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When God reveals you prefer whiteness: A response to Gaye Clark by Sean Palmer

Most white Americans believe whiteness is normal and preferable. America’s cultural myth is that Caucasians from European descent are the heroes of the American story. It’s what made America great and what some believe will make America great again.

How to raise confident multiracial children by Chantilly Pantino.

While our nation is increasingly diverse, there are still factors that can leave kids feeling less than confident about their heritage and wondering where they fit in.  This can cause them to feel marginalized on both sides or like they have to identify with one ethnicity over the other.

The conservative, Christian case for working women by Jonathan Merritt.

“All women are called to have influence—cultural influence outside of the private sphere of the home,” Beaty said. “It wouldn’t necessarily have to be a career track, but certainly all Christians, including all Christian women, are called to have cultural influence outside the home.”

About those “20 minutes of action”: 20 things we’d better tell our sons right now about being real men by Ann Voskamp

Because a Stanford doesn’t begin with alcohol and it doesn’t begin with partying kids with inflated egos and it doesn’t begin with 20 minutes of not using your head but your hormones.

It begins with a woman like me bringing home a man-child in her arms, one mama unwrapping that blanket and what it means to raise up a man.

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What we can learn from the only white kid on this high school step team by Rachel Pieh Jones

The dance begins. The boys stomp and clap and tumble and flip through the air in an intense and relentless rhythm. Within seconds, the students are on their feet, cheering. They focus on Emmaus and at the end of the performance — when the team points him out and calls him their nickname, “White Chocolate” — the students go nuts shouting and clapping for their classmate.

Picking up the trash of white supremacy by Abby Norman

Essentially white communities are asking black people to live an experience that is set up to be far more difficult for them, and succeed by white standards. AND THEN we are asking them to re-live and explain it all over again in front of us so that we will believe them. Sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we don’t believe them. And the astounding thing is how many times black women are willing to risk it to help their white sisters understand. But that isn’t their job.

Don’t ask where I’m from, ask where I’m a local by Taiye Salasi

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Things I’m doing before going to hell by John Pavlovitz

I’m doing them because my deepest faith convictions tell me to try and make this place more like however I believe Heaven to be, and that this will bring justice and mercy along with it.

White savior barbie nails it by Rachel Pieh Jones

Perhaps the lesson of White Savior Barbie is that there is nothing wrong with service or with enjoying another culture but it needs to be done with integrity. Let’s be qualified and well trained for the work we do. Develop authentic relationships based on more than great photo ops. Educate ourselves. Be wary of quick clichés like, “I fell in love with Africa the moment I got off the plane.” Be learners.

Pakistani Muslim villagers are building a church for their Christian neighbors by Relevant Magazine

The BBC has reported from a village in Pakistan where Christians and Muslims are refusing to engage in violence, and instead, live side-by-side in real community.

Angels to block Westboro Baptist Church’s protest at Orland memorial by Beth Spotswood

Angels really do exist — at least in Orlando. When the reviled hate group Westboro Baptist Church announced that it would be picketing the funerals of the victims of the Orlando gay bar shooting tragedy, a group of actors decided to fight back in a decidedly heavenly way.

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A good man justifies a wicked deed: Grudem on Trump by John Mark N. Reynolds

Manifestly men of goodwill can disagree, but they should not, because Donald J. Trump is uniquely unsuited for the most powerful job on the planet. He is morally unfit, unqualified, and advocating for him stains any person who does so.

 Donald Trump and the Violence to Come by Peter Binart

“The United States is headed toward a confrontation, the likes of which it has not seen since 1968, between leftist activists, who believe in physical disruption as a means of drawing attention to injustice, and a candidate eager to forcibly put down that disruption in order to make himself look tough.”

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To the White church who did not pray for the black man on Sunday

But Sunday, if you did not pray for the black man right alongside the police man, you missed the heart of God. If a black man had sat in your midst and heard you pray only for the police man and the police man’s family, but not the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and the decades of innocent black men killed by police men, I would not have blamed him for standing and shouting out in the middle of your prayer, “What the hell about me?! Do you care about me at all?!” And I would not have blamed him if he stormed out of your sanctuary and wept on your steps, desperate because he found no sanctuary in your midst.

Onward through the fog: Practicing faith when you can’t see where you’re going

“Onward through the fog,” our program director would tell us as we struggled to understand the broken dynamics shaping the community around us. It’s a phrase I’ve lived ever since. In fact, fog has become one of my go-to analogies for understanding the liminal spaces of life—those thresholds in life when there’s not yet a clear answer.

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Pondering Privilege (ebook) on sale this weekend only

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In light of the state of the nation, I’m running a Kindle Countdown Deal on the ebook version of Pondering Privilege this weekend. If you’ve been hoping to preview a copy, make sure to take advantage of this sale! The ebook lists for $7 on Amazon, but will be available for $2.99 on Friday, $3.99 on Saturday, and $4.99 on Sunday. Get a copy now!

