[My friend Alicia Crosby asked me to share her call to action for a Fast of #EmbodiedSolidarity and #TrueReconciliation this Lent in response to the Larycia Hawkins situation. Alicia is a co-founder of the Center for Inclusivity in Chicago, IL, whose vision is to be “a place of peace at the intersection of faith, gender, and sexuality.” Please get connected with the Center for Inclusivity and support their important work of reconciliation and justice.]
I, like many of you, have been following the situation between Wheaton College and Dr. Larycia Hawkins – the professor reprimanded by college administrators for wearing a hijab in a Facebook photo and quoting Pope Francis that Muslims and Christians worship the same God. I feel that Wheaton’s mistreatment of Dr. Hawkins reveals realities of racism, sexism, Islamophobia, and other ways in which the Christian faith has become complicit in oppression and dishonoring the humanity and imago dei present in others.
That said, I am choosing to stand in #EmbodiedSolidarity with others who are tired of their Christian witness being used to subjugate others instead of inspiring healing and #TrueReconciliation.
This call begins with an Ash Wednesday liturgy at Wheaton that begins a 40-day, Lenten fast for Wheaton and all of the nation’s (evangelical) Christian institutions to confess and repent of the sins of racism, sexism and Islamophobia, and recognize that all humans have dignity and are created equal in the eyes of God.
Those wishing to get engaged can do so in a few ways:
1) Meet us in Wheaton, IL! We will be there on Tuesday and Wednesday to support the community there and launch the Fast of Embodied Solidarity. Event details can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1514055988896493/
2) Participate in the Fast of Embodied Solidarity during Lent! Fasting is a way of conditioning oneself to hear God and others more clearly or express contrition. There are no set rules with this fast – people can choose to abstain from food, intentionally engage in dialogue with others, commit to prayer, share thoughts/post how they engage the fast via social media (e.g. #EmbodiedSolidarity or #TrueReconcilliation), etc. The point is to incline your heart, spirit, and personhood to stand in solidarity with others and out of that, do what you can to push back at the things and systems that fail to uphold the dignity of others.
3) Stay on the lookout for opportunities to ask hard questions and engage in lament and interactions that inspire new vision. For example, #Evangelicals4Justice is hosting a Twitter Lament on Wednesday, February 10th at 9:30pm ET.
Any way that you feel inspired, please feel free to get involved. There is so much happening in our world and we have the ability to push back and be/work for the response that we’ve been waiting for. I hope you’ll join me in responding to this call for #EmbodiedSolidarity.