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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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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.
July 21, 2017 04:58 PM PDT
Were the early Christians communists? Roman Montero makes the case that they were and backs it up with his book "All Things In Common: The Economic Practices of the Early Christians." Roman A. Montero spends a lot of time studying early Chrstianity, Koine Greek, early Christian texts, and the historical context of second temple Judaism
July 14, 2017 04:08 PM PDT
The Walking Dead. The Night of the Living Dead. Sean of the Dead. Z Nation. We can't seem to get enough of the zombies. So what is that about?   Greg Garrett is Professor of English at Baylor University, where he teaches classes in fiction and screenwriting, literature, film and popular culture, and theology. The author or coauthor of twenty books on fiction, nonfiction, and memoir, Garrett (according to the BBC) is one of Americas leading voices on religion and culture.   Professor Garrett says that we love killing zombies for a number of reasons. When societies face looming catastrophes and fears, zombies rise. His book is "Living with the Living Dead: The Wisdom of the Zombie Apocalypse."
July 07, 2017 05:13 PM PDT
This is an encore podcast of my conversation with Matthew Fox that I previously released in November 2016. Matthew Fox. Silenced by the Vatican for his views, left the Catholic priesthood in the early 1980s. Matthew Fox is a theologian and activist who has written over 30 books. He has introduced millions of people to Creation Spirituality. His latest book, published in 2016 is called "A Way to God: Thomas Merton’s Creation Spirituality Journey." According to Fox, Merton was assassinated by the CIA. We will talk more about that as well as have a candid conversation about ecology, human rights, capitalism, and resistance.
June 29, 2017 01:08 PM PDT
Politicians like to misquote Jesus to slash programs for the poor. Republican congressman, Roger Marshall of Kansas misused a quote from Jesus to support his program to reduce healthcare benefits for the poor. This is from the article on Stat from March 3rd, 2017: “Just like Jesus said, ‘The poor will always be with us,’” he said. “There is a group of people that just don’t want health care and aren’t going to take care of themselves.” Did Jesus really say, “The poor will always be with us?” What is the exact quote? What is the context? What did Jesus really mean? How do we respond to politicians who use the Bible and Jesus to cut aid to those most in need? Liz Theoharis is fighting back. She is the founder and co-director of the Kairos Center for religions, Rights, and Social Justice and coordinator of the Poverty Initiative at Union Theological Seminary, New York City. An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Theoharis has spent the last two decades organizing among the poor in the United States and worldwide. She is the author of “Always with us? What Jesus Really Said About the Poor.”
June 22, 2017 12:49 PM PDT

The good citizen defends his castle.   Punks, thieves, thugs, and rapists don’t stand a chance against a 44 Magnum in the hands of the good guy who stands his ground.   That is the myth.  The reality is that America’s love affair with guns and lethal self-defense has not made America safer, just more violent and more afraid.   

Harvard Professor Caroline Light explores the development of the American right to self-defense and reveals how the original “duty to retreat” from threat was transformed into a selective right to kill. In her book, Stand Your Ground:  A History of America’s Love Affair with Lethal Self-Defense, Professor Light traces white America’s attachment to racialized, lethal self-defense by unearthing its complex legal and social histories—from the original “castle laws” of the 1600s, which gave white men the right to protect their homes, to the brutal lynching of “criminal” Black bodies during the Jim Crow era and the radicalization of the NRA as it transitioned from a sporting organization to one of our country’s most powerful lobbying forces.

 Unlike the mythology of Dirty Harry and redemptive violence, America’s stand your ground culture and laws that accompany it do not protect the vulnerable against Mr. Stranger Danger.  Just the opposite. 

 Professor Light exposes a history hidden in plain sight, showing how violent self-defense has been legalized for the most privileged and used as a weapon against the most vulnerable.

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