An Open Apology to Kaitlin Curtice from a Baylor Alumnus

An Open Apology to Kaitlin Curtice from a Baylor Alumnus February 17, 2020

On Wednesday, February 12, Potawatomi author, poet, and storyteller Kaitlin Curtice spoke in chapel at my alma mater Baylor University about her journey of decolonizing her Christian faith, inviting students into their own journey of decolonization. During the first of three chapels, a student interrupted Curtice mid-address by shouting, “No one even thinks like that!” in response to Curtice’s statement that “in the church today, women are not seen as equal to men.” A Baylor-sanctioned student group that describes itself as “dedicated to the founding principles of American exceptionalism, Christian ethics, & Baylor heritage” then publicly disavowed the chapel service and called on the university to publicly apologize to constituents for inviting Curtice to speak in chapel. They then went to the local media who reported on the “controversy” of Curtice reportedly using feminine language for the divine in her prayer. This is not the first time a BIWOC (Black/Indigenous/Woman of Color) chapel speaker has been interrupted and harassed at Baylor. And yet the institution is yet to issue a public apology to Curtice for how she was treated during her visit. As a graduate of Baylor, I offer my own public apology below.

Kaitlin Curtice (Patheos)

Dear Kaitlin,

In my office hangs a diploma from Baylor University with my name on it. The degree I received there gives me all the power, privileges, and benefits that come with holding a doctorate from Baylor. With it, I have access to positions and spaces within academia and the church that I wouldn’t otherwise have.

In exchange, I carry with me the name of Baylor wherever I go and in whatever I do. By Baylor conferring on me a degree and I accepting it, Baylor and I are forever inseparable. I am now forever a member of what Baylor athletics refers to as “Baylor Nation.”

Being a member of Baylor Nation means that I am partly responsible for what happens at Baylor. And as a member of Baylor Nation, I am deeply sorry for what happened to you last week at your invited address at Baylor chapel.

You came to Baylor with a message of peace. You would have been well within your rights to denounce Baylor for our history—including our quite recent history—of racism, white supremacy, sexual violence, and homophobia. Instead, you shared about your own journey of discovery and healing—of, in your terminology, “decolonizing.” Even as a Potawatomi woman, you confessed, “I wouldn’t dare call myself decolonized when there’s still so much decolonizing to do.” You acknowledged your own “white privilege” as a “mixed European and Potawatomi woman.” And you admitted that you participate in the very systems of oppression that you are learning to question. Throughout your talk, you spoke not of “me versus you” but of “we,” inviting students into their own journey of discovery, healing, and liberation alongside you. You refused to vilify individuals but spoke instead against dehumanizing and oppressive systems. Quoting your friend Rachel Held Evans, you spoke out of “deep love” for your community.

In response, a student chose to heckle you during your talk. Instead of apologizing to you publicly before your subsequent chapel addresses, the chapel director (no doubt well intentioned) introduced you with a trigger warning to students, comparing your talk to a previous chapel talk by an Air Force chaplain and lieutenant colonel and inviting students to walk out of your talk and speak to chapel staff if they were uncomfortable with your message. (Did he give a similar trigger warning before the white male lieutenant colonel’s address?)

When a student group immediately vilified you as “a speaker with pagan sympathies,” the Baylor president issued a statement not defending you or apologizing to you for the treatment you were receiving during and following your visit. No, her statement distanced Baylor from you, stating, “Every Chapel speaker works with us ahead of time on what message they will be sharing, but on occasion, a speaker may veer away from our understanding of the message they planned to convey.” (What part of your message veered away from their prior understanding of what you planned to convey? What was their understanding of what you planned to convey?)

In a sense, the president’s message to concerned students and their parents was more authentic than a quick apology to you would have been. While there are many good people at Baylor—many of whom you likely met during your visit—as an institution Baylor is still deeply invested in the colonizing systems and logics that you came to help us dismantle. Despite the traditional Baptist emphasis on separation of church and state, the “Christian heritage” at Baylor is still enmeshed with whiteness, nationalism, patriarchy, and colonialism.

