#FaithJustice: Sacred Right to Rest

laborBy Grecia Lopez-Reyes, Organizer with Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, originally posted on the Law At The Margins blog

For the past year and half I have worked as a Faith-Rooted Organize for Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE). I educate, organize, and mobilize the community of faith to walk in intimate solidarity with workers and their families fighting for a living wage, respect, and better working conditions in industries such as the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The ports are an industry that thrives from the sweat and labor of misclassified Port Truck Drivers. Due to misclassification, drivers are considered independent contractors and not employees, which requires for workers to be responsible for paying the lease of their trucks, maintenance, insurance, and fuel to name a few of the costs. Misclassification makes these drivers vulnerable to wage theft, while also denying them of benefits such as overtime pay, worker compensation, and health care. Read more here: “The BIG RIG Poverty, Pollution, and the Misclassification of Truck Drivers at America’s Ports a survey and research report.Continue reading

Saviors

zinnFrom Howard Zinn’s The People’s History of the United States (1980):

The idea of saviors has been built into the entire culture, beyond politics. We have learned to look to stars, leaders, experts in every field, thus surrendering our own strength, demeaning our own ability, obliterating our own selves. But from time to time, Americans reject that idea and rebel.

Radical Friendship

radical-friendshipAn exclusive RadicalDiscipleship.Net interview with Ryan Newson, professor of religion, philosophy and ethics at Campbell University.  He is the author of Radical Friendship: The Politics of Communal Discernment, coming out on April 1.

RD: Describe how this project started.

RN: This project began during my doctoral studies when I was immersed in Anabaptist theology and political theology, respectively. As I read Anabaptist theologians in depth, I was drawn to a communal form of reasoning about spiritual and moral questions that seemed to haunt that tradition—always lurking even if it was not always perfectly implemented. This picture of radical disciples drawing near one another in order to figure out what God would have them do, or who God would have them be, was magnetic. It reminded me of the form of Christianity that had always appealed to me, and that I had seen practiced by house churches in Camden, NJ, and New Monastic communities in Durham, NC, and Catholic Worker communities in Silk Hope, NC. In particular, I was attracted to the way in which this practice had the potential to guide communities into new waters without fear, acquiescence, or retreat. It certainly carried much more power, it seemed to me, than the way many of my fellow Christians approached questions of discernment: through a wooden, legalistic application of scripture. Continue reading

A Real Change

thichFrom Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ (1995):

Meditation is not a drug to make us oblivious to our real problems. It should produce awareness in us and also in our society. For us to achieve results, our enlightenment has to be collective. How else can we end the cycle of violence? We ourselves have to contribute, in small and large ways, toward ending our own violence. Looking deeply at our own mind and our own life, we will begin to see what to do and what not to do to bring about a real change.

A Culture of Passionately Gradual People

prechtelFrom Martin Prechtel in The Smell of Rain on Dust: Grief and Praise (2015):

That feeling of frustrated justice and hatred for the unpunished “perpetrator” is the hardest thing for people who cannot truly grieve. On the other hand, it is also not any good to become people who glide along on bliss and don’t care about anything, either. It’s needful for the peace of a people, peace of the human heart, peace of the earth, for grief to be there, not transcending on a bliss journey to avoid grief. Being zoned out, numb, unconnected, “above it all,” and not caring is just the lazier flip side of the coin of vengeance. They need one another. Continue reading

Working for a Different Way to Live

lilyBy Lily Mendoza, from “Healing Historical Trauma: Ethnoautobiography as Decolonizing Practice,” a talk delivered at the Graduate Center, University of Pretoria, August 16, 2016:

Indeed, there is hope in remembering that for the majority of our time on the planet, we have lived very differently than we do today. We did not make war a way of life; we did not treat the Earth as mere resource to do with as we please; we did not deem ourselves the most important creatures on the planet; we did not always enslave; we did not take more than we needed and without giving back; we did not build businesses out of imprisoning huge numbers of our population, or out of producing weapons of mass destruction or psychotropic drugs meant to numb our pain and boredom; we did not take over every square inch of land driving every other species out their habitat and into extinction, etc. In other words, if, for the majority of our life on the planet, we did not do any of these things—i.e., we did not rape, pillage, and plunder—surely we can stop doing so again and start desiring and working for a different way to live on our shared planet?  Continue reading

A Modest Proposal for Radical Disciples: Swearing Off

road

Photo: Michael Smith

By Tommy Airey

Many of us have been unpleasantly awakened to the fact that “national politics” does matter, as Princeton’s Jeffrey Stout concisely articulated in Blessed Are The Organized (2010), his aptly-titled Obama-era book on grassroots democracy:

Presidents, federal legislators, judges, bureaucrats, Wall Street bankers, insurance executives, media moguls and generals are making decisions every day that have a massive impact on our lives.

A couple of weeks ago, our flight to snow-driven Portland diverted, Lindsay and I found ourselves laid over and out for two nights in Seattle. There we were, deliriously sharing a falafel burger at a hotel bar with Fox News on surround sound. After compulsory knee-jerk lamentations, we grounded ourselves in the reality of the next four years of banality. We acknowledged the tension, though, of committing ourselves to “knowing what’s going on in the world” with being bombarded with a plethora of despairing headlines and sound-bites, news spin a no-win situation. What now with the need to protect ourselves emotionally and spiritually more important than ever? Continue reading