On Sunday, after a tragic week of race-related killings in Dallas, Minneapolis, and Baton Rouge, I took a seat in my white evangelical middle-class megachurch in central Pennsylvania. I didn’t know what to expect, but as the sermon began I found myself pleasantly surprised. My pastor used his scheduled sermon on the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25–37) to address the issue of race in America.
I used to lead activities like the "Privilege Walk" and "Cross the Line." I couldn't shake the feeling that they were not taking us very far.
Many will look at the tribal and ethnic tensions that exist all around the world as a problem as old as human civilization. Isn’t this a strong argument for the reality that the racism that was practiced by white/western Europe is indeed just a reflection of what has always been?
The question of American identity has historically been both complex and contested. What’s more, it often yields mythic notions rooted in exceptionalist dogmas like election, commission, moral regeneracy, sacred land, and innocent past. Embedded in religious American exceptionalism is the American Dream: if an individual works hard, perseveres, and is a good citizen, there is no limit to how far she can advance.
The Spirit’s loving, life-giving, transformative power—Divine Eros—connects us, moves within us, and can heal the wounds of our division.
Why does the church participate in modern-day lynching, or at most turn a blind eye, rather than protesting as our faith would dictate?
Join me in June for Duke Divinity's 'Summer Institute for Reconciliation' to learn together how we can subvert the currents of racial hierarchy and racism that permeate our lives.
Moral concern usually begins when one person makes an effort to become, in some measure, one with the other. Privilege impedes this.
The Enlightenment view of autonomous human subjects is built into the law, so the criminal justice system floats on myths and superstitions.