Taylor previously led the Faith Initiative at the World Bank Group and served as the vice president in charge of Advocacy at World Vision U.S. and the senior political director at Sojourners. He has also served as the executive director of Global Justice, an organization that educates and mobilizes students around global human rights and economic justice. He was selected for the 2009/2010 class of White House Fellows and served in the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs and Public Engagement. Taylor is a graduate of Emory University, the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, and the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology. Taylor also serves on the Independent Sector Board, the Global Advisory Board of Tearfund UK, and is a member of the inaugural class of the Aspen Institute Civil Society Fellowship. Taylor is ordained in the American Baptist Church and the Progressive National Baptist Convention and serves in ministry at the Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Va.
Posts By This Author
Christians Should Denounce Anti-Trans Laws, Not Write Them
I know some Christians do not fully share my theological convictions about gender and sexuality, but on issues of human dignity and civil rights, the church should be firmly united: Transgender and nonbinary siblings are God’s children made in God’s very image and likeness. Prohibiting lifesaving medical care, tolerating discrimination, or denying someone the ability to use their name is wrong; you cannot deny people those rights because you disagree with their beliefs about gender or sexuality. Christians should be standing in the breach in defense of the full humanity, dignity, and rights of their trans siblings.
Jesus Wants Dignity for Migrants. U.S. Policy? Not So Much.
Let’s be clear: Neither Title 42 nor Biden’s new policies meet the biblical standard of “welcoming the stranger,” which for us includes thousands of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border seeking refuge from violence and extreme poverty.
Honor All Mothers by Asking Congress for These Protections
The Bible is unequivocal that we are to “honor” and even “revere” our mothers (Exodus 20:12 and Leviticus 19:3). While it’s a commitment that needs more attention than one Sunday each year, Mother’s Day provides a special day in which we should go out of our way to honor our mothers with words and acts of gratitude and love.
God Save Us From Christian Empire
In a ceremony that CNN describes as “a symbolic coming together of the monarchy, church, and state for a religious ritual,” King Charles III will vow to uphold the law and the Church of England. Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the global Anglican Communion, will then anoint Charles with oil and place a heavy crown on his head. The crowds surrounding Westminster Abbey will chant, “God save the king.”
The Theory of Change That Sustains Sojourners
Half a century later, a lot has changed, but we remain committed to inspiring Christians across every tradition to put their faith into action for justice and peace and strengthening faith-inspired movements for change.
No, Trump's Indictment Isn't Like Holy Week
On Maundy Thursday of Holy Week, we remember how Jesus and his disciples celebrated the Passover meal, transforming it into what we now celebrate as communion. The word “maundy” originates in the Latin mandatum, in reference to the mandate Jesus gives his disciples that night: “A new commandment I give unto you that you love one another” (John 13:34). Just before the meal, Jesus engages in an act of loving service and humility: washing the disciple’s feet.
This selfless act contrasts sharply with the shameful spectacle that has dominated recent news: the indictment and arraignment of former President Donald Trump.
Does the United States Disregard the Health of Its Children?
ENSURING THAT EVERY child can realize their full potential is a civic and faith imperative. Yet millions of children in the United States are having their futures sabotaged due to a lack of care, stimulation, and nutrition between birth and age 3. These three years, often referred to as the period of early child development, or ECD, are the most fragile and formative because most of a child’s brain is developed during this period. During the first few years of life, a child’s brain forms more than a million neural pathways every second and grows to 90 percent of the size of an adult’s brain by age 6. As a result, this period can determine whether a child realizes their full potential. The things young children learn, the experiences they have (and the amount of damaging stress to the brain they suffer), and the love and care (or lack thereof) they receive can all have an outsized impact on their lifelong mental, emotional, and physical health.
During my time working at World Vision and the World Bank, I became passionate about the crisis of ECD in low- and middle-income countries, a cause that remains urgent. However, I have become increasingly convicted about the imperative to also address the child development crisis in the U.S. Tragically, the U.S. is not doing well by its youngest generation, especially when compared to similarly wealthy nations. More than 9 million children in the U.S. face food insecurity, which hampers their healthy brain development, and in the last year, 1 in 7 children experienced child abuse or neglect. Without affordable child care, millions of children become at risk for “adverse childhood experiences” that could lead to debilitating impacts on their health and well-being.
Finding God's Rest in a Season of ‘Blah'
Every year, in the final months of winter before the warmth and longer daylight of spring fully take hold, my spirit needs renewal, sometimes even revival. For others, this season can be characterized by a general sense of malaise or just feeling blah. Daylight saving time never helps. And for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, this season also falls during the solemn season of Lent.
Negotiating Peace in Ukraine Isn’t Surrender. It’s Christian
As the war in Ukraine enters its second year, Ukrainian citizens are hurting and exhausted. Meanwhile, Russia is mounting a new counter-offensive and Ukraine is restocking weapons from its allies, including the U.S. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians have been killed and wounded, both Ukrainian and Russian, yet the war grinds on without an end in sight.
How Do We Pray After More Police Violence?
Sometimes our nation and world are so full of injustice, loss, and pain that words fail us and our spirit can find no rest. We don’t even know what to say, how to pray, and where to begin to set right the many things that are so overwhelmingly wrong. The vicious murder of Tyre Nichols feels like one of those moments.
