Powell: Setting a low bar

Jun 4, 2018 by

A recent Doonesbury comic strip by Garry Trudeau featured a pastor giving an announcement from the board of elders to a congregation about what evangelicals currently view as sin. The list of behavior that...

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Powell: A right to health care

Apr 23, 2018 by

Accessible health care has risen to the top of the list of issues facing our communities. Affordable insurance is one aspect of dealing with health concerns. It has become unaffordable for many people. Several...

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Powell: Elders help youth find their voice

Mar 12, 2018 by

I asked a friend how he understood the current assault on civil and human rights. He replied, “Same song, different concert hall. Ghost of Colonialism in A Minor.” This began an interesting conversation...

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Powell: Are you ready for Jesus?

Jan 29, 2018 by

In my last column I quoted a person who responded to the world’s chaotic state by saying, “Come, Lord Jesus!” He was a far-right evangelical Christian who supported the government’s harmful actions...

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Powell: Welcome the unwanted

Dec 18, 2017 by

Can we really celebrate the birth of Christ? We are worn down by the horrors that have held us captive. Mass executions by gun violence, rampant discrimination and potential nuclear war have put us on edge....

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Powell: The power of kneeling

Oct 30, 2017 by

Americans and Anabaptists, we have a problem. It’s a race problem. We’ve begun to have a conversation about racial injustice and the killing of black folks. But the issue keeps changing. Recently the...

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Powell: Wake the living dead

Sep 25, 2017 by

The white supremacists’ shout of “You will not replace us” in Charlottesville, Va., has been heard around the world. Alt-right and white hate groups have been emboldened by the president’s words and...

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Powell: Passing the torch to a new set of midwives

Aug 14, 2017 by

After the election of President Obama in 2008, civil rights leader and Mennonite theologian Vincent Harding used the image of midwifery to describe an emerging America. A midwife encourages the mother and...

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Powell: Courage to step up

Jul 3, 2017 by

Russia’s intervention in our democratic process and the government’s response have consumed the media’s attention lately. We are inundated with news of possible coverups by government officials. While...

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Powell: Why I sing gospel

May 22, 2017 by

It’s hard to keep focused on God’s preferred future when marginalized communities are attacked and deprived of justice. People use different coping mechanisms to deal with it. Some let anger, resentment...

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Powell: Freedom from anxiety is right around the corner

Apr 10, 2017 by

A Feb. 15 Harris poll for the American Psychological Association found Americans haven’t experienced this much stress in many years. According to the poll, 66 percent of participants are stressed about the...

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Powell: Pray, resist, act

Feb 27, 2017 by

Alternative facts promoted as truth have become a hallmark of President Trump’s administration. Sociologist and former senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, “You are entitled to your opinion. But you...

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Powell: Surviving the flood

Jan 16, 2017 by

Several days after Donald Trump became president-elect of the United States, religious leaders in Buffalo, N.Y., invited me to a meeting that explored ways to address the fear gripping their city. Noting the...

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Powell: Drum majors for justice

Dec 5, 2016 by

During the height of the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr. addressed an audience at the National Cathedral in Washington. He alluded to Washington Irving’s story of Rip Van Winkle. Rip went into...

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Powell: What kind of savior?

Oct 24, 2016 by

In a past column I asked, “Are you looking for Jesus?” I wrote that some people are looking for Jesus to provide material possessions. Their actions are geared to assure that people who are unlike them...

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Powell: A privileged position

Sep 12, 2016 by

The presidential election campaign is drawing attention to white privilege. Many whites deny they are privileged because of their skin tone. When their privilege is pointed out, some reply that affirmative...

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No more silence

Aug 1, 2016 by

My daughter is a social justice advocate in her city. We recently had a conversation about the realities of living as a person of color. At one point she said, “Dad, I’m scared!” She described an...

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Fierce urgency

Jun 20, 2016 by

As the presidential race becomes more intense, the rhetoric, division and hatred have intensified. There is a deep-seated hostility toward marginalized people. The idea of a postracial environment has taken a...

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Evangelicals for justice

May 9, 2016 by

We have heard a lot about evangelicals recently, particularly their engagement in political campaigns. Evangelical Christianity has been equated with Christian factions that support ultra-conservative...

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Prejudice finds a haven

Mar 28, 2016 by

I recently returned home from Florida by way of Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio on Interstate 75. As I traveled, I noticed several large Confederate flags along the way, including in Ohio. A large...

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