Trading Apologetics for Humility | Sojourners

Trading Apologetics for Humility

Newly-dug graves for Ukrainian soldiers who were killed in battle during Russia’s attack on Ukraine, are seen at the Lychakiv cemetery in Lviv, Ukraine, March 28, 2022. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

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Plenty of ink has been spilled — or pixels published — over the fear of the unknown. For me, the fear of the unknown is less about venturing into new spaces and more about being unprepared. I feel unprepared for the litany of troubles and scourges that we face in the work for justice. I sweat nervously when I can’t recall a relevant statistic as I argue in defense of marginalized people, and I fear that I will lose the chance to sway someone in my ignorance.

I imagine this fear has a lot to do with apologetics. “Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you,” Peter writes in his first letter (1 Peter 3:15). As a youngster, I thought this meant I had a responsibility to memorize and defend every argument for, and against, my beliefs.

Proximity and humility are sometimes an answer for our beliefs. In her essay for The Atlantic, Cole Arthur Riley navigates the difference between a silence of oppression and a silence of humility.

“There is certainly a silence born of cowardice, a silence that emboldens oppressors,” she writes. “But sometimes to be silent is to finally become honest. To halt the theater.”

While I can’t always remember the exact number of trans student-athletes in the United States, I know that my trans friends and family are being attacked; their lives and dignity disregarded by politicians thirsting for power. Proximity can’t solve all issues but coupled with humility, it’s often a good start.

1. God Loves Trans Kids. Recent Laws Do the Opposite
Individualized, age-appropriate gender-affirming care saves lives; recent anti-trans legislation seems aimed at creating a political wedge issue. By Adam Russell Taylor via

2. This Is My Blood, Donated for You
When my arm is stretched out and blood is trickling out of me, I find myself thinking of Jesus. By Heidi Haverkamp via

3. In ‘Fear,’ the Hosts — Not the Refugees — Are the Real Threat
The Bulgarian film shows the hollowness of performative hospitality. By Zachary Lee via

4. Latin American Activists Speak, Denounce Mining Industry at Vatican
Latin American communities “martyred” by mining came to Rome to describe their situation and discuss the care of the environment at the Vatican. By Inés San Martín via Crux.

5. Farmworkers Receive Archbishop’s Blessing of Wendy’s Protest
The Coalition Immokalee Workers are marching five miles in a protest to pressure Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program, which helps educate and protect farmworkers. By Melissa Cedillo via

6. You Don’t Need to Post About Every Tragedy
We have learned to perform our grief in the public arena. But what if we have nothing constructive to say? By Cole Arthur Riley via

7. Praying the Imprecatory Psalms Is an Act of Nonviolence
God, break the teeth of white supremacy. Tear out the fangs of misogyny, O Lord! By Liz Cooledge Jenkins via

8. ‘We Have to Look for Longer’
The curator Sarah Meister on the distinct and meaningful response that war photography can provoke. By Sophie Gilbert via

9. ‘All The Staff Came to Dig Graves’ — Inside a Ukrainian Cemetery
The 18th-century cemetery was once a tourist attraction, now it holds funerals twice a week for Ukrainian soldiers. By Mari Saito via Reuters and

10. Representation or Stereotype? Deaf Viewers Are Torn Over ‘CODA’
They’re hesitant to criticize the Oscar-winning film because it showcases deaf actors and lives, but some find its hearing perspective frustrating or even upsetting. By Amanda Morris via

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