While all speech is inherently political, it is disheartening to see your gentle invitation to join you in wrestling with our shared cultural heritage dismissively characterized as part of a “liberal agenda” instead of as what it is: proclamation of the gospel. As my friend and colleague Malinda Elizabeth Berry writes, the Doctrine of Discovery that allowed colonial powers to seize Indigenous land with impunity is the “originating sin” of the United States of America. It has so infected the consciousness of white Western Christians that many of us reflexively consider the idea of Indigenous Christianity to be inherently syncretistic. But by inviting us to decolonize our faith, you help us to see how our own colonialist conception of Christianity is what’s syncretistic, as our faith has blended with American exceptionalism, nationalism, capitalism, militarism, and patriarchy until questioning any of the latter is taken as an affront to the former. Decolonizing is thus another name for what Jesus calls repentance—turning away from systems of violence and empire in order to embrace the nonviolent kingdom of heaven as those with pure hearts who seek after the righteousness and justice of God.

I am writing this from my home in South Bend, Indiana, along the St. Joseph River. As you described in your chapel address, the land on which my home now stands is land of the Potawatomi Nation who, in 1838, were forcibly removed from it by the US government. As historian Rich Meyer describes, around 800 Potawatomi were marched at gunpoint by US soldiers to Kansas on what became known as the Trail of Death. It is called the Trail of Death because, during this forced emigration in the chilly months of September and November, an estimated 60 of the 800 Potawatomi—most of them elderly or children—died. Those who survived were left homeless and landless, and many of them moved south to Oklahoma where you were later born.

To my Baylor family, I ask: Is there something particularly “controversial” or “partisan” or “divisive” about remembering this history, these deaths? If so, then what does that say about our allegiances? Might the Spirit be calling us, through the voice of our sister Kaitlin, to repent of our complicity in systems of death so that we may instead choose life that we and our neighbors and our children and all God’s creation might live?

Kaitlin, I cannot take back what my ancestors did to yours. Nor can I take back what my university did to you. But, humbled by your invitation to join you in decolonizing our shared faith, I repent. I repent of my own silent complicity in the harms done to you and your people and of the ways that, even today, I benefit from the displacement of your ancestors from the land on which I now call home. And I repent further of my own silent complicity in an educational system that values “civil discourse” over truth and justice.

I pray the day will come soon when my alma mater‘s administration will join me not just in apology but also in repentance so that justice might roll down like a mighty flood and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Shalom,

David Cramer, PhD 2016 (religion), Baylor University

Watch Curtice’s February 12 Baylor chapel address below.

About David C. Cramer
David C. Cramer is teaching pastor at Keller Park Church in South Bend, Indiana, and managing editor at the Institute of Mennonite Studies at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana. You can read more about the author here.

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  • NatDee

    Kaitlin Curtice doesn’t just have “pagan sympathies,” she is a full on pagan. She said a prayer in chapel to “Mother Mystery.”

    If you don’t understand why that is wrong, then you need to send your diploma back to Baylor. They failed you.

  • There’s a venerable tradition of using the divine feminine in prayer within orthodox Christianity, including such notable figures as St. Anselm. If you are unacquainted with this practice, there are some quotes in this sermon I preached last Mother’s Day: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/anabaptistrevisions/2019/05/you-gave-birth-to-the-whole-world-mothers-day-sermon-john-1022-30/

    You might also speak to or engage the writing of Baylor theology professor Natalie Carnes on this, who could point you to further resources: https://www.baylor.edu/religion/index.php?id=933202

    Christ’s peace to you, my friend.

  • A brief visit to her blog shows she isn’t Christian but she does preach critical race theory. Very sad. Why did Baylor invite her?

  • Matthew S. Beal

    Is God not Mother as well as Father, and is God not mystery? S/he is, indeed, and if you do not see this, I can only encourage you to attend to some of the more neglected metaphors in Scripture.

  • NatDee

    Are you honestly suggesting she was praying a prayer from St. Anselm? She was praying to a Native American Earth Goddess.

  • Brian Arbuckle

    “I repent of my …benefit from the displacement
    of your ancestors from the land on which I now call home.”

    David, do you own your home or are you only renting. If you own and are planning to sell, and it sounds as if you are, I may be interested.

  • Brian Arbuckle

    No, God is Father who sometimes acts like a mother. At least in the orthodox Christian conception. Further, God the Father is mysterious but God is not mystery. At least in the orthodox Christian conception.

