I am getting arrested on Tuesday, October 15 to protest the latest draconian effort by the racist trump administration which will set refugees at an all-time low level of 18,000 (it was around 75,000) under Presidents Bush and Obama), and it will also allow local communities to block resettlement in their communities. This is part of the ongoing effort by the trump administration to instill state-sponsored terrorism against migrants and to whiten America by dehumanizing migrants of every kind, including refugees.
“That’s not who we are” was joined with the also oft-mentioned, “We have never done it that way before.” Both statements, in fact, function as a kind of moronic tautology. These statements preserve power and the status quo and they identify the innovator as someone who does not fit; who is not good for the organization because the goal of the organization is maintain it’s current structure.
Justice is on our side. As Rev. Dr. King reminds us, "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." We know that small groups of people with shared passion working towards the same goal can truly change the world. The question we need to constantly ask ourselves and others is simple: what are we passionate about? What is the thing - or things - that keep us up at night? And who else can we ask to join us so that we can begin to build movements that achieve real and lasting concrete change? This is how it is done.
Even as we are only ten days into this latest impeachable offense and the danger on the part of the occupant in the White House and the delusional obedience of his mindless followers will only dramatically ramp up as the process continues, this is why now, more than ever, it is best to remember that God speaks of great hope. It is in the dark times when God showers down the greatest blessings and fills us with uncontainable joy
More than disliking the utter hypocrisy and inhumanity of the evangelicals and their love affair with trump, evangelicals and the public in general – young and old alike – love authenticity and passion. No need to water down what we believe. We should live out what we believe. Our movement will be best served if we don’t try and be popular, but if just be who we are.
Today, September 11, we remember the horrific day 18 years ago and as I learned this morning on NPR, we also much recognize the costs that have been incurred for detaining those deemed “enemy combatants” at Guantanamo since 2001 have totaled $6 billion. Think about that. $6 billion for detaining a total of 775 people, mast of whom have been released because they were actually found to have done nothing wrong.
“Christian empires” aren’t the sole property of TV caricatures on TV. No, there are many people in the church, particularly in mainline denominations, who are building their own Christian mini-empires, minus the hairspray. What is core to these empires is self-enrichment, self-promotion, and/or self-protection.
I just finished re-reading Robert Cohen’s incredible book, Freedom’s Orator, which is about the life of Mario Savio. Savio was most known for being one of the leaders of the Free Speech Movement on the University of California Berkeley campus in 1964. Mario’s life and famous speech both inspires me and challenges the hell out of me to do more than I am doing now.
Tony Perkins wrote this past weekend that the reason why we have an epidemic of gun massacres has nothing to do with the white supremacist rhetoric coming from the White House or the unlimited access to guns in states like Texas, which passed a whole new slew of permissible gun laws granting even greater access to guns on the very same day that another white man went on a gun rampage killing seven, wounding far more, and creating over 15 different crime scenes in the process. No, the reason why we have an epidemic of gun violence is because we need more Christianity in our “public square.”
Yes, it costs a lot to discriminate. And this is what makes me so angry. To cover for her discrimination Kentucky must now spend money that could have been used to educate, or provide needed nutrition, or give necessary clean drinking water, or any number of other things. I am angry that Davis’ willful hatred of LGBTQ people does not just impact those she directly hates. Her unbiblical prejudice impacts so many more people.
Over the weekend Rev. William Barber spoke to a gathering of Democratic party leaders and reminded them that God’s commands to care for the poor were a necessary part of any moral engagement in the political realm. He was daring Republicans to call him a socialist and Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw took the dare. Crenshaw tweeted out, wrongly, “The Bible teaches charity with one’s own time and money. Socialism teaches charity with other people’s time and money.” Crenshaw should have deleted that tweet.
On Wednesday donald trump made a number of outlandish and nonsensical comments. One of them was eerily familiar to me. It was during a wild 40 minute press gaggle outside the White House when trump claimed, in response to the harm his ridiculous trade war with China is causing the economy, that he was “the chosen one” as he looked up in the sky. But we should not be surprised by this claim. I am not at least. I have heard claims like this for as long as I have been a Christian, specifically in the evangelical world.
To save you the excruciating pain of having to actually watch Fox News prime time in order to refute the inhumane and ineffective policies of this current administration, I am sharing below some of the arguments I keep coming across and a few ways to respond, and I am focusing on the latest administrative rule to be handed down: the public charge rule.
I absolutely believe in the transformational power of relationships. I believe in relationships as the primary vehicle by which God uses to change the world. It is essential to create spaces for people directly impacted by injustice and potential allies with privilege to begin mutual and honest relationships that can lead to solidarity and political power for the purpose of achieving concrete change. But I am exhausted from trying to build bridges with people who live in privilege solely for the sake of building bridges.
I honestly cannot imagine how hurtful and completely unnecessary this experience was for the nearly 700 migrants in Mississippi on Wednesday. I would likely be consumed with an aching, sick feeling of being separated from my children, my church, and my community. And oh the shame of being arrested and detained and set for deportation. My freedom gone, my hopes for a new life for my kids dashed, and I had done nothing wrong besides loving my family enough to try and provide a good life for them.
Today donald trump will wrongly go to El Paso and Dayton and it feels to me like he victimizing the people there a second time. These are families dealing with unbelievable tragedy as well as families of those injured dealing with uncertain futures. It also includes the communities at large who are left to pick up and move on after their lives have been upended by the violence in their backyards. But he is going and just before he left he of course went after Beto O’Rourke in yet another one of his vicious attacks on people.