A Mexican immigrant and rising star within the Christian community abandons his faith and comes out as a gay atheistIn this exceptionally moving and soul-searching memoir, Fernando Alcántar recounts his incredible journey from poor Catholic boy on the dusty streets of Mexico to globetrotting missionary and high-profile Christian leader in the United States—where he eventually left his celebrated life behind to advocate for the liberating power of reason and equality. With heart-wrenching honesty, he shares stories of trauma, tragedy, prejudice, uncertainty, survival, and, ultimately, discovery. In the process, he gives a voice to thousands who are hiding in the shadows, afraid to publicly question their religious or sexual identity for fear of isolation and retaliation. He also makes a call for tolerance and understanding, while heralding the natural beauty of human qualities like courage, kindness, and love.
The story of religion in the twenty-first-century West has been defined, in part, by the stories of once-zealous pastors moving beyond their faith to embrace a life of reason. But too often and too quickly ardent believers dismiss such accounts as aberrations and fail to consider the real-life implications for those who make this transition. Atheists and other skeptics, meanwhile, struggle to understand what took these individuals so long to make such a journey—and why others aren't lining up more quickly to do the same. As a result, the questions posed by one side inevitably mirror those asked by the other. Why do believers trust in God the way they do? But what factors lead atheists to dismiss religious beliefs so easily? How can believers have faith in the face of known science and history? But what allows anyone to be so sure their beliefs are based in reality? What would it take for believers to stop believing in God? But what would it take for nonbelievers to start to believe? Drawing on the author's own story as a former evangelical pastor powerless to stop his turn to atheism, The Rise and Fall of Faith touches on these and other questions, inviting readers into a long-overdue conversation between Christians and atheists. While the aim of the book is to initiate this much-needed discussion, the author encourages all who care about the future of humanity to carry the dialogue forward—whether in the evaluation of our own inner thoughts, in the assumptions we make about the other side, or in how we work together in the pursuit of understanding and common ground as we navigate the world's ever-changing and increasingly challenging religious and cultural landscape.
"Migration has been happening, in varying forms, for millennia but it still elicits fear and mistrust, and not just on the part of the "receiving" society. Communities from where people migrate often disapprove of the migrants' decision and consider it treacherous. The recent reawakening of the debate about migration in the new millennium has evoked intense emotion particularly in the United States and Europe. Global Crossings cuts through the jungle of myth, falsehood and misrepresentation that dominates the debate, clarifying the causes and consequences of human migration. Why do millions of people continue to risk their lives, and oftentimes lose it, in the pursuit of a chance to establish themselves in a foreign land? The book first looks at the immigrant experience, which connects the present to the past, and America to the rest of the world, and explores who immigrants are and why they move. The conduct of today is no different than that in the past. And contrary to the claims by immigration critics, the patterns of contemporary migration do not differ fundamentally from those of other epochs. Global Crossings then discusses immigration and culture. To what degree are foreigners culturally different? Can natives adapt? Can immigrants assimilate into the new society? In assessing whether critics are justified in pointing to a major cultural shift Alvaro Vargas Llosa reviews such topics as religion, education, entrepreneurial spirit, and attitudes toward the receiving society. The book analyzes such economic factors as jobs, wages, education, and the welfare state. How can an economy continue to operate even in the face of major legal obstacles, and how have recessions and times of prosperity influenced--more significantly than government efforts--the number of immigrants coming into the United States and other countries? Vargas Llosa finds that immigration's contributions to an economy far outweigh the costs. Finally Global Crossings makes a call for open minds and provides a pro-immigration agenda for reform. The erosion of national boundaries is already underway as people become ever more inter-connected across borders. This process will make immigration a defining force in the arena of competitive globalization and the people of those countries who embrace immigration will enjoy more prosperous, peaceful, and freer lives in the emerging world."--Book jacket.
Lets be honest. We all have scars and dysfunctions and have been through something. You struggled through a life challenge. Your closest friend may not know it, but God does. What trials have happened or are still happening to you? Are you willing to show your scars? It takes faith to believe that the emotional and spiritual wounds of the trial are healed, even though there are still evident scars. God led my family and me through a testing trial to create high-level faith in our hearts. Sometimes God allows you to walk through your journey and lets you wander, question, and challenge your belief. As an episodic memoir, this book depicts childhood experiences in Zimbabwe and an expedited family relocation to the United States. Although settling in America came with its natural challenges, nobody in my family anticipated my older brother facing a spiritual condition that would inhibit him from even attending school for several years. Family strife from my fathers side of the family has played a huge role for the woman I have become today. I am thankful for them. It would all make more sense later as an adult when I learned of the biblical story of Joseph. There are clear parallel experiences. After experiencing such betrayal by close relatives, what would all the midnight tears accumulate to? Today, I have learned to say, Here I am, Lord. Have your way.