  • I’m not suggesting anything but merely pointing out that there is precedent within the mainstream of Christian orthodoxy for the very terminology you object so vociferously to. Your interpretation of the prayer is one possibility but it isn’t the immediately obvious one. It is also possible that when you or I pray to “Father God,” we are invoking the Warrior God of American Exceptionalism rather than the God of Christian orthodoxy. An interesting conversation could be had, to be sure, but since your account is private, and I therefore don’t know who I’m talking to, I’m doubtful that further conversation on these matters is going to be fruitful. Feel free to contact me directly if you are interested in charitable exchange. Cheers.

  • Tranda

    Thanks for your letter concerning Kaitlin Curtice’s chapel talk at Baylor. She is one of the author’s who keeps drawing me back to Christ even though I find many of the Christians in my community decidedly un-christ-like. I find it so interesting that a young man felt empowered enough to interrupt Ms. Curtice’s statement about the lack of respect for women in the church setting. I wonder why he felt free to do so. Does he publicly interrupt men who are speaking in chapel? Some people do not understand irony. Writing this as a member of the Cherokee Nation who is living on land that was formerly called Kekionga by the Miami tribe.

  • Brian Arbuckle

    Keep in mind that David thinks Rachel Held Evans was an evangelical.

  • Matthew S. Beal

    So God is somehow ontologically a male being, with Fatherhood being proper and Motherhood being merely metephorical? You probably cannot realize how very heterodox (at best) that belief actually is. God is as much mother as father, since all language about God’s being ad intra can only be metaphorical, and since male and female are equally in the image of God, God cannot therefore be reduced to one or the other. I can only assume that your appeal to orthodoxy is not a reference to the Orthodox branch of the faith, since they tend to have a greater appreciation for mystery than many Catholic and Protestant strains of thought. Regardless, all branches have an appreciation for mystery in their best expressions. Ultimately all language about God falls short.

  • Matthew S. Beal

    From her homepage: “As both a member of the Potawatomi Nation and a Christian, Kaitlin Curtice offers a unique perspective on these topics.” What gives you the impression that she is not a Christian? I can assure you that critical race theory is profoundly consonant with the Christian faith.

  • Brian Arbuckle

    No. God is not ontologically male. God is ontologically Father.. Again, God is mysterious but God is not Mystery. There is no need to appeal to mystery in matters about which God has, by virtue of self-revealing, given clarity. God has revealed himself as Father in his essential being, not mother. God, who is spirit, is as much male as he is female, but God is not, as you say, as much mother as he is father. You’re correct. I cannot imagine how very heterodox such a belief is. I am very familiar with Orthodox understandings. Most fundamentally, Orthodoxy does not regard itself as a “branch of the faith.” I agree, all human language about God falls short. That is why the Word of God is so critical. Sadly, Ms. Curtice, in her appeal to Mystery, has no word. Orthodox Christianity, on the other hand, has an Incarnation who taught us to pray, “Our Father…..”

  • Matthew S. Beal

    But if you are saying Father as opposed to Mother, then you are necessarily speaking of a male being. That’s how language works.

    I won’t beleaguer this any longer, but I sure hope you come to appreciate the feminine aspects of the one true God and to stand mute at fathomless mystery. Oh how very much you and we all miss with this masculinization of God and neutering of mystery, and how much harm then follows as we impose false sureties, no matter how “orthodox” or assured the tombs we build for such decay.

  • Brian Arbuckle

    Yes, I do appreciate those feminine aspects of the one true God. And I do embrace mystery having no compulsion to deny it. Thank you!

  • Matthew, this is all a made up controversy since it’s now come to light that Curtice didn’t use the phrase that’s been attributed to her (not that it would have been a problem if she had or if she has elsewhere).

    https://www.kwtx.com/content/news/BU-speakers-prayer-to-Mother-Mystery-sparks-campus-controversy-567855401.html

  • Matthew S. Beal

    Sigh. Made up, indeed. I rather liked the phrase, so I am almost sorry she didn’t use it.

    Welcome to the paranoia of conservative indignation (not that liberals are immune to such knee-jerk offensability).

  • Brian Arbuckle

    Why do you conclude that this is a made up controversy? Perhaps it is merely a controversy born of misunderstanding. Although, in the talk you have shared, she makes no mention of “Mother Mystery” there are plenty of other elements that reveal her theology to be woefully deficient. Well, perhaps not at Baylor or AMBS.

  • That outlet, like the Baylor Lariat, is only going by Baylor’s official statement that it reviewed Curtice’s talks from all three chapel services and that she never used that term. Yet, it has only released the recording from *one* service. A Baylor official said he “is working” on providing the other two recordings so everyone can judge for themselves.

