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Repaso: February 15, 2013


1. Swords into plowshares, Kalashnikovs into xylophones
While watching this short BBC clip about what’s become of 7000 guns seized by police in Ciudad Juarez (the infamous “Murder Capital of the World”) I couldn’t help but think of the words of the prophet Isaiah and the hope that one day, all things will be made new.

2. Remembering Richard Twiss
Many of us were saddened to hear the news that Native American author and theologian Richard Twiss passed away last weekend after suffering a heart attack. I really appreciated his reconciliation work, including his writing and speaking. A number of tributes to Richard have been written over the past week, including this one from the Out of Ur blog, this one from Sojourners, and this one in Charisma by my friend Mark Charles.

3. The redemption of hipsterdom
Paul Bowers – “a skinny-jeans-wearing, Pitchfork-reading, banjo-playing writer for an alt-weekly newspaper” – writes in Patrol:

A word to my generation: It’s fine to make jokes, but know that not everything is a joke. We talk about hipsters on the internet not only because we love to hate them, but also because looking at them is a good way of looking at our own values. Well, I’m here to report that there are good and honest hipsters in our midst. But you’ve probably never heard of them.

4. Keeping a holy Lent
Father Thomas McKenzie writes:

Keeping Lent is designed to make more room for the Holy Spirit in your life. Keeping Lent may or may not lead to feelings of joy, sorrow, happiness, or anger. You may or may not alienate a friend, have a spiritual experience, lose weight, or feel grouchy at work. Keeping Lent will not make you more holy or beloved in the eyes of God. Keeping Lent will not save you. Keep Lent anyway.

5. Obama, literature, and drones
Novelist and photographer Teju Cole (whose book Open City I reviewed last year), has written a troubling but important piece for the New Yorker about the drone program being executed by our “reader in chief”:

This ominous, discomfiting, illegal, and immoral use of weaponized drones against defenseless strangers is done for our sakes. But more and more we are seeing a gap between the intention behind the President’s clandestine brand of justice and the real-world effect of those killings. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words against the Vietnam War in 1967 remain resonant today: “What do they think as we test our latest weapons on them?” We do know what they think: many of them have the normal human reaction to grief and injustice, and some of them take that reaction to a vengeful and murderous extreme. In the Arabian peninsula, East Africa, and Pakistan, thanks to the policies of Obama and Biden, we are acquiring more of the angriest young enemies money can buy. As a New York Times report put it last year, “Drones have replaced Guantánamo as the recruiting tool of choice for militants.”

6. New York Biotopes

Repaso is intended as a thought-provoking compilation of news and commentary related to the intersections of faith, development, justice, and peace. As always, I welcome your thoughts on any of the links and ideas in this roundup!

[Photo credit: “This drumlike instrument is among those that Mexican sculptor Pedro Reyes creates from parts of seized weapons” via]

1 Comment so far

  1. Hola Tim! Loved this Repaso. Felt like I got up to date on all the cool thoughs/goings on even though I have had my head and heart burried in the cloud rainforest.
    Hey, I wanted to get your thoughts on this video: Not sure if this is the right place to do it but here it goes regardless (please refer to a better forum if you see the need). As you know I am not fan of economic based community development efforts and prefer initiatives that look at the person/community as a whole (socially, spiritually, community, ecology, family, education). In my humble opinion, efforts based on transformational development (education, governance, etc.) create the foundation for a healthy development, part of which is economic, and we should avoid the temptation to put the cart in front of the horse by prioritizing economic initiatives as our mission/development strategy. I particularly was interested by the voice from Kenya that stated that micro-financing efforts were leading to social stratification rather that equity. Although the voice from Palestine is very contextualized, the idea that outside efforts enable local governance to neglect their social/governenace responsibilities, I do think it applies on a micro scale to our efforts in missions and faith based NGOs. Quite honestly it gives me encouragement in our work that although much slower will eventually provide great fruit. Look forward to your comments! Bendiciones hermano, Tomás

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