It’s a tragic fact that 75 percent of white Americans have no people of color in their social circles outside of work. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s observation that 11 o’clock on Sunday morning is the most segregated hour of the week is still largely true. And if you’re only in a world that looks like you, then you aren’t going to understand Jesus’ answer to the question “And who is my neighbor?”
I found some fundamental questions Jesus asked or were prompted in others by the things he said and did — eight Jesus questions — that resonate as so completely relevant to the time we are in. A crisis is both a danger and an opportunity, a great danger to marginalized people who have been put in such risk, but also an opportunity for all of us to re-discover Jesus — to reclaim Jesus, to go back to him. That’s why I wrote this book Christ in Crisis: Why We Need to Reclaim Jesus, to lift up these core Jesus questions, which are both so timely and yet so timeless. I knew the book would likely be timely when it came out this fall; but couldn’t have imagined how dramatic that timing would be.
It’s not much to make 100 stoles when up to 100 people die each day in this country from gun violence.
Lost in the debate was concern about the employees preparing the sandwich, their hours, and compensation.
Saint Francis praying to sister moon and brother sun has changed me. I must confess I am going through a conversion, yet another one. But this time much bigger than I could imagine. I have begun listening to the birds. I have started paying attention to the rivers. I have stopped to talk to trees. As a city boy who grew up in the dirty streets of Sao Paulo, I am becoming closer to the pulsing heart of forests, animals, rocks and skies, and it has expanded my allegiance to God.
Much like Isaac from the book of Genesis, I am the son of a family seemingly destined to transience.
Today, Congress took another step toward addressing its constitutional duty to provide oversight of the executive branch. The House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship are holding a joint hearing on oversight of the “Muslim” travel ban.
To Kill a Mockingbird and Just Mercy have notable parallels and important divergences: Like Atticus, Stevenson is defending a wrongfully accused black man from a racist community. But this time, there’s no white savior, and Stevenson isn’t going to lose the case.
And yet, it’s undeniable that the election of Donald Trump and the presidency that has followed — and the Christian response to all of it — have revealed how disconnected many American Christians have become from Jesus. In particular, the uncritical support Trump enjoys from many white evangelicals in the religious right, and the Faustian bargain they have made for power, are turning many Americans (and others) away from Christianity altogether.
On Friday, Sept. 20, driven by our faith and by our profound concern about climate change, we will be joining young people from around the world in a climate strike. We will join with youth who, frightened by the impact that a hotter planet will have on their lives and angry that adults have done so little in response, are demanding that world leaders take transformative action to address the emergency that we face. Millions of us will take to the streets to demand a right to a future for generations to come.
The new film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood thankfully avoids giving us a Fred Rogers biopic, one that hits rote beats that show us how Rogers grew into the saintly human we welcomed into our homes. Instead, it provides a kind of parable of the love and forgiveness and empathy that Rogers preached, one in which Rogers himself happens to feature significantly.
A few days ago, my son started a science journal to write down questions and answers about why certain things happen in the natural world. His first question was: Why do leaves change color in autumn?
As African-American faith leaders committed to the social justice tradition of the Black Church, we would like to raise our voices to point out that it is not lost on us that Larry Summers and the establishment economists have done immense damage to the communities we serve, as well as to the broader American public, via their influence on economic policymaking. We recognize in the new school of economic thought, called Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), a credible, highly impressive, and genuinely public-spirited alternative to the disastrous economic stewardship offered by the old guard. MMT also offers a powerful theoretical defense of the Federal Job Guarantee, a proposal that was pioneered by America’s first black economist, Sadie Alexander, and a centerpiece of the activism of civil rights icon, Coretta Scott King.
The current divided government that we see in the U.S. as a result of the 2018 midterm elections has made it markedly more difficult for the president to advance his agenda through new laws and decisions on Congress. Given the contempt he and so many of his supporters have shown towards so many groups of vulnerable people, the new obstructions to Trump’s agenda in the Congress is more than welcome. Unfortunately, the Trump administration’s response to having its legislative agenda stymied has largely been a shift to unilateral executive actions on the administrative and regulatory front rather than any reconsidering of the wisdom or morality of visiting harm on society’s most vulnerable.
On September 11th, 2001, while walking my dogs over to the Hudson River in the Greenwich Village where I lived, I heard the sound of two low-flying planes. I then witnessed everything that happened, standing there with my neighbors in utter, total disbelief.
Think about this: If you made the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, would you be able to maintain and keep up the life you have now? If you are honest, the answer is probably no. And, if you are really honest, you’d probably say that not only would it be hard, but you’d miss many of the privileges that you are accustomed to daily.
On the Sunday Gran died, I baptized a little girl sixteen months old. And I was grateful for the unending grace that knows neither limit of time nor space. And, as the water spilled down her rosy cheeks, I remembered how Gran held my firstborn, how Gran held me when I was a child, how I held Gran’s hand for the last time, just a few days before.
Anti-Christ is a very big word, very evocative of our deepest spiritual realties and feelings, and is seldom invoked without controversy. It’s been abused by those promoting bad “end times” and “left behind” theology. But it’s also a profoundly biblical concept, one we must take as seriously in our day as Jesus did in his. Jesus warned his followers to be on the lookout for “pseudo-christs,” those that claimed his name but were far from the true heart of God, and said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
Contemplatives are people who seek the whole, and therefore, live in liminal spaces. So, what then does it look like for us to come up against systems that oppress? We stand against those systems, not because we are looking for a good versus evil duality, but because we recognize that oppressive systems do not see the whole, they themselves are working in dangerous dualities that dehumanize.