It was hard to remain hopeful this week — this year, really. We’re living in an age of dissent.
There is no guarantee of divine reward for our goodness, nor threat of eternal punishment for our misdeeds. And yet, we are instructed each year, to stop the busyness of our lives, contemplate our own mortality, and make concrete changes based on our conclusions. One might wonder, why bother?
I think one of the biggest impacts of Ginsburg’s life is that her arguments didn’t just change legal frameworks, they also helped change cultural frameworks. In my life, I’ve moved through multiple cultural frameworks where there were remnants of the idea that men were the strong providers and protectors of women, and women were the dependents and nurturing centers of home and family life. The saddest part for me is that some those frameworks resided in my faith communities. The Bible was used to support the idea that men and women were locked into God-ordained, sex-based roles. Those “roles” made me feel I could not, or should not, make use of some of the opportunities I had.
Breonna Taylor’s name didn’t even appear in Wednesday’s indictment against Hankison, which raises alarming questions about what case the attorney general made to defend the value of her life. The decision exposes the value gap in our justice system that so often dismisses and degrades the value of Black life and treats police recklessness and misconduct with impunity. Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron failed to explain why Hankison felt it was necessary to shoot wildly and blindly into the apartment from the parking lot or the details around how this seemingly faulty no-knock warrant was obtained and executed in the first place.
Edward Said’s profoundly influential 1978 book, Orientalism, describes the term as the West’s portrayal of the East as decadent, static, exotic, and uncivilized. Most importantly, Said’s work emphasizes how these constructions of this exotic ‘other’ are rooted in the West’s need to define itself as different from and superior to the Orient. While his analysis focused on European and American essentializations about Islamic civilization, another implication of orientalism is what these same Western observers thought about their co-religionists in the birthplace of Christianity.
Forced sterilization of women is a form of abuse and an act of violence against the very image of God in these women in immigration detention. While these accounts are shocking and horrifying, they are unfortunately part of the larger pattern of abuse and neglect present in detention centers that immigrant people and immigration advocates have been denouncing for years.
When we say the upcoming election is the most consequential election in our lifetime, it is not hyperbole or political spin, but a reflection of just how stark the choices have become and the perilous nature of the crises that our communities, our nation, and our world faces.
This season of inescapable Black death has been on a traumatizing repeat cycle — from the disproportionate toll of COVID-19 on our community to the senseless and brutal deaths at the hands of police violence — so in that moment my mind and spirit couldn’t process or take another loss, particularly of a Black man who embodied such regal strength and aspirational hope.
On Sunday, Aug. 23 at Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by Kenosha, Wis., police in broad daylight in front of his three sons ages 3, 5, and 8. The bullets damaged Blake’s spinal cord and left him paralyzed. His brutal shooting has not only left his body broken but it has also affected the psyche of his young children — another generation gripped by fear of police.
House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn speaks with Rev. Jim Wallis about voting rights ahead of one of the most important presidential elections in modern history.
Hybrid model. Synchronous learning. Pandemic pod. These words have quickly become the new normal when parents talk about school this fall. Every school district is scrambling to figure out how to deliver quality instruction while keeping students, families, and educators safe from COVID-19. They face a dizzying array of conflicting choices and, maddeningly, there are no simple solutions. The entire schooling dilemma is like a proverbial house of cards: We gently pull out a single card and the entire creation collapses.
The apostle Paul summarizes the practical implications of a Christ-like ethic toward others: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4 ESV).
This year has been difficult beyond description for so many people. While the COVID-19 pandemic has understandably occupied front pages across the country and around the globe for much of the past six months, another destructive wave continues to fester, creating so much pain and grief: our national plague of gun violence, which claims 100 lives a day. Together, the two crises have become a toxic combination.
For many today, the Black freedom struggle has become a myth. Our ancestors are memorialized in their death while crucified in their life. For many, it has become a symbol of progress: a symbol of the progress of America, particularly white America, to finally “get it.” It is a powerful myth.
Dr. Nicole Baker Fulgham, founder and president of the Expectations Project and author of Educating All God's Children, speaks with Rev. Jim Wallis about what Christians can do to help improve public schools for kids in crisis, particularly amid COVID-19.