Never accept and be content with unanalyzed assumptions, assumptions about the work, about the people, about the church or Christianity. Never be afraid to ask questions about the work we have inherited or the work we are doing. There is no question that should not be asked or that is outlawed. The day we are completely satisfied with what we have been doing; the day we have found the perfect, unchangeable system of work, the perfect answer, never in need of being corrected again, on that day we will know that we are wrong, that we have made the greatest mistake of all.

– Vincent J. Donovan

Love vs Power

I was watching a show a few weeks ago where two characters were arguing about whether someone who is in love should let that relationship interfere with their ambitions. In this case the ambition was getting into the White House. One character said love never matters and should be given up without question because your gaining the Oval office. Basically power is worth pursuing and gaining at all cost even if that means giving up the chance at being with someone you love.

This made me think about the unfortunate bargain Christians in U.S. have made in the hopes of retaining influence in this country. To paraphrase a well known quote ‘carry a big stick and make people do things your way’. Why do we feel the need to force our beliefs onto people? Because we stopped loving them the way Jesus taught us to love people. He told us how to change the world and we fell back into the age old trap of believing that power is the best, surest and fastest way to ‘change’ things. Love is hard, takes time and may not get you the results you hoped for. Whereas power can force change quickly and get you the results you want (though you have to ignore the damage you’ve created in the process).

You generally can’t change people through having more power. If anything you’ll just make them fear or hate you. But you likely haven’t changed things for the better. Take abortion as an example. Calling women who seek abortions and abortion doctors baby killers hasn’t changed anyone’s mind as far as I’ve seen. And gaining conservative supreme court justices with the hopes of changing the law still doesn’t address any of the many reasons a woman might seek an abortion. Oddly enough recent studies indicate that the abortion rate has dropped and that seems to be a result of efforts made by those considered liberal not conservative.

Christians may believe they have the moral high ground but they’ve lost respect in just about every other area because of their harshness and inability to empathize and work on other solutions on issues like abortion.

So when will we learn that when given the choice between love and power we should always choose love?

Weekly Ponderings

Here are some blogs and articles that made me think. Inclusion does not equal a full endorsement of everything in each post. To read the posts in their entirety click on the title beneath each excerpt. Most of the parts in bold print are parts I chose to emphasize.

You may have the most intellectually sound theology, but if it’s not delivered with love, respect, and kindness — it’s worthless.

The practical application of your love is just as important as the theology behind it. Our faith is evidenced by how we treat others. Does the reality of your life reflect the theory behind your spiritual beliefs?

We should never give up on theology, academic study, or the pursuit of understanding God, the Bible, and the history and traditions of the church, but these things should inspire us to emulate Christ — to selflessly, sacrificially, and holistically love others. Theology should reinforce our motivation for doing things to make the world a better place — not serve as platforms to berate, criticize, and attack others.

But too often, we’re guilty of failing to practically apply our beliefs in tangible ways that actually help others. In the end, this is what matters most to the world around us: that we simply love as Christ loved.”

When Christians Love Theology More Than People By Stephen Mattson

“Let’s be clear about what is really happening when we hear the “I just go by what the Bible says” types of statements. What’s really being said is: “I just go by what I have been taught, by what others have thought or written about these passages, and all that is still further interpreted and understood through my own personal, cultural, educational, family, geographical, social background and history.”

Remember, the Bible doesn’t “say” anything until someone articulates what they think it is saying. The last time I checked, the Bible did not literally and audibly just start speaking in English to me as I read it. We are the readers. We must do the hard work of hermeneutics, of interpreting, which is both an art and science. Furthermore, we should always be aware that our interpretations could be wrong. We might completely miss what the author wanted us to hear or understand. Instead of claiming that we are speaking for God or just “going by what the Bible clearly teaches,” we need to be humble and admit that we are trying to interpret and understand as best we can–and that it is us who is speaking.

Why is this important? One need only look to the issue of slavery or the way women have been treated historically to point out how wrong the church has at times found itself when it comes to interpreting the Bible. Are there issues in our present day where the church could be making the same interpretive mistakes?

“I Just Go by What the Bible Says” and Other Ridiculous Things Pastors Say by Darrell Lackey

Lonely practice was exactly as it sounds—practicing being lonely

I learned that day that the big moments of life are only fun when you’ve got someone to celebrate them with.

