By Ric Hudgens (Quarentine Essay #89)

The violence that conservative Christianity embraces is not its only problem. “Guns, God, and Guts” may be their cry, but their reality is also linked to white body supremacy. Violence, racism, and religion, that unholy trinity, are as American as apple pie.

Throughout these essays, I’ve addressed the abiding racial injustice underlying and pervading this crisis. Our health inequalities mirror our socio-economic inequalities, and all of them rest upon a foundation of institutional white racism. Racism is America’s original sin, and white supremacy is woven into the warp and woof of our national fabric. 

The events of January 6, 2021, will become one of those moments we look back on (like the 1965 march in Selma) when America’s racist reality was stripped bare for everyone to see. The battle cry from the Capitol steps to “take back our country” is an anguished cry. It is the cry of White Christian Americans fearful of their freedom to remain dominant over all other Americans who are neither White nor Christian.



By Ric Hudgens (Quarantine Essay #88 )

Wednesday morning, January 6, I was elated with the results from Georgia. Two Democratic Senate seats won and a chance for the Biden administration to make some real progress in repairing the past four years’ destruction. I began to write an essay focused on Van Jones’s CNN comments on “Black joy won over White rage in Georgia” (still a recommended listen). The proven impact of both grassroots organizing and the extension of voting rights gave me a glimpse of hope for the American future. Maybe 2021 would not be as bleak as 2020.

But the mob activity in Washington, DC that afternoon, plus the subsequent investigation that revealed some of the intentions of those invaders, left me in agreement with Elaine Godfrey in The Atlantic – “It Was Supposed To Be So Much Worse” (The Atlantic, January 9, 2021).


Seeing 2020

By Ric Hudgens (right)

This is the year that reveals every “new” year
for the empty symbol it is. Useful for keeping
records, filing documents or measuring our
annual rate of growth, twelve months merely
marks another planetary lap around the sun.
That is all it means. So make some whoopie
if you want, but something has to finish before
the new begins. It’s still not over. The lying
doesn’t end here, but neither does the truth.
Thousands more, someone you never expected,
will die, things hidden will be revealed, and,
dependably, we will learn of goodness abiding
despite. Hold your friends close (we know who
they are now), and keep your enemies
in view. Our tumult continues, and justice
requires a longer arc. I am stuck in the middle
with you. 2020 disappears in the small print.
Our vision may never be so clear again.

Possibly Even Magic

Note: In the lead-up to the election, is prodding leaders to submit creative and concise pieces (500 words or less) on both hope and resistance.

Bree Newsome, June 27, 2015.

By Ric Hudgens

In the early 1980s, not long after the death of Steven Biko, I registered for an independent study on the nonviolent struggle in South Africa. I knew little of nonviolence or South Africa and wanted to learn more. Based on my semester-long research, I concluded that there wasn’t much chance without bloodshed for a peaceful outcome in South Africa. Of course, I was wrong. Academic research is linear, but real life isn’t. There were things below the surface and things about to surface in South Africa that I couldn’t predict.

Continue reading “Possibly Even Magic”

The Movement Must Begin Inside Each of Us

LewisA rare Sunday read. From Ric Hudgens. A reflection on the life of John Lewis. This is Quarantine Essay #58 from Hudgens, the Cal Ripken of

When I want to understand the potential a human being might have or the difference that one person might make in this world, I don’t look to celebrities or billionaires. I look to John Lewis.

Someone who refuses to wear a face mask because it threatens their liberty doesn’t know the price of liberty. Their understanding of freedom is narrow and malignant. John Lewis understood. He paid the price, not once but time again, because freedom is not a one-time thing. Continue reading “The Movement Must Begin Inside Each of Us”

Pentecost as a Riot of the Unheard

MinnyBy Ric Hudgens

This Sunday, May 31, 2020, Christians celebrate the Day of Pentecost. It is a celebration rooted in the Hebrew “Feast of Weeks” (Shavuot). Christians around the world observe it on the seventh Sunday after Easter. The Biblical origin of the sacred holiday is the Book of Acts, chapter 2, which describes the “descent of the Holy Spirit” upon the earliest church. Continue reading “Pentecost as a Riot of the Unheard”

Teaching Eco-Ministry

RicBy Ric Hudgens (right)

I just finished teaching a class in Eco-Ministry at Garrett Seminary. My initial (and still favorite) title for the course was a play on John Wesley’s quote, “the world is my parish.” I wanted to call it The Earth is Our Parish. However, the formal title became “CL-621 Earth Ministry for Ecological Renewal.” CL-621 is one of the core courses in the Ecological Regeneration Concentration of Garrett’s new Masters in Public Ministry program.

I’m writing about it here not primarily to promote Garrett Seminary, but because this Eco-Ministry is a growing edge in contemporary ministry. It often has interfaith and eco-spiritual aspects, which are essential. But its placement in Garrett’s new Public Ministry degree gave it a distinctive social and political slant that is sometimes missing. Garrett’s version also featured radical discipleship resources that gave it a particular focused and practical impact. Continue reading “Teaching Eco-Ministry”

Never Forget

Deschutes National ForestBy Ric Hudgens, Quarantine Essay #22, originally posted to Facebook on April 18, 2020. Ric is posted all his essays to Medium

Every day for the past month, something has stunned me. I’ve been unable to respond. I’m astonished by the news stories I’m hearing. I see and hear horrifying things.

The world has never been an entirely pleasant place. Horrifying things happen all the time. But now perhaps I’ve slowed down enough to feel and see the full weight of them.

I’m not surprised by the inequalities revealed in this crisis. They have been there for anyone to see who wanted to look. The callous disregard for human life by those who claim to be “pro-life” doesn’t surprise me. Their understanding of “life” has always been very narrow, partisan, and racist. Continue reading “Never Forget”