Wallis and Curry share King's vision of a beloved community and a multiracial democracy.
I have been filled with a divine rage since armed insurrectionists, instigated by the president, violently sieged our Capitol last week. There must be accountability. In one move toward that, 10 Republicans joined all 222 House Democrats in voting that President Donald Trump incited an insurrection. He is now the only U.S. president to be impeached twice. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and the nine other Republicans who joined her described their vote to impeach as a vote of “conscience.” Invoking that word made me thing of Martin Luther King Jr.’s wisdom—
I have tried to find ways to speak about this country and its failure — failures that we have tried to preach about and write about and pray about; failures we sometimes try to ignore to salvage what little peace human beings can be afforded. This week, I witnessed the same terror so many of us did. I witnessed it all, and I am afraid, and I am angry.
As faith leaders, we must call for the immediate removal of Donald Trump from office. There is great danger in the hands of a morally deranged president: the threat of martial law, his ongoing efforts to overturn a free and fair election, the potential of politically conceived war, and the unique danger of his destructive hands on the nuclear codes.
Today we witnessed with shock and moral outrage that our democracy is fragile and in peril. Today we saw an assault on our democracy. We saw a violent insurrection turn what is normally a quiet but sacred procedure to certify electoral votes and ensure a peaceful transfer of power into a dangerous spectacle of sedition and political malfeasance.
Voter registration and turnout numbers — 3 million voters voted early and 76,000 new Georgia voters registered in time for the runoff — signifies the unprecedented sense of urgency and passion that Georgians are feeling. Georgia voting volume is on track to defy historical trends of general-to-runoff election turnout ratios.
Sister Helen Prejean speaks with Rev. Wallis about her 30-year fight to abolish the death penalty.
I knew there were Christian slaveholders, Christian Nazis, and Christians who opposed the civil rights movement, but in my mind, these people were “Christians” — with scare quotes. These so-called Christians, I imagined, were either conscious hypocrites, using the guise of Christianity to seize and maintain power, or mindless followers of the status quo who never devoted real attention to prayer and scripture.
A few years ago I stopped making New Year’s resolutions and replaced them with what I call New Year’s affirmations. Resolutions can often feel like weights that cause you to sink under pressure and expectation rather than as flotation devises to lift you up in attaining your hopes and aspirations. Building on what has worked for me personally, I want to share some affirmations for our nation and world as well as for Sojourners work and mission in 2021.
Pixar’s latest film Soul, opens to the sound of a Queens, New York, middle school’s band class, led by Joe Gardner, a middle-aged, aspiring jazz musician. As someone who played the trumpet in my Queens middle school’s band, the discordant, yet earnest attempt at music immediately transported me back to Mr. Stier’s classroom in I.S. 109, circa 1992. Just as in Joe’s class, the walls of Mr. Stier’s room were covered with jazz posters; he wore a ponytail and, by my memory, he also had an earring.
Most years are a give and take, but 2020 lost its balance. It mainly took lives and gave news. Every justice story had a faith angle and every faith story had a justice angle. When the editors of Sojourners look back on this historical year, these four faith and justice stories will loom the largest.
Reading was the safest way to travel this year — sometimes to another decade and another brand of violence, sometimes to a different continent or a different galaxy altogether. Below are Sojourners' editors' favorite books of the year. Most of these books came out years ago, but by reading them through the lens of 2020, we found new wisdom, escape, resonance, and hope.
To be a Black woman in America and be relatively conscious, to paraphrase James Baldwin, is to be in a state of constant rage. Sweet holy songs don’t readily come to me. Christmas songs do not come to me. As a Black woman who happens to serve at a church that experienced white rage this past weekend when a group of demonstrators ripped down our Black Lives Matter banner and set it on fire, I am angry. And I’m tired.
While Godmothered and its fairy are far from cinematic perfection, by the time the credits roll, Eleanor and Mackenzie have helped each other step more fully into who they both truly were meant to be. In this way, their relationship — minus the wand, the fairy dust, and any promise of true-love-happily-ever-afterness — more realistically resembles actual godparenting.
When I sat down to watch Netflix’s film adaptation of August Wilson’s play Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, I was hoping to be uplifted by the Black excellence I was sure to find in a film helmed by Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman. I was ready to exhale and escape. But while the anticipated excellence exceeded my high expectations, it didn’t take me long to realize that the uplift I’d hoped for would not be found in this story: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is a tragedy.
The public discourse around criminal justice reform largely revolves around releasing nonviolent offenders. But this narrow focus will never be enough to fundamentally alter the incarceration system. The majority of people in prison have been convicted of violent crimes, and they are habitually denied parole. True criminal justice reform is impossible until we include people convicted of violent crimes in the conversation.
I don’t live with the illusion that the holidays are cheery for everyone. Many of us find ourselves interacting with family and friends who do not have the same values we do. Here are four tips for navigating difficult relationships over the holidays — without compromising on dignity.
So as we participate in Advent this month, the Old Testament story of Job may be a helpful text to explore. Job addresses the enigma of suffering head-on, mincing no words but also not really answering the question of why we suffer. Perhaps, though, the simple freedom to question God and mourn our losses is just what we need this Christmas.
Rev. Jim Wallis speaks with Rev. Wes Granberg-Michaelson about his latest book, Without Oars: Casting Off Into a Life of Pilgrimage. Granberg-Michaelson shares ways people of faith can embrace the journey through the unknown and the uncomfortable as a way of life.