August 2020 Newsletter
Issue #42
Moral Courage
People who are willing to take a stand and speak truth to power regarding their beliefs and values tend to have some common characteristics. These include:
  • Feeling good about themselves
  • The ability to stand up to peer pressure
  • Believing in their own views
  • Less socially inhibited
  • Have seen moral courage in action before
  • Feeling empathy for others
  • Can imagine the world from someone else’s perspective
  • Have spent time with and gotten to know people from different backgrounds
  • Are able to see different minority groups in positive ways
  • Are able to argue from reason rather resorting to emotional tactics such as mocking, bullying & name-calling
For more Public Witnessing resources, click here.
Current Research Data
34% of Americans would like to see immigration to the U.S. increased. This is up from 27% a year ago and the highest support since 1965. This is the first time that the percentage of those wanting to increase immigration has exceeded the percentage of those who want to decrease it.

A record-low 54% of Americans consider the death penalty to be morally acceptable, marking a 6 point decrease since last year. There is also a record-high preference for life imprisonment over the death penalty.

Over-fishing and loss of habitat have had a devastating impact on migratory fish, causing a 76% drop in less than 50 years. Almost 33% of all freshwater species are threatened with extinction, with migratory fish disproportionately threatened.
These catastrophic declines could impact people and ecosystems around the world.

63% of Americans say churches and other houses of worship  should stay out of politics while 36% say churches and other houses of worship  should  express their views on social and political matters.

