This Atheist is Thankful for the Clergy

Clergy Pray During Protest in Ferguson

The word “clergy” makes me uncomfortable. I’ve always thought of myself as a nonreligious person, and the idea of a class of people separated from the rest of us, granted special privileges due to their position as representatives of a religious tradition, worries me. Too often, it seems to me, these privileges are held by those who [Read More...]

How Should Protesters Relate to the Police?

Act Out

This week I sat in on a press conference held by the Don’t Shoot Coalition, a broad alliance of national and St. Louis-based groups dedicated to securing structural change after the shooting of Michael Brown. As part of the press conference the Coalition proposed a set of “rules of engagement” meant to guide protesters and the police ahead of [Read More...]

When is it Right to Take Action?

Act Out

In my conversations about the ongoing protests in Ferguson and St. Louis one argument from those who do not support the protests has become a refrain: how can we protest against the shooting of Mike Brown when we don’t yet know all the facts? This is not a totally ridiculous question. We don’t know all [Read More...]

The Art of Social Protest

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Protest is an art form: a way of bringing to the surface structural inequality and injustice so that people can glimpse, if only for a moment, the invisible cage which constantly imprisons oppressed people. Artful protests reveal inequalities in surprising and provocative ways while remaining non-violent and invitational, inspiring people to think and act differently rather [Read More...]

Marching through Ferguson

Crowds in Ferguson

It’s strange, perhaps, for an activist to admit they do not enjoy marches. Marches and rallies – so often the go-to response when a community wishes to demonstrate power, generate solidarity, or express outrage – make me deeply uncomfortable. The emotional energy, the collective passion, the chanting and shouting and call-and-response: all of it makes [Read More...]

Echoes of New England

Cape Cod from the Provincetown Monument

Inside the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown, echoes. Echoes of footsteps from people climbing up, 252 feet of stair and slope and stone. Echoes of voices from people speaking with each other, planing their weekend or recounting their adventures. Echoes of laughter from children running, trying to reach the top before their parents. And echoes from [Read More...]


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