I love what Jesus says over and over again, “Be not afraid,” eight times in the New Testament. When I was a little boy, we were told the story of the disciples in the boat. They’re on the boat and the waves are rocking and rolling, and they’re scared. But then they see Jesus coming, walking on the water, and he says to them, “It is I. Be not afraid.”
Kanye West draws upon the storied history of black communal worship and gospel music.
And yet, despite these positive global examples, our situation in the United States is not unique. There are autocratic would-be strong men all over the world. They're rising, and none of them are known to practice servant leadership. They’re known as corrupt. They’re known as unprincipled. They’re known as perpetual liars. They’re known as people who are serving themselves, people who are serving their own wealth and power, but not serving those around them. And while we are in a time where this authoritarian style is on the rise, it’s as old as humanity itself.
It's impossible to use the language of lynching without calling to mind horrors like those visited upon George Taylor.
R&B singer Fantasia recently advised women to "let your man lead the way."
I have the right degrees from the right institution and I hold the right theological positions. I’m an inerrantist, I hold to the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, and I am gravely concerned that our history of political maneuvering has cloaked a love for power in the language of right theology.
Autocrats and strongmen all over the world attack the free press and the idea of objective truth because they want you only to be able to listen to their truth. As Trump always puts it, “Believe me.” It's a way of governing that holds people captive because they depend on the strongman to tell them what the truth is. So when you take away the truth, you are purposely trying to take away people’s freedom.
This challenge to dismantle white supremacy and build a beloved community is one that white Christians need to undertake for the sake of their own obedience to God. Those of us who are white need to realize that this challenge and calling isn't for other people. It isn't for people of color who white people need to help.
As people of faith, our blood should boil when we hear people try to say our God is for marriage segregation.
Most everyone I grew up with near Goodman Street in northeast Rochester attended Corpus Christi. A post-Vatican II parish complete with folk group and food pantry to help a neighborhood of mostly single mothers, the church was a rare source of sustenance and light. Still, by the time we hit our twenties, most of us had escaped the urban neighborhood and along with it, left the church. I returned a few years ago — first for Christmas Mass, then to interview a parishioner for a story, and then for no good reason at all. This unmoored me. Even as I sang the Psalm, I surveyed the rows of empty pews.