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Jesus Welcomes Children but Trump Removes Them

Credit: Evan Vucci via APJesus welcomed the children but Donald Trump removes them. At a press conference on Tuesday, Trump was speaking on the devaluation of Chinese currency before he was interrupted by a crying baby. At first, Trump laughed it off, saying, "Don't worry about that baby, I love babies." A minute later, as the baby resumed squalling, Trump stopped to say, "Actually I was only kidding, you can get the baby out of here. . . I think she really believed me that I love having a baby crying while I'm speaking."

After shaming the mother, Trump continued to rail against Chinese officials who lie concerning the value of their currency. Their lies detrimentally affect both their own citizens’ financial well being, as well as that of people around the world—specifically those in the United States. Ironically, Trump’s lie similarly affected both the mother in the crowd as well as people watching this YouTube clip all over the world.

Granted, the cries of a child are welcomed in the delivery room but less desired in a meeting room. No one would want a child crying while they are attempting to persuasively captivate an audience with their message. The cries of a can child distract the minds of an audience, but when you deal with the mother and child the way Mr. Trump did, the distractions are less about the crying child and more centered on the speaker’s character.

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As the Freddie Gray trials end, what comes next?

The Gyalwang Drukpa, bottom center, the Buddhist leader of South Asia, prays in front of a mural depicting Freddie Gray alongside the Rev. Jamal Bryant during a walking tour with other faith and community leaders, Thursday, May 7, 2015, in Baltimore.When Freddie Gray suffered fatal injuries while in police custody last year, his death ignited a fire of racial conflict and mistrust in Baltimore that quickly spread around the country (for more on his death and the immediate aftermath, see Nick Pitts's Baltimore: Who is the Enemy?). Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby eventually charged the six police officers connected with his arrest and subsequent injury, and has spent the better part of a year putting together the case against each. But after three officers were acquitted by Circuit Judge Barry G. Williams and a fourth trial ended with a hung jury, Mosby decided on Wednesday to drop the remaining charges.

Her decision to not press for further convictions, however, does not equate to her belief that all the officers charged were innocent. Rather, it simply became clear over the course of the trials that "We could try this case a hundred times and cases like it, and we would end up with the same result." Mosby intimated that individual officers who obstructed the investigation and the inherent problems of police trying to police themselves made it impossible to collect the necessary evidence to prove guilt. Moreover, so long as the charged officers would continue to be tried by a judge instead of a jury, she doubted the results of further trials would differ from those that came before.

However, she went out of her way while making such accusations to remind people that the problem was not with the police but rather with individuals. She cited the support from Police Commissioner Kevin Davis and others as being key to helping her investigation, and stated clearly that "the decision to prosecute six police officers was not and has never been an indictment of the entire Baltimore police department."

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Transgender person arrested for voyeurism at Target

Creative CommonsAuthorities arrested a transgender individual in Idaho this week for taking pictures of an eighteen-year-old woman in a Target fitting room. Shauna Smith, who identifies as a woman, was booked as a man under Smith's legal name, Sean Patrick Smith. The story has made national news, in large part, because of the gender identity of the perpetrator and the location of the crime. Target has drawn praise from transgender advocates and heavy criticism from others for their decision to allow customers to use the bathroom or fitting room that corresponds to their preferred gender identity, so many have taken notice when those policies appear to have contributed to a crime.

As Niraj Chokshi reports for The New York Times, while most Target locations now utilize unisex changing rooms, the store where the crime took place does not. Consequently, Smith, who was wearing a dress and blond wig at the time, would not likely have been allowed into the same area as the victim were it not for Target's new policies. At the same time, it also seems likely that, given the dress and wig, Smith could have gained access to the area regardless of whatever rules were in place.

After all, voyeurism happened long before it became permissible for men and women to share the same fitting room area, though the new policies do, perhaps, make it easier for such a crime to take place. The incident gives further ammunition to the argument against those policies while also granting a plausible defense for those who simply see it as an old crime committed in a new way.

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Presidents Obama and Bush speak at Interfaith Service

Credit: Eric Gay via APOn Tuesday, President Obama and former President Bush came together in Dallas for an Interfaith Service to honor the lives of the five police officers who were gunned down last week. Thousands of dignitaries, police officers, and other officials gathered in the Meyerson Symphony Center to pay their respects and hear words from their leaders.

Despite the memorial not being open to the public, hundreds of people flocked to the Meyerson just to catch a glimpse of the former and current President. Some even gathered at a local park in order to watch a live stream. Former President Bush spoke of how "too often we judge other groups by their worst examples, while judging ourselves by our best intentions."

President Obama took the stage and provided sympathetic context. He acknowledge how there is "evil in the world. That's why we need police departments." He added that, "those who advocate violence against police do a disservice to the very cause of justice they seek to promote."

President Obama also echoed Dallas police chief Brown when he said that we ask too much of our police and too little of ourselves. "Race relations have improved dramatically in my life time. Those who deny that are dishonoring those who achieved it."

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Racism: What Would Jesus Do?

Credit: Gerald Herbert via APAlton Sterling was selling CD's outside the Triple S Food Mart in Baton Rouge, Louisiana last Tuesday night. A 911 caller said a man at the store was threatening customers with a gun. Officers Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II responded to the call, encountering Mr. Sterling in the parking lot. Store owner Abduallah Muflahi told reporters that Mr. Sterling was not the person causing trouble and had been a welcome presence at the store for years.

The officers tackled Mr. Sterling, forcing him to the ground. One of the officers then yelled, "He's got a gun!" Video provided by Mr. Muflahi appears to show Mr. Sterling being repeatedly shot after he was pinned on the ground. The coroner later stated that Mr. Sterling died at the scene from multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and back.

The Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation into the shooting. Gov. John Bel Edwards stated, "I have very serious concerns. The video is disturbing, to say the least." Protests are continuing today in Baton Rouge; both officers have been placed on paid administrative leave.

Racial tensions in the United States continue to make headlines. What would Jesus do? Here's a good way to answer the question: What did Jesus do?

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