The Myth of Moral Decline: Why we believe we are getting worse and how that can used to make us worse.The Myth of Moral Decline:

One thing that seems to never change is the idea that we, as a nation or culture, are in a state of moral decline. According to polling done in 2023, 83% of people believe that the US is in a state of moral decline. However, the research on the topic highlights the fact that that is simply untrue. But that doesn’t stop people from believing it even though we are statistically morally progressing over time.  Ultimately, the state of moral values is going to be a subjective outlook on one’s view on the world and our nation. But, if 83% of … Read more

More Than Mere Words: A Look at Appropriated Linguistic Harassment

Last month, during the State of the Union address, a Georgia representative wore a shirt with the phrase “say her name” to illustrate her support of stronger border security, laws against undocumented immigrants in the US, and to push the false narrative that undocumented people are more of a threat than US citizens. However, we need to take a moment to call her actions out as what they are: appropriated linguistic harassment. A New Definition If you are saying to yourself, “I’ve never heard of that,” it’s because I made it up. It is the combination of “linguistic harassment” (the use of … Read more

Liberation is an Act of Heresy: So Be a Heretic

This week, I (Kalie) have been advocating for heresy on CPI’s platform, which may not be what everyone would expect from a platform that centers spirituality. However, the truth is, liberation only comes when people act in heretical ways to subvert the orthodoxy that upholds harmful systems. The Harm of Orthodoxy Often, many of us think of orthodoxy as a set of solidified religious beliefs that are universally held. This is what we appeal to if we point to something like the Nicaean creed and say, “these are the tenets of Christianity.” However, this is not the entire breadth of … Read more

Dehumanizing to Kill: How the Anti-Trans Narratives Enable the Death of Trans People

CW: Transphobia, dehumanization, murder, war, hate crimes Originally Published Feb 21, 2024 The news this last week on Nex’s murder has been difficult to process. One thing that strikes me the most is the complete lack of empathy by those responsible for their death. Part of the reason is that it highlights the fact that there is a certain part of our political climate that does not even recognize their humanity.And it’s intentional. I spent about nine years in the military and, during that time, I was witness to more death than I care to reflect on. However, while I … Read more

Our Language Taught Us to Misinterpret the Bible: How English is a Theological Language

One thing that post-Enlightenment Christianity has tried to defend is the idea that it is possible to come to a perfect understanding of the Bible, and thus God and theology. In many ways, this view has led to a plethora of issues that we face in western culture today as we, as a culture, often believe we are doing things the “correct” way. However, the unfortunate truth is, due to linguistics and linguistic psychology, it is virtually impossible for English-speaking Westerners to understand biblical concepts in their original meanings. The thing about English is that is has grown and changed … Read more

Considering Christ and King

Can we cultivate constancy in a culture of cooptation? Given by Maki Ashe Van Steenwyk at First Mennonite Church of San Francisco on MLK Sunday.Watch or read below. Jesus of Nazareth and Martin Luther King Jr are prime examples of liberatory leaders who have been coopted into serving empire. How can we learn from them while resisting the forces that seek to coopt our own efforts and longing for collective liberation? Some days, lately most days, it is hard to have hope. Creeping fascism, genocide, growing economic inequality, a growing number of transphobic laws, environmental crises grow.   If there … Read more

and how can it heal the world?

This is the conventional narrative: Spirituality is mostly an individual enterprise. A choose-your-own-adventure project of enlightenment or healing or growth. Spirituality helps us be better people. It helps us understand ourselves, our understanding of the world, and place in it. The Great Problems will be solved by lots of individuals tending to their own healing and growth, so they can have better thoughts and feelings, and make better choices. If enough people tend to themselves this way, it will scale up to change the world. Reflection informs intentions. Intention determine actions. If enough people choose the right sorts of actions, … Read more

When Child Sacrifice Still Remains

  The story of Abraham almost sacrificing Isaac is a rather popular story for various reasons. Even Emanuel Kant used the story in his understanding of the moral imperative. However, I believe there are hints in the story that indicate more cultural nuances then we usually pick up on.  In fact, I do not believe that Abraham is celebrated for almost sacrificing his son, but is shown that child sacrifice as worship for any deity is wrong. Unfortunately, this is still a message we need today as we continue to be given messages that push us to sacrifice our children … Read more

Countering a Theology of Hate

     For those who have been reading our social media posts and articles, it may seem like I, Kalie, have always been some kind of radical progressive. The truth is, I spent most of my life on the verge of becoming a radicalized conservative and was relatively close to becoming militaristic in my beliefs. In fact, the turning point for me was realizing that the only logical conclusion for my conservative beliefs was to actively eradicate LGBTQI2A+ people in the world. Luckily, that moment pushed me to leave those beliefs and eventually come to a place where I was … Read more

Deweaponizing the Language of Privilege

One of the many problems with white supremacy and privileged is that it is impossible to adequately convey the ramifications of actions and words back to those with privilege. In fact, supremacy and privilege rely on the fact that those who benefit from it are sheltered from the consequences that others would face in the same situation. It is why true solidarity requires listening, knowing you won’t fully know other’s experiences, and allowing yourself to understand the disproportionate threats people face. One aspect of this work is the deweaponization of weaponized language. Photo by Ali Choubin on Unsplash For example: … Read more