Three articles and a podcast for your consideration.Continue reading “Challenging reading (and listening) for the week”
It was four years ago this week my world was finally shaken awake in a way I have truly treasured, even in the midst of tragedy. It was the murder of Philando Castille.Continue reading “4 years later”
I was able to visit with local pastors I work with to discuss where we are as the Church in the U.S. and the opportunities we have to combat racism. It’s a longer conversation so visit it often if you like.
If you want the podcast, go HERE.
This is a story from NPR about the roots of racism in white churches in American history. (It has an audio story as well as an article worth reading.) Read this document (bottom of page 2 and top of page 3) to read a prayer of a white pastor thanking God for the “cradle of the Confederacy of our beloved Southland.”
You can also learn more, because we NEED to learn more, from the book Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby, or see his teaching series by the same name on Amazon Prime video.
This article in Christianity Today demonstrates the wide disparity held between white and black American Christians regarding policing.
“Do police officers generally treat black and white Americans alike?
White evangelicals are more likely to say ‘yes’ than any other major religious demographic in the United States. Black Protestants are most likely to disagree.”
Even after a long string of black men and women killed by police, we’re still not listening. Let us give up our pride and our self-assuredness to take up a position to hear our black brothers and sisters.
For the privileged and the underprivileged alike, if the individual puts at the disposal of the Spirit the needful dedication and discipline, he can live effectively in the chaos of the present in the high destiny of a son of God. — Howard Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited
This address was from our Archbishop Foley Beach. It was given via Zoom since they couldn’t meet in person for the annual provincial meeting. I am thankful for the opportunity to be in this organization!
“… the child of the disinherited is like to live a heavy life. A ceiling is placed on his dreaming by the counsel of despair coming from his elders, whom experience has taught to expect little and to hope for less. If, on the other hand, the elders understand in their own experiences and lives the tremendous insight of Jesus, it is possible for them to share their enthusiasm with their children. This is the qualitative overtone springing from the depths of religious insight, and it is contagious. It will put into the hands of the child the key for unlocking the door of his hopes. It must never be forgotten that human beings can be conditioned in favor of the positive as well as the negative.” (Howard Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited)
Howard Thurman’s book Jesus and the Disinherited, published in 1949, is still a prophetic voice into our current world. It is time for change.
Thurman walks through the fear that keeps the oppressed “in their place.” Fear of violent action causes the oppressed to fall into an “unremitting status of inferiority.”
But Thurman also demonstrates how fear works in the lives of the oppressors:
“This fear insulates the conscience against a sense of wrongdoing in carrying out a policy of segregation. (NOTE: Now think of this in terms of our current disastrous immigration policies.) For it counsels that if there were no segregation, there would be no protection against invasion of the home, the church, the school. (Also think of the knee jerk reaction to the phrase: “Defund the Police”.) This fear perpetrates the Jewish ghettos in Western civilization, the restrictive covenants in California and other states, the Chinatowns, the Little Tokyos, and the Street of the Untouchables in Hindu lands.”
Those in power and privilege fear losing that power and privilege and it drives policy, ordinances, laws, and actions. You have to stay in power so you create an enemy.
I confess. I cry a lot of tears walking through this little book.