This kind of neutrality is like defending the right of poor and rich alike to sleep beneath bridges.
The makers of The Butler have told a kind of truth about the struggle for "beloved community" that has rarely been seen so clearly on multiplex screens.
One Sunday morning, I was facilitating a discussion with the teenagers in my small group. The students were engaged. Most of them voiced their opinions. Some of them even backed their views up with Scripture. Others defended their stance based on personal experience. The discussion was going well, but we had veered so far off course that I wasn't sure how to make our way back to the original topic. Usually this didn't bother me, because those seemed to be the times their perspectives were broadened the most. But I could see things were beginning to get heated. The students were divided and beginning to make things personal.
I interrupted the students in hopes of bringing them back to the point at hand. It didn't help. The open dialogue on truth had taken a turn for the worse. It was now a full on assault in which denominational pride resorted to church bashing and religion hating. I knew that if I didn't intervene soon, all hell would break loose — the Crusades would be re-birthed and someone might get burned at the stake. After a while, my frustration got the best of me and I opened my mouth long enough to let a few unfiltered words fly. No, I didn't yell, swear at them, or lose my temper in any manner. Had that been the case, I'm sure the backlash would have been much quicker and less severe.
There, in the middle of what used to be the sanctuary, I told that small group of teenagers they could find truth in the Qur'an.
Our Script Matters
Fiction with a climate change theme.
Truth Speaks to Power: The Countercultural Nature of Scripture. Westminster John Knox
A young immigration activist goes behind bars--on purpose--to shed light on Obama's deportation policies.
Adapted from "Women as Compassionate Champions: The Doers and the Leaders," by Nyambura J. Njorage, in Women, HIV, and the Church: In Search of Refuge.
Canadian churches repent for running Indian Residential Schools.
Reflections on the Common Lectionary, Cycle B