What I will take away from my five days in south Texas is this: Unless we are willing to let go of systems and theologies that target the vulnerable, unless we are willing to recognize our own Saul-like tendencies, I don’t think the scales will fall from our eyes.
I recently used the term “theological malarkey” in response to a question related to Trinitarian theology. That has inspired me to call out a few other forms of theological malarkey in American religion today.
Despite their disturbing, even demonic, histories, both white supremacy and nationalism are back. Now they are fused with Christian zeal, a mixture that has only ever been – and will only ever be – toxic.
We must not only deal with the ongoing effects of atrocities, we must also change society itself. Lamentations may acknowledge sorrow over atrocities committed, but they do not repair the harm nor transform the world.
Political leaders’ amorality and immorality about justice has always been tolerated, if not actively enabled, by religious nationalists in congregations in all regions of the country and in every religious sect.
In his new book, The Color of Compromise, Jemar Tisby documents the ways in which white Christians, churches and religious institutions inside and outside the South manifested, acquiesced to and facilitated racist responses to people of color in general and African Americans in particular.
Korean minjung theologians speak of han, the deep and abiding suffering that persists as a result of unresolved injustice. Right now, I believe our faith communities are overwhelmed by han. In this in-between space of conflict and despair, let’s remember that doing right is its own reward.
The nutritional makeup of these annual gatherings normally consists of 10 percent awkward side hugs, 20 percent irrelevant breakout sessions, 30 percent over-priced, low-value luncheons and 40 percent whitewashed worship services. However, at recent assemblies I’ve noticed a decrease of Baptist baloney and an increase of Baptist babies.
In your community and mine, it is easy to find children who are, for myriad reasons, embroiled in the juvenile justice system. Will we stand idle and silent, allowing beloved children of God to be funneled away from academic success and rerouted toward the juvenile justice system?