Several prominent political and religious leaders challenged the Church to shed its institutional "white privilege" and exercise a "restraint of [white] power" at an influential gathering of 2,500 mostly young Evangelicals in Chicago June 5-6.
The annual Justice Conference is described by organizers as "one of the largest international gatherings on social and biblical justice." Hosted by the humanitarian non-profit World Relief, this year's conference theme included fostering racial justice and furthering the #BlackLivesMatter movement among the Church.
To deliver the opening address, World Relief invited keynote speaker Cornel West, honored member of the Democratic Socialists of America, political activist and Union Theological Seminary professor. more >>
Contrary to previous research, Republican state cultures do a better job at promoting family stability than Democratic state cultures, when controlling for other factors, according to a research brief published by the Institute for Family Studies.
The relationship between stable families and voting in presidential elections is a U-shaped curve, the research found, in which the most stable families are found in both the most Republican and the most Democratic states. When controlling for race/ethnicity and education, however, there is a positive relationship between Republican states and stable families.
The brief, "Red State Families: Better Than We Knew," was authored by sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox, senior fellow at the IFS and a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and psychologist Nicholas Zill. more >>
A white Texas elementary school teacher who suggested on Facebook that "blacks" might be better off being "segregated on one side of town" in response to the controversial pool party incident in McKinney has been fired.
Frenship Independent School District officials revealed in a statement this week that they fired Karen Fitzgibbons, a fourth-grade teacher at Bennett Elementary School in Wolfforth, Texas, for making the controversial post.
"On Wednesday afternoon, Frenship Independent School District was made aware of a statement posted on a Facebook page by a Frenship ISD employee earlier this week. Frenship ISD is deeply disappointed in the thoughtlessness conveyed by this employee's post. We find these statements to be extremely offensive, insensitive, and disrespectful to our Frenship community and citizens everywhere," said the school district in the statement. more >>
Days before the Justice Conference opened last Friday, conference organizers almost cancelled the event's headline speaker, Dr. Cornel West. That's according to Stephan Bauman, President and CEO of World Relief, which sponsored the conference. Bauman said West – a prominent socialist, activist, and proponent of black liberation theology – sparked considerable protest from World Relief's conservative constituency.
"Cornel West is controversial among conservatives," Bauman said. "And, some of those conservatives were concerned about Cornel West's track record, his history . . . And, I respect that. I understand that."
During the conference, Bauman told me that he and conference organizers decided to keep West because they wanted to "have dialogue about the things (West) may see differently than others," like race relations. They also felt West was someone who is "deeply in love with Jesus." more >>
An interfaith group of religious leaders who advocate for abortion has called on the Obama administration to pressure countries that have restrictions on the procedure to lift their bans for women who've been raped and impregnated by members of terrorist groups such as ISIS and Boko Haram. Pro-life activists, however, argue that the proposal is "reprehensible."
On Thursday, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice — which previously told The Christian Post that the organization opposes any restrictions on abortion, including during the third trimester — and the Center for Health and Gender Equity held a "Faith Leaders' Summit" on the issue, just steps from the White House at St. John's Episcopal Church.
Christian, Muslim and Jewish leaders called for changes to be made to the Helms Amendment (named after the-late Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C.), which is a 42-year-old federal law that prevents U.S. foreign aid from being used to fund abortion "as a method of family planning or to motivate or coerce any person to practice abortion." more >>
About 2,500 people will gather in Chicago's Auditorium Theater tonight and tomorrow for the Justice Conference and hear some top evangelical speakers champion the plight of the marginalized and poor. They also will hear some voices far outside evangelicalism do the same, including prominent socialist, activist and professor at Union Theological Seminary, Cornel West. Also, leading a panel discussion on racial justice will be Rev. Otis Moss III, the successor to President Obama's former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.
According to Stephan Bauman, president and CEO of World Relief, which is sponsoring the conference, this wide diversity is by design. "What we have done with the conference in the past, and are certainly doing this year," Bauman said, is "bring in a voice that might be more controversial or liberal, like Cornel West," but then "complement his voice with much more mainstream evangelical voices like Louie Giglio or Bob Goff or even Eugene Cho. . . . So, let's bring out the broader voice of justice and let people decide what's true, what's right."
Some evangelical leaders, though, are expressing concern that those attending the conference may not be prepared to critically analyze the ideas they will hear. Both West and Moss are proponents of black liberation theology – a theological perspective that views Christianity as a means of liberating black people from white oppression. more >>