Smart people saying smart things (1.10)

Smart people saying smart things (1.10) January 10, 2016

Tim Cunningham, “Why We Never Got Ebola: A Christmas Story”

Ebola never came to your home because of a united front of people working together to treat the sick and contain the disease. Ebola never made it to my hometown, a small city in Augusta County, Virginia, a community that has recently made the headlines for following the xenophobic trend of religious intolerance and fear. The reality is that the Muslim community — the very people that children in Augusta County and other communities all around the U.S. are being taught to mistrust and even hate — are the community that prevented the uncontrolled spread of Ebola into the resource-rich world.

Larry R. Morrison, “The Religious Defense of American Slavery Before 1830”

Attacked for the immorality of holding slaves, Southerners carefully explored the Bible for passages relating to slavery in any manner, and then used these passages to justify their own slaveholding. Slavery defenders explicitly argued that since God recognized slavery in Holy Scripture, then by definition, slavery could not possibly be immoral. The appeal was always to the literal wording of Scripture, the authority of the Bible; the purpose was always to discover sanctions for slavery and thus justify their own practice and institution of black slavery. Such arguments were not an aberration; they were consistent with the views of a society that was convinced by personal experience and psychic need of the legitimacy of black slavery. The biblical defense of slavery was thus a natural outgrowth of the values of that society.

Fredrick Robinson, “What Must White Churches Do To Be Saved?”

Influenced by empire and the desire to keep privileged white people safe and happy, white churches play along and continue to spread the lie that America is a nation of hard work, duty, and opportunity rather than pillage, murder and oppression. That cream always rises to the top. That Blacks are victims of their own poor choices rather than the legacy of slavery and subsequent generations of terror and racial subjugation. Sadly, these are the lectionary notes of most American churches.  

The Rev. Cynthia Meyer, “Now is my time”

I’m a woman of God sharing my life with another Jesus-following woman. We, like you, are made in God’s image. Jesus Loves Me This I Know. I’m lifting my voice. It’s time for the UMC to illumine its brighter heritage and its claim: “Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors.” Make it true! It’s well past time. Some who have been biding our time now proclaim our truth. We’re done being victims of an unfaithful system. Now we’re activists for the redemption of the UMC, for the love of all God’s beloved children, for the love of God.

Musa Okwonga, “How to deal with the sexual assaults in Cologne and Hamburg”

Let’s just keep sticking up for the women. As far as being a black man of African descent goes, the racists in Germany and elsewhere hate us anyway. They thought we were rapists and perverts and other assorted forms of sex attacker the second they set eyes on us. They don’t care about the women who were attacked in Cologne and Hamburg, except to prove the point that we are the animals that they always thought – or hoped – we were. In return, I don’t care about them. …

So here’s what I propose we do. Why don’t we just start with the premise that it is a woman’s fundamental right, wherever she is in the world, to walk the streets and not be groped. And why don’t we see this as a perfect moment for men, regardless of our ethnic backgrounds, to get genuinely angry about the treatment of women in public spaces: to reject with fury the suggestion that we are somehow conditioned by society forever to treat women as objects, condemned by our uncontrollable sexual desires to lunge at them as they walk past. Let’s do our best to challenge the rampant misogyny which has gone on worldwide for far too long, and reject whatever lessons of sexist repression we may have been taught. Because women are tired of telling us about this, and exhausted of fighting a battle that for too long has gone overlooked.

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