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Archive for 24 March 2012

24 March . Comment

Remembering Trayvon Martin

The pain I feel as I listen to the various discussions following the murder of Trayvon Martin has kept me from doing much of anything other than linking to eloquent essays in my facebook stream. But I fear that my silence here could be misinterpreted. I think that those of us who carry white skin privilege can not remain silent. Silence is complicity, as the bumper sticker says.

Racism killed Trayvon Martin.

Yes, an individual Florida man held up his gun and pulled the trigger. But that man’s life was shaped and formed by a country founded upon and developed through racist beliefs. Until we begin to examine, understand, and seek forgiveness for these elements of who we are, can we ever heal? When will we begin to understand that racism is not simply about interpersonal language or bigotry, but about the institutionalization of such prejudice, inscribed via the power of fear?

Some essays worth pondering in the light of Trayvon’s death:

The Florida Council of Churches has issued a statement. It’s worth recalling the statement on racism our own local Catholic bishop made, many years ago.

24 March . Comment

Remembering Oscar Romero

March 24 is the day that Oscar Romero was shot to death while celebrating the eucharist. Here are some pieces worth reading as we remember his life and witness:

24 March . Comment

Doubt and faith are inseparable

A great reminder from Andy Root about the importance of doubt:

And right here is where we usually go wrong with confirmation. Christianity has nothing to do with certainty, and confirmation is not the ritual of claiming that you will with all certainty believe the tradition and theology of the church. Rather, Christianity is about living in opposition to certainty; it is about faith in the midst of doubt. Christianity has no room for certainty, for certainty lives by the law of self-protection; its own rightness keeps it from hope, and most importantly (the greatest of these, Paul says), love. Certainty demands its rightness in the now, even if it means hurting or hating others to maintain its integrity.

Doubt then is not our enemy but our great friend. For it keeps us from the most un-Christian of things: assuming that we possess certainty, that we need not think our faith, love our neighbors, and worse—that we need not search for God, for we know this God certainly. Faith that has become certain is no longer (by definition) faith; it has become idolatry. We are no longer seeking out a living, personal God but have made this God into a frozen idol.

24 March . Comment

Theological reflection in pop culture

There’s a lovely reflection on the television series Mad Men in the most recent edition of the Harvard Divinity Bulletin. A taste:

Mad Men is most theological when it articulates the hope offered in memory and imagination rendered transformative. In its characters’ pushes and pulls toward authenticity across time — however fleeting — we see that a move away from an identity based on persuasion and power might yet be one toward a more integrated self. In these moments we are shown that the good and the beautiful might be revealed in what is yet to come, but perhaps only by first looking deeply into what has been.


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