Dissidents and Power: What Our Editors Are Reading | Sojourners

Dissidents and Power: What Our Editors Are Reading

Historically, people love to opine on power. Whether it’s John Dalberg-Acton’s “power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” or Kanye West’s “no one man should have all that power,” the concept of concentrated power is talked about as something to fear.

In the stories we tell about power, we love the idea of dissidents — and I do mean the idea of dissidents, as we often don’t love actual dissidents until it is “safe” to do so.

During this past week, dissidents have again raised their voices to demand justice. Palestinians have asked the United States to speak honestly about Israeli occupation of their land. The immunocompromised have reminded churches to protect the vulnerable. Teenagers have defied political powerhouses. Laborers have told rich capitalists that they will no longer tolerate poverty wages.

But these fights are not over. We have seen the ways that power fights back against the dissidents and leaders bend to both-sidesism and faux outrage.

For that reason, we know stories are only the first step. We tell stories to inspire the work to create the lasting change needed. For Christians, Scott Coley reminds, “power is meaningless except insofar as it is wielded on behalf of the powerless.” This kind of queer power is central to God’s story — which is “non-competitive and non-binary.”

1. For Lasting Peace, U.S. Must Stop Enabling Israeli Occupation of Palestine
The U.S. provides nearly $4 billion in mostly military aid to Israel each year. By Adam Russell Taylor and Wesley Granberg-Michaelson via sojo.net.

2. How Can We Make It Right? What the World’s Religions Have to Say About Justice
From a Buddhist to a humanist, seven faith leaders weigh in on building a better world. By Carol Kuruvilla via Vox.com.

3. An Open Letter to U.S. Christians from a Palestinian Pastor
Peacemakers call things by their names; this is occupation, not a ‘conflict.’ By Munther Isaac via sojo.net.

4. Reclaiming the Power of Rebellion
How the label “riot” discredits Black political demands. By Elizabeth Hinton and Derecka Purnell via bostonreview.net.

5. Wage Against the Machine
Employers say there’s a ‘labor shortage.’ The Bible says workers deserve fair wages. By Matt Bernico via sojo.net.

6. An ‘Army of 16-Year-Olds’ Takes On the Democrats
Young progressives are an unpredictable new factor in Massachusetts elections. They’re ardent, and organized, and they don’t take orders. By Ellen Barry via The New York Times.

7. If You End Church Mask Mandates, My Family Can’t Be There
Don’t make immunocompromised folks risk our safety to participate in the body of Christ. By Stephanie Tait via sojo.net.

8. An Interview With Emily Wilder, Recent Stanford Grad Fired From AP Job Over Criticisms of Israel
Wilder was fired from the AP and told she violated their social media policy. By Eric Ting via sfgate.com.

9. In God's Economy, Racial Groups Are Not Competitors
America's original sin tempts us to believe that recognizing anti-Asian racism distracts from #BlackLivesMatter. By Jonathan Tran via sojo.net.

10. Billy Porter Candidly Opens Up in His First TV Interview After Revealing 2007 HIV Diagnosis
“Look at God. ... Look at me, the God that is in me. And I say 'God' because we have to start speaking in the right terms. The first thing that's taken away from us as LGBTQ people, from everybody, is our spirituality, is God.” From the Tamron Hall Show.

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