I was raised in a Christian home, attended Sunday school, and was active in my church. An active faith is something I’ve always had (except for those first couple years of college). Since my mid-twenties, I have considered myself an evangelical Christian. Evangelical defined as one who spreads the good news of Christ’s teachings—salvation, redemption, love one another, among others. That was until 2007 when conservative Christians began their power-grab with refashioning the Jesus of the Bible—the itinerant Jewish rabbi who railed against the powerful, the self-important, and the Haves, and taught the importance of caring for the marginalized, the oppressed, and the disenfranchised—into a political savior of their own making.
For the past few years, I’ve been greatly disturbed by the growing rancor, divisiveness, and hatred on display in America. I’m not so naive as to believe that the parade of abject malevolence is anything new. Like several of you, I’ve long suspected the seeds of bigotry had been lying dormant just below the surface in need of only a fresh heaping of fertilizer and a climate of fear to take root, blossom, and overrun our sociopolitical garden with brambles, weeds, and rodents aplenty.
I will always remember my friend with red hair — not because of his red hair, or because he could be the most infuriating person I ever knew at times, or even because he was the first activist I ever knew; but because he is the reason I’m a whole person.
Harry P. Leu Gardens, 2019.
The two groups cleared a path down the center of the ballroom for the guest of honor and his court to make their grand entrance. Members of the Orlando Gay Chorus occupied half the room donning rainbows, kilts, and a requisite drag queen or two. And across the vacant center aisle, equally as festive, present and former pixie-dusted Disney entertainment employees mingled in wait. The line of demarcation was much less Jets versus Sharks in nature and more a function of an eclectic mix of people cut from a wide swath of humanity preparing for the unexpected.
When most people think of racism, visions of terrorism delivered mano a mano come to mind. You know … slavery, white hoods, lynchings, and other acts of abject terrorism and the trauma they leave in their wake come to mind. Interpersonal racism’s more comely, yet equally damaging sibling:institutional racism is not only alive and well, but thriving in the most unlikely of places. The time has come to shine a light on a textbook example to provide a better understanding.
People who don’t listen aren’t interested in a conversation. What they want is to stand on their soapbox and give a lecture.
It seems with each passing day that it’s becoming more difficult for people with differing opinions to have reasonable discussions about those differences in opinion. Call me an optimist, but I do believe it’s still possible. The trick is to
have a strategy before you start the discussion. Otherwise, it’s way to easy for the conversation to dissolve into a real world version of “Clash of the Titans.”
How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?
No, that’s not a plank in some Liberal “snowflake” platform, nor is it a principle from a Communist manifesto. That question comes from Scripture, 1 John 3:16–17 (NRSV), to be exact.
A popular question going around lately is: how do I get my cis-het white male friend to acknowledge that racial inequities exist and that it’s wrong?
In order for anyone to begin to understand the unbridled interpersonal and institutional racism that People of Color face on a daily basis, they have to have already embraced two prerequisites —
My parents and grandparents used to wield an old maxim when I was a kid: you can’t have your cake and eat it, too. I vaguely understood its meaning as: you can’t everything you want. If I had a cake—a slice, a cupcake, or an entire cake—of course I’d eat it, and that would be the end of that. What needed to be discussed? Ah, the sweetness of youth.
How can “I” as a Christian be happy about Friday’s Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage? Grab a seat and I’ll tell you.