  • Jcp311

    How is critical race theory “profoundly consonant” with the Christian faith? Scripture isn’t the final arbiter of truth in CRT, instead members of oppressed groups have special access to “truth” because of their “lived experience” of oppression. Forget the Frankfurt school of Marxism from which this pagan ideology arose. It’s not compatible with Christianity in any meaningful regard.

  • Matthew S. Beal

    Great question! I hope it is a sincere one, though it sounds like you’ve already discounted the possibility that CRT could have any benefit. One presupposition at play in how you discount CRT seems to be that your understanding of Scripture is the final arbiter of truth. That’s not how you express it, of course, and for that we can both be grateful. Still, it calls for a question: If Scripture is the final arbiter, whose interpretation? My interpretation – which is ever developing but is also the product of two decades of intensive study including at the Masters and Doctoral levels – finds crucial strains of Scripture deeply resonant with crucial aspects of CRT. So I find it compatible with the best expressions of Christianity in a meaningful and even vital way.

  • Jcp311

    Having a graduate background doesn’t make your arguments better or more authoritative. Having one myself it’s clear how much I don’t know than I know (spent a lot of time studying CRT and related theories). CRT claims that members of oppressed groups have special access to truth because of their “lived experience” of oppression. This stance is dangerous because it undermines the function of Scripture as the “final arbiter” of truth, accessible to all people regardless of their demographics. Hiding behind hermeneutics to justify a fascination with marxist thought in a Christian context is disingenuous. By its fruits CRT and the broader social justice movement exalts contemporary material equivalence, and “justice” over the transcendent message of the gospel.

    As for K. Curtice, she seems like a reasonably nice person. However her ideas about sin and the gospel are not based on Christian teaching or scripture, but rather her own “spiritual journey.” She lets feelings define reality and subvert the essence of Christianity. I sincerely wish her the best.

  • Matthew S. Beal

    Yes, Jcp311, I agree that degrees don’t automatically make an argument better etc. That said, generalizing about CRT as if it is a monolithic and singular set of beliefs is inaccurate. Some proponents may it view it the way you describe. More commonly, I’ve found that it entails not “special access to truth” but an epistemic advantage. That is, those from marginalized positions in society can understand aspects of power and privilege that those who are more privileged tend to gloss over. Indeed, that is how power relations function: Power works most effectively when we are least conscious of it.

    The example at play here, for example, is that you are still privileging your own understanding of Scripture and the Christian tradition over understandings that come from more socially marginalized interpreters. This leads you to assume that I am “hiding” a “fascination” with Marxist thought disingenuously and that a particular interpretation of social justice (“material equivalence” in this case) is at odds with the gospel.

  • Eeyore

    You’d have to move out of that river in Egypt you’re living in first.

  • As a fellow Baylor alumnus, I must ask: why was this woman invited to speak in the first place? Hers is a gospel of grievance, not grace. She preaches victimhood, not victory. Her message divides us into tribes, when we are all one in Christ.

  • Matthew S. Beal
  • bunnihunni

    As a woman that just happens to be black, articles like Cramer’s are so invalid and depreciating. I don’t need white guilt because I know my community well. Racism is something that manifests in every race, not just white people. David Kramer and his white guilt will always be part of the problem because he seems like a bit of attention seeker and what to heal the world through muddied eyes.

  • bunnihunni

    Have you graduated? Your identity is not in Christ but it’s in psychology, marxism, leftism, and in socialism and it’s through those eyes you eisegete the scriptures in an attempt to bring it down to your level. You spent two decades of trying to reinforce your preconceived notions about scripture and I’m sure that the theology school in Boston that you attend are gladly reinforcing those leftist views. I am a black woman, and since identity politics is important to you, we can go ten rounds intellectually and I assure you you will lose because you see the world through your muddied identity and counseling theories. I see the scriptures to be exegeted not eisegeted! Since you are evaluating authority based on education, I surpass you 3× times over with five completed degrees with the last one being at the terminal level (Psychology, Christian Ministry, Counseling, Christian Apologetics, Marriage & Family Therapy, and Doctorate in Counseling in Trauma). Perhaps the most qualifying factor in this conversation for you should be that I am a black woman! There is no such thing as Progressive Christianity since you call yourself a progressive Christian. The previous commenter through have you dead to rights are your deflection has not gone unnoticed. There is no such thing as a progressive or a Conservative Christian. Whatever you put in front of your Christianity is what you serve and for you it is progressivism at the cost of the one and True Holy God. Your Distortion sees the world through Progressive eyes, therefore, you interpret scripture through progressivism. Take the mote out of your worldview. Progressivism kills more than Corona

