by enlisting the services of his country's great landlords, its generals, or its bankers. Instead, he starts from below, where all truly effective social change must start.
Series: Sunday Homilies for Progressives (76 Articles, 107967 views)

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(Sunday Homily) Mary's "Virginity": Its Warning about Donald Trump & Sexual Assault by the Military Do you ever wonder what effect Donald Trump's proclivity for sexual assault might have on the problem of rape by military men? Will Mr. Trump's words and example even further embolden U.S. soldiers in their proven proclivities towards sexual assault?

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(Sunday Homily) If You Think Jesus Would Approve of GOP Policies towards the Poor, Here Are Two Riddles for You Here's a riddle for you: How can Christians oppose labor unions, Food Stamps and Medicaid, while still calling themselves followers of Jesus?
Series: Sunday Homilies for Progressives (76 Articles, 107967 views)

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(Sunday Homily) If You Think Jesus Would Approve of GOP Policies towards the Poor, Here Are Two Riddles for You Here's a riddle for you: How can Christians oppose labor unions, Food Stamps and Medicaid, while still calling themselves followers of Jesus?
Series: Sunday Homilies for Progressives (76 Articles, 107967 views)

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The Fourth Reich is Here: Incinerating the Planet Instead of Jews Only The nomination of Scott Pruitt to head the EPA confirms the fact that the U.S. government has entirely lost its legitimacy.

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On Joining John the Baptist in Rebellion against the Religious Establishment -- and Trumpism (Sunday Homily) The specter of John the Baptist should haunt us this Second Sunday of Advent, and drive our faith communities onto Main Street. These unprecedented times call for radical response outside the sacred precincts and independent of the sleepwalkers awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus.

Fidel_Castro_-_MATS_Terminal_Washington_1959.jpg: Fidel Castro - MATS Terminal Wash Sunday, November 27, 2016 (18 comments)     

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Fidel Castro: Atheist Theologian of Liberation, Practitioner of Radical Democracy Fidel Castro was one of the greatest figures of the 20th century. He was an insightful (atheist) theologian of liberation. As a true Communist, he was more Christian than many popes.

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Why Christian Trump Supporters Hate Jesus (Sunday Homily) Trump represents the polar opposite of the values embodied in Jesus of Nazareth. In fact, Jesus was the kind of person Donald Trump and his supporters actually hate.
Series: Sunday Homilies for Progressives (76 Articles, 107967 views)

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Trumpocalypse: America Just Voted for the End of the World (Sunday Homily) Today's apocalyptic readings tell us the present order must end. The destruction of both the Democratic and Republican Parties portended by Mr. Trump's election is a very good start.
Series: Sunday Homilies for Progressives (76 Articles, 107967 views)

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Americans Just Elected Archie Bunker! Americans just elected a billionaire Archie Bunker. Better put, America's Archie Bunkers voted in Mr. Trump as (in Norman Lear's own words) "another version of themselves."

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Pope Francis and the Catholic Vote Catholics do well to make the Pope's focus their own as they enter the polling booth on Tuesday. His comprehensive pro-life concerns seem much more in tune with Jesus' Gospel than Republican pro-birthers would like us to believe.

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Donald Trump & Torture (Sunday Homily) Today's reading about the Maccabee brothers and their mother offers insight into the counterproductive effects of torture on its victims. The excruciating pain only deepens their resolve and defiance.

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Cubs Win! Cubs Win: Now Anything Is Possible Sports give us hope. They help us realize the truth of Mother Jones' observation: "You lose, you lose, you lose, you lose, and then you win."

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Maybe We Should Embrace President Trump: Is He Our Only Hope? Donald Trump represents what's needed to spark and catalyze the revolution against everything he and our country has come to embody. His election may be what's required to destroy the system as we know it and to catalyze the revolution roiling just below the surface of contemporary American life.

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"Silent Thunder": John Oliver & Jill Stein's Absence from the Third Debate Liberal funnyman, John Oliver, recently endorsed Jill Stein's exclusion from the third presidential debate in a strained, barely-comic monologue. It merits comment not only because of its shallowness, but because it discouraged expanding the narrow parameters of current political awareness.

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(Sunday Homily) Amy Goodman Shows Us How to "Pray Always" The comic parable in today's Gospel reading illustrates what it means to "pray always." Amy Goodman embodies that meaning.

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Last Night's Debate: Now That Was Really Depressing! Although he's clearly an ethical moron, Donald Trump has proven to be a brilliant debater. As in his spheres of business and taxes, he knows how to manipulate broken systems and their rules. He did it again last night.

2016 first presidential debate Thursday, September 29, 2016 (34 comments)     

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Monday's Debate: We Should All Be Embarrassed by These Liars & Frauds Our embarrassing "debate" system invites grown adults to stand before 100 million people to brag about themselves, quarrel like children, and tell obvious lies while ignoring the nation's real problems. Meanwhile, those willing to address those concerns seriously are excluded from the stage with their solutions unheard.

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"Sausage Party:" A Surprising Take-Down of Capitalism At its deepest level, "Sausage Party" is trenchantly critical of a highly theologized capitalist system. But leave the kids at home for this one.

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Colin Kaepernick as Heretical Prodigal Son (A Sunday Homily) Imagine conscientized football fans all over the country wearing their Kaepernick jerseys to games and refusing to stand for "The Star-Spangled Banner." That might be a start towards more general rebellion -- support for Black Lives Matter, war resistance, refusal to pay taxes. . .

