White churches in America and embedded racism

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.

The Color of Compromise, by Jemar Tisby | Redeemer Church

We MUST, as white American Christians, lean in and listen

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.

Extensive Report Shows Perils of 'Driving While Black' in Nashville

We are called to work AND pray in the battle to overcome evil systems

I am working through one of my favorite chapters in the Bible: Acts 19. It has always drawn me and what I love about the study of Scripture is that each trip through a passage can yield new insights and nuances. This trip through has been no different.

Continue reading “We are called to work AND pray in the battle to overcome evil systems”

The FOCUS of the disinherited

“… 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)

Fear and intimidation in the oppressor

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.

About Howard Thurman ยป The Howard Thurman Papers Project | Boston ...
Howard Thurman

Rioters and protestors and vandals… OH MY!

The language is already being changed… so here we go (again).

Everyone who wants nice clean lines to play and color in have ceased distinguishing between “rioters” and “protesters.” It’s so much easier with nice neat categories to say “rioters.” You know… looters… thugs… etc.

Stop.

Continue reading “Rioters and protestors and vandals… OH MY!”