Monday night, the Grammys got political. While the hip hop duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performed “Same Love” (though it always seems to me that Ryan Lewis lurks around in the background more than he performs), Queen Latifah officiated a wedding for thirty-three couples, representative of multiple ages, sexual orientations, and racial backgrounds. Out of the entirety of the Grammy’s ceremony, this seven minute clip was the only part I watched, on the internet, long after the ceremony had closed. To me, this was the only segment of the Grammys that mattered.

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The news is full of Christians turning on each other

All too often, we hear politicians and celebrities using divisive rhetoric to divide Christians up into groups they call “believers” and “nonbelievers,” and pit them against each other. Recently we have heard Joshua Black make the claim that it’s time to arrest and “hang [President Obama] high,” this right after Phil Robertson was waxing philosophical on the sinfulness of homosexuality.

Farther down in the headlines are the stories of retired United Methodist pastor, The Rev. Dr. Tom Ogletree, who is also a former dean of Yale Divinity School and is soon going to trial for officiating at a same-sex wedding, and Valerie Lu, a Lutheran elementary school teacher who was accused of confiscating Christmas gifts a child wanted to give out at her school, candy canes affixed with the legend of how a candy maker invented them to symbolize the life of Christ.

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Charles deGravelles

Charles deGravelles

By Charles deGravelles

This is the fourth installment in a series called “The Quest for Peace in a World of Violence.” Charles deGravelles is an Episcopal deacon, chaplain and teacher at Episcopal High School of Baton Rouge where he teaches a course in peace and conflict studies. In the first installment, deGravelles wrote about his inspiration for the class and its inception. In the second installment, he wrote about class trips he took with his students to show them how the “pieces” of violence interconnect. In the third installment, he wrote about the lessons his students learned during a trip to Angola.

At our final meeting of this semester-long course, my seventeen students and I shared beignets and coffee and reflected on what we’d experienced and on our four major accomplishments, which the next set of students—starting January 6—would have to build on.

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