This resurrection will likely be painful

By Bre Woligroski. This article first appeared in Geez magazine Issue 25, Spring 2012, The utopia issue.

Those of us wannabe revolutionaries who have been working, praying and calling out for significant social change have found some tangible positive signs lately.

Our world is shifting. Some sort of change is in the air and it makes my heart leap and stirs my soul.

Stories of resistance play on every newsfeed; on a global scale, symptoms of the collapse and the collective rejection of capitalism are becoming evident. Between the Arab Spring, the struggling economies of the U.S., Greece and Italy and the growing commitment to the Occupy movement, something is moving and changing. A new way of relating to each other is on the proverbial horizon. Continue reading

Community is Bullshit

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redit: James Darling, https://flic.kr/p/8MvB4k

By Katie Hoogendam. This article first appeared in Geez magazine Issue 43, Fall 2016, The Collectivity Issue.

The following piece is rooted in my experience as a university student at the Oregon Extension, an intentional educational community based atop a mountain in Lincoln, Oregon.

The Oregon Extension was formed by a collective of independent Christian professors in the mid-1970s and grounded in the works of Thoreau, Dostoevsky, Annie Dillard, and Wendell Berry. It is known for its cultivation and examination of “big ideas,” and has been touted as a space for seekers of all stripes and disgruntled Christians alike. This article is an update of a story that originally appeared in catapult magazine [online] and in Road Journal magazine in 2008.

God, please help me not be an asshole, is about as common a prayer as I pray in my life. – Nadia Bolz-Weber, Pastrix

The year is 2001. Professor John casts his gaze across the batch of eager new students and, pausing for dramatic effect, calculates the measure of our idealism on some internal register built upon years of guiding sanguine undergrads. “Community is bullshit,” he grunts, turning away without explanation. Continue reading

Five Years In: Let’s Keep Composting Empire Together!

LydiaA Message from our Curators:

It’s really hard to believe that RadicalDiscipleship.net has been curating posts every day for five years. These voices have provided inspiration and challenge for those of us subverting popular and powerful versions of colonial Christianity. As we move into Year Six of this journalistic vocation, we’ve made an undemocratic executive decision to scale down our content. We believe this is good news as we’ve heard consistently from folks that it is quite a challenge to “keep up” with our daily onslaught of deep posts. Continue reading

Salted the Nile with her Tears

By Kelley Nikondeha, o

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: “Striated Heron,” Nile River, Luxor, Egypt, Becky Matsubara CC, flickr.com/beckymatsubara.

riginally printed in Geez magazine on Mothering.

A cry broke the early morning silence and interrupted the royal daughter’s bath.

Already knee-deep in the river, she knew instantly that it was a Hebrew baby. On the opposite shore a mother, exhausted from the crossing, dragged her wet body out of the river and collapsed – arms now empty.

As an adopted child, I grew up mesmerized by Moses with only a cursory interest in his mothers. Sunday school lessons didn’t help, offering a sentimentalized characterization of these women – the one who let go and the other who saved the boy through adoption. But as I grew, so did my understanding of the mothers. I learned their story existed against a socio-political backdrop complete with hard edges and harder choices. Continue reading

Indigenous Resistance Lifts the Veil of Colonial Amnesia

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Robert Spence and Lionel Flett fishing on Split Lake. Credit: Matthew Sawatzky

By Leanne Betasamosake Simpson. This article first appeared in Geez magazine’s winter 2014 issue, Geez 36: The End.

It’s always been interesting to me when settlers talk about apocalypse. It reveals a kind of privilege and naïveté that is indicative of how complete the destruction of Indigenous peoples and our nations is in the mindset of most Canadians and Americans.

It seems strange to me that ideas of invasion, attack, occupation, and dispossession are recent fodder for television series such as The Walking Dead. This fictional reality is so strikingly close to the colonial legacy I was born into, at least in concept, it is sometimes difficult to see it as entertainment. 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