Author: Margaret Regan
Publisher: Beacon Press
Release Date: 2010-10-13
Genre: Social Science
Dispatches from Arizona—the front line of a massive human migration—including the voices of migrants, Border Patrol, ranchers, activists, and others For the last decade, Margaret Regan has reported on the escalating chaos along the Arizona-Mexico border, ground zero for immigration since 2000. Undocumented migrants cross into Arizona in overwhelming numbers, a state whose anti-immigrant laws are the most stringent in the nation. And Arizona has the highest number of migrant deaths. Fourteen-year-old Josseline, a young girl from El Salvador who was left to die alone on the migrant trail, was just one of thousands to perish in its deserts and mountains. With a sweeping perspective and vivid on-the-ground reportage, Regan tells the stories of the people caught up in this international tragedy. Traveling back and forth across the border, she visits migrants stranded in Mexican shelters and rides shotgun with Border Patrol agents in Arizona, hiking with them for hours in the scorching desert; she camps out in the thorny wilderness with No More Deaths activists and meets with angry ranchers and vigilantes. Using Arizona as a microcosm, Regan explores a host of urgent issues: the border militarization that threatens the rights of U.S. citizens, the environmental damage wrought by the border wall, the desperation that compels migrants to come north, and the human tragedy of the unidentified dead in Arizona’s morgues. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Immigration is one of the most complicated issues of our time. Voices on all sides argue strongly for action and change. Christians find themselves torn between the desire to uphold laws and the call to minister to the vulnerable. In this book World Relief staffers Matthew Soerens and Jenny Hwang move beyond the rhetoric to offer a Christian response to immigration. They put a human face on the issue and tell stories of immigrants' experiences in and out of the system. With careful historical understanding and thoughtful policy analysis, they debunk myths and misconceptions about immigration and show the limitations of the current immigration system. Ultimately they point toward immigration reform that is compassionate, sensible and just, as they offer concrete ways for you and your church to welcome and minister to your immigrant neighbors.
Michael likes to hang out with his friends and play with the latest graphic design software. His parents drag him to rallies held by their anti-immigrant group, which rails against the tide of refugees flooding the country. And it all makes sense to Michael. Until Mina, a beautiful girl from the other side of the protest lines, shows up at his school, and turns out to be funny, smart -- and a Muslim refugee from Afghanistan. Suddenly, his parents' politics seem much more complicated. Mina has had a long and dangerous journey fleeing her besieged home in Afghanistan, and now faces a frigid reception at her new prep school, where she is on scholarship. As tensions rise, lines are drawn. Michael has to decide where he stands. Mina has to protect herself and her family. Both have to choose what they want their world to look like.
The well-known and very popular Catholic couple, Scott and Kimberly Hahn, have been constantly travelling and speaking all over North America for the last few years about their conversion to the Catholic Church. Now these two outstanding Catholic apologists tell in their own words about the incredible spiritual journey that led them to embrace Catholicism. Scott Hahn was a Presbyterian minister, the top student in his seminary class, a brilliant Scripture scholar, and militantly anti-Catholic ... until he reluctantly began to discover that his "enemy" had all the right answers. Kimberly, also a top-notch theology student in the seminary, is the daughter of a well-known Protestant minister, and went through a tremendous "dark night of the soul" after Scott converted to Catholicism. Their conversion story and love for the Church has captured the hearts and minds of thousands of lukewarm Catholics and brought them back into an active participation in the Church. They have also influenced countless conversions to Catholicism among their friends and others who have heard their powerful testimony. Written with simplicity, charity, grace and wit, the Hahns' deep love and knowledge of Christ and of Scripture is evident and contagious throughout their story. Their love of truth and of neighbor is equally evident, and their theological focus on the great importance of the family, both biological and spiritual, will be a source of inspiration for all readers.