Our Excessive Military Budget Builds U.S. Empire, Not God’s Kingdom
As followers of Jesus, bringing “good news to the poor” and promoting peace should be at the center of our worldview and vocation. In our advocacy work at Sojourners, we constantly find ourselves trying to convince our country’s decision-makers to prioritize government spending that provides a lifeline to people experiencing poverty. Unfortunately, we have often found that securing adequate resources to help people lift themselves out of poverty is a constant uphill battle. While I believe in the importance of fiscal responsibility, when members of Congress become concerned about the national deficit, the programs that wind up on the chopping block are usually the programs that offer a safety net to those who are most vulnerable — while military spending continues unchecked.
We Still Need Moral Accountability for Jan. 6
In the immediate aftermath of Jan. 6, 2021, I naively believed that the violent attempt to overturn the 2020 election outcome would serve as a breaking point for the nation and the Republican Party. Despite the party’s anti-democratic slide, including so many embracing the lie that the 2020 election was stolen, I thought the collective horror of the day — felt across the political spectrum — would awaken everyone to the danger that former President Donald Trump and his enablers posed to our democracy. Of course, we now know that isn't what happened.
The Sacred Duty of Parenting Children in Truth
BLACK HISTORY MONTH traces back to Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, which established the second week of February to be “Negro History Week” as a counterbalance to the erasure of Black contributions to U.S. history. Black educators and students at Kent State University created the first Black History Month celebration in 1970, and President Gerald Ford recognized it in 1976, the year I was born. While Black history deserves attention every month, the past few years have provided plenty of evidence for why this month of particular emphasis is still needed. God reminds us in many ways of the dangers of forgetting our history, including the command, “Remember your history, your long and rich history” (Isaiah 46:9, MSG).
As the father of two young Black boys, I spend a lot of time thinking about the role of education in shaping our nation’s future. What our kids learn about the nation and the world from their parents, teachers, and peers profoundly shapes their worldview. That in turn deeply affects the direction our society takes as today’s children become tomorrow’s leaders, activists, and voters. It’s no wonder that education has served as a political battleground at many times throughout our nation’s history — from the Scopes trial over the teaching of evolution to the battles over racial integration in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education.
Why The Bible's Teaching on Lending Matters to Climate Justice
I know talking about international lending policies makes most people want to yawn, but the Bible takes debt — and the people who profit from it — seriously. In his opening Nazareth sermon (Luke 4), Jesus cites the prophet Isaiah to proclaim “the year of the Lord’s favor,” a passage that evokes the ancient instructions for debt forgiveness, such as those found in Deuteronomy 15 (“Every seventh year you shall grant a remission of debts”). While biblical scholars can’t confirm that these Jubilee injunctions were fully lived out, these instructions were understood to be a regular course corrective to extreme inequality and injustice. Other parts of the Bible flat-out forbid charging interest when the person seeking the loan is poor (Exodus 22:25, Leviticus 25:37).
The Men's World Cup Is Part of My Advent Journey. Yes, Really
I can’t deny the unbridled excitement that this global phenomenon unleashes every four years. And since this year’s tournament is taking place in November (to avoid Qatar’s crushing summer heat), the international fervor coincides with the start of Advent. Somehow, it all feels fitting.
Midterms Are Over; Our Civic Discipleship Isn't
Voting, while essential, is just the starting point when it comes to following the mission Jesus outlines in his initial sermon in Nazareth to “bring good news to the poor … and proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19). Civic discipleship recognizes that in our democracy — imperfect as it may be — fulfilling Jesus’ call to bring God’s reign of justice, righteousness, and inclusive love closer to earth requires that we are actively and at times courageously engaged in our politics. The marriage of our civic participation with being followers of Jesus is rooted in the conviction that our deep civic engagement is because of our faith, not despite it.
Blessed Are the Peacemakers In a Tense Election Season
Yet, in this charged atmosphere, Jesus calls us to be peacemakers — regardless of our political leanings or party affiliation. So, what does peacemaking look like during the upcoming midterms?
We Got a Historic Climate Bill, but There's Still Work to Do
IN AUGUST, President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the most significant legislation ever passed by Congress to address climate change. But what happens now? After all, the days aren’t getting any cooler — a recent study by the First Street Foundation suggests that in 30 years more than 100 million Americans could experience heat index temperatures over 125 degrees Fahrenheit. In our polarized politics, there is already a great deal of confusion and obfuscation about what this historic bill will do. A related question: How will the IRA affect what people of faith do about the existential threat of climate change?
The IRA invests $369 billion over the next 10 years into tax incentives for renewable energy and electric vehicles, domestic manufacture of batteries and solar panels, and pollution reduction. The idea is to make renewable energy and electric vehicles more affordable, both to manufacture and to buy, thus encouraging more consumers to adopt them. The IRA also targets methane pollution by imposing an escalating fee on some oil and gas companies that emit too much methane in their operations and increasing royalty rates paid to the government on methane extraction from public lands. The IRA includes an unprecedented investment of $60 billion into environmental justice initiatives, including clean energy and emission reduction for low-income and disadvantaged communities, block grants for community-led projects in disadvantaged communities to “address disproportionate environmental and public health harms related to pollution and climate change,” and funding to reconnect communities divided by highways.
Being Apolitical Won’t Heal Polarized Churches
The church should be a place where people with divergent political views can coexist and be in fellowship because our unity in Christ supersedes our political and partisan loyalties. As the Apostle Paul reminded the Galatian church, in Christ “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” But that’s not often what we see in our churches today, is it?
Do We Dare To Disciple People Out of Christian Nationalism?
As Christians, we need to keep denouncing the most blatant examples of Christian nationalism from politicians, faith leaders, and groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers who participated in the Jan. 6 insurrection. Yet if we care about the integrity of the Christian faith, there is a more difficult — but equally important — challenge beyond these denunciations. We also need to address the subtle but insidious versions of Christian nationalism that so often seep into our churches.