Posted by The Rev. Dr. William Barber II, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove 6 weeks 2 days ago
From Ava DuVernay’s award-winning film to President Obama’s speech at the Edmund Pettus Bridge, America has remembered Selma this year. We have honored grass-roots leaders, acknowledged the sacrifices of civil rights workers and celebrated the great achievement of the Voting Rights Act. At the same time, we have recalled the hatred and fear of white supremacy in 1960s Alabama. But we may not have looked closely enough at this ugly history.Even as we celebrate one of America’s great strides toward freedom, the ugliest ghosts of our past haunt us in today’s “religious freedom” laws.Many able commentators have pointed out the problem of laws that purport to protect a First Amendment right to religious freedom by creating an opportunity to violate other people’s 14th Amendment right to equal protection under the law. But little attention has been paid to the struggle from which the 14th Amendment was born — a struggle that played out in Selma 50 years ago and is very much alive in America’s statehouses today.We cannot understand the new religious freedom law in Indiana and others like it apart from the highly sexualized backlash against America’s first two Reconstructions.
Posted by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove 45 weeks 2 days ago
On June 2, 1964, while hundreds of Freedom Summer volunteers were still finishing their training in Oxford, Ohio, three civil rights workers went missing in Neshoba County, Miss.Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee field secretary Bob Moses was charged with leading the project that would organize poor, black Mississippians to challenge the power structure of the South and upset the Democratic National Convention.Moses knew from his experience in Mississippi that James Chaney, Michael Schwerner, and Andrew Goodman, who had left the day before to investigate a church burning in Philadelphia, Miss., would never be found alive. Moses’ responsibility that evening was to tell the young recruits who planned to spend their summer registering voters in Mississippi that they could meet the same end.What happened next surprised some. In small circles, the young volunteers sat and talked. Soon, they started singing.
Posted by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove 1 year 3 weeks ago
At 6:23 p.m. yesterday, the state of Oklahoma initiated its effort to kill Clayton D. Lockett. Twenty minutes later, after being declared unconscious by a physician, Lockett cried out, "Oh, man," writhing in pain. Addled by this unexpected display of pain, one of the executioners said, "Something’s wrong." Soon after, the window to the observation room was covered and media were escorted out of the room.A state official later reported that Mr. Lockett died of a heart attack at 7:06pm.The fact that this unexpected scene was preceded by months of arguments by lawyers about the constitutionality of resuming executions in Oklahoma guarantees that a debate about the death penalty will ensue. Those who have argued that this ultimate form of punishment is "cruel and unusual" will make last nights scene their case in point. The Governor of Oklahoma has already declared that a thorough investigation of what went wrong will take place before any other executions go forward. Privately, in conversations at home and on their computers, many will say, "Did he suffer? Sure. But why shouldn’t he after what he did." Most national polls show that support for vs. opposition to the death penalty is about 50/50. Both sides will have plenty of people to argue.But I think it would be the greatest of tragedies if we did not notice that what happened in Oklahoma last night reveals perhaps our deepest national self-deception — that, no matter what goes wrong, we will fix it because we are in control.
Posted by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove 1 year 43 weeks ago
On Monday I watched as my young DREAMer friends pause to pray from the “other side” of the fence in Nogales, Mexico before attempting to cross the border back into the Arizona. Rev. John Fife, founder of the Sanctuary Movement, walked with his hand on the shoulder of Marco Saavedra. As he approached the border, a reporter asked Marco if he had anything to say. “Perfect love casts out all fear,” he said. Then he stepped forward into the unknown.All nine immigrant youth leaders grew up in the U.S., some of them qualify for Deferred Action for Childhod Arrivals, therefore are DREAMers. They chose to leave the U.S. to accompany their undocumented peers, who also grew up here, but who left or were deported because of a broken immigration system. They and their families are victims of the broken U.S. border policy. So “documented” and “undocumented” youth, standing together for justice, met on the Mexico side of the border an attempted to cross back into the U.S. together. They were immediately arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials and are now detained at the Correction Corporation of America’s private detention center in Eloy, Ariz.
Posted by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove 3 years 22 weeks ago
I think of Mary, the young woman whose eyes were opened to God’s messenger, whose womb was opened to God in human flesh. The Greeks call her theotokos — the God-bearer.She is the one who welcomed Jesus to make his home in her. Blessed among women, she is a model for us.She’s not just an inspiration for a house of hospitality. She is one.Two years ago, Leah was very pregnant during Advent. Because of high blood pressure, she was on bed rest for most of it. So we waited.We waited for our daughter to come, and we waited for Christmas. We waited with Mary to greet face-to-face the One whom we invite into our lives every time we whisper a prayer.Waiting, we learned, changes your relationship to time. You stop partitioning it into blocks, and you learn to receive it.
Posted by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove 3 years 48 weeks ago
Posted by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove 4 years 14 weeks ago
Posted by Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove 4 years 25 weeks ago
Posted by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove 4 years 49 weeks ago
Posted by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove 5 years 4 weeks ago
Posted by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove 5 years 6 weeks ago
Posted by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove 5 years 33 weeks ago
Posted by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove 6 years 30 weeks ago
Posted by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove 6 years 37 weeks ago
[see all posts in this conversation on New Monastics and race.] Jason and Vonetta Storbakken have extended a gracious and hopeful invitation to public dialogue about reconciliation's challenge for New Monasticism. I'd like to say in public what I've already said to them privately: Thank [...]
Posted by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove 6 years 51 weeks ago
Dear Zack, First of all, let me say thanks. I'm so grateful for the honest questioning of a convert to Christianity who seems to intuit Jesus' radical politics. Your story is such [...]
Posted by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove 7 years 3 days ago
Zack Exley over at Revolution in Jesusland has been offering some careful thought and excellent questions about Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw's new book Jesus for President. His questions are well worth reading in depth, [...]
Posted by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove 7 years 8 weeks ago
The recent controversy over Rev. Jeremiah Wright has initiated a new conversation about race in America. It has done so by making clear to white America what almost every black American knows-that 40 years after the civil rights movement, there are still two Americas. More pointedly for Christians, it is manifestly evident that we have two churches. After the integration of schools, the military, and the workplace, the church remains the single most segregated institution in America. [...]