A Facebook video shows a deputy sheriff getting in the face of a young black protester attempting to access the courthouse lawn in Selma, Alabama, in 1965. The young man keeps his cool, insisting their intentions are merely to pray peacefully, but the deputy isn’t interested. He just wants them to leave.
“You take your prayers back to your church,” he sneers. “That’s the proper place to pray.”
I’ve been thinking about creative tension. Not because I’m into conflict; I’m not—particularly when it comes to the self-righteous rhetoric of our polarized politics.
When Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke of creative tension, he meant the kind of existential social crisis that prophetic actions can produce. He meant drawing out latent aggressions and biases by peacefully holding the higher moral ground. [Read more…]