  • Matthew S. Beal

    Hi bunnihunni, thanks for sharing your thoughts and educated perspective. I have not graduated yet. I am still ABD and hope to finish next academic year. I appreciate that your extensive education and social location give you a perspective that I certainly lack. I hope to learn from you, indeed! That said, you seem to make some strong accusations that fail to resonate with my self-understanding (one formed through extensive study of Scripture, contemplation of divine truths, engagement with my faith community and respected friends and mentors, etc.). Namely, you accuse me first of prioritizing “progressive” in such a way that I serve that rather than God, second of eisegesis, and third of having a “muddied” identity that is “not in Christ but” in other things. I truly welcome substantiation of these accusations if you care to make a real case for these. I find it all rather disingenuous, since you seem to be criticizing things that do not describe me.

    For example, I am neither a marxist nor a socialist, though I do acknowledge that there is much to learn from those branches of thought. I do not prioritize “progressive” over “Christian,” but I don’t object to using adjectives in front of my Christian identity to help others understand my context (e.g. protestant, baptist, formerly evangelical, etc.). I also wonder, where did you get the idea that I call myself a “progressive Christian,” since that has not come up in this thread? Where, exactly, do you see eisegesis happening in my interpretation of Scripture, that is, which Scriptures and where have I done this?

    Where did you get your education, by the way? I ask because you seem to find my counseling background problematic, yet you have extensive education in the same discipline. Could you also help me understand why you find my approach to counseling/psychology deserving of such criticism? I also ask because your perspective on these issues seems at odds with the many excellent womanist theologians with whom I interact in my scholarship. I would love to understand your perspective better!

    I thank you in advance for any thoughtful and neighborly response you are able to offer.

  • bunnihunni

    I am a Christian. I’m a woman and I am at least 60% black genetically 100% culturally. Notice what my first statement was. The first statement tells you that I’m a Christian and that is my identity. When I’m working with people that struggle with addiction they have to learn identity change. Why do they have to learn identity change? Because when they become clean from substances, if their mindset has not changed from addict thinking, they are not clear minde;d they’re just clean. A person that has recovered from addiction, if they have truly covered do not attribute a mistake or lying to being an addict. If they do, they are still living their life through add identity and core beliefs of being an addict instead of being recovered. That mindset informs their View do everything they see. They filter their world through addiction. This is similar to a person that has been traumatized vs a person that has the identity of trauma. Why did I go on this long rant about addiction? I did set to drive home the point of how your experiences in your worldview will fuse and distort how you read the word of God. Instead of exegeting, human nature will make you fall prey to eisegeting. many Christians in actually many atheists come to my private practice because they know I’m going to tell the truth and see them for who they are and not for who they pretend to be. Likewise, I want them to bring their complete selves to me. many people that claim to be Christian that’s also in the social science field tend to get involved in syncretism a little bit too much. It seemed that philosophical viewpoints that are not Christian informs you how you read the scripture. I know every single counseling theory, and believe me I know every single counseling theory there is because I teach knucklehead secular college students every semester. When my students are educated, I drive home the history and systems of psychology in the blows their mind because they forget that psychology and counseling theories have assumptions about the world that they build their theory upon much like religion. The Apologetics side of me taught me how to understand and tolerate other people’s point of view from a philosophical standpoint that way I can understand myself. You lean more secular and that informs your view of the Bible. You engage syncretism and call it Christianity.