"Part treatise, part memoir, part call to action, Tell Me How It Ends inspires not through a stiff stance of authority, but with the curiosity and humility Luiselli has long since established." —Annalia Luna, Brazos Bookstore "Valeria Luiselli's extended essay on her volunteer work translating for child immigrants confronts with compassion and honesty the problem of the North American refugee crisis. It's a rare thing: a book everyone should read." —Stephen Sparks, Point Reyes Books "Tell Me How It Ends evokes empathy as it educates. It is a vital contribution to the body of post-Trump work being published in early 2017." —Katharine Solheim, Unabridged Books "While this essay is brilliant for exactly what it depicts, it helps open larger questions, which we're ever more on the precipice of now, of where all of this will go, how all of this might end. Is this a story, or is this beyond a story? Valeria Luiselli is one of those brave and eloquent enough to help us see." —Rick Simonson, Elliott Bay Book Company "Appealing to the language of the United States' fraught immigration policy, Luiselli exposes the cracks in this foundation. Herself an immigrant, she highlights the human cost of its brokenness, as well as the hope that it (rather than walls) might be rebuilt." —Brad Johnson, Diesel Bookstore "The bureaucratic labyrinth of immigration, the dangers of searching for a better life, all of this and more is contained in this brief and profound work. Tell Me How It Ends is not just relevant, it's essential." —Mark Haber, Brazos Bookstore "Humane yet often horrifying, Tell Me How It Ends offers a compelling, intimate look at a continuing crisis—and its ongoing cost in an age of increasing urgency." —Jeremy Garber, Powell's Books
A Home on the Field is about faith, loyalty, and trust. It is a parable in the tradition of Stand and Deliver and Hoosiers—a story of one team and their accidental coach who became certain heroes to the whole community. For the past ten years, Siler City, North Carolina, has been at the front lines of immigration in the interior portion of the United States. Like a number of small Southern towns, workers come from traditional Latino enclaves across the United States, as well as from Latin American countries, to work in what is considered the home of industrial-scale poultry processing. At enormous risk, these people have come with the hope of a better life and a chance to realize their portion of the American Dream. But it isn't always easy. Assimilation into the South is fraught with struggles, and in no place is this more poignant than in the schools. When Paul Cuadros packed his bags and moved south to study the impact of the burgeoning Latino community, he encountered a culture clash between the long-time residents and the newcomers that eventually boiled over into an anti-immigrant rally featuring former Klansman David Duke. It became Paul's goal to show the growing numbers of Latino youth that their lives could be more than the cutting line at the poultry plants, that finishing high school and heading to college could be a reality. He needed to find something that the boys could commit to passionately, knowing that devotion to something bigger than them would be the key to helping the boys find where they fit in the world. The answer was soccer. But Siler City, like so many other small rural communities, was a football town, and long-time residents saw soccer as a foreign sport and yet another accommodation to the newcomers. After an uphill battle, the Jets soccer team at Jordan-Matthews High School was born. Suffering setbacks and heartbreak, the majority Latino team, in only three seasons and against all odds, emerged poised to win the state championship.
Publisher: W W Norton & Company Incorporated
Release Date: 2003
A collection of first-person narratives and anecdotes, close-up portrait photographs, and the author's personal and historical reflections capture the rich ethnic diversity of the people and landscapes of the borough of Queens in New York City, in a volume that comes complete with an audio rendition of the oral histories and music by composer Scott Johnson. Original.
Author: John F. Kennedy
Release Date: 2018-10-16
Genre: Social Science
This significant contribution to the debate on immigration reform was President John F. Kennedy’s final book and is as timely now as it was when it was first published—now reissued for its 60th anniversary, with a new introduction and foreword. “In this book, President Kennedy tells us what immigrants have done for America, and what America has done for its immigrants. It is one of the dramatic success stories of world history.... It can stand as a testament to a cause President Kennedy cherished, and which we should carry on.” — Robert F. Kennedy Throughout his presidency, John F. Kennedy was passionate about the issue of immigration reform. He believed that America is a nation of people who value both tradition and the exploration of new frontiers, people who deserve the freedom to build better lives for themselves in their adopted homeland. This 60th anniversary edition of his posthumously published, timeless work—with a new introduction, a new foreword by Jonathan Greenblatt, the national director and CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, and updated information on immigration policy reform—offers the late president's inspiring suggestions for immigration policy and presents a chronology of the main events in the history of immigration in America. As continued debates on immigration engulf the nation, this paean to the importance of immigrants to our nation's prominence and success is as timely as ever.