Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Smell of Freedom and the Best Things You'll Read All Week

by Sebastian Faust and Ben Howard

Reads of the Week

1) I Know a Boy by Shannan Martin

"There are so many sides to every story and we may never know for sure what happened in those moments where time stood still and a new line of mangled history was inked. It's too hard to wade through, the water too murky, and we don't want to be wrong. So we turn and walk away, back to our tidy corners and our predominantly white churches where things make sense and everyone believes the same version of the story."

2) He Was a Miracle by Laura Turner

"He's there, walking, so alive, so completely, painfully alive. He's right there, a living, breathing human person! His diaphragm is contracting! His lungs are taking in oxygen and nitrogen! Air moved from his trachea to his bronchi, then bronchioles, then alveoli! He was a walking ninth-grade science class, right there in front of us, a fucking miracle on two feet!
It was over in about fifteen seconds. The cops came, of course. They are white. He, as you know, was black."

3) The Cross and the Molotov Cocktail by Christena Cleveland

"Can you see the suffering Christ in the oppressed, even the ones who aren't responding perfectly to society's oppression? Christ doesn't just suffer for the innocent, the ones who don't have the energy to fight back, or the ones who perfectly respond to injustice. He suffers for the ones who suffer now and sin in their suffering."

4) The Eccentric Economy of Love by Richard Beck

"The church is denying its own need, weakness and vulnerability. Thus, the church comes to see itself as a hero, riding in on a white horse to save others. Since we don't need anything from the people we are helping, there is no reciprocity, no economy, no relationship, no giving and sharing back and forth.
We show up, do our good deeds and then pack up and leave. Why? Because we don't need anything from those people. They need us. We don't need them.
But we do need them. And we need each other."

5) For Now, Young Black Males Matter...Until the Cameras Go Off by Romal Tune

"If they go inside now, they know that they will cease to matter. America will go right back to not caring about what happens to them. In their minds, they have to stay outside, they will do whatever it takes to keep the cameras rolling. It's almost as if they are saying please don't go away, please stay, because the moment you leave or turn the channel, no one will care anymore."

Honorable Mention

When Them Becomes Us: On Emmanuel by Abby Norman

Sermon on Grace, Dogs, and Sass-Mouthed Women by Nadia Bolz Weber

What to Wear When You're Lost by Shannan Martin

Tweets of the Week (via Lane Severson)

"According to Led Zeppelin, people in wheelchairs aren't getting into heaven." - @daemonic3

"I held a grape up to a cup of wine before eating it, so it could see how fully my species has subjugated its kind" - @lanyardigan

"i put my pants on like everyone else - surrounded by cops in the middle of a wendy's screaming furiously about my rights" - @rahtzee

On Pop Theology Week in Review 

Ferguson and the Suffering God by Kyle Baughman

"Theology is, for me, a Trojan Horse. I allowed it through the gates and trusted much too quickly, when suddenly its peaceful presence turned savage; the doors fell open and it revealed its nature."

Song of the Week

For Michael Brown, Ferguson, and all the rest... "Final Straw" by R.E.M.

If hatred makes a play on me tomorrow
And forgiveness takes a backseat to revenge
There's a hurt down deep that has not been corrected
There's a voice in me that says you will not win.

Now I don't believe, and I never did,
That two wrongs make a right
But if the world be filled with the likes of you
Then I'm putting up a fight.

So I raise my voice up higher
And I look you in the eye,
And I offer love with one condition:
With conviction, tell me why.

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