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Progressive Spirit
Spirituality ~ Social Justice
Category: Spirituality
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I am the minister of Southminster Presbyterian Church in Beaverton, Oregon (Portland Metro). www.southmin.org

by John Shuck
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September 15, 2017 03:35 PM PDT

Since 1973, Justine Willis Toms has been exploring personal, social, and spiritual transformation through her work as an electronic journalist, editor, and writer. She is the co-founder, managing producer, and host of New Dimensions Radio/Media.

She has also produced many award-winning radio series, including Deep Ecology for the 21st Century, and Bioneers: Revolution From the Heart of Nature. She is coauthor of True Work: Doing What You Love and Loving What You Do, and author of Small Pleasures: Finding Grace in a Chaotic World.

Justine, along with Michael Toms, was selected for induction to the 2011 Broadcasters Hall of Fame. In June 2004, she was one of 30 people in the world invited to participate in the Synthesis Dialogues with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. She talks with me about the 44 year broadcast adventure of New Dimensions and what she has discovered along the way.

September 08, 2017 06:39 PM PDT

My guests on this episode of the Beloved Community are passionate, engaging, lovers of life and justice. They are both artists. They present their art to transform the world.

Makana hails from the isle of O‘ahu, Makana is an internationally acclaimed slack-key guitarist, singer, composer, philosopher, activist, and one of Hawaii’s cultural ambassadors to the world. He is recognized as one of the top guitarists in the United States by Guitar Player magazine. He is going to be at the Alberta Rose on October 3rd

I also speak with John Slaughter.  He is a poet, a Black Lives Matter activist, a basketball coach and a dad to three smart and happy daughters. He is the host of Poetic Justice.

John Slaughter :00 - 25:30

Makana 25:31-56:00

September 08, 2017 06:11 PM PDT

It is now 16 years after the events of September 11th, 2001 that have changed the world. I am in the midst of a series of interviews with 9/11 skeptics and scholars.  These are sober scientists who refuse to be bullied and who present their case with analysis of the evidence.

I have spoken already with psychotherapist, Frances Shure, who is writing a series of articles entitled, “Why Do Good People Become Silent or Worse About 9/11.” I have also spoken with David Ray Griffin, sometimes called the grandfather of the 9/11 truth movement, about his latest book, Bush and Cheney: How They Ruined America and the World.

Interviews forthcoming are with Graeme MacQueen who exposed the 2001 anthrax hoax in his book, The 2001 Anthrax Deception: The Case for a Domestic Conspiracy. Dr MacQueen is a retired professor in the Religious Studies Department at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He is a member of the 9/11 Consensus Panel along with Frances Shure and David Ray Griffin.  

Also, I will speak with Dr. Leroy Hulsey, Chair of University of Alaska Fairbanks Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, who this week released a draft report of the science behind the collapse of World Trade Center Tower 7.  

In this episode, I speak with Dr. Niels Harrit, Associate Professor of Chemistry at the Nano-Science Center, University of Copenhagen; first author of “Active Thermitic Material Observed in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe” published in the Open Chemical Physics Journal in 2009.

We discuss the thermite, thermate, and nanothermite discovered in the dust of the world trade center towers, his evaluation of the reports released by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the work of the 9/11 Consensus Panel.

Niels Harrit, PhD., was born in 1945. Since 1971, he has been associate professor at University of Copenhagen. He retired from the position in 2009 and is now emeritus. Thus, he has been a researcher and teacher in the Department of Chemistry for more than forty years and has published more than 60 peer-reviewed papers in the best scientific journals. The latest publications are about time-resolved X-ray spectroscopy of ultra-fast photochemical processes and multidimensional fluorescence spectroscopy. Since 2007 he has been actively involved in the global movement for 911-truth, demanding an independent investigation of the terror attacks on September 11th, 2001. He was the leading author of a scientific paper, published in April, 2009, describing the findings of active thermitic material in the dust from the collapses of the three (!) skyscrapers of World Trade Center. He is member of the 911-consensus panel (http://www.consensus911.org/).

Over the years, Dr. Harrit has given more than 330 presentations on the collapses of the World Trade Center skyscrapers in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Holland, France, Switzerland, Spain, United Kingdom, Canada, USA, China, Australia, Russia and Iceland.

September 01, 2017 05:16 PM PDT

Did Jesus fulfill prophecy? The gospels certainly wanted early Christians to think that. That argument is made today in many evangelical circles. But does it hold water? Religious scholar, Robert J. Miller, says that it is time for Christians to retire the argument from prophecy. He shows how the gospel writers manipulated prophecies by taking them out of context, changing them, inventing them, and even creating fictional narratives about Jesus based on them to show that Jesus fulfilled prophecy. 

Miller shows that the New Testament writers “helped” Jesus fulfill prophecy in order to “prove” that Christians replaced Jews as God’s people. According to Miller, the argument from prophecy is circular, not convincing, and unnecessary. It also has left a long legacy of antisemitism.

Robert J. Miller is Rosenberger Professor of Religious Studies and Christian Thought at Juniata College in Pennsylvania. He is the author of The Jesus Seminar and Its Critics and Born Divine: The Births of Jesus and Other Sons of God. He is also editor of The Complete Gospels (Fourth Edition). His latest book that we will discuss today is called Helping Jesus Fulfill Prophecy

August 25, 2017 03:22 PM PDT

Philosopher, David Ray Griffin, just published his 12th book on 9/11 Skepticism, Bush and Cheney: How They Ruined America and the World. In this book he writes about the effects of 9/11 (toppling of governments--Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and now Syria--, the shredding of the constitution, murder by drone, increased militarism and surveillance, Islamophobia, and the neocon threat to human survival, to name a few). Griffin calls on journalists and the public to stop hiding behind fear of being called a 'conspiracy theorist' and look at the evidence instead of promoting the miraculous fantasy of the official 9/11 story. He says only truth can save us from disaster.  

