We Begin to Flow

Alice WalkerBy Alice Walker, from a talk she gave at Auburn Theological Seminary (NYC, April 1995) in Anything We Love Can Be Saved: A Writer’s Activism (1997):

It is fatal to love a God who does not love you. A God specifically created to comfort, lead, advise, strengthen and enlarge the tribal borders of someone else. We have been beggars at the table of a religion that sanctioned our destruction. Our own religions denied, forgotten; our own ancestral connection to All Creation something of which we are ashamed. I maintain that we are empty, lonely, without our pagan-heathen ancestors; that we must lively them up within ourselves, and begin to see them as whole and necessary and correct: their Earth-centered, female-reverencing religions, like their architecture, agriculture, and music, suited perfectly to the lives they led. And lead, those who are left, today. Continue reading

Treat Me Like I’m White

Treat MeFrom the prophetic imagination of Nick Peterson, currently pursuing his PhD in Liturgics and Ethics at Emory University:

Do you find that your race or ethnicity prevents you from getting humane treatment in life? Well, this product is for you. This bracelet will instruct those who you encounter in the real world to treat you like you are white. In an age of colorblindness and implicit bias, nothing can communicate more clearly how you should be treated. When an officer pulls you over – treat me like I’m white. When you are being followed by a clerk in a nice store – treat me like I’m white. When you are in a restaurant and they don’t want to seat you or let you use the restroom – treat me like I’m white. When you go to the bank – treat me like I’m white. Basically, in any formal and mainstream circumstance, there is no better way to be treated. For less than $5, you have a wearable reminder to the world to – Treat You Like You’re White!  Order Here!!

When They Call You A Terrorist

When They Call YouBy Tommy Airey

In our hyper-connected world, a buffet of spiritual practices abound. One immediately thinks of meditation, contemplative ecology, yoga, fasting, sabbath, jubilee, self-reflective bible study, liturgical direct action, poetry, therapy, 12-step recovery, mutual edification and confession. Now is a better time than ever for the somewhat privileged people of faith and conscience among us to fast-pass the practice of attentive listening to the front of the line. After all, Spirit moves when the marginalized and muted are given voice—those who are Women, who are Black and Brown, who are Queer, who hail from Somewhere Else. Continue reading

We Are Not Anti-Police But Pro-Community

FirstFirst Congregational Church of Oakland recently made a decision to reduce their reliance on the police with the goal of not calling them, period. This is a statement they made to the media. We just had to share this.

First Congregational Church of Oakland is a multiracial church, and some of our own members have been followed, harassed, and even sexually assaulted by police officers. In addition, we live in the middle of an urban area experiencing an extreme housing crisis, so there are many unhoused people on and around our campus, some of whom struggle with mental illness and addiction, and the statistics show that Black and Brown people suffering from mental illness and addiction are among those most at risk of being shot by police even when unarmed. Continue reading

Beyond Counting “Bad Apples”

BayoExcerpts from Bayo Akomolafe’s social media post (May 31, 2018).  To access more of Bayo’s writing, go to his website or order his recent release These Wilds Beyond Our Fences (2017):

Considering the US media’s coverage of the recent termination of Roseanne Barr’s show over comments she made about an African American woman, Valerie Jarrett, I think one ‘should’ be wary about speaking of racism as if ‘it’ were a disease that someone ‘has’, or as if it could be reduced to genomic expression…

Racism is not an attribute reducible to hatred, ignorance or even belief. It is not a ‘sinful nature’ or evil essence squirming in the dark corners of conservative minds… Continue reading

This Travesty of Whiteness

RubyFrom a recent Ruby Sales “Front Porch” post to America (May 25, 2018)–in response to a report that federal agencies lost track of almost 1,500 migrant children:

We are in the midst of radical evil and spiritual malformation and social pathology that live in the fabric of a socially constructed diseases called Whiteness.

Whiteness is evil and distorts the human soul. We are in the grip of radical White evil. And our silence makes us co participants. People have you allowed yourselves to become numb? Continue reading

Resurrecting Ancient Wisdom & Worldview

1491By Randy Woodley, re-posted with permission from the Ethnic Space and Faith blog

There are stark differences between the worldviews of Indigenous peoples and those whose worldviews developed with the influence of Western Europe. The “age of discovery” brought the Europeans to our Indigenous shores. Many of those theologians and discoverers attributed their discoveries to God and then immediately acted in the most ungodly manner. I am willing to concede that the Creator had a hand in the meeting of the two worlds but I think it has been largely misinterpreted by the Western nations and Western religious bodies. These so called “discoveries” created not only wealth by extraction in previously co-sustained Indigenous lands, labor and resources, but they also created perverted national myths and twisted theological accounts of conquest. These myths have continued to be told time and time again, and with each generation they are reified, built upon and codified into our society’s collective mythologies and memories. Continue reading