Tag Archives: Keri Day

Synchroblog Returns! #TheNewPacifism: The Cost of Peace

new pacifism awh
(banner provided by my friend Alan Hooker, who you can find blogging at here; feel free to use the banner if you participate in the Synchroblog, the link to the googledrive file can be found here: banner)

Back by popular demand, after last year’s success (and by success I mean the creation of a new dialogue), we are bringing back the The New Pacifism Synchroblog, and this year’s theme is The Cost Of Peace. In light of this year’s events, from the Protests in Ferguson to the actual riots during a Pumpkin festival, to the terrorizing menace ISIS, it’s time to do some theological reflection on what would be a New Pacifist response to these issues. Part of this year’s theme is inspired by Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship, and his distinction between cheap grace and costly grace. Likewise, in a similar vein as one of my mentors, Keri Day wrote about concerning Ferguson (for Syndicate Theology), when we speak of cheap peace, we

“refer to a temporary calm that comes from sweeping the hard truths of injustice underneath our societal rug so that such hard truths are out of sight and out of mind. It is a peace that is cheap because it costs us nothing. It bypasses the hard work that comes with truth telling and correcting deep systemic injustices. When there are calls for cheap peace, one must ask, “For whose benefit?” Does avoiding hard truths help to protect the marginalized and suffering or does it protect an abusive and oppressive system?”

What does a refusal of cheap peace look like in the face of ISIS? The xenophobic and racist Ebola crisis? The failure to push through immigration reform by the Obama administration and Congress? What are the possibilities and limits of joining Christian peacemaking efforts with a focus on intersectionality? With these questions in mind, I am now proposing this 2014 New Pacifism Synchroblog on The Cost of Peace. Tell us how your own view of peacemaking has developed or what you what the New Pacifism has to offer in today’s world. Here’s how to participate:

1. You can write your own blog post, telling us your own views on pacifism. The post can be written, it can be an assortment of GIF’s, pictures, a video, a video blog (vlog), a short quote. Don’t be afraid. Take a side, Pick a side, any side.*

2. Please link back to this original post so your readers and other readers can find your post to be collected in two weeks. Synchroblog collection ends December 9th, 2014 at 11:59PM Central Standard Time, USA.

3. Share your views on Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtag: #TheNewPacifism. I will try to collect as many facebook statuses and tweets using the #TheNewPacifism hashtag and Storify it in the final New Pacifism Synchroblog post.

4. Interact, engage people who you agree and disagree with. Show love and encourage one another peaceably, and above all, don’t be a troll!

*Side note if you don’t have a blog or social network or don’t want to share, but would like to participate, please use the PJ contact page to make a submission:

Contact Political Jesus

Meanwhile, if you want to go back and look at last year’s synchroblog goodness, check it out here!:

#TheNewPacifism Synchroblog & Storify

My own planned posts for this year’s Synchroblog include:

1. I plan to do an AnaBlacktivist update on a Series I once did for co-blogger Craig’s former blog, once entitled The God Of Peace, under a new title (to be determined)

part 1: ground rules; part 2: revelation (the Hebrew Bible); part 3: the Revealer (Christ Jesus); part 4: revolution (the chosen community of the Revealer, and nonviolence) ; part 5: resisting daily (concrete political & ethical proposals/practices)

2. Further reflections AnaBlacktivism, Christology, doing contextual Christology and ethics.

3.A Post on Micah 4, Jonah 4, and ISIS on forgiveness, repentance, costly grace and costly peace.

4. A post on Becoming An Unsettled Killjoy during Thanksgiving.

5. 1-2 posts on “My Peace I Leave With You”: Eschatology, the New Creation, and The Sabbath which will have implications for economic justice.

I plan to make all of my contributions to #TheNewPacifism to be my NaNoWriMo project for this year as well.

In which I was part