A Lynching that Cuts to the Heart

This sermon was delivered by Rev. Luke Hansen, S.J. on May 3, 2020, the Fourth Sunday of Easter, at Bellarmine Chapel, Cincinnati. The liturgy was livestream and is available here.

Lectionary readings: Acts 2:14a, 36-41; Psalm 23; 1 Peter 2:20b-25; John 10:1-10

In early March, before the world changed, I traveled to Alabama with a group of Xavier University students. We were on a “civil rights immersion,” visiting Selma, Birmingham and Montgomery.

In Montgomery, the Equal Justice Initiative has built a memorial for the victims of lynching and a legacy museum that tells the story of racial violence, from slavery to mass incarceration. Continue reading

The Cognitive Dissonance of Southern Hospitality

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Old Age Security Credit: Jeff M for Short

By Britney Winn Lee. Originally in Geez 56: Entertaining Angels.

Joe Marlon Lee had the same philosophy for his kitchen table as he did for his onion patch, as he did for his pond and pocketbook – what is it all for if not to be shared?

He passed that worldview down to my mother, and together with my father, she has maintained an open-backdoor, open-pantry policy for all of my life. My friends, throughout college and young adulthood and now parenthood, found a sense of place just as I found a sense of place on that piece of Louisiana acreage. An insult it almost was for someone not to make our home their home throughout my upbringing. This sentiment echoed throughout my childhood town’s pharmacy, and football stadium, and the sanctuary in which I was pruned for a world much different than the one responsible for my raising. Continue reading

The Gospel of Paranoia

Gun with flower

Photo by Marco Verch

By Jordan Leahy

On January 20th – the 34th observance and celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – approximately 22,000 people (mostly white men) rallied in Richmond, Virginia, to protest proposed legislation to address and decrease gun violence in the Commonwealth. Their numbers, and the accompanying threat of violence, was so great that many other annually held rallies were cancelled.

Content Warning: sexual assault imagery

The Gospel of Paranoia
Convenes them.
Foreboding presence
“Come and take it.”
They cling to
White supremacy
Disinformation
Their own exploitation.
All more indicative
Of what
Their respective childhoods lacked
Than of ideological coherence
Or historical literacy. Continue reading

Unsettling Histories: Decolonizing Discipleship- An Invitation

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“Bartimaeus Billabong”, painted for the 2019 BKI by Australian Indigenous artist, Safina Stewart. www.artbysafina.com.au

2020 BARTIMAEUS KINSLER INSTITUTE

February 17-21, 2020

Forest Home Camp, Oak View, CA

Questions? Email us.

Unsettling Histories: Decolonizing Discipleship

Following on from BKI2019, when we listened to and learned from a range of Indigenous voices, this year we are focusing on the work required of us white settlers to build deeper solidarity with Indigenous peoples.We have a new flyer (please use it) and a new program planning committee (PPC), including the BCM team, former attendees of multiple BKIs, local Chumash indigenous leaders and past BKI planners -artist Rev. Bob Two Bulls (who is kindly gifting use of his artwork again) and Rev. Art Cribbs from LA. As Art put it “The 2020 BKI aims to help us restore “20/20” vision”.

BKI 2020 is the middle year of a 3-year sequence curated to build capacity for Indigenous solidarity from different angles: at the 2019 BKI Indigenous Justice and Christian Faith: Land, Law, Language we listened to Indigenous Voices; in 2020 we will focus on the work required of white settlers; and in 2021 we’ll learn from the experience of non-white, non-indigenous settlers of color.

 

A New Afrikan Speaks on Climate

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Credit: Louis Martinez

By Will See. Published in Geez 54: Climate Justice
Listen to Will read his piece:

Sometimes I give tarot readings. Rarely, if ever, for others.

It’s a practice I do for myself occasionally when I want to ask a question of a Power beyond my limited conscious mind.

I have a deck that I like. The New Orleans Voodoo Tarot Deck by Louis Martinez. These images and the corresponding descriptions feel ancestral yet present, African and at the same time, diasporic. Continue reading

What We Learn in the Kitchen: An Introspection on the Black Queer Daughter

By Kendall Waterman, Re-shared from Geez magazine.

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Amanda Greavette, “With Woman,”

“My mother connects me to a past I would have no other way of knowing. And in this sea of whiteness, of friends, enemies and strangers, I look at her and know who I am.”
– Michèle Pearson Clarke, Transition

Two minutes into a phone call with my mother and she has launched into a full review of her church’s leadership transition, recounting details of a recent board meeting in which she was obliged to provide her unique clarity.

“Visionaries need me, they can’t explain what they want but I can see it. If you shut up and leave me alone, I can make it happen.”

We go on to chat about a young family friend who just broke up with her first girlfriend.

“It’s a big mess. This is why God never designed women to be romantically involved with other women. Too many emotions.” Continue reading

Mothering Behind Bars: A Conversation with Siwatu-Salama Ra

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Siwatu-Salama Ra and family, freesiwatu.org.

Re-share from Geez magazine.

Siwatu-Salama Ra is an environmental justice activist in Detroit, Michigan. Two years ago, she was arrested for pulling out a gun when someone violently threatened her two-year-old daughter. She was a licensed gun owner and never fired a shot. She was found guilty of felony firearm and given a two-year mandatory minimum sentence. She gave birth to her son while in prison. After serving eight months, she has been released on bond as she awaits her appeal. Her case raises many questions about self-defense, racial disparities in the justice system, and the treatment of incarcerated women. Her story also highlights the power of organizing and community. Lydia Wylie-Kellermann interviewed Siwatu while she was out on bond awaiting her appeal.

Geez: Could you start by introducing yourself and saying a little bit about who you are and what you do?

Siwatu-Salama Ra: My name is Siwatu-Salama Ra. I’m a daughter of a long-time community organizer and activist, Rhonda Anderson. I was raised by a single mother who raised all four of her children and grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren. I followed a lot of what my mom did, and I started environmental justice work at about 14.

Recently, people have given me another title – a difficult title – of being a political prisoner. I was released from prison almost five months ago. I came home to a baby who was turning six-months-old, who I had given birth to in prison. And a three-year-old who is close to being four now. I left when she was two. Continue reading