Weekly Ponderings

Here are some posts I read this week that made me think. Inclusion does equal a full endorsement of everything in each post or the sites they are linked to. Anything in bold is something I emphasized. To read these in their entirety click on the name of each post beneath each excerpt.

Dear reader, what do I want you to know about what it’s like when murder enters your narrative? You see that it isn’t “pure evil” who do these acts. It’s people. People who you love, who you long to make choices for. Who are kind, giving, gifted, wounded, and floundering like the rest of us. Who choice after choice stopped thinking rationally until they could not see straight. And you see very clearly: It could be your child too. It could even be you. And we wonder, what do we do?”

What I want you to know about when murder enters your life story  over at Rage Against the Minivan

“This is what it means to be black in America.

Pure innocence is not enough to keep your head from being smashed with an anvil and your body wrapped in barbed wire. “Do not talk to strangers” is an inadequate safety message when a man can stalk your son and shoot him in the chest, and people will eagerly bid hundreds of thousands of dollars for the gun that did it. Even a heralded black man with a reputation so spotless that he somehow becomes the leader of the free world is still lesser than a white, imbecilic, dishonest dictator-in-training. Imagine how scary it must be to live in a world where you can be undone by any words uttered from a white mouth—even if they aren’t true.”

What Trump’s Tweets Teach Us About Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown and Emmett Till by Michael Harriot

“Without dismissing the legitimate concerns one might have about messaging in children’s movies, I must say I’ve been struck by the utterly uncreative response of the church in instances like this. I have written previously at TC about the limits of this strategy, and I think the cultural landscape has shifted in a way that makes boycotts even less effective now than they were then…

My fear is that during the previous age of influence, the church grew lazy and out of shape. In contrast to the millions of believers around the globe who have flourished as minorities under oppressive governments and punitive legislation, the church in the West has not been forced to exercise the muscles of creativity and cultural engagement. We have always been able to merely lean on our power in numbers. As those numbers dwindle, the church is now facing an epoch in which capturing the hearts and minds of people is an enterprise shaped largely by whoever can tell the best story, not stage the most effective boycott.”

Beauty and the Beast and Boycotts by Stephen Woolworth

“Your work is satisfying. It doesn’t pay well, but it’s worth it knowing that you’re doing your little part to make the world a little better. You take long walks and smile a lot…

But then you go online, or read the news, and see yourself painted as mentally ill, a pervert, a threat to humanity. You’re an “Other.”

People who have never met you are 100% convinced, with seemingly no room for change of mind, that you’re sick, and dangerous, and need to be publicly condemned, or at the very least reduced to an oddity, an other.”

Sometimes I Forget I’m A Monster by Jen Richards

“…I can’t help but wonder: how secure do we need to feel before we’re willing to heed Christ’s call? I’m not sure we should use math to decide whether or not to obey God’s commands, but if we did, surely these figures would make the choice clear. Should a 0.00003 percent chance of dying keep us from meeting the needs of those who are suffering?

How Secure Do We Need to Feel to Follow Christ’s Call? by Josh Larsen

Muslim and Arab Americans are in no way more deserving of anti-Islamic and anti-Arab bigotry and hatred than Sikhs are, and it is difficult to talk about the unintended victims of discrimination without making it seem like one group is less deserving of such abuse than the other. Vile hatred is of course completely inexcusable against any group…

The Islamophobic rhetoric and reasoning behind Trump’s travel ban has made travel even more difficult for Sikhs. Sikhs have widely reported extra searches at airports, have had their turbans searched and even forcibly removed, and have been detained for hours when trying to travel both domestically and internationally.

Singh is not opposed to airport security checks, so long as they are actually providing security: “I don’t mind being searched. But I’m always the only one searched. If you are only searching one person, how is that safe? I want to be safe too.”

The high levels of profiling and discrimination that Sikhs have faced at airports since 9/11 now have a brazenness that they did not have before Trump took office. “Now, if you want to pat down a Sikh — it’s patriotic,” laments Singh. He says that he is already receiving increased reports of profiling and discrimination against Sikhs at airports.

“At the top levels, if we have hatred, misogyny, and bigotry — there’s a veil of acceptance provided for [discrimination]. When you have a message from the top giving credence to that hatred, it is very hard to counter,” Singh says.”

Sikh Americans Prepare For Resurgence Of Anti-Islamic Violence by Ijeoma Oluo

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