Robert P. Jones 5-29-2020

Volunteers hand out hand sanitizer and masks at Christ the King United Church of Christ, where five members of its 180-member congregation had gotten sick from coronavirus disease and two have died, in Florissant, Mo., May 22, 2020. REUTERS/Lawrence Bryant

I was never concerned that there could be consequences for crossing a main road that separated our immediate neighborhood from the adjacent one, or that the Confederate flags I passed along my route might be intended as a “no trespassing” sign for people who looked like me. I wasn’t Ahmaud. Scores of childhood friends donned camo and lugged military-style toy rifles from yard to yard as we replayed World War II battles. No one worried a police officer, or a neighborhood vigilante, patrolling our streets would mistake us for a real threat. We weren’t Tamir Rice or Trayvon Martin.

Danté Stewart 5-29-2020

Photo by Oladimeji Odunsi on Unsplash

I can remember when it first happened — when my dungeon shook and my chains fell off. I had recently gone through a horrible experience and felt there was nowhere to turn, no one who could give voice to my ache, my pain, and my rage.

Jim Wallis 5-21-2020

Image via Shutterstock/Michael Scott Milner

The COVID-19 pandemic has now laid bare what is still “acceptable” to white America, including many white churches. The unequal suffering of this plague has been verified by the statistics. 

Fragment of the face of a terracotta statue of Apollo Roman beginning of 3rd century BCE. Original image courtesy of Mary Harrsch. Edited by Candace Sanders. 

Burton and Dreher share similar aesthetic views about Christianity and the past. 

A voter fills out a provisional ballot authorisation form for the presidential primary elections at the Franklin County Board of Election office in Columbus, Ohio. April 28, 2020. REUTERS/Paul Vernon

We believe all human beings are made in the “imago dei,” the image and likeness of God — it’s a core tenet of ours and many other faiths. Just as the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed how injustices in our health care and safety net systems stand in stark contrast to that core ideal, so too does any strategy that would negate a people’s votes because of the color of their skin. It is not just a partisan tactic, but rather a denial of their imago dei, a theological, biblical, and spiritual offense to God. Protecting the right to vote affirms the divine imprint and inherent value of all of God’s children.

Amber Neal 5-13-2020

A man stands next to the memorial for Ahmaud Arbery, at the place where he was shot and killed in Feb. after being chased by two white men in Brunswick, Ga. May 8, 2020. REUTERS/Dustin Chambers

When will the lives of black people ever matter to America? Black people are tired.

Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot and killed in Brunswick, Ga., on Feb. 23, 2020, is seen in an undated photo provided by Marcus Arbery via REUTERS.

What value is there in circulating a depiction of innocent black death?

Lee Leviter 4-30-2020

Crosses marking Christian homes. 1929. Wikimedia Commons. 

How will progressive Christians react to rising anti-Semitism in this pandemic? 

Melody Zhang 3-26-2020

Pedestrians are reflected off a window as they walk past boarded-up businesses in the Hayes Valley district after California Gov. Gavin Newsom implemented a statewide "stay at home order." March 21, 2020. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

In this moment, Chinese and Asian American communities are facing the double stress of having to reckon with the racism and xenophobia they encounter, compounded with having to deal with the virus outbreak itself.

Meredith Wade 2-12-2020

Of course, dirt also tells stories of human triumph and transgression. With one scan from an X-ray fluorescence gun, you can tell whether a soil sample came from Cambridge or Dorchester, based on the amount of lead particulates present. A Ziploc bag full of dirt is also a history of redlining, white flight, and devastating arson, committed by property owners for whom the cost of maintaining the land surpassed the worth of those who called it home. Dirt is an archive of human attitudes toward the nonhuman world — our hubris in thinking ourselves separate from it, though we arose from it, and will inevitably return to it.

Jamar A. Boyd II 12-30-2019

Photo by Nathan Bingle on Unsplash

With picturesque homes and landscapes, plantations promote a false message of comfort and simplicity. But the people who worked the grounds, managed the home, and fostered their families enjoyed none of the supposed serenity.


Negative social attitudes, such as racism and discrimination, damage the health of those who are targeted by triggering a cascade of aberrant biological responses, including abnormal gene activity. 

Matt Dodrill 10-18-2019

Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger leaves the 204th District Court in Dallas, Texas. Oct. 2, 2019. Tom Fox/Pool via REUTERS

A racial leveraging of forgiveness followed Amber Guyger’s trial in Dallas.