Celebrating alone is utterly vapid, lifeless, gray.

Humans fear being invisible almost more than anything. And feeling like that in the epicenter of a massive celebration is a very unique kind of human pain. To celebrate life’s big moments is to be invisible in those moments.

Imagine being invisible at a wedding . . .

or a graduation . . .

or a birthday party . . .

or an awards show . . .

or a New Year’s Eve party . . .

Oh sure . . . you’re present. You’re visible . . . but you’re unseen. Single people feel visible but unseen quite often. And the presence of strangers just isn’t all that comforting. It only makes the pain worse.

I got a little taste of that pain on that crisp autumn evening in Tuscaloosa. I got a little taste of my future.”

Episode 24 Lonely Practice by Brett Trapp

“This is not about inclusion. This is a matter of life and death.

By making their children stick to their own expectations and standards for them — whether they really think their gay child is going to hell or honestly are just ashamed of them — parents are asking their kids to change something inherent, something that son or daughter can’t change. No matter how much they pray or plead. It’s just not happening.

And the message that sends is absolutely devastating. It tells our kids (young, teens or adults) that they are broken, not okay, for whatever reason.
It’s plain wrong. And it can be tragic.

The suicide statistics for LGBTQI youth is alarming — 40% of gay youth contemplate suicide, 50% of transgender youth – 4 to 5 times the rate for their straight peers. And gay youth who come from highly rejecting families are 8.4 times as likely to have attempted suicide as gay peers who reported no or low levels of family rejection…

Family… we are supposed to love and support each other no matter what. If our own family won’t do that, how does that impact our confidence that anyone else can?

Would You Rather Have a Gay Child or a Dead Child?  by Susan Cottrell

Passages in Scripture do exhort us to flee from temptation, and there are certainly women who have had inappropriate relationships with married men. So, I understand the desire to fiercely protect something as precious as a marriage.

But the Bible exhorts us to live in the freedom of Christ. I don’t believe that treating women as if they are affairs-waiting-to-happen is living in freedom, nor is it faithful to our shared identity as co-heirs before God. God gives us self-control so that we may exercise it for his glory, not as an excuse to cut ourselves off from half the body.

Additionally, most women are not looking to seduce every man they encounter, and most men are not interested in having sex with every woman they encounter…

Billy Graham’s rule protects men from scandals, but it does only that. It does not promote the heart accountability that actually overcomes sexual sin. It protects men’s reputations, but it restricts women in the process. Women already face prejudice, stereotypes, and adversity in the workplace and in the church. Billy Graham’s rule does not empower them or promote healthy partnerships between men and women…

We should apply discretionary wisdom on a case-by-case basis rather than embracing a rule that makes many women feel dangerous and excluded…

But a better model for sexual integrity is possible. Men should not be treated as sexual beasts incapable of restraint nor should women be reduced to objects of men’s lust or sources of temptation. We are to hold each other in high esteem, not suspicion.

As Christians, we are no longer bound to legalism. Our model for sexual integrity should not be rooted in fear. It should not add additional burdens to the shoulders of women nor should it be grounded in gender stereotypes. Rather, it should promote the individual, relational, and communal wholeness that belongs to all believers.”

Why Christians Can Do Better Than The “Billy Graham Rule” by Tina Osterhouse





“…people like Jesus and Paul were not executed for saying, “Love one another.” They were killed because their understanding of love meant more than being compassionate towards individuals, although it did include that. It also meant standing against the domination systems that rule their world, and collaborating with the Spirit in the creation of a new way of life that stood in contrast to the normalcy of the wisdom of this world. Love and justice go together. Justice without love can be brutal and love without justice can be banal. Love is the heart of justice and justice is the social form of love.”
– Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan,
The First Paul: Reclaiming the Radical Visionary Behind the Church’s Conservative Icon

Weekly Ponderings

Here are some posts that made me think this week. Inclusion does mean I fully endorse everything written in each post. If you want to read the posts in their entirety click on the title beneath each excerpt. Anything in bold is something I chose to emphasize.

“The difference between these two types Christians is striking. The Flagellants gave allegiance to an angry god who was satisfied by suffering and people degrading themselves. Their god was nothing more than a projection of unhealthy self-loathing. This belief resulted in these Christians offering absolutely nothing to the world around them.

