Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. famously clarified that a law cannot make a man love him, but it can keep a man from lynching him.
King knew that it would take both a change of heart and a change of policy to create a world no longer built on what he called “the giant triplets of evil”: racism, materialism, and militarism. White Christians have long obsessed over the heart. One major theological underpinning of this trend is an abstract, sentimental interpretation of the death of Jesus that sidesteps the giant triplets by spiritualizing and futurizing salvation. While Black folks are catching hell on earth, white Christians counterfeit the cross by turning it into a VIP pass to heaven. Continue reading “Book Review: The Cross and the Lynching Trees”→
A couple weeks ago, walking in the redwoods with a dog, at the suggestion of adrienne maree brown, I decided to ask the trees about COVID-19.
Basically, what I heard from the trees is that even this virus has a message for us if we are willing to hear it. No, they were not saying that “God created a virus to punish us” – trust me, I checked, because I have not forgotten the 1980s. But they were clear that there was a message. Continue reading “I Asked the Redwoods”→
Call for Submissions: Advent Reflections Due July 1, 2020
Could you use a little quiet? Some darkness and stillness? Maybe some candlelight? In this moment, as summer heats up, amidst pandemic and now the street struggle against police violence and white supremacy, quiet and prayer seem like a welcome thought.
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 Cognitive Dissonance of Southern Hospitality”→
When someone says “hospitality,” what comes to mind?
Offering a cup of coffee or tea, a hot meal, a bed for the night – these are the usual answers. When we dig deeper, there’s usually an emphasis on welcome, creating a space where people feel at home, a warmth, a commitment to the other’s wellbeing.
In English, the Latin roots for the word hospitality connote two different ideas. First, the root hostis implies both guest and host, indicating a fluidity of motion between the two, a reciprocity or exchange that is expected: “I do this for you because you did this for me.” In the ancient worlds that shaped our religious traditions, the common practice was to treat guests with respect for two main reasons. Either it was an act of diplomacy as you may be a traveler in their land one day, or because there was an understanding that a guest could have been a powerful being – a god – in disguise, testing the righteous. Therefore, welcoming a guest became a sacred ritual because you just never really know who this guest sitting at your table really is or what they may be able to do for you later. Continue reading “Hospitality as the Ground for Good”→
Tolstoy believed that every generation has a zeitgeist – an emotion that acts as the unspoken guiding force of a time in history.
^Lane Patriquin reads their piece as part of Geez Out Loud. The audio is an exact reading of the written article.
For those of us coming of age in the climate-changed world of late-capitalism, it could be said that the predominant guiding force of our generation is grief.
With the news media surrounding us every day, we are steeped in images of grief. Whales washing up on shores with stomachs full of plastic. Pollinators dying off. Climate change records surpassed decades before predicted, and neo-fascist governments suppressing environmental conservation efforts around the world. Continue reading “The Zeitgeist of Grief”→
Last year, during the enormous, bursting green of Minnesota in July, my partner and I welcomed our first baby into our arms and into the cradle of the Tischer Creek Watershed.
Somewhere within those first months of the strange unveiling upheave of being a mama, I learned to read a book with one hand while balancing a baby sleeping on my chest. We were fortunate to welcome a stream of loved ones into our home in this time, and one of them brought with her The Overstory, a book travelling on the relational lines of beloveds deeply embodying lives of meaning in a time of climate catastrophe (like adrienne maree brown’s Emergent Strategy before it). Continue reading “Let Me Sing to You Now, About How People Turn into Other Things”→
“Are you a self-help group?” “Are you a church?” “Where do you worship?” We get these questions a lot! But for EcoFaith Recovery, the answers are more evolutionary and revolutionary than simply yes or no.
EcoFaith Recovery was birthed in 2009, when Robyn Hartwig began calling together friends and colleagues in Portland, Oregon, to try to make sense of our addictive culture and its escalating symptoms – the economic, social, ecological, and spiritual crises culminating in global warming and climate chaos. Gathering in those early years, we embarked on a process of discovery. Not unlike the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, we discovered that we felt more sane just by coming together. We felt less alone. We were less despairing. And we also discovered common experiences and feelings among us that compelled us to seek a way of recovery. Continue reading “EcoFaith Recovery and the Practices for Awakening Leadership”→
“We need to engage in whatever nonviolent actions appeal to us. There is no act too small, no act too bold. The history of social change is the history of millions of actions, small and large, coming together at critical points to create a power that governments cannot suppress. We find ourselves today at one of those critical points.” – Howard Zinn
“The decision to engage in civil disobedience is challenging not just what the symbol represents, but also the laws that are set up to protect it.” – Bree Newsome, after pulling down the South Carolina Confederate flag in 2015
In countries founded on the legality of slavery and Indigenous massacres, we begin naming the complex relationships between law, violence, and power. Historically, engaging with laws through breaking them has been part of the arc that moves us towards justice. In this issue we hope to unpack the nuances of breaking the law, and the choices we do (or don’t) make in the process. Continue reading “Geez Call for Pitches: G56 Breaking the Law”→