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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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January 15, 2017 12:14 PM PST

Sister Maura Clarke, a Catholic nun and three other women were assassinated by the El Salvadoran government in December 1980. This was a government supported by the United States. What did Sister Maura do that resulted in her violent death? Under the context of Vatican II, liberation theology, and oppressive dictatorships, we hear a story of radical faith.

Investigative journalist, Eileen Markey, whose work has appeared in New York Times, New York Magazine, Wall Street Journal, National Catholic Reporter, America, Commonweal, and Killing the Buddha. wrote Sister Maura's biography, in A Radical Faith: The Assassination of Sister Maura.

This is from America Magazine:

'No one remembered Maura thirty years later because she was the most pious or the most correct. People didn't hang her picture on their plaster wall or name their daughter after her or wipe away tears even as they smiled at the mention of her name because she was the most severe, the best at self- flagellation, the most familiar with the desert. They caressed her memory because she visited with love. When Maura talked to you, you felt beloved, person after person told me. She walked into cardboard slum shacks in Nicaragua and terrified villages in El Salvador and addressed individuals with a disarming, open kindness.

It turns out that's what the story is about. Not death and torture – on a cross or at the hands of a military junta – but warm, flowering, life-giving love.'

January 13, 2017 02:11 PM PST

53 years ago, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., delivered his famous speech, “I Have A Dream.” What has happened to the dream of a Beloved Community? Host John Shuck speaks with three activists who have a proven track record on social change about King’s dream and how it has been hijacked.

Dr. Catherine Meeks is a retired professor of socio-cultural studies at Wesleyan College. She is the editor of the newly released book, Living Into God’s Dream: Dismantling Racism in America. She serves the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta as the chari of the Beloved Community: Commission for Dismantling Racism.

The Honorable JoAnn Hardesty is president of the Portland chapter of the NAACP. She is a community organizer and activist who advocates for those on the downside of power. She campaigns for police accountability and racial and economic justice. She hosts a weekly radio program, Voices from the Edge.

Teressa Raiford is the lead organizer of “Don’t Shoot Portland” A social justice movement in support of #BlackLivesMatter as a response to police brutality and the criminalization of Black American Youth. She works as a community advocate and is currently educating neighborhoods to provide safety strategies for marginalized communities. The focus is strengthening relationships to fight discrimination and organized hate.

In addition to this special Martin Luther King birthday episode on The Beloved Community, Five Beaverton congregations, Murray Hills Christian Church, Christ United Methodist Church, Cedar Hills United Church of Christ, Spirit of Grace, and Southminster Presbyterian Church are hosting a panel discussion on racism, entitled The Dream Under Siege, Tuesday January 17th at 7 p.m. at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Beaverton. Facebook.

JoAnn Hardesty and Teressa Raiford will join Ibrahim Mubarak of Right to Survive as they lead a panel discussion on racism. Organizers of the event wanted to create an opportunity for suburban residents to interact with leading activists in Portland to talk about critical issues facing the Portland metro in regards to diversity, race, privilege, housing, policing, gentrification and economic justice.

January 08, 2017 08:14 AM PST

Known as the superego or the judge, our inner critic is the voice in our heads that is hypercritical of everything we do and of who we are. The inner critic shames us and debilitates us. How do we become free of the inner critic? The answer is mindfulness, awareness, compassion, and practice.

Mark Coleman, a meditation teacher and therapist, has written a book to help us become free of our inner critic, "Make Peace With Your Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You from Your Inner Critic." One of the tools is to be lighthearted, to mock the critic. You will enjoy this conversation and find skills and methods to go easier on yourself and to treat yourself (and others) with compassion as opposed to judgment.

January 01, 2017 04:54 AM PST

Host John Shuck of KBOO in Portland, Oregon speaks with Penpa Tsering, the new Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Office of Tibet, based in Washington DC. He was elected to this post in May. Previously he was a member of the Tibetan Parliament in exile where he served as speaker since 2011.

In this exclusive interview they discuss Tibet’s history, geography and spirituality.

What does it mean to be a country-in-exile?
How does a people who value spirituality above all else express their need to an atheistic, materialistic colonial power?

They discuss China’s demographic aggression, its exploitation of Tibet’s natural resources and environmental abuses of Tibet’s land and rivers, and the urgency before the United States to pressure China to solve peacefully the Tibet crisis. They also discuss how 13 centuries of Buddhism has shaped the people of Tibet and may be the spiritual resource that can be a beacon in a dark time of destruction for our shared Earth home.

