The Evil of Being Silent

by Michael BoweDietrich Bonheoffer is often (mis) attributed for saying, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”  Whether or not he said this, it still never ceases to amaze me the things we put up with now, as if they are common every day occurrences.  There seems to be a complete ignorance of prejudice.  Instead, of addressing these issues, people seem to be justifying them.  What happened to our decency … [Read more...]

Poverty Stinks!

by Peter GathjePoverty stinks, literally and metaphorically. Being in poverty and on the streets doubly stinks. A shower and a change of clothes helps with the literal stench. For a day or so, the stench of homelessness and poverty are kept at bay. A shower, followed by putting on freshly laundered clothing, and some deodorant, is a small but significant act of resistance. Still, sleeping in one’s clothes, not having a change of clothes, and not having access to a bathroom, will inevitably l … [Read more...]

God, Lynching and the Role of Faith

On May 21, 2017, the Lynching Sites Project of Memphis, in commemoration of the 100 year anniversary of the Lynching of Ell Persons conducted a dedication of a marker along with an Interfaith Prayer Ceremony. Leading up to the commemoration, R3 published several posts that spoke about the horrific lynching of Ell Persons in particular but also posts about lynching and racialized violence more broadly. We link these posts below. 1. The Lynching of Ell PersonsOn March 23, 2017, I … [Read more...]

Trump and Moral Authority

by Matthew BoedyThis first appeared on the Citizen Critic's blog. We thank the editors for allowing us to cross post this piece.Recently “moral authority” has become part of the debate over the effectiveness of the Trump presidency. It is important to understand how this concept works beyond presidential politics. It can impact more broadly how we interact with each other.First, the political. Former Labor Secretary in the Clinton administration Robert Reich wrote in April that “the m … [Read more...]

The Lynching of Ell Persons

On March 23, 2017, I gave a speech at Central High School in Memphis, Tennessee. In the speech below, I talked about the lynching of Ell Persons in Memphis, Tennessee on May 22, 1917.  The speech was in conjunction with the Lynching Sites Project of Memphis; "a growing network of organizations and congregations of faith in order to acknowledge our shared history of racial violence and our ongoing resolve for racial justice and racial healing." On May 21, 2017, the Lynching Sites Project will … [Read more...]

“Is this Hell”: The Mass Murder of Blacks During (Post) Reconstruction

Below is a presentation I gave on February 16, 2017 at the Violence and Memory: Memorializing Historical Traumas from the Holocaust to the Jim Crow South symposium at the University of Memphis.In the presentation, I offered a rhetorical history and trajectory of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner’s rhetoric in chronicling, describing and detailing racialized violence against African Americans. Starting in the early days of Reconstruction and lasting throughout his life, through his many editorials, l … [Read more...]

10 Rules for Addressing Panhandlers

by Peter GathjeWhen I give a talk about homelessness, I am often asked, “Should I give to a panhandler?” The following “rules” have emerged from personal experience with giving, talks with panhandlers, and some knowledge about homelessness.1. Give or don't give. It is really your choice. But always look the person in the eye who is asking, and say "Hi" and then maybe add, "Sorry I can't help today" OR "Here you go." Always treat the person with respect.2. If you do give to a panhand … [Read more...]

Where are the Pastors?: Clergy and the Movement

by Derrick HolmesA few days ago, I was at a City Council event where citizens, elected officials and community leaders alike all gathered in the same place to discuss issues going on in the city. In Columbus, Ohio, tensions between police officers and the public are high because of the deaths of Jaron Thomas, Ty’re King and Henry Green; all young African American men who have lost their lives at the hands of law enforcement.While at this event, as it was beginning and opening remarks w … [Read more...]

The Continuing Battle Against Patriarchy

by Hannah Adair BonnerSo, I'm going to pull myself out of my aunt's funeral preparations for a moment to weigh-in on this Held-Evans/Hatmaker/Warren control-versy, because y'all are honestly hurting my soul.In case you are unaware, there has been a woman-on-woman twitterary battle going on over a rather ill-advised opinion piece of a conservative Anglican priest, Rev. Tish Harrison Warren, that Christianity Today published. In the piece, Warren threw shade at a Christian blogger, Jen … [Read more...]

White Silence and the Making of #WhiteChurchQuiet

On Monday Night April 3, 2017, the Center for Community Service and Justice at Loyola University-Maryland, invited me to give the Messina Lecture. I talked about white silence and the creation of #WhiteChurchQuiet. I like to thank Dr. Jean Lee Cole for offering the invitation to speak and everyone associated with the wonderful Loyola University-Maryland for their gracious hospitality. It is indeed an honor and privilege to be with you tonight. Before I start, allow me to give some shout outs … [Read more...]