How the late Toni Morrison “did language” invited a greater intentionality in telling the stories that might make for a different future. What could be more important in these troubling and traumatic days than crafting language that heals a broken nation, a people concerned about the current dystopic narrative?
The church has not just been on the wrong side of history, but on the wrong side of Christianity. Anti-Semitism is by definition a repudiation of Christianity as well as of Judaism, and an enemy of pluralism and democracy.
It’s a question we have asked countless times: have we reached a turning point? Do our faith communities, whose history began at the place of the skull and the killing fields of a Roman coliseum, have a will or a witness for our assault-weapon-proliferated, executionary times?
Donald Trump rode to political power on words even more inflammatory and vitriolic than those of the early George Wallace in the 1960s. At least Wallace, late in life, demonstrated the moral capacity to re-evaluate himself. To this point, at least, Trump has not.
Baldwin’s “mystical” solution to the lies of white supremacy is immensely practical. Such spirituality looks like organizing our communities to attend to the political and economic wounds our nation inflicts and to bring into practice a community that is at once more grounded and more beautiful than we have dared to imagine.
Today, Christians in America tend to find ourselves in two reactionary camps: those into apologetics and those into apologies. Both sides come from a stance of fear. If we continue reacting from our defensive postures, then we have learned nothing from scripture, tradition, human experience or, God forbid, the Holy Spirit.
White Christians in America must see racism for what it is: sin. Seeing our sin and our complicity is the first step to repentance. We must see this because it’s literally killing our neighbors of color, all created in the image of God.
What if preachers quit trying to be clever or to control outcomes and instead simply led with sincere vulnerability? It would require trusting the congregation to receive you with kindness and, for your part, a self-compassion for your own tenderness.
In confronting white nationalist terror and the Washington-based bigotry that has invited it into the mainstream, we must be both fierce in our struggle but also prayerful in our devotion. We must call this nation to repent for its sins and call it too to save itself from this “corrupt generation.”