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To the white church who did not pray for the black man on Sunday

Sturbuck Community Church

I know that your heart is good. I see it nearly every week in your pastors and services, in the softness of your hearts toward God, in your love for each other and for your children. I see it when you serve the community with vacation bible schools and fundraisers for wells in Africa and city wide clean ups. I hear it in your songs and in your prayers, in your Sunday schools and in your sermons.

But Sunday, if you did not pray for the black man right alongside the police man, you missed the heart of God. If a black man had sat in your midst and heard you pray only for the police man and the police man’s family, but not the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and the decades of innocent black men killed by police men, I would not have blamed him for standing and shouting out in the middle of your prayer, “What the hell about me?! Do you care about me at all?!” And I would not have blamed him if he stormed out of your sanctuary and wept on your steps, desperate because he found no sanctuary in your midst.

Where were you on Sunday, white church who could not see past its own skin? How long will you stay silent while your brothers and sisters suffer?  You wonder why people of color do not join your ranks or stay when they visit you…perhaps it has something to do with the people in your pews who smirk to each other and whisper, “I’m so sick of this #blacklivesmatter thing” when they don’t know you’re listening. Perhaps it’s because you don’t even notice that you didn’t pray for their pain or acknowledge their anguish and you are still stubbornly defending your self-righteous actions. Perhaps it’s because they are worn thin of hearing Jesus tossed about as an excuse to dismiss centuries of racial oppression supported by their very walls.

You may accuse me of being angry—I know that’s not an acceptable way to communicate in our culture—but I can no longer swallow my sorrow silently while you pretend that nothing is happening. More than just police families are weeping for their sons and husbands and fathers, and they have been doing so for centuries. Failing to pray for them is akin to turning your back, sticking your fingers in your ears, and squeezing your eyes shut tight. We are not first graders, family—we are followers of a God who holds a deep and mighty love for the police man and the black man in equal measure; and we will not grow up until we start praying like it.

For further reading

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White women and the problem of race

I wrote a follow-up article to Abby Norman’s brilliant piece on Picking up the Trash of White Supremacy for SheLoves magazine this week. Let’s do better work on these issues, ladies.

While many of us have experienced this reality living as a woman in a man’s world, we know a whole lot less about doing it as a white person in a non-white world. We champion female equality, quote statistics about glass ceilings, and shout our hard-earned rights from the rooftops; but when it comes to race, we’re often shamefully ignorant. We fail to apply the lessons we’ve learned from our own emancipation to the emancipation of others. It’s the Fall all over again, and we’re left holding the garbage bag of our own self-centeredness.

Read more here.

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Coming to terms with my whiteness

My Whiteness is something I did not ask for, cannot change, and don’t completely understand. While I haven’t always been aware of the full implications of this trait in a racialized society, living between worlds has pushed me to grapple with my race as a significant shaper of my identity.

Interested in my new book Pondering Privilege: Toward a Deeper Understanding of Whiteness, Race, and Faith An excerpt is featured at The Salt Collective this week.  Check it out! 

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Perfectly uncertain

Time is indeed a steady healer, cautiously pointing out that my greatest spiritual defect may well be perfectionism. Having grown up a Christian, I absorbed unspoken messages that spiritual strength meant unwavering certainty and unshakable faith. This foundation became a significant problem when my certainty wavered and my faith shook. How could I be a Christian if I questioned its validity? How would I remain faith-full when the very ground I stood on felt as though it were crumbling? Everything felt unsure. The great hymn of my faith was failing: Christ was no solid rock; I found myself sinking quickly in the sand.

I’m writing at SheLoves this week … read about my journey to accept my imperfections there! (Bonus poem included!)

 

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A lament for the LGBT & Muslim communities in the aftermath of Orlando

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The headlines jolted us awake early this morning.

Twenty dead.

Then at least fifty; the deadliest mass shooting in the US to date.

My heart sank as I realized that the LGBT & Muslim communities would feel the strongest impact of the headlines. For everyone in these communities, I lament.

For those in the LGBT community who feel the intense personal attack of this action, the fear this confirms yet again for your safety in public settings, I mourn with you. For the wounds this rips wide open as the judgmental voices attempt to diminish your inherent value, I ache with you.  For the tears you shed as you watch the headlines unfold in devastating proportions, I weep with you.

My Facebook feed reminds me that I do not stand alone in solidarity with the LGBT community today. However, what is noticeably missing is support for the many Muslims for whom this shooting will instantly create guilt-by-association. As such, I express lament for these communities as well.

For the many faithful and peaceful Muslims who are as enraged by the horrors of ISIS as the rest of the world, I mourn that we allow such acts to also unquestionably define who you are. For those who seek to live out their faith with sincerity and devotion, I ache when I hear the entirety of 1.6 billion people folded into an extremist sliver. For the mothers who love their children as much as I love mine and the fathers who seek to teach them well, I weep that this may give you pause to wonder if others will love and teach them as you do.

As the world stands with you in mourning, know that we long for peace with you today, weep for the evil that should not be, and hear the deep pain that it creates in your hearts. May peace be upon us all.

 

Posted in Restoration & Reconciliation, Social & Political Issues | 2 Comments