    When I learned how to have introspection then I adequately engaged in textual criticism and did my due diligence to understand the immediate and overall context of scripture. psychology counseling I can pass that with my eyes closed but learning Greek and Hebrew at a graduate level open my eyes to my own stupidity. I have a gift of discernment so I will cut to the mustard. On other comments outside of Disqus you said you were Progressive Christian. Your secular worldview informs everything about you. I am black but I don’t wear a chip on my shoulder. I am black but I’m smart enough to know that every race has engaged in a racism and slavery. I am black and I know that before person is in new race or Creed they are a human first and until people like you stop using your DNA to shame other people of their DNA because of the history of this country, you are not helping, you are not healing you are not Christian! The word of God is not concerned about my DNA, but white people like you seem to be obsessed with it. I have co-workers that fail to realize how racist and prejudiced they are. Guess what? They are black and everytime they may experience some resistance with a white patient, the first thing that comes out of their mouth ” they don’t want to engaged in therapy with me because I’m a black man”. No, they don’t want to be engaged with you because you have poor boundaries, are aggressive, and grossly incompetent. I have witnessed this incompetence. Instead of having introspection this person who calls himself a therapist went to the standard default position and Trigger word “black”. People like you would likely reinforce the victimhood mentality instead of being objective to try to find out what went wrong with patient care.

    You can play the reframe game with somebody else but I took the time to research you before I posted. You even wrote a letter to an editor that had a theological View different from yours and called it hateful and bigoted and disrespectful to the lgbtq community. I’m still trying to find a verse in the Bible that said love is just love and that a man can be a woman and that God’s definition of marriage has changed to match 2015 Supreme Court decision. Tony Campolo made the same error in judgment and lost most of his congregation.

    The following is your own quote from two years ago that supports everything I said about you:

    “I find the forced choice (either/or) problematic. Either I give priority to my experience, which leads to heresy at best or atheism at worst; or I give priority to doctrinal pre-commitments, which preserves the (evangelical) faith but leaves us unable to trust our perceptions.

    That’s rubbish and has been dealt with far more adequately. I am a “progressive” Christian who stands joyfully within historic, trinitarian orthodoxy and embraces much that is not only beautiful and powerful but also essentially Christian about postmodernism and critical social theory (like intersectionality) and its politics.

    Faithfulness is not a forced choice between doctrine or experience. It demands both – faith seeking understanding (Anselm) is the most succinct and helpful definition of theology, and it fits beautifully with the Wesleyan quadrilateral, which argues that we discern truth through faithful interpretation of Scripture, tradition, reason, and experience. It is impossible to actually separate these four so as to (for instance) only rely on Scripture, but that seems to be what this article tries to do. That is a horrific disservice to the church and to the world.”

  • Matthew S. Beal

    Thank you, bunnihunni, for the time and thoughtfulness that obviously went into this extensive comment. I respect your choice to bow out now, as it does seem that this conversation has run its course. I will offer some thoughts in response as briefly as I am able and join you in laying this rest, though I continue to welcome response should you care to do so.

    It would seem that you have investigated me thoroughly! I find that mildly amusing and telling. Clearly you feel strongly about the need to correct what you perceive as damnable errors in my thinking. I don’t object. Yet you have not made an actual case for these accusations. I stand behind the writing you quote from an old Facebook entry and don’t see any reason in your response that would cause me to question my conclusions there.

    Like you, I am a Christian. That is the foundation of my identity. However, while that pervades all else about my identity, it does not exhaust who I am. Same with you, obviously. I am also a white, heterosexual, educated, politically and theologically progressive, protestant, middle class, semi-introverted, enneagram 9, man. I could go on, because we are all both similar and unique. You may think you’ve gotten to know me, and perhaps you have to some degree. Just know that in reading your words, I am left feeling radically misunderstood. I accept that, though I would welcome a genuinely hospitable relationship were that realistic.

    I suspect that the root of our difference really comes down to how we perceive the relationship between our Christian faith and philosophy. You would seem to side with good ol’ Tertullian in his famous rhetorical question, “What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?” I could be misunderstanding you, of course, but I tentatively offer that in light of your criticisms above of my “philosophical viewpoints” and “standpoint.” I continue to assert that philosophy is not only important to our Christian faith but also unavoidable. There is no such thing as a distinctively Christian philosophy untouched and untainted by supposedly “secular” or “worldly” philosophical perspectives. I affirm that CRT, postmodernism, poststructuralism, postcolonialism, and the like can inform our practical theology in ways that are consonant with the very best of our shared faith tradition, if engaged thoughtfully, critically, and faithfully. You are welcome to try to convince me otherwise, but if past behavior is any indication of future behavior, then I don’t expect that to be a fruitful conversation.

    Regardless, thank you for your prayer. I welcome the spirit of conviction and repentance. I echo that prayer for you, dear sister, and add the plea that God bless you, keep you, shine upon you, be merciful to you, lift up the divine countenance upon you, and grant you peace. Amen.