The Visibility and Invisibility of Confederate Ghosts

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Earlier this week, students from the Muslim Students Association, the Black Student Movement, Radical Asians, The Real Silent Sam Coalition, and other student groups from the University of North Carolina gathered in protest outside of Saunders Hall as part of an ongoing dialogue to change this building's name. Saunders Hall is the home of the Religion and Geography departments at UNC. The building honors William L. Saunders (1835-1891), a UNC graduate, university trustee, former Confederate Army … [Read more...]

A Changed Life

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 Dreaming is surely a way of seeing, of seeing with the mind’s eye. More than that, it is the soul’s perception of the world, it is an exposure made by the imagination, an involuntary record, a spiritual index, if you will. Do you know, I have been dreaming of the river that runs below.YAHWEH to URSET (In the Bear’s House by N. Scott Momaday) In 2012, I stood before pictures of dead bodies, and walked through stories of entire villages gone from genocide that ravaged the tiny count … [Read more...]

Something Of God

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“Look for God, suggests my Guru. Look for God like a man with his head on fire looks for water.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat. Pray. Love. A friend of mine recently told me that he has decided to become a mystic.Yeah, just like that.Knowing him to be a deeply spiritual person, I was nevertheless surprised by this decisive announcement. One does not generally expect 24-year-old punk rockers from upper New York to embrace a life of austerity and contemplation. He’s pretty sure he can pull it … [Read more...]

Songs of Faith and Doubt

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"It is not as a child that I believe and confess Jesus Christ. My hosanna is born of a furnace of doubt.” —Fyodor DostoyevskiMusic has always played a huge part in expressing my faith and even questioning it. From my late teens where I discovered the underground Christian music culture to a song I just discovered recently. Here are a few songs that have meant something on my faith journey.Breathe Deep Lost Dogs Breath Deep by Lost Dogs on Grooveshark I didn’t fully understand what a su … [Read more...]

Marcus Borg: The Legacy of a Theological Mystic

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     Marcus Borg was a rare and beautiful paradox in a time of great social, political and religious polarities. He was a theological mystic--and of these there are far too few. I came to awareness of his body of work and this quality of spirit very late in the game. I am not much of a theologian and only slightly more coordinated in my clumsy crooked mysticism.For me he was inspirational and aspirational in his beautifully paradoxical way. I … [Read more...]

The Evidential Reformation: Facts as God’s Word

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Religion is undergoing a massive shift in perspective. It is a shift at least as wrenching as the Copernican revolution, which required humanity to bid farewell to an Earth-centered understanding of our place in the cosmos. The religious revolution on the horizon today might well be called the “Evidential Reformation.” We humbly shift away from a human-centric, ethnocentric, and shortsighted view of what is important. At the same time, we expand our very identities to encompass the immense jou … [Read more...]

MLK Day Sermon: Paul and Martin’s Dream of Reconciliation through Nonviolent Direct Action

Both the civil rights movement and Paul's ministry to the Corinthians were catalyzed by a dream of reconciliation, forged through the tactics of nonviolent direct action.The Reverend Dr. Martin King Jr. spoke of “beloved community” as a way of evoking that ancient metaphor from Jesus: “the kingdom of God.” As King said, following a Supreme Court verdict that desegregated Montgomery buses: “The end is reconciliation. The end is redemption. The end is the creation of the Beloved Community.” The … [Read more...]

Ableist Metaphors In Worship: Why It Matters

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Guide my feet while I run this race,Except I don't run. My feet don't work all that well. Where is my part in this?In the past few weeks, out of my regular routine, I have encountered ableism in worship in a way that I usually don't. Songs that lift up as exemplars of things that I will never do and casual uses of the words of disability to mark ways that people have problems or limitations weighed on me. I began to think about why it is that people who are building Beloved Community are … [Read more...]

I Am Tired: A Poem About Race

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To all the people who are tired of talking about race.I want you to know that I am tired too.I am tired of white people touching my hair like I am a sheep in a petting zoo.I am tired of being followed around stores by employeesI am tired of never being able to find foundation or pantyhoseI am tired of the looks I get from people when I walk down the street with my husband (who is White)I am tired of the spikes of fear that go through my body when a cop looks at me too … [Read more...]

Selma

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50 years ago is a very short time.Fifty years ago there loomed a war over the mind's of Americans. In the south, preachers screamed vehemently and twisted the word of God to suggest that slavery and racism were God's truth.  Men and women found themselves beaten, raped, and tolerating all manners of abuse. Children walked down the street, and were gunned down just for being black.50 years ago is a very short time.Fifty years later, I think there is a war and an attack on the minds of … [Read more...]


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