Replace Insecure https://www.opednews.com/populum/uploadnic/kaepernick-jpg_47372_20160903-845.jpg Saturday, September 3, 2016 (41 comments)     

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Colin Kaepernick's the Real Hero, Not Desperate U.S. Soldiers We should keep Colin Kaepernick's words and example in mind the next time we're asked to stand for the National Anthem. Can we be as insightful and courageous?

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"War Dogs:" What Everybody Knows -- War Is All about the Money The "American" way of life is largely based on murder. Yet we refuse to put a stop to the killing. It's as if we see no alternatives, though they're staring us in the face.

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Scott Anderson's "How the Arab World Came Apart:" It's Not Islam; It's the Economy, Genius! At their root, conflicts in Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran, and Afghanistan have been spawned not by religion, but by anti-colonialism and by economic policies resistant to free market capitalism.

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Did Jesus Justify Armed Resistance to U.S. Imperialism? Do You? (Sunday Homily) "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." Do these words justify violent resistance to Roman imperialism? What about similar resistance to U.S. imperialism?
Series: Sunday Homilies for Progressives (76 Articles, 107967 views)

Replace Insecure https://www.opednews.com/populum/uploadnic/driving_while_black-jpeg_47372_20160804-393.jpeg Thursday, August 4, 2016 (20 comments)     

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My White Privilege Asserts Itself: The Cop Doesn't Shoot Me When I Reach for My Wallet The officer gave me no ticket though my "crimes" included speeding, outdated registration, expired proof of insurance, broken turn signal light, malfunctioning speedometer, driving a beat up car far from my own neighborhood in a predominantly white community, and reaching into my back pocket after being stopped by the police.

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Dan Berrigan: in Memoriam I knew Father Berrigan personally. He spent a spring with us here in Berea in the mid-'80s. His brother, Phil, visited Berea College more than once. Imagine actually conversing with saints like that!

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Amoris Laetitia: The Pope's Recent Publication on Family Issues is a Real Cliff-Hanger It was like a cliff-hanger novel that had me on the edge of my seat. I'm talking about Pope Francis' latest publication -- his Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Letitia: On Love in the Family. Its conclusion was thrilling.

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Our Cowardly Refusal to Believe in Yeshua's Resurrection (A Brief Sunday Homily) "BE AFRAID; BE VERY AFRAID!" That's the gospel our politicians preach to us every day. However it's a complete contradiction of this Sunday's Gospel narrative about Doubting Thomas.
Series: Sunday Homilies for Progressives (76 Articles, 107967 views)

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Face It: Donald Trump Is Right about Abortion! Trump offers the GOP and pro-lifers a lesson in logic

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(Palm Sunday Homily) Christians Supporting Donald Trump: How Luke's Passion Narrative Prepared the Way Luke's Passion Narratives reveal a first century Christian community already depoliticizing Jesus in order to please Roman imperialists. The stories turn Jesus against his own people as though they were foreign enemies of God.
Series: Sunday Homilies for Progressives (76 Articles, 107967 views)

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Why Male Clerics Promote Papal Teaching on Abortion & Contraception But Not on Climate Change Could it be that Pope Francis has finally touched on an issue that lays moral burdens on men, and not primarily on women?

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Give Up Devil-Worship for Lent:Reject U.S. Imperialism (Sunday Homily) Readings for this first Sunday of Lent tell us that empires arise only with the devil's aid. Does this mean that faithful followers of Jesus must pray for the defeat of the United States in its imperial conquests? Must we discourage our sons and daughters from joining the military?
Series: Sunday Homilies for Progressives (76 Articles, 107967 views)

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How the Catholic Right Has Domesticated Pope Francis in My Home Diocese The narrative of our diocese's discussion guide for the pope's encyclical runs like this: "Don't worry your pretty little heads about the big picture of climate change. Even the scientists aren't sure about that. And don't join any climate crusades!"

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When a Son Kills His Mother for "Apostasy" if you support a feudal order you shouldn't be surprised if a lot of people end up acting like pre-modern medievalists or like Christians in Salem.

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Democracy in Play: Capitalist Rams vs. Socialist Packers Unlike the NFL Rams, Packers' owners could never vote to move their franchise. That's because the owners are the club's fans themselves. So moving from Green Bay (pop. 104,000) even to Los Angeles (pop. 4.8 million) is out of the question.

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Christmas Is Blasphemy: Take Jesus Out of It! For "Americans" Christmas is a typical winter festival and nothing more. It has little or nothing to do with the Jesus of history.

Replace Insecure http://uziiw38pmyg1ai60732c4011.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/dropzone/2015/08/Hamilton0044r-510x340.jpg Tuesday, December 15, 2015 (2 comments)     

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The "Hamilton" Minstrel Show Lin-Manuel Miranda's feel-good musical, "Hamilton!" is a whiteface minstrel show without the grease paint. It domesticates hip-hop and has descendants of slaves and Native Americans cavort and grin for the descendants of the white Massa and Indian exterminators.

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Pope Francis on Misplaced Safety Concerns: Where's the Caution on Climate Change? The chances of a U.S. citizen being killed by a terrorist are slimmer than being struck by lightning.

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The Paris Atrocities: Some Home Truths about War In war it is insane to pretend shock when in-kind counter-attacks occur.

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(Sunday Homily) Massacres in Paris: The Apocalypse Is upon Us It may shock us to know that "apocalypse" is more sympathetic to the cause of ISIL and other "terrorists" than of the U.S. and its close ally, France.

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(Sunday Homily): Pope Francis' Address to Congress Was Much More Stinging than You Thought The lesson here is that when prophets speak, we'd best be alert to nuance and implication.

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