The Tension of Two Postures

CvilleFrom the conclusion of The Mennonite blog post “Nonviolence Against White Supremacy After Charlottesville” by Tim Nafziger and Mark Van Steenwyk: 

We are both Christian pacifists committed to creative responses to white supremacy that step outside the myth of redemptive violence.

Pacifists are at their best when they commit to strong solidarity and are willing to lay their lives on the line for the ones they love. It can be a pure expression of compassion–suffering with the oppressed in such a way as to magnify the full humanity of the oppressed while, at the same time, showing love for the oppressor as well. Continue reading

Lying awake these nights

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By Lydia Wylie-Kellermann

I lie awake feeling the weight of the world on my chest. Death haunting our country again. Fifty lives and hundreds wounded. All from guns. I can’t twist my head around any rational for guns. I don’t understand the safety argument. I think of the man in the window and the media argument that he fits “no mold” for motive or terrorism. They can’t say it. That he fits exactly the mold of the violent rampage that rules this country. White men. There is a violent disease filled with numbing, racist hatred. It is a disease that knows no empathy, no kindness, no vulnerability, no self-knowledge, no community. It is a lonely, despicable rotting disease. I lie there with tears in my eyes and rage in my belly at the patriarchy and white supremacy that rules.

And then…I think of these two baby boys that sleep soundly feet away from my bed. I love them more than anything. I love their laughter and their tears and the people they are becoming. I think of this disease that is ready to pounce and swallow them whole. What can I do? How can I mother in a way where they refuse the outstretched hand offered to them as white men? My heart gives in and weeps.

White Liberals, You Too Are Complicit

AliciaBy Alicia Crosby, a Chicago-based community organizer, re-posted with permission from her blog Chasing The Promise

Today I find my body wrestling with illness while my spirit fights against the crushing weight of seeing the toll white supremacy is taking on the world around me. While I feel we all have some degree of complicity we can afford to address, I need to name a particular manifestation of this explicitly.

I am utterly exhausted by all the ways that progressive, liberal, and radical white folks run away from and contort themselves to avoid dealing with the truth that they too are complicit in upholding white supremacy. It’s often not overt supremacy that troubles me so much as the ways in which this particular group of folks refuses to identify, interrogate, hold, then deconstruct their own complicity in upholding this oppressive system.  Read MORE.

 

Sermon: Power of Names

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My Grandma Bea, me, my mom, and my sister Lucy

Preached by Lydia Wylie-Kellermann at the Day House Catholic Worker
August 27, 2017

Exodus 1:8-2:10
Matthew 16:13-20

As I read the opening piece of the text from Exodus, it feels like I am reading a script from the white men who marched on Charlottesville two weeks ago.

It begins with the Pharaoh naming his fear that the Israelites are becoming too numerous and powerful. He is scared they will out-number and over-take him. He orders that they be forced into labor and when that doesn’t work, he orders murder.

It echoes of the treacherous low-wage labor forced on undocumented folks living in constant fear.

It echoes of a prison industrial complex holding captive more black men today than were enslaved in the south. Continue reading

After the Rallies, the Real Work

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Philadelphia March. Photo from the News and Observer

By Will O’Brien

The Wednesday following the violence in Charlottesville, I joined with thousands of people in Philadelphia, mostly persons of faith, to march in the streets and rally.  The energy was high, the anger was rife, and the sense of energy to change palpable.  As distressing as the events were that precipitated this march, it felt good to be there.

But it also stirred some long-standing concerns and questions of mine.  This was partly the result of recently picking up off the shelf my old copy of Will D. Campbell’s memoir Brother to a Dragonfly, a book that had a powerful impact on me when I first read it over thirty years ago.  Campbell was a Southern Baptist preacher from rural Tennessee who became an important leader in the civil rights movement.  As a white southern man, he was part of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.  His radical understanding of the gospel and his own discernment of the racial crisis in his home region led him to the conviction that “Jesus died for the bigots as well,” and he took to a very controversial ministry among Ku Klux Klan members.  Ornery and wickedly funny, Campbell often cut through the pretensions and hypocrisies of many white liberal activists. Continue reading

Sermon: On Charlottesville

index.jpgBy Ross M. Reddick, Pastor
A gospel message delivered to Spanish Fort Presbyterian Church
8/13/2017
Text: Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28

Today’s scripture lesson is about hatred, and the results of hatred. Joseph’s brothers hated him. The reasons why, while they are important for a full understanding, seem to fade in importance today.

As our session met yesterday in the fellowship hall, as we were laughing together, making plans, praying and visioning, the city of Charlottesville, Virginia…erupted. Violently. As of last night, dozens of serious injuries are being dealt with by the medical community there, and at least three have died–two police officers (in the line of duty), and a 32 year old woman…crushed to death as a car intentionally rammed through a crowd of people.  Continue reading