welcoming the baby born on the margins,
outside of the circle,
the one with arms wide open!
wishing you all a merry christmas
I am interested in an ecclesial vision for community and in living in a gospel-based community with people with disabilities. We are brothers and sisters together, and Jesus is calling us from a pyramidal society to become a body.and
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1 that God has chosen the weak, the foolish, and the crazy to shame the clever and the powerful; he has chosen the most despised, the people right at the bottom of society. Through this teaching we see a vision unfold in which a pyramid of hierarchy is changed into a body, beginning at the bottom. One might ask if that means Jesus loves the weak more than the strong. No, that is not it. The mystery of people with disabilities is that they long for authentic and loving relationships more than for power. They are not obsessed with being well-situated in a group that offers acclaim and promotion. They are crying for what matters most—love. And God hears their cry because in some way they respond to the cry of God, which is to give love.
We, as Indigenous people, are often portrayed in history books as Nations once great; in museums as Nations frozen stoic; in the media as Nations forever troubled. These images can be despairing; however, my goal seeks to steer the positive course. If our history is a shadow, let this moment serve as light. We are musicians, lawyers, doctors, mothers and sons. We are activists, scholars, dreamers, fathers and daughters. Let us claim ourselves now and see that we are, and will always be great, thriving, balanced civilizations capable of carrying ourselves into that bright new day.Love the photos on her site too! Check it out at www.redworks.ca!
An authentic ethic of inclusion must reach from the center to the farthest margin and work its way back. When we reach for the ones who are the least accepted, we give a clear message of welcome to everyone. Jesus modeled this type of radical inclusivity when he openly received those most despised by society and the religious establishment.
Where the Edge Gathers, pp 25-26
i just want to saySitting at your deskyou wanted to use your phoneteacher said nobut you didn't listenyour parents didn't teach you rightso I taught you a lessonabout learningwhile blackForgive mefor teaching you the back flipin math classI should have dragged you down to the gym firstpoem by rob g
what does that mean - “everyone welcome”?The church you drive past is most likely an uncertain space. Will it be hostile or indifferent to you? Or will it be welcoming and embracing? Most times you just don't know.
Did you know that a study done in the U.S. found that three of the top words non-Christians ages 16 to 29 associate with Christians are judgmental, hypocritical and anti-homosexual? (source: unChristian and article)
Which means that there’s a good chance the person driving past your church and wondering about it, is already doubting the truthfulness and reality of the “Everyone Welcome” sign. Add to that any past negative experience they've had with the church or with Christians, and the uncertainty is even stronger.
John (the Baptist) defines the essential meaning himself: he proclaims not a baptism of conformity but a baptism of repentance, which means a radical, far-reaching rethinking of everything. If one was previously formed by a conventional Temple establishment identity, one rethinks that way of life. If one was previously formed by an Essenic antiestablishment identity, one rethinks that way of life. What might have been acceptable before – hating Gentiles, hating priests, hating the poor, hating the rich—now seems like a sin to be confessed. What might have been considered unacceptable before—reconciling with enemies, showing kindness to outcasts, putting the needs of people above religious rules—now seems like a good thing. That kind of repenting would determine the kinds of sins people would confess as they descended into the Jordan for baptism.Brian D. McLaren, pp.183, 185, in Why did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World
So for John, baptism is hardly a second-rate tribal rite comparable to sitting on Santa’s knee. It is the radical reversal of identities of exclusion and hostility. It is a defection from all exclusive, hostile, and elitist identities—whether they be establishment or antiestablishment in nature. It is a sign that one is repenting of all hostile identities, knowing that those identities can only lead to violent cataclysm. By de-identifying with oppositional identities—by dying to them, one can identify with something new: the kingdom, reign, or commonwealth of God—which is a call not to separation and exclusion, but rather to solidarity and reconciliation, as we have seen again and again.
The vestiges of Imperial Christianity are not always as obvious as this inscription in stone. But they are no less present in most of our churches. Racism, colonialism, exclusivism, elitism, and other members of the hostility family often hide camouflaged in songs and hymns, devotionals and prayers, sermons and Sunday School lessons. And it’s not only what is said that aids and abets hostility: it’s what is left unsaid. For example, I remember preaching in a predominantly Tutsi church in Burundi. After I made an appeal for the Twa people, the nation’s oppressed minority, someone came up to me and said, “The word Twa has never been spoken before in this church. It is as if the Twa didn’t exist. Thank you for reminding us that the Twa are God’s children.” I thought of how many real-world hostilities around the world are similarly protected through avoidance and silence in churches today.
Brian D. McLaren, p.168, in Why did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World
we just want to say
You give birth to babies
again and again
and take them back to huts
without running water
it would be unkind to leave them with you
so we take them away
we give them away
cuz we know what's best
we hoped to have solved
the Indian problem
The numbers of children in the system are staggering – it is estimated that there are today anywhere from 60, 000 – 70, 0000 Native children in foster care in Canada , a much higher proportion than the 20, 000 children taken in the horrific Sixties Scoop, where 20, 000 children were taken and placed into adoption or in residential schools, those institutions meant to “kill the Indian in the child”.
This Is Just to Say
I have eaten
that were in
you were probably
they were delicious
and so cold
—William Carlos Williams
Despite making up such a small percentage of the population, most of us have the same stereotypical image in our heads when we think of redheads: light-skinned, freckled white people with curls of flaming hair and a fiery temper to match.
