As an Asian-American activist, I must constantly negotiate what it means to be a woman faith leader – all while challenging misconceptions of the “model minority myth” and the “otherization” of my identity in a dominant culture that often sees anything other than whiteness as foreign, exotic, or suspect. And yet, I know that my experiences do not pale in comparison to the hardships of those experienced within the greater sisterhood.
What does the birth of the baby Jesus 2,000 years ago have to offer the violent, troubled world we live in? Or what would Jesus say to the NRA?
I want to suggest — a lot. A whole lot.
Jesus entered the world from a posture of absolute vulnerability — as an unarmed, innocent child during a time of tremendous violence. The Bible speaks of a terrible massacre as Jesus was born, an unspeakable act of violence as King Herod slaughters children throughout the land hoping to kill Jesus (which the church remembers annually as the massacre of the Holy Innocents).
Perhaps the original Christmas was marked more with agony and grief like that in Connecticut than with the glitz and glamour of the shopping malls and Christmas parades. For just as Mary and Joseph celebrated their newborn baby, there were plenty of other moms and dads in utter agony because their kids had just been killed.
From his birth in the manger as a homeless refugee until his brutal execution on the Roman cross, Jesus was very familiar with violence. Emmanuel means “God with us.” Jesus’s coming to earth is all about a God who leaves the comfort of heaven to join the suffering on earth. The fact that Christians throughout the world regularly identify with a victim of violence — and a nonviolent, grace-filled, forgiving victim — is perhaps one of the most fundamentally life-altering and world-changing assumptions of the Christian faith. Or it should be.
So what does that have to do with the NRA? Underneath the rhetoric of the gun-control debate this Christmas is a nagging question: are more guns the solution to our gun problem?
“Life” issues have once again become extremely politically divisive. Claiming to be either “for the women” or “for the babies,” turns empathy for only one life into single-issue voting on both sides of the political spectrum. Instead of reducing abortion access to a political football — and even into competing billboards on national highways — we all should seek to expand and deepen the conversation, especially Christians, who should not be beholden to right or left but rather to a consistent ethic of life for women and children.
We’ve all seen the mountain of coverage and passionate political opinions on all sides in response to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s finally released — and heavily redacted — report. Without repeating all the coverage and commentary on the full report, here are my takeaways from a moral lens. The report proves that ...
For decades now, the traditional and media political wisdom is that Republicans control religion in American politics, and, with the exception of African-Americans, the Democrats don’t like to talk much about faith. This assumption is embraced by Republicans, with white evangelicals in many churches telling their fellow congregants that they can’t possibly vote for Democrats. Part of the reason for this misconception is media illiteracy about religion and the personal secular bias of many journalists.