Try not to be the Bad Guy in the story: What it means to be ‘on the wrong side of history’

This man lost. His side lost. But he was not on "the wrong side of history" because he is the good guy in this story.

“The wrong side of history” is not a claim about the future, but a claim about the present. And it’s not a claim about winners or losers or about the inevitable progress of the dialectic. It’s about good guys and bad guys. Every rhetorical invocation of TWSOH is an invitation to ask Mitchell and Webb’s question: “Are we the baddies?” [Read more...]

Public theology 1: Resurrection, vindication and bearing witness

Caravaggio

This story of Thomas, from the 20th chapter of John’s Gospel, is aptly chosen for its relevance to the subject of body cameras, but Pinckney doesn’t simply appeal to the story as a simple parable affirming the value of visual evidence. His argument is framed by his affirmation of resurrection — and thus of vindication. The resurrection and vindication of Jesus Christ becomes the vindication, too, of Walter Scott. [Read more...]

‘I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living’

Bree Newsome preaches a sermon on the 27th Psalm in Columbia, South Carolina. (Reuters Media Express/Adam Anderson Photos pic snurched from Vox.)

“We come against … hatred, oppression, and violence. I come against you in the name of God,” Bree Newsome said, high in the air above the statehouse grounds in Columbia, South Carolina on Saturday. Newsome was arrested — charged with defacing monuments on state capitol grounds — but only after she had climbed all the [Read More...]

A prayer in a sanctuary

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“God, we welcome and invite you into this place, your house. We thank you for the spirit that dwells here. The spirit of Denmark Vesey. The spirit of R.H. Cain. The spirit of Dr. King. The spirit of many of the unsung heroes of our people. But we also thank you, God, for all persons who come seeking to expand their horizons and seeking to learn more about what our country is made of and what makes us who we are as a people and as a country.” [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (6.9)

Charles C. Mann and David Roberts on the future of our species. Dianna E. Anderson on a Mohlerette’s attempt to make Jesus a right-winger. Alana Massey on white Protestantism and American racism. And Redditt Hudson, “I’m a black ex-cop, and this is the real truth about race and policing.” [Read more...]

‘I was homeless, and you chased me away …’

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“There is a way to keep safe, clean grounds while helping our homeless neighbors — and it’s both easier and harder than installing sprinkler systems or putting up fences. It requires the investment of time and resources to build relationships, listen and help.” [Read more...]

Something like love should hold me up high

TonyPerkins

I don’t recall reading any interviews with Jon Stott about his leaving evangelicalism for the Anglican Church. It’s perfectly legal to execute an innocent person — William Rehnquist said so. The Eggman of Euclid is not the worst Ohio criminal on the loose. And two trailers that explain why I’ll probably be pretty unproductive next month. [Read more...]

Smart people saying smart things (3.9)

Ta-Nehisi Coates on “The Gangs of Ferguson.” Mychal Denzel Smith and Elias Isquith also read and respond to the DOJ report. Amelia Boynton Robinson remembers Bloody Sunday in Selma. Derrick Jensen on the unmasking of hatred. [Read more...]


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