COVID-19 is Disproportionately Killing Poor People

By Tim Nafziger

The latest analysis of fatalities in Italy caused by is that “more than 75% had high blood pressure, about 35% had diabetes and a third suffered from heart disease.”*

This takes the socio-political implications of COVID-19 to a whole new disturbing level. It means that people who don’t care about poor people (who are disproportionately impacted by diabetes and high blood pressure**) and chronically ill people may well decide that they can take the same attitude as spring breakers in Miami who say “If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I’m not going to let it stop me from partying.”*** While the reality is that anyone could die from this disease, some of us have much better survival odds than others. Continue reading

A Practice of Noticing

Alice WalkerAlice Walker, from an interview, when asked about the inspiration behind her book of poetry Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart (2015):

The advice from our Tibetan ancestors and teachers is that we learn to take the arrow – of suffering, despair, hopelessness, fear – out of our own heart first, before attempting to bring down the archer who shot it.  This involves a practice of noticing, on a deeper level than most people traditionally live, what our actual pain is.  Accepting that we are suffering, and resolving to do something about it: first, by simply noticing it.  And not letting distractions like eating too much, watching TV or Facebook entries, etc., get in the way of truly listening to, and hearing our deepest self.  It is from the deep self that inspiration and instruction comes.  We must resist oppression, of course, but we must be mindful of exactly why and how we must proceed.  In other words, some form of consistent meditation is in order.

Love in the Time of Corona Virus

RudyBy Tommy Airey

“The only regret I will have in dying is if it is not for love.”—Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera (1985)

In the rapidly shifting week between last Tuesday night when the NBA announced that rim-protector Rudy Gobert (right) tested positive for Covid-19 and Monday when the current occupier of the White House horrifically changed his language and started calling the pandemic “the Chinese Virus,” the contrast between free-market Capitalism and free-range Christianity was unpixilating in my soul. To clarify, most so-called “Christian” offerings are factory farmed, unquestionably committed to free-market fundamentalist policies—and the rugged individualistic postures they cultivate.

Continue reading

The Cognitive Dissonance of Southern Hospitality

The-Cognitive-Dissonance-of-Southern-Hospitality_674_476_90

Old Age Security Credit: Jeff M for Short

By Britney Winn Lee. Originally in Geez 56: Entertaining Angels.

Joe Marlon Lee had the same philosophy for his kitchen table as he did for his onion patch, as he did for his pond and pocketbook – what is it all for if not to be shared?

He passed that worldview down to my mother, and together with my father, she has maintained an open-backdoor, open-pantry policy for all of my life. My friends, throughout college and young adulthood and now parenthood, found a sense of place just as I found a sense of place on that piece of Louisiana acreage. An insult it almost was for someone not to make our home their home throughout my upbringing. This sentiment echoed throughout my childhood town’s pharmacy, and football stadium, and the sanctuary in which I was pruned for a world much different than the one responsible for my raising. Continue reading

o, woman

Water Transfer 3

Re-loading cases of water to deliver to victims of water shut-off.

By Jim Perkinson, on John 4:5-42, for the beloved community that meets at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church (right) at the corner of Trumbull and Michigan in Detroit.  

o, the waters, the waters, the waters

o jacob, my father
o leah, my mother
o rachel, crying after the lost ones Continue reading

The Naming Project

TNP_largeBy Logan Rimel

For seven summers in a row, I’ve gathered with the other directors and counselors of The Naming Project for a week at Bay Lake Camp in Deerwood, MN. Since summer 2012, I’ve been blessed to be a part of this faith-filled summer camp for youth ages 14-18 of all sexual orientations and gender identities, and a director there since 2017. Each summer, the counselors and directors work to create a space where LGBTQ+ and allied youth can explore the intersection and interaction of their faith, identity, and community. Continue reading

Let Us End Our Complicity in War

indexBy Bishop Tom Gumbleton. Shared from Common Dreams.

Once again, information has surfaced regarding United States governmental efforts to mislead and misinform people about disgraceful, cruel destruction caused by a United States war of choice against people who meant the U.S. no harm. In the Afghanistan Papers, the United States government officials acknowledged, privately, their own uncertainty about why they were going to war against Afghanistan in 2001. The trove of newly released documents about the 18-year war unmasked years of high-level deceit and deliberate efforts to obfuscate realities on the ground in Afghanistan. Continue reading