A Time to Speak, a Time to Pause


I’ve seen bloodthirsty demands that “public voices” must speak on every social issue.

There’s a harsh condemnation on the silence of celebrities, clergy, artists, authors, and your average blogger—as if that silence was the same as the injustice itself.

I absolutely agree we must speak up. Silence perpetuates the status quo. I believe in the the gritty necessity of protest and picket signs. We cannot sit idly by in the isolated concerns of our own four walls. Silence is the accomplice to injustice, and I expect better from those who have the golden reach of influence. Our platforms have a responsibility.

I also wonder about the hasty speed we comment on issues which are still unfolding. I wonder how many half-informed people are writing too quickly to get clicks and views and attention and to catch the viral heat of the moment. I wonder if we can both raise our voices while listening across the widening divide. I wonder how we can slow down in crisis to engage with the hurting rather than brew up a think-piece for yet another grand, eloquent, self-promoting manifesto. (I know, I’m guilty of doing the same thing here.)

And I wonder why we demand so much from public voices, as if we are waiting to be told what to think. Or worse, to validate a preprogrammed opinion. Maybe those voices indeed have the power to change things—but we do too, starting with ourselves and the people in the room. We don’t need to know everything first. We can start with the stories across from us.

It‘s physically impossible to care about everything all the time. We can choose to be passionate for just a few crucial things in our very short time on earth. It can’t be done with a flashy, trashy headline that’ll be forgotten in a week, but by the accumulative power of listening to other voices as we find our own. I cannot speak for you, but with you. And if you and I are to be a voice for the voiceless, maybe that means stepping off the stage and passing the microphone to the unheard. I want to hear you.
— J.S.


https://instagram.com/jspark3000

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News that Christians should read: Week of April 25th


Shaken, dazed residents recount tornado horrors
Leveled buildings, fallen trees and massive piles of rubble stretched across wide swaths of the South after destructive tornadoes and severe storms tore through the region.
By early Friday, the death toll from the wave of powerful storms that struck Wednesday and early Thursday was 300 people in six states. In the city of Tuscaloosa alone, at least 38 people lost their lives.

Ex-Drug Addict: I’m Forever Grateful to David Wilkerson
At 13, Justin Franich was smoking pot, cigarettes, and drinking alcohol. By 15, the pastor’s kid had already moved from cocaine to the highly addictive amphetamine called “crystal meth.” Today, Franich wants to pay tribute to the late David Wilkerson, the evangelical pastor and founder of the Christian recovery program Teen Challenge, for giving him a second chance at life.
“I am definitely forever grateful for the work that he did because without his obedience, I would have been one of those thousands upon thousands who wouldn’t be here today,” said Franich, now program director of Shenandoah Valley Teen Challenge, Inc. in Mt. Jackson, Va., to The Christian Post on Thursday.

Letting teen drink under parent’s watch backfires
That approach, scientists now say, is dead wrong.
A new study shows that teens who drink with an adult supervising are more likely to develop problems with alcohol than kids who aren’t allowed to touch the stuff till they hit age 21.

Facing Death, Christopher Hitchens Affirms Atheism
Christopher Hitchens disclosed to his atheist comrades on Friday that he has now lost his voice to esophageal cancer but his atheistic beliefs remain stronger than ever.
In a letter to the American Atheists conference, Hitchens encouraged fellow unbelievers to remain united and to carry on the “secular revolution.” “Our weapons are the ironic mind against the literal; the open mind against the credulous; the courageous pursuit of truth against the fearful and abject forces who would set limits to investigation (and who stupidly claim that we already have all the truth we need),” wrote Hitchens in the letter, which was also posted on The Richard Dawkins Foundation website on Friday.

Bizarre pornography raid underscores Wi-Fi privacy risks
“We know who you are! You downloaded thousands of images at 11:30 last night,” the man’s lawyer, Barry Covert, recounted the agents saying.
“No, I didn’t,” he insisted. “Somebody else could have but I didn’t do anything like that.”
“You’re a creep … just admit it,” they said.
Law enforcement officials say the case is a cautionary tale. Their advice: Password-protect your wireless router.
Within three days, investigators determined that the homeowner had been telling the truth: If someone was downloading child pornography through his wireless signal, it wasn’t him. About a week later, agents arrested a 25-year-old neighbor and charged him with distribution of child pornography.
“One of the agents runs up and basically throws him down the stairs, and he’s got the cuts and bruises to show for it,” said Covert, who said the homeowner plans no lawsuit. When he was allowed to get up, agents escorted him and watched as he used the bathroom and dressed.

Continue reading “News that Christians should read: Week of April 25th”