Introducing the Last 7 Words of Christ Our Black Mother – A Lenten Series

This is public theology. As precious Patrons, I’m inviting you in to my theological process. Beginning on Ash Wednesday (March 6) and concluding on Good Friday (April 19), each week I will publish a photo and brief reflection on each of Christ’s 7 Last Words on the Cross.

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Womanist Theological Ethics: A Reader (Library of Theological Ethics)

Writing across theological disciplines, nine African American women scholars reflect on what it means to live as responsible doers of justice. With some classic essays and some contributions published here for the first time, each chapter in this new volume in the Library of Theological Ethics series presents analytical strategies for understanding the story of womanist scholarship in the service of the black community.

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Embrace Your Mortality in MYSTERY: Ash Wednesday Our Wake-up Call!

An Ash Wednesday Reflection: Our changing understanding of what it means to be human, changes the nature of Ash Wednesday’s wake-up call.

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Could Smollet’s hate crime affect public perception of hate crimes?

Fox TV drama “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett plays on the show the gay character Jamal Lyon. In real life, Smollett is an African American gay male. Smollett has been charged with concocting an elaborate racist and homophobic assault against him. Smollett’s fan base, needless to say, is flummoxed. So, too, are many Americans trying to push through this deeply polarized moment.

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Hip Hop Womanist — The Free People Project

Ebony Janice Moore is a womanist scholar and activist doing community-organizing work, most specifically around black women’s body ownership as a justice issue, and equal access to education and pay for women of color in the U.S. and in several African countries. She has created curriculum for leadership development for high school aged girls in Kenya and South Africa, developed programming for teenagers in housing projects in Decatur, Georgia giving them exposure to culture, STEM programs and the arts, and she teaches a bimonthly workshop on issues involving interrupting racism, individual civic responsibilities, and intersectional advocacy.

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Official’s n-word non- apology ignites Cambridge

What should have been an enriching classroom engagement turned instead into a public outrage that’s now prompting an outside investigation

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The Truth Will Set You Free, But First It Will Piss You Off!

A Reformation Sermon – John 8:31-36

“You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Let me take a moment to face the truth about who we are as Lutherans. The truth is that from the beginning Lutherans have participated in hate-filled tribalism that gives rise to anti-Semitism. The irony of attempting to commemorate the Reformation on the day after the slaughter of Jewish sisters and brothers cannot be ignored. Sadly, our church’s tragic participation in anti-Semitism goes all the way back to Martin Luther himself. Luther’s anti-Semitic rants provided the theological grounding that empowered Nazi’s to fan the flames of the Holocaust. It took until 1983 for the Lutheran World Federation to confess and repent Luther’s words.

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Joy Unspeakable: Contemplative Practices of the Black Church

Joy Unspeakable focuses on the aspects of the black church that point beyond particular congregational gatherings toward a mystical and communal spirituality not within the exclusive domain of any denomination. This mystical aspect of the black church is deeply implicated in the well-being of African American people but is not the focus of their intentional reflection.

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Turning the Tables and Righteous Anger

Jesus courageously confronted injustice. He challenged the temple’s hierarchy against the backdrop of the ongoing economic and social oppression of his times. Jesus was a non-violent revolutionary, but he was not passive.

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America’s Original Sin

President George Washington owned about 120 slaves who worked on his plantation in Virginia but when he moved to Philadelphia to serve as president, he took a few household slaves with him. One of them, Oney Judge, escaped. She spent the rest of her life as a fugitive avoiding being captured by George Washington’s representatives who were under orders to return Oney to slavery. It turns out that George really could tell a lie, as he tried to publicly advocate for liberty and freedom while personally profiting from slave labor even when people all around him were working to bring slavery to an end. America’s original sin deserves reflection today because it still casts a shadow over our nation’s ethical thinking.

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Trill LeBeau of Cosmic Serenity – No Lies (Music Exchange Session)

Trill taught himself to sing and play guitar at 19 in college. He would sit in the racquetball court, turn the lights out, and as he likes to say, Experiment with the Experience. Diving Further In to his roots, and listening through his ancestors, he has found a voice and essence that is as captivating as it is charismatic. With a side note of comedy, and an eccentric yet eclectic fashion style, Trill LeBeau (singer/songwriter) and younger brother Collin “Jaledub” (percussionist) make up Cosmic Serenity. They are also often joined sporadically and nomadically with other beautiful Creatures of Creation, while exploring the features of a full band, or with Trill as a solo artist.

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Hart’s heartless apology

While I will continue to argue that the African American community doesn’t have a patent on homophobia, it does however, have a problem with it.

And comedian Kevin Hart is another glaring example of the malady.

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On the 50th Anniversary of Thomas Merton’s Death

Monday, December 10th marks the 50th anniversary of Thomas Merton’s death—which has now been confirmed as a martyr’s death by the recent solid and important investigative study, The Martyrdom of Thomas Merton by Hugh Turley and David Marin (as well as by my own encounters over the years with three CIA agents who were in Southeast Asia at the time).

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Terrorism: Playing with Numbers

I was in a debate recently with some friends about the NFL protests over police brutality. Some folks were saying there are no structural injustices in the police force. Rather, they argued there are some isolated “bad apples” who do bad things. The incidents may be bad, but the number of them is not statistically large when you look at a nation of 300 million (I’m paraphrasing a bit here).

Numbers can be funny. You can get them to say all sorts of things.

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The Strength of Her Witness: Jesus Christ in the Global Voices of Women

These essays, drawn from around the world, reflect the many ways that women have reflected on and borne witness to the person, teaching, and praxis of Jesus Christ in light of their own varied contexts. These contexts include their struggles for life amidst wrenching poverty, racism, and violence; their experience of being female in male-dominated structures in the church and society; and their commitment to promote justice in view of the human dignity of women, all done in tandem with their faith relationship with the living God.

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A Secular and Spiritual Examination of the Soul of America

The Presidency is not merely an administrative office. That’s the least of it. It is more than an engineering job, efficient or inefficient. It is pre-eminently a place of moral leadership. All our great Presidents were leaders …

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Yolanda Pierce – Interview and videos

Watch excerpts from our interview with Yolanda Pierce, associate professor of African-American religion and literature at Princeton Theological Seminary, as she talks about the new movie “12 Years a Slave” and about Christianity and slavery in America. Her most recent book is “Hell without Fires: Slavery, Christianity, and the African-American Spiritual Narrative” (University Press of Florida, 2005).

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The Matthew Shepard murder revisited

With October being LGBTQ History Month it allows the LGBTQ community to look back at historical events. And Matthew Shepard’s murder is one of them.

This October 12 marks twenty years since the death of Matthew Shepard. In October 1998, Shepard, then 21, was a first-year college student at University of Wyoming. Under the guise of friendship, two men (Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson) lured Shepard from a tavern, tortured and bludgeoned him with their rifles, and then tethered him to a rough-hewn wooden fence to die – simply because he was gay.

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