Aside from the obvious issue of assigning a temperament to someone based on hair color, there's one other weird conclusion here: Why do we think that all redheads are white?
we just want to sayHungry?bad choice thattaking a mountain dew snickersand zebra cakejailed in aprilyou wasted awaytaking up spacewaiting for a hospital bedForgive usfor wasting tax dollarswe should have executed youat the scene of the crimepoem by rob g
However, photos can also accomplish ethical work. They can influence how we think about people who are different from us. Formal photos like portraits can be particularly transformative since they disrupt public expectations. The subject of a portrait is recognized as worthy of being photographed. The format implies that you are worthy of contemplation and commemoration. So the very acts of staging and taking the photos symbolize their membership in a valued group – those who ought to be gazed at.
Jesus, by contrast, created communities centered around giving care to the most vulnerable in his society. Jesus carved out of Empire space that protected and cared for the most fragile bodies. That's what Jesus did as he moved from town to town, he created a community where the most oppressed and marginalized were welcomed and cared for. Communities of care that were open to agents of Empire, tax collectors and Roman soldiers, who were willing to work to buffer fragile bodies.
And this is what the early church did as well. The church carved out of Empire communities of care. Imperial Rome knew Christianity to be religion popular with women and slaves because of how these communities buffered their fragile bodies from the ravages of Empire.
To my eye, these communities of care carved out of Empire are what Jesus meant when he said "the kingdom of God is in your midst."
we just want to say
You went off at a run
in your sweatpants
red as blood
and reached for a ?
our instinct said gun
we shot seven times
to protect the neighbourhood
from thugs like you
for not liking you black and red fashion
it clashes with white folks'
sense of decorum
i just want to say
Newly graduated from high school
you stole from a convenience store
walked down the street
with your friend
I shot you twelve times in the front
now you are dead and I am hated
how inconvenient for me
that I came by and did my duty
would have killed you in the end
poem by rob g
Eliel Cruz, a speaker and columnist, has started a series with The Advocate called, #21AceStories. It's intended to amplify the voices of asexual individuals and increase understanding and acceptance about a little known sexual orientation. 21 asexual people around the world were asked, "What's the biggest misconception about asexuality?" Their answers fell into different categories, for which visual graphics were created and are being released in a series of four installments (1) (2) (3). Cruz also previously curated #27Bistories, which similarly addressed misconceptions about bisexuality.
we just want to say
You were angry
dangerously black angry
to the point of
we dragged you out of the car
you were angry so angry
you killed yourself in jail
for interrupting your dream
of driving yourself
off a bridge
i just want to say
I heard you say "I can't leave"
of course you can't leave
I have you in a choke hold
and so you died
surrounded by courtesy
professionalism and respect
I'm sure someone out there
is crying for you
poem by rob g
From the beginnings of Jesus' life on earth, he has subverted our norms. From infancy, he welcomed outsiders, gentiles, the uncircumcised. As NT Wright puts it, the take away of the epiphany story, which he says is not the kind of cosy picture book story which we created for ourselves, is this: come to Jesus, by whatever route you can, and with the best gifts you can find. Come to Jesus, by whatever route you can, and with the best gifts you can find.
Can we offer each other that same generosity, that same welcome? Can we walk alongside each other by whatever routes we can, without you judging the gift I picked out, or me criticizing the route you chose?
I just want to say
Seven churches burning
within a month
black churches getting blacker
by the moment
give me matches
a can of gasoline
I'll make it seventy times seven
I didn't think to bring
For over a century, the central goals of Canada’s Aboriginal policy were to eliminate Aboriginal governments; ignore Aboriginal rights; terminate the Treaties; and, through a process of assimilation, cause Aboriginal peoples to cease to exist as distinct legal, social, cultural, religious, and racial entities in Canada. The establishment and operation of residential schools were a central element of this policy, which can best be described as “cultural genocide.”
Physical genocide is the mass killing of the members of a targeted group, and biological genocide is the destruction of the group’s reproductive capacity. Cultural genocide is the destruction of those structures and practices that allow the group to continue as a group. States that engage in cultural genocide set out to destroy the political and social institutions of the targeted group. Land is seized, and populations are forcibly transferred and their movement is restricted. Languages are banned. Spiritual leaders are persecuted, spiritual practices are forbidden, and objects of spiritual value are confiscated and destroyed. And, most significantly to the issue at hand, families are disrupted to prevent the transmission of cultural values and identity from one generation to the next.
In its dealing with Aboriginal people, Canada did all these things.
i just want to say
You welcomed me in
to your prayer time
let me sit
were very kind
an hour of that
was all I could take
I shot nine of you
in little time
I shouldn't have pretended
mattered to me
All these news reports on racial injustice (and the absurd reactions) are not just disheartening, they can be traumatizing. This is a lot.— Austin Channing (@austinchanning) March 11, 2015
I'm just at point where I don't want to further traumatize myself by watching them, so I don't. https://t.co/6lBa72ALAJ— Question Everything (@SankofaBrown) May 14, 2015
Cone’s statement that “God is black” has always been grounded in Jesus’ Jewishness and the biblical narrative which presents God as being in solidarity with the oppressed. As he has clarified on numerous occasions, it is a symbolic statement and not a statement of biology or literal skin color. At the same time Christianity has said “God is white”—in deeds if not in exact words—for the past 500 years. That some hear God’s blackness as a zero-sum statement is a mistake.
In an interview this past January, Cone told HuffPo’s Paul Rauschenbush:
“God is red. God is brown. God is yellow. God is gay…I don’t use blackness as a way to exclude anyone.”
"Why James H. Cone's Liberation Theology Matters More Than Ever"by Daniel José Camacho, including a quote by James Cone.
This is why we must present a Queer, Female, Christ of color.— Theology of Ferguson (@FaithInFerguson) May 11, 2015