Alternatively, the Christians who lived during the Cyprian Plague embraced the reality that they were so deeply loved by God that they could give themselves away without needing anything in return. They were caught up in a love so great that it lifted them above their need for survival. These Christians were able to break themselves open and pour themselves out for the healing of the world, just as Jesus had done before them…”

I Desire Mercy, Not Masochism by Zach Christensen

Right now the one fragile reality we can hold onto is that every person believes he or she is good and right. No one ever genuinely imagines they are doing damage, that they are being hateful, and bad as someone might appear from across a table or across a Twitter exchange or across the aisle, no one ever thinks they are the bad guy. In a nation of 300 million people, there are exactly zero who believe they are wrong or hurtful—and this is at least a place we can find commonality

May this nation find a way to repair all that is broken among us and between us and within us.

Even if it follows a terrible noise or a long silence—may love still have the last, loudest word.”

Fixing Relationships This Election Has Broken by John Pavlovitz

“In fact, I’d say one of the defining characteristics of Christianity today is that it has a consent problem.

When God’s love is offered freely to everyone…unless they reject Him, at which He’ll subject them to violent, painful, and — oh yeah — eternal punishment, Christianity has a consent problem…

When Christians want to be free to live however they please, but also want to use the government to force the country to live under “biblical” laws, Christianity has a consent problem

When women are expected to give men a chance whether they want to or not,because men have more godly authority than women so we ought to trust them, Christianity has a consent problem

There are individual exceptions to this, of course. Certain groups within Christianity who are different, truly respectful and loving and inclusive…

…until Christianity as a whole takes a good look at its refusal to recognize or honor the boundaries of others and work to change their rampant tendency to control the lives of all they can in the name of God, consent be damned…Christianity is not a safe place for anyone. And more and more people like me will have to leave it to find any sort of freedom, respect, and dignity.”

I Belong to Me: Learning Agency & Consent Outside Christianity by Dani Kelly

And again, don’t get hung up on why people of color can say certain things and you can’t. The onus is not on marginalized groups to be inclusive of us. Or to be really blunt: it’s not the job of minorities to make white people feel normal and like we belong. In this country, we’ve always seen ourselves front and center…in movies, award shows, commercials, leadership positions, government, everywhere.

We’ve always known we belonged and were valued and held power and authority. That’s the basis of white privilege.

Our viewpoints and accomplishments have never been in danger of being overlooked and ignored, so we don’t need any special protections, recognition, or careful consideration for being white

Listen. Learn. Empathize. Relate.

If you are truly doing those things, a person of color talking about problematic experiences with white people or history will not feel like an attack on you…

It only feels like an attack when you are shut down, in denial, and not empathizing.

It’s not about the one joke or term. These are issues that affect generations and aren’t just things you can “get over” when they impact your daily life.

So instead, I’m just going to own it: Welp, I said something many times that was insensitive. It’s never my goal to be insulting or hurt people, so I’m going to be careful not to do that again.

The end. No defensiveness or denial. Owning it. Moving on…

My challenge to you today is to move beyond the conception of yourself as being colorblind or pro-diversity. Instead, start being anti-racism and do the work. Examine yourself and your biases. Know your blind spots.

Listen to people of color and teachers of color. Have the hard conversations even if you might not say exactly the right thing. Step up to fight the everyday racism you encounter. It’s not going to be easy, it’s going to be worth it.”

10 things every white teacher should know when talking about race by Angela Watson

“Many of us were shocked beyond words that this guy would ever say that he thought the reason for the silence was that there was simply nothing for those black folks to complain about…

Phil Robertson not only doesn’t understand privilege, but he also simply doesn’t understand the concept of “enthusiastic consent,” and neither do the toxic Christians who are likewise oblivious to the suffering of those they marginalize and the awful behavior they try to rationalize that causes the suffering of those around themselves…

typically, free will is not happening when there’s a huge threat looming in the background for anybody who makes the “wrong” choice. We call that forcing someone under duress, you know. Telling me that I’ll be shot if I don’t give my wallet to a mugger doesn’t mean I gave that person my wallet out of my own free will! Though to a Christian, that exact scenario with only minor rewording is just an average Sunday night revival service. But it lets the Christian throw his or her hands into the air and abdicate all responsibility for following a god who operates in such a beastly way: “Welp! Guess they decided out of their own free will to endure hopeless torture for eternity!”