December 25, 2016 09:05 AM PST

The Kamasutra brings to mind (and to Google searches) erotic and exotic sexual positions. OK, it is that. But it is much more. It is about the art of living. Wendy Doniger, Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago, is a leading scholar in Hinduism and mythology. She has written over forty books including Hindu Myths: A Sourcebook, Translated from the Sanskrit, The Laws of Manu, and a new translation of the Kamasutra. Her latest is Redeeming the Kamasutra. We discuss this fascinating text and the controversy it ignites still today.

December 18, 2016 07:59 AM PST

Robert Jensen is a professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas. He returns to Progressive Spirit to discuss his book, 'Plain Radical: Living, Loving, and Learning to Leave the Planet Gracefully.' He calls this book a “polemical memoir” in that it is a story of his mentor and friend, Jim Koplin, and their twenty-five year relationship. Thus it is a memoir. But it is polemical and political in that this relationship shaped Robert’s life and his radical views toward life. Ultimately, this book is an invitation to be human as industrial civilization collapses and takes the eco-system with it. How do we navigate this coming chaos summoning the best of what makes us human as opposed to the worst? How do we leave the planet gracefully? This is an interview and a book you will want to share with other awakened individuals who both grieve and hope.

Jensen’s eleven general audience books include, 'The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism, and White Privilege,' 'We Are All Apocalyptic Now: On the Responsibilities of Teaching, Preaching, Reporting, Writing, and Speaking Out,' and the forthcoming, 'The End of Patriarchy: Radical Feminism for Men.'

December 14, 2016 02:56 PM PST

John Shuck, speaks with Penpa Tsering, U.S. Representative of the Dalai Lama, about Tibet's history, China's demographic aggression and exploitation of Tibet's natural resources, China's human rights abuses of the Tibetan people and how time is running out for Tibetan autonomy.

December 11, 2016 05:16 PM PST

His guru told him to do it.

So he listened. Thus the quest began for a hippie with a medical degree to become a key player in helping to eradicate smallpox, the deadliest disease in history. Larry Brilliant tells his story in Sometimes Brilliant: The Impossible Adventure of a Spiritual Seeker and Visionary Physician Who Helped Conquer the Worst disease in History.

After sitting at the feet of Martin Luther King at the University of Michigan in 1963, Larry Brilliant was swept up into the civil rights movement, marching and protesting across America and Europe. As a radical young doctor he followed the hippie trail from London over the Khyber Pass with his wife Girija, Wavy Gravy and the Hog Farm commune to India. There, he found himself in a Himalayan ashram wondering whether he had stumbled into a cult. Instead, one of India’s greatest spiritual teachers, Neem Karoli Baba, opened Larry’s heart and told him his destiny was to work for the World Health Organization to help eradicate killer smallpox. He would never have believed he would become a key player in eliminating a 10,000-year-old disease that killed more than half a billion people in the 20th century alone.

This month on the Beloved Community host John Shuck engages one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people and winner of the TEDPrize, Larry Brilliant, in an in depth discussion about spirituality and activism. It is a testimony to life, its excruciating hardships, trust, hope, and fulfillment.

December 11, 2016 08:26 AM PST

Sue Monk Kidd has written several novels including The Secret Life of Bees, The Mermaid Chair, and The Invention of Wings. Before the novels was the story of Sue Monk Kidd’s own journey, the Dance of the Dissident Daughter: A Woman’s Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine. The 20th anniversary edition of the Dance of the Dissident Daughter has just been released. She discusses how that book shaped her novels, the quest for the Sacred Feminine, her relationship with organized religion, the effect Dance of the Dissident Daughter has had on her readers over the past 20 years, “holy misogyny,” and the grief and corresponding responsive action regarding the election.

December 04, 2016 07:15 AM PST

When many think of Tarot cards they think of a gypsy in a tent telling some rube that there is a stranger, tall, dark and handsome in her future. But Tarot is much more than fortune-telling and hocus pocus. It is a fun way to discover the "deep self." My guest, Kim Krans, author and writer from Portland, has created a beautiful Tarot card deck and accompanying guidebook, The Wild Unknown: Tarot Card and Guidebook. She finds her own path with the artistry and presents a deck that is visually arresting. I speak with Kim about Tarot and her story in creating The Wild Unknown.

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