Biologist, Mike Shanahan, has devoted his career to fig trees. In his book, "Gods, Wasps, and Stranglers: The Secret History and Redemptive Future of Fig Trees," he writes about the amazing fig and its 80 million year history as a keystone species. Figs have a central role in human culture and mythology and they sustain life all over Earth. We discuss the power of fig trees and the threats they face and in turn, humanity faces if we don't take notice and change. We talk figs from both a scientific point of view and a spiritual point of view.

David Ray Griffin interview 2:00 to 31:29
Mike Shanahan interview 31:30-54:00

August 18, 2017 08:58 AM PDT

Danielle Dulsky is an artist, teacher, and writer. A longtime activist for wild woman spirituality and the divine feminines return, she leads womens circles, Witchcraft workshops, energy healing trainings, and basic and advanced yoga teacher trainings.

Her website is www.danielledulsky.com.

She is on tour sharing her book, Woman Most Wild: Three Keys to Liberating the Witch Within.

August 11, 2017 10:00 AM PDT

North American culture is in transition in many ways, and religion is one of those areas that is in transition, especially away from organized religion to other avenues. As such these various avenues are resources for resistance to oppression and for positive activism in our world. 

Both of today's guests live in the Portland Metro and represent the transition that is taking place.

Karen Garst says that "Organized religion is a cultural barrier to full equality for men and women." She is the author of Women Beyond Belief: Discovering Life Without Religion.  Her website is The Faithless Feminist

Rabbi Brian calls himself "a modern-day rabbi with John Lennon’s inclusivity and a Blues Brothers mission." He lives in Portland and does most of his work on-line at Religion Outside the Box


Karen L. Garst has a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree in French. She obtained her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She moved to Oregon in 1980 to serve as field representative of the Oregon Federation of Teachers. In 1988 she was selected to serve as the executive director of the Oregon Community College Association and in 1996 as the executive director of the Oregon State Bar. She retired from that position in 2008. She is married and lives in Oregon.


Born and raised on the small island of Manhattan, Rabbi Brian grew up exceedingly rational. He thought he was going to be a math major and then an architect. Asking many ‘why’s led him to rabbinical school where he continued to struggle with the answers he received. In 2000, he left mainstream, organized, denominational religion to pursue religion-outside-the-box ( ROTB.org). In 2007 he took up working full-time as a mathematics (and life lesson) instructor where he recovered his minister’s heart. In 2015 Rabbi Brian followed his calling to nourish spiritual-religious hunger full time – no matter people’s theology, religious background, or lack of either. He lives in Portand, Oregon with his family.

Karen Garst: 1:44

Rabbi Brian: 29:30

August 11, 2017 12:00 PM PDT

Frances Shure is a Licensed Professional Counselor who is now retired from her private practice and from her position as adjunct instructor at Naropa University at Boulder, Colorado.

In her 20 years as a psychotherapist, she focused on "depth psychology," which involves both the psychodynamic and transpersonal aspects of psychological healing.

Frances Shure co-founded Colorado 9/11 Truth in 2004 and is a member of the 9/11 Consensus Panel as well as the Medical Professionals for 9/11 Truth. 

She was included with a number of other social scientists in the film 9/11: Explosive Evidence"Experts Speak Out that was produced by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. She is writing a series of articles for AE911Truth "Why Do Good People Become Silent"Or Worse"About 9/11?" These articles examine the psychological resistance to information that contradicts the official account of 9/11 or to any strongly held belief.

In this episode, we discuss the origin of the term "conspiracy theorist,' why people of color view 9/11 differently than white people, a nationalist faith, the power of belief over fact, the barriers that privilege places in terms of accepting what we know to be true, and how the fear of isolation keeps people silent. Most importantly, we discuss psychological and spiritual growth and how that is only possible when we face our fears. Finally, we discuss ways to talk about this taboo topic with others. 

August 05, 2017 10:01 AM PDT


During one year, 1967, it seemed possible that the world could be transformed by peace, love, and meditation. The assassinations, violence, and polarization of 1968 hadn’t happened, and the hippies were exploring spirituality and social justice.  
Danny Goldberg takes us back to 1967, to the music, the acid, Jefferson Airplane, Allen Ginsburg, Black Power, and Muhammad Ali.  He is the author of How the Left Lost Teen Spirit and Bumping into Geniuses: MY Life Inside the Rock and Roll Business. Danny Goldberg is president of Gold Village entertainment and author of the book we will discuss today: In Search of the Lost Chord: 1967 and the Hippie Idea


July 28, 2017 05:05 PM PDT
Sean Kerrigan, author of "Bureaucratic Insanity: The American Bureaucrat’s Descent into Madness," says that civilization is about the concentration of power. We are at a point now in which bureaucracy has stripped our lives of meaning. We will talk about bureaucracy, collapse, and finding ways to resist. I also speak with Daina Ramey Berry, associate professor of history and African and African Diaspora Studies, at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of "The Price for Their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to Grave, in the Building Of A Nation." The overarching theme this week is the commodification of human beings and how we can reclaim and assert our humanity and the humanity of others.
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