When a group of people doesn’t care about consent, then all sorts of atrocities become perfectly acceptable and even pleasing to their god…

And a lot of this abuse happened because nobody spoke up while toxic Christians were getting rolling on their takeover of American culture. Nobody significant or in great enough numbers said anything. And so Christians decided that obviously meant that nobody minded what they were doing.

Are you seeing what I’m getting at here? Christianity has become a religion of asking forgiveness rather than permission. The ends always justify the means, and no action is too awful, too low, or too boorish if it accomplishes the goal. That is not a good way to live as people. It’s dishonest and unkind…

Imagine a Christianity where Christians asked before taking, checked in before trampling, and continued doing both throughout an interaction to make sure they weren’t accidentally marginalizing or ostracizing people around themselves. What would that even look like?

I know this is a difficult thing to imagine. It’d require Christians–like other privileged groups–to move out of their comfort zone and start caring about what non-privileged groups think of them. It’d mean accepting that other people have rights and opinions that might not mesh with their own. It’d most especially mean Christians would no longer be able to do whatever they want without worrying about others’ reactions…”

Silence, Happiness, and Enthusiastic Consent. by Captain Cassidy





“It is the Christians, O Emperor, who have sought and found the truth, for they acknowledge God. They do not keep for themselves the goods entrusted to them. They do not covet what belongs to others. They show love to their neighbors. They do not do to another what they would not wish to have done to themselves. They speak gently to those who oppress them, and in this way they make them their friends. It has become their passion to do good to their enemies.

They live in the awareness of their smallness.

Every one of them who has anything gives ungrudgingly to the one who has nothing. If they see a traveling stranger, they bring him under their roof. They rejoice over him as over a real brother, for they do not call one another brothers after the flesh, but they know they are brothers in the Spirit and in God. If they hear that one of them is imprisoned or oppressed for the sake of Christ, they take care of all his needs. If possible they set him free. If anyone among them is poor or comes into want while they themselves have nothing to spare, they fast two or three days for him. In this way they can supply any poor man with the food he needs. This, O Emperor, is the rule of life of the Christians, and this is their manner of life.*”
Aristides, 137 AD

* taken from Jesus For President, By Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw (but found quoted in A Letter To Evangelicals, From Jesus  at John Pavlovitz’s blog)

Weekly Ponderings

Here are some posts I read this week that made me think. Inclusion does equal a full endorsement of everything in each post or the sites they are linked to. Anything in bold is something I emphasized. To read these in their entirety click on the name of each post beneath each excerpt.

Dear reader, what do I want you to know about what it’s like when murder enters your narrative? You see that it isn’t “pure evil” who do these acts. It’s people. People who you love, who you long to make choices for. Who are kind, giving, gifted, wounded, and floundering like the rest of us. Who choice after choice stopped thinking rationally until they could not see straight. And you see very clearly: It could be your child too. It could even be you. And we wonder, what do we do?”

What I want you to know about when murder enters your life story  over at Rage Against the Minivan

“This is what it means to be black in America.

Pure innocence is not enough to keep your head from being smashed with an anvil and your body wrapped in barbed wire. “Do not talk to strangers” is an inadequate safety message when a man can stalk your son and shoot him in the chest, and people will eagerly bid hundreds of thousands of dollars for the gun that did it. Even a heralded black man with a reputation so spotless that he somehow becomes the leader of the free world is still lesser than a white, imbecilic, dishonest dictator-in-training. Imagine how scary it must be to live in a world where you can be undone by any words uttered from a white mouth—even if they aren’t true.”

What Trump’s Tweets Teach Us About Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown and Emmett Till by Michael Harriot

“Without dismissing the legitimate concerns one might have about messaging in children’s movies, I must say I’ve been struck by the utterly uncreative response of the church in instances like this. I have written previously at TC about the limits of this strategy, and I think the cultural landscape has shifted in a way that makes boycotts even less effective now than they were then…

My fear is that during the previous age of influence, the church grew lazy and out of shape. In contrast to the millions of believers around the globe who have flourished as minorities under oppressive governments and punitive legislation, the church in the West has not been forced to exercise the muscles of creativity and cultural engagement. We have always been able to merely lean on our power in numbers. As those numbers dwindle, the church is now facing an epoch in which capturing the hearts and minds of people is an enterprise shaped largely by whoever can tell the best story, not stage the most effective boycott.”

