Saving Atticus

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One day, all is right with the literary world... And then suddenly, one of the most significant characters of all time has transformed into someone we scarcely recognize. How does this happen? And what does it mean?First, a word about narrative sequence: Go Set a Watchman is not the sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird. Nor is it an intentional prequel. As legend has it (b/c any word spoken in reference to Nell Harper Lee smacks of legend) the author penned these pages first. They amount to what A … [Read more...]

Wade in the Water: Pools, Fountains, and the Stain of Segregation

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If the image of a 200+pound white man with a gun, pinning an unarmed, 90 pound black girl to the ground with his knees—while he is fully clothed and she is wearing a bikini—has not been keeping you up nights, then you must be missing something. Like maybe you missed the white male bystanders aiding the officer. Or maybe you missed the police shouting and cursing, while the kids just asked what in the world they'd done? Or maybe you missed the deadly weapon drawn and aimed at unarmed children as t … [Read more...]

Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist

From the 12th Street Riot, Detroit, 1967. #notalwaysthisovert

I cringe when an article begins “Dear White People…” It lacks nuance, among other things. So I am resisting my urge to start there, even though it’s exactly how this note goes, in my head. How about this:To all y’all who, like me, are not people of color, and/or, all who identify as ‘Caucasian’ when we check the little box on a survey or job application:   We have no idea. And maybe we should stop talking.  From a distance, the rioting in Baltimore looks like senseless, barbaric d … [Read more...]

ADVENTageous: Tragedy Plus Time

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This the growing edge of Advent: to take a time fraught with stress and damaging expectations, and instead use it for spiritual growth and good work in the world.  I'm sharing my attempt to grow through this season, rather than deplete my every ounce of energy; and to share good news, rather than just sharing Made-In-China stuff. Care to join me? Send in your stories, and I may share some.  A Staten Island grand jury declined to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the choking death of unarm … [Read more...]

Freedom Within, Freedom Without

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As is so often the case... I was late to the party.The virtual wake for Will D. Campbell, that is. When he passed away earlier this week, my newsfeed filled up quickly with articles about his life and work. As a general rule, if I see something go by more than 5 times, I take a minute to read it. After all, if so many people are thinking/talking about something...there's a good chance it needs to go into my sermon notes for the week.So I started reading up on the late pastor/author/civil … [Read more...]


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