Jim Wallis 10-10-2019

This challenge to dismantle white supremacy and build a beloved community is one that white Christians need to undertake for the sake of their own obedience to God. Those of us who are white need to realize that this challenge and calling isn't for other people. It isn't for people of color who white people need to help.

Sam Cabral 10-09-2019

During Obama’s second term, less than 50 percent of active federal judges were white men for the first time in American history, according to the Congressional Research Service. In under two years, President Donald Trump has reversed that trend. He has so far successfully appointed 152 individuals to judgeships in the federal circuit and district courts, of which 60 percent are white males. He has also filled two vacancies on the Supreme Court with conservative white males.

Jim Wallis 9-24-2019

Police were called to Detroit's Sojourner Truth federal housing project in 1942 after white residents attempted to prevent African Americans from moving in. Photographs: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Black-and-White Negatives

A YOUNG LAWYER asks Jesus what he must do “to inherit eternal life.” To which Jesus gives a simple answer: Love God and love your neighbor. There you have it, says Jesus. But the inquisitor asks Jesus a follow-up question: “And who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:25–37). It’s clear from the context that this lawyer was seeking to diminish or limit the scope of who counted as his neighbor. The tone isn’t one of expanding the reach of loving his neighbor but of restricting it. Jesus answers with the exemplary story of the Good Samaritan in a way that upends expectations and gets to the heart of the question. The lesson of Jesus’ parable is much deeper than the traditional understanding of the Good Samaritan—that Jesus is simply commending the act of reaching out to another in need, as the Samaritan does, as opposed to the priest and Levite in Jesus’ story who famously passed by the man because they were too busy or preoccupied or afraid of being late to an important religious meeting.

But what Jesus is trying to teach us here goes much deeper than simple compassion and service to the needy. The Samaritans were not “good,” as far as the Judeans of Jesus’ day were concerned. They were a despised mixed race, considered half-breeds and foreigners by the Jews. They usually provoked disgust, not admiration. But Jesus chooses the hated “other” as his example of who our neighbor is. Jesus then describes the Samaritan taking actions that show us what it means to be a neighbor as the Samaritan reaches out to someone who was an “other” to him with practical assistance, self-sacrifice, and risk on the dangerous highway of the Jericho Road.

Martin Luther King Jr., in the final sermon of his life, the day before he was assassinated, talked about the dangers of the Jericho Road: “It’s a winding, meandering road. It’s really conducive for ambushing,” King said. “And so the first question that ... the Levite asked was, ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But then the Good Samaritan came by and he reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?’”

Jim Wallis 9-05-2019

Anti-Christ is a very big word, very evocative of our deepest spiritual realties and feelings, and is seldom invoked without controversy. It’s been abused by those promoting bad “end times” and “left behind” theology. But it’s also a profoundly biblical concept, one we must take as seriously in our day as Jesus did in his. Jesus warned his followers to be on the lookout for “pseudo-christs,” those that claimed his name but were far from the true heart of God, and said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

Jim Wallis 8-29-2019

Image via Shutterstock/ Kim Kelley-Wagner  

As a result of the political, religious, and moral crises we face today, both the soul of the nation and the integrity of faith are now at stake. This crisis is fundamentally about our chance and our choice of whether those who call themselves Christians are ready to go back to the teachings of Jesus, and whether such a call might be taken up by others beyond the churches. Many of us share a deep hunger for reclaiming Jesus instead of falling into more political polarization — we want theology to trump politics.

Image via REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

Though Juarez is known as a center of cartel- and smuggling-related violence, El Paso is rated on various websites as one of the safest cities in America and among the best places to retire or raise a family. According to KVIA, a local ABC affiliate, it averages 16 murders a year.

Photo illustration by Matt Chase

In his seminal work Mythologies, French philosopher and critical theorist Roland Barthes announces that “Myth is a type of speech.” And not simply any type of speech, but a dangerous kind. Myth is problematic, he says, because it allows a fictional brand of naturalism to subsume history. It creates a false narrative that the way things are is the way things are meant to be, leaving ample room for injustice to flourish.

Recently, the playwright Jeremy O. Harris tackled one particular section of American mythos: education. And, in typical Jeremy O. Harris fashion, his exploration is complicated.

I went to see Harris’ fantastical play “Yell: A ‘Documentary’ of My Time Here” in a state of fear and excitement, wondering what dirty laundry he would air about my then-future intellectual home.