Beauty and the Beast and Boycotts by Stephen Woolworth

“Your work is satisfying. It doesn’t pay well, but it’s worth it knowing that you’re doing your little part to make the world a little better. You take long walks and smile a lot…

But then you go online, or read the news, and see yourself painted as mentally ill, a pervert, a threat to humanity. You’re an “Other.”

People who have never met you are 100% convinced, with seemingly no room for change of mind, that you’re sick, and dangerous, and need to be publicly condemned, or at the very least reduced to an oddity, an other.”

Sometimes I Forget I’m A Monster by Jen Richards

“…I can’t help but wonder: how secure do we need to feel before we’re willing to heed Christ’s call? I’m not sure we should use math to decide whether or not to obey God’s commands, but if we did, surely these figures would make the choice clear. Should a 0.00003 percent chance of dying keep us from meeting the needs of those who are suffering?

How Secure Do We Need to Feel to Follow Christ’s Call? by Josh Larsen

Muslim and Arab Americans are in no way more deserving of anti-Islamic and anti-Arab bigotry and hatred than Sikhs are, and it is difficult to talk about the unintended victims of discrimination without making it seem like one group is less deserving of such abuse than the other. Vile hatred is of course completely inexcusable against any group…

The Islamophobic rhetoric and reasoning behind Trump’s travel ban has made travel even more difficult for Sikhs. Sikhs have widely reported extra searches at airports, have had their turbans searched and even forcibly removed, and have been detained for hours when trying to travel both domestically and internationally.

Singh is not opposed to airport security checks, so long as they are actually providing security: “I don’t mind being searched. But I’m always the only one searched. If you are only searching one person, how is that safe? I want to be safe too.”

The high levels of profiling and discrimination that Sikhs have faced at airports since 9/11 now have a brazenness that they did not have before Trump took office. “Now, if you want to pat down a Sikh — it’s patriotic,” laments Singh. He says that he is already receiving increased reports of profiling and discrimination against Sikhs at airports.

“At the top levels, if we have hatred, misogyny, and bigotry — there’s a veil of acceptance provided for [discrimination]. When you have a message from the top giving credence to that hatred, it is very hard to counter,” Singh says.”

Sikh Americans Prepare For Resurgence Of Anti-Islamic Violence by Ijeoma Oluo


Snowden: You’ve heard of the Nuremberg Trials, Trev? They weren’t that long ago.
Trevor: Yeah. And we hung the Nazi big shots, didn’t we? So?
Snowden: That was the first trial. The next one was guards, lawyers, policemen, judges. People who were just following orders. That’s how we got the Nuremberg principles, which the U.N. made into international law … in case ordinary jobs become criminal again.

From the movie Snowden

The questions and message of Arrival

(spoilers ahead for the movie Arrival)

I had heard and read that Arrival was a really good movie with a surprise twist at the very end. For once I am happy to say I was not disappointed. The movie is certainly tinged with sadness throughout and at the end (for those who have lost a child to a disease this movie could prove especially difficult to watch). Considering the questions it left me with it I’m very glad I took the chance in buying it even before having seen it. (An extra bonus to buying the dvd was to watch some of the extras and hear the interviews from the people discussing the story. In one of the featurettes they discussed the mixture of philosophy, science and other theories that led to the ultimate premise of the story.)

As someone who has often questioned God when it comes to pain and suffering I greatly enjoyed the way this movie asked a complex and difficult question. Though this movie doesn’t delve into whether there is a god or if he is a part of what happens in our lives that doesn’t make the question any less compelling. The question being:

‘If you knew how your life would turn out, would you choose to live it again?’

Or as I thought about it after the movie was over I would put it this way: If you knew how your life would play out with all its pain and suffering (and if you knew you could not change it) would you still live it?

And in this particular movie a more specifically focused question might be: If you knew that you would have a child who would die before you would you still choose to have that child?

As a Christian these kinds of questions haunt me because even believing that things will turn out ok for me in the end it still isn’t good enough (for me). I want to know that it will turn out alright for most if not all people. So here is another variation of the question:

If I knew that most people would suffer in this life as well as the next would I still want to be a part of God’s plan?

