Why Did She Wait?

Ruby SalesAnother post from the front porch of Ruby Sales (September 17, 2018):

Republicans ask with hypocritical self righteousness that if Christine Ford’s allegation that charges Kavanaugh with sexual terrorism and attempted rape is true why did she wait thirty six years to go public?

She remained silent for the same reasons that thousands of women did not speak out. We lived in a White male patriarchy that blamed women and dismissed us as aggressive sexual predators and whores for sexual crimes against us. Sadly even women internalized this view and believed that we provoked men to commit these acts against us. Continue reading

Wild Lectionary: What is a good wife anyways?

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Photo by Caitlin Reilley Beck

18th Sunday After Pentecost
Proper 20 (25)B

Proverbs 31:10-31

By Caitlin Reilley Beck

A capable wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.
Proverbs 31:10-11

This passage makes it clear who is writing Scripture and who isn’t. It reads like the vision board of the patriarchy, and capitalism for that matter, though it doesn’t originate in this economic system. According to this reading, the dream is to have a wife who will do a thousand different things – truly she is  one who works to “have it all.” Except, surprise, surprise, she only gets “a share in the fruit of her hands” (31:31). If this is the Bible’s job posting for being a wife in a straight, monogamous marriage, it could use some workshopping because it is not very appealing. Continue reading

Let’s Give It A Go

Kathleen Dean MooreOregon State Professor of Philosophy Kathleen Dean Moore was once asked, “Would you condone violence on behalf of the planet?” This was her response:

No, violence is what we are opposing. You can’t ever stop a behavior by engaging in it. Using violence only increases its power.

The reason nonviolent methods haven’t worked is because we haven’t really tried them yet. We haven’t tried massive protests and civil disobedience. We haven’t tried boycotts. We haven’t harnessed the power of the global religions. Somewhere near half of us don’t even vote. Here and there, sure, we’ve tried nonviolence, but not on the scale we need. Let’s give it a go. Continue reading

Disobedience Here Below

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Alana Alpert, Bill Wylie-Kellermann, and others shut down the Department of Environmental Quality on June 4 as part of the Poor People’s Campaign.

Re-shared from Tikkun.

Ordained from Hebrew College of Boston in 2014, Rabbi Alana Alpert serves a dual position as rabbi of Congregation T’chiyah and as a community organizer with Detroit Jews for Justice. Because they have been working closely together on the Michigan Poor Peoples Campaign, she invited Rev. Bill Wylie-Kellermann to share the teaching for Rosh Hashanah. A graduate of Union Theological Seminary in NYC, Bill is a non-violent activist, author, and United Methodist pastor recently retired from St Peter’s Episcopal, Detroit. What follows are their remarks for the day.

Rabbi Alana Alpert: Shanah tovah!!!

I suppose you are used to most of my heresies by now, but I’ll admit a new one: vegan coneys. There is a new place in Brush Park. Just a few weeks ago, I sat around a long table of Detroit Jews for Justice leaders discussing the implications of our recent arrests as part of the Poor People’s Campaign, a national campaign uniting tens of thousands to challenge the evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation & the nation’s distorted morality. Continue reading

On the Eve of Hurricane Florence

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Hurricane Florence from BBC

By Kateri Boucher

It’s so easy for me to still think of climate change as some kind of amorphous, future-tense crisis. Something I’ll have to deal with, for sure, just not right now. But what’s happening to our planet is not a future crisis; it is a living, breathing, current reality. Millions of people around the world have already come face to face with their personal nightmares of “climate dystopia,” and many of them haven’t made it out alive. Monsoons in South Asia; drought in East Africa; heat waves in India and Pakistan; hurricanes on the US Atlantic coasts. And here is the thing that we must keep reminding ourselves: those who are ALREADY most marginalized, oppressed, and exploited by global systems of power are those who will continue to suffer the most.

Right now, as I type, South Carolina’s MacDougall Correctional Institution (a privately owned corporation) is holding hundreds of inmates in their cells, despite a mandatory evacuation order from the Governor. For those prisoners, this current moment is a living “dystopia” in ways that many of us can’t even begin to imagine. The Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons has organized an informal phone zap (link in comments) to pressure SC officials to evacuate all prisons in the flood zone. I’m not sure of its status right now, but if anyone else knows of other ways to support the prisoners please share more info in the comments.

In the coming days and weeks (and months and years and decades), many many others will need support as well. And looking ahead, here are the questions I’m holding in my heart: How will we find ways to support those most affected by this storm? Can we see this storm as a symptom of a much larger sickness — and what will we do to address the root causes of illness? How would it feel to actually sit with the heaviness of this collective global moment? Who are my neighbors? Who are your neighbors? What would it actually mean to love our neighbors as ourselves? Like, actually actually? What would we have to give up if we do? What would we have to give up if we don’t?

***

It’s okay to let yourself mourn.

Inevitability

Binding30 years in and Ched Myers’ Binding the Strong Man: A Political Reading of Mark’s Story of Jesus (1988) is more relevant than ever. This week’s commentary homes in on Mark 8:27-38.

Mark will tell us that it was “necessary” for John/Elijah (Mk 9:12:f) to challenge the highest powers and be executed by them; so too with Jesus, for that is the “script” Yahweh has given to the servant/prophets, as Mark will make clear through his parable of the tenants. Continue reading

The Norm

DiAngeloFrom Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism (2018):

Racism is the norm rather than an aberration. Feedback is key to our ability to recognize and repair our inevitable and often unaware collusion. In recognition of this, I try to follow these guidelines:

1.   How, where, and when you give me feedback is irrelevant—it is the feedback I want and need. Understanding that it is hard to give, I will take it any way I can get it. From my position of social, cultural, and institutional white power and privilege, I am perfectly safe and I can handle it. If I cannot handle it, it’s on me to build my racial stamina.

2. Thank you.

The above guidelines rest on the understanding that there is no face to save and the game is up; I know that I have blind spots and unconscious investments in racism. My investments are reinforced every day in mainstream society. I did not set this system up, but it does unfairly benefit me. I do use it to my advantage, and I am responsible for interrupting it. I need to work hard to change my role in this system, but I can’t do it alone. This understanding leads me to gratitude when others help me.