Among the victims of police brutality was none other than Christ himself. While this notion conjures up mixed emotions — including unbearable sadness — we should also take heart. Jesus experienced and overcame police brutality — so can innocent, powerless black women and men. To do so, churches with those most affected by police violence in attendance must cultivate a liberating praxis of anti-oppression retaliation, which includes teaching the characteristics of Christ’s response to law enforcement victimization. The writings of the great theologian James Cone, and others after him allowed us to rip the misguided veil of blasphemy and usher black people into a newfound solidarity with Jesus of Nazareth.
In the American church, where the right of the individual is sacrosanct, the ability to choose a church is protected with greater vigilance than the possible immoral consequences of that choice. The current segregation of congregations continues to be perpetrated and justified by the idolatry of choice.
“THIS TIFFANY stained glass window was donated by parishioners in honor of Jefferson Davis,” said our guide, Barbara Holley. Holley is a member of the “history and reconciliation initiative” at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, Va. St. Paul’s, located across the street from the Virginia general assembly and around the corner from the Confederate White House, was called “the Cathedral of the Confederacy” for a reason. Fragments of stained glass honor Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Gen. Robert E. Lee. Both men gleaned inspiration, comfort, and resources for their cause here. Their pews are marked with commemorative plaques.
Mike Pence is following President Trump, but he is utterly failing at following Jesus.
Mike Pence’s actions during the football game had nothing to do with the love and justice Jesus calls his followers to strive for.
Trump’s mythical narrative is a lie because he’s wrong about the motivations of the NFL players who kneel during the national anthem. They don’t kneel because they hate the flag. They aren’t monsters threatening the United States. They kneel because they love the flag and the ideals for which it stands.
On the 54th anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech, the voice of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. echoed across the lower end of the National Mall as thousands of clergy gathered in Washington, D.C., to march for racial justice. The Ministers March for Justice brought together faith leaders of many traditions to speak out against racism and white supremacy, and sought to call the government to accountability.
Last week’s event in Charlottesville that resulted in the death of Heather Heyer is a clear reminder of the unresolved and persistent struggle of our nation with the sin of racism. For more than five years (not referring to the historical struggles) the African-American community has been raising its collective voice, calling out our nation to the pervasive, often deadly, effects of racism. These “deadly effects” are experienced not only in the actual killing of African Americans in the streets of our cities, but also in the denial of full access to the benefits and privileges of our socio-economic systems.
"I do know it's not healthy to jump to a conclusion that officers did something criminal just because their camera was off," Davis said, adding that he would wait until an internal investigation was complete before making a judgment.
What we’ve learned three years after Eric Garner’s death is that we can’t give up on God’s mandate for justice, incarnated in the gospel’s good news. If we trust and believe that selfish agendas of special interests will not prevail, we are compelled instead to believe that love will conquer hate.
For the brilliant theologians who teach and research at seminaries or divinity schools, part of their work is training the next generation of future pastors for church leadership. Catholic and many Protestant church leaders have received a thorough theological education (though not all). They possess Masters and Doctoral degrees that solidify their ability to grasp the tenets of theology. But for those theologians interested in changing the world for the better, they must offer work that is easily understood by the masses, especially the marginalized population they are seeking to assist.
This year, America celebrates 241 years as a nation. And while racial and ethnic oppression has been a defining characteristic of the nation since the first colonists landed on the shores of this land, I hold out hope that because of her youth, America can change course.
Focus on healing in movement spaces is often reserved for times of crisis — or is reduced to individual consumerist self-care like a glass of wine and a pedicure. In our leadership development, community cultivation, and organizing models, focusing on resilient, integrated, whole selves is considered extra — a fun and indulgent add-on to the “real work of organizing.”
In 2014, Flint began pumping water from the Flint River into the homes of Flint’s nearly 100,000 residents. Officials have admitted to not properly treating the water with appropriate corrosion measures, resulting in undrinkable lead-poisoned water.
Participants joined with local religious leaders and city residents to walk through the city, stopping at various places of worship to sing and pray, in a demonstration of unity. The Walk of Trust ended on the campus of Saint Louis University, where Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis, who first conceived of the meeting, spoke alongside the Rev. Dr. Traci Blackmon, a pastor in Florissant, Mo., and a leading voice in the response to Michael Brown’s death.
In an age when both explicit and implicit biases are becoming legitimate justifications to curse the image of God, it is time for the church in the U.S. to face itself. It is time to repair the broken fabric of our nation. It is time to interrogate the stories we tell our selves about ourselves by immersing ourselves in the stories of the other.
Restoration and reconciliation with God is the ultimate goal. It is the incarnate Jesus who provides the way back for humanity to be restored and reconciled to God. This is the essence of the Christian faith.
But more deeply than that, framing Terence’s last gasp of life in the texture of local challenges shows the frailty of black Tulsa’s dream of equal treatment. We need to ensure Terence does not become another note on a scale of the pain felt by countless black and brown lives. It’s only been seven months and the voices of those affected by this history have been diminished.
The shooting of two Indian men in Kansas is one of the most recent examples of an increase in racially motivated violence in the U.S., and the Trump administration must rigorously investigate and prosecute the perpetrators, a group of Democratic members of Congress and South Asian-American advocates said Friday at a rally outside the Capitol.