Becoming Brave: Finding the Courage to Pursue Racial Justice Now
By Brenda Salter McNeil. Calls the church to repair the old reconciliation paradigm by moving beyond individual racism to address systemic injustice, both historical and present. Looking through the lens of the biblical narrative of Esther, challenges Christian reconcilers to recognize the particular pain in the world so they can work together to repair what is broken while maintaining a deep hope in God's ongoing work for justice. Challenges Christians to be everyday activists who become brave enough to break the silence and work with others to dismantle systems of injustice and inequality. Learn more.
(Available August 18)
For more on Racism , click here.
Jesus, King of Strangers:
What the Bible Really Says about Immigration
By Mark W. Hamilton. Examines the Bible’s key ideas about human movement and the relationship between migrants and their hosts. Argues that reclaiming the biblical language will free the church from hyper-nationalism and fear-driven demagoguery. Read more.
For more on Immigration , click here.
A Night at the Garden
A short documentary from PBS, nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary-Short Subject. Made entirely from archival footage from an event that occurred in 1939 when 20,000 Americans gathered in Madison Square Garden for a Nazi rally. Watch now.
For more on Religious Intolerance , click here.
The Borgen Project
Works to make poverty a focus of U.S. foreign policy. Concerned with how poverty affects U.S. jobs, national security and overpopulation and highlights inventions helping the poor. Learn more.
F  or more on Poverty , click here.
The Vote
A Frontline documentary from PBS that tells the story of the campaign waged by American women for the right to vote — a transformative cultural and political movement that resulted in the largest expansion of voting rights in U.S. history. Explores how and why millions of 20th-century Americans mobilized for — and against — women’s suffrage. The film brings to life the leaders of the movement and the controversies over gender roles and race that divided Americans then — and continues to dominate political discourse today. Watch now. 
For more on Gender Inequality , click here.
Caring for Our Common Home:
A Practical Guide to Laudato Si'
By Catherine Wright. Helps readers answer the question, "What kind of world we want to leave those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?” Exposes some of the problems we are facing, engaging with the theology of Laudato Sí', and offering a way for people of faith to move from theory to a practical and faithful commitment to creation as set forth by the gospel. Read more. 
For more on the Environment , click here.
How Southern Socialites Rewrote
Civil War History
A short documentary from Vox, that tells the story of how the United Daughters of the Confederacy used their influence after the Civil War to idealize Southern culture before the war and to minimize slavery as the primary cause of the war itself.
For more on Racism , click here.
War Resisters' International
A global network of over 90 grassroots anti-militarist and pacifist groups in 40 countries, working together for a world without war. Learn more.
For more on War , click here.
Poor People's Campaign:
A National Call for Moral Revival
A broad, fusion movement that unites poor and impacted communities based on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s and many others call for a “revolution of values” in America. Confronts the interlocking evils of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation, militarism, the war economy, and the distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism. Offers a wide variety of "Fact Sheets" related to these issues organized by state. Learn more.
For more on Poverty , click here.
A is for Asylum Seeker:
Words for People on the Move
By Rachel Ida Buff. Re-frames key words that describe people on the move. Written to correct the demeaning of terms by rhetoric and policies based on dehumanization and profitable incarceration, this glossary provides an inter-sectional and historically grounded consideration of the words deployed in an enflamed debate. Skipping some letters of the alphabet while repeating others, thirty terms cover everything from Asylum-seeker to Zero Tolerance Policy. Each entry begins with a contemporary or historical story for illustration and then proceeds to discuss the language politics of the word. The book balances terms affected by current political debates―such as “migrant,” “refugee,” and “illegal alien”―and terms that offer historical context to these controversies, such as “fugitive,” “unhoused,” and “vagrant.” Rendered in both English and Spanish, offers a unique perspective on the journeys, histories, challenges, and aspirations of people on the move. Enhancing the book’s utility as an educational and organizing resource, the author provides a list of works for further reading as well as a directory of immigration-advocacy organizations throughout the United States. Read more.
For more on Refugees , click here.
USA Spending
Tracks federal spending to allow taxpayers see how their money is being used in communities across America. Provides tools to help navigate spending from top to bottom.  Learn more.
For more on the U.S. Budget , click here.
Dorothy Day:
Dissenting Voice of the American Century
By John Loughery & Blythe Randolph. A biography of the dedicated modern-day pacifist, outspoken advocate for the poor, and lifelong anarchist. Explores the life, legacy, and spirituality of the Catholic activist. Read more.
For more Justice resources, click here.
Voting and Faithfulness:
Catholic Perspectives on Politics
Edited by Nicholas P. Cafardi. Fifteen essays aimed at voters on a variety of topics such as faithful citizenship, how Catholics perceive and talk about issues such as war, life issues, character issues, and how our bishops teach. Read more.
For more resources on Politics , click here.
The U.S. Should Take Germany's Lead
on Facing Down a Violent History
A short video featuring Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy, who talks about how the U.S. should respond like other nations that have violence and oppression in their histories. Watch now.
For more on Racism , click here.
Blue Gold - World Water Wars
Documentary that examines the environmental and political implications of the decrease in water supply on the planet, and postulates that the wars of the future will be waged on water. The film also highlights some success stories of water activists around the world and calls for community action. The film is based on the book Blue Gold: The Right to Stop the Corporate Theft of the World's Water by Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke. Watch now
For more on Water Access , click here.

How Can I Keep from Singing
140 singers and musicians from New York City sing together this classic song as a virtual choir and orchestra. Listen now.
Sing Gently As One
Over 17,000 singers from 129 countries sing together virtually this song by Eric Whitacre. Listen now.
  Important Dates This Month
Individuals Honored This Month
August 9th
If the Church stays silent in the face of what is happening, what difference would it make if no church ever opened again?
August 14th
The most deadly poison of our times is indifference.
August 15th
The life of "peace" is both an inner journey toward a disarmed heart and a public journey toward a disarmed world. This difficult but beautiful journey gives infinite meaning and fulfillment to life itself because our lives become a gift for the whole human race. With peace as the beginning, middle, and end of life, life makes sense.
August 21st
What is a pilgrimage? Isn't it a group of people, in the company of one another, who are travelling together for a holy purpose? Our journey is a pilgrimage that has Jesus Christ as both its origin and its destination.
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