I suppose how one answers any of these questions might depend on how one’s life has turned out so far. If one has had a non-traumatizing American dream type of life than I’m guessing that person wouldn’t hesitate to answer they’d be happy to live it again. Though I fully realize that plenty of people who have faced great pain would still choose to live their lives again. But the reason we all know these questions could prove difficult to answer is because we know people who have suffered great hardship and heartbreak and we know that we all could be one phone call away from such pain.

The other thing that struck me about this movie was how the main character answers the first question given above. Her answer indicates a very pro-life point of view and yet the idea that maybe we would choose to never have someone in our life because of the pain it would bring is something another character does have to wrestle with.

How much pain would you endure to know any of the loved ones in your life? As one writer put it it is clearly a grace of God that we not be given the ability to see our futures in detail because it could easily overwhelm us. Especially if we know it is unavoidable.

So many questions and very few answers. This is often how I feel things are for me. But I think this movie did an excellent job of asking good questions while leaving individuals to sort out the answers for themselves.

Weekly Ponderings

Here are some of the posts I’ve read lately that made me think and/or taught me something. Inclusion does not necessarily mean full endorsement. To read the whole article click on the title at the bottom of each excerpt. Anything in bold is emphasized by me.

“The “It’s not me, it’s God” defense is troubling for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, it allows me to disavow a situation and enjoy its benefits.

For instance, my dad often said that if he had been God, he would’ve made men and women equal, but since he’s not God, he just does what God says. This is fantastic because he gets to be more sympathetic than God and enjoy the benefit of a system that puts him in charge. He doesn’t make the rules; he just enforces them.

The second reason this troubles me is its removal of human moral agency, or “the capacity for human beings to make choices” (Wikipedia). By this logic, we are not moral agents who use our consciences and judgment to tell right from wrong. There is no array of options; it is black and white. There is only A or B, obedience or disobedience….

…the fundamentalist believes these:

  1. the Bible is absolutely true, and
  2. my interpretation is the only “clear” interpretation
  3. I don’t interpret.

The difference between a fundamentalist and (for example) me is that I believe what I believe is true, while the fundamentalist knows what he believes is true. The idea that there is no source of truth that outranks the Bible is, to the fundamentalist, not a belief held in faith but absolute truth…

The brilliance of ignoring the way hermeneutics works is that it allows fundamentalists and evangelicals to pretend (a) that God shares their prejudices and, in a marvelous sleight-of-hand, (b) they don’t have them.

I’m Not Prejudiced; God is Prejudiced on my Behalf  by David M Schell

“Could it be possible that God is free to love all of us, regardless of our decisions, circumstances, or backgrounds? Or is His will a slave to our choices? Is He bound to torturing unbelievers in hell because they made the wrong choices in this life? Is that out of His control or is it really the most loving thing He can do with us?

Do our actions force His hand so that He can do nothing but punish us? Do we really have more choice than God over the decisions He makes? Or does Jesus need to twist His arm to even love us in the first place? Is He free to forgive all sin or just the sin of repentant believers or the elect few? Does the cross really mean nothing until we believe in it? Is our belief a more potent spiritual force than Jesus’ sacrifice?

A God who cannot or will not love or forgive unless we or Jesus can otherwise convince Him to is a most impotent God indeed…”

The Incompetent God by Russell Croft

“Because they think that everyone is owned by someone, fundagelicals think that if parents aren’t the total owners of their children, then obviously someone else is–and in this case, that total owner would be “the state.” The idea that nobody owns anybody is a completely foreign one to them. It’s not something they can relate to. They think it’s a liberal lie spawned by Satan to trick people. Back in my day as a Christian, we exulted in being slaves “to Jesus,” and even sang songs about how wonderful that was. We knew that some sinners thought that ownership of humans was bad, but we just pitied them because they didn’t understand that they were slaves themselves–in this case, to “Satan,” to the world, to sin. By contrast, we’d chosen to be owned by “Jesus,” which was about the best a person could do in our eyes. If you had to be enslaved by somebody, at least you could choose to be enslaved by the entity that could save you from Hell if you obeyed as a slave should…”

The Gaze of Dead Children Follows Me Today  by Captain Cassidy

“When you don’t have respect for a segment of population, that ends up in violence,” she said.

Ms. da Silva works with Tem Local, a site that documents attacks on gay and transgender people in Brazil, in an attempt to make such hate crimes more visible.

“Before these things happened and were not seen,” she said. “Now we are starting to combat this.”

Torture and Killing of Transgender Woman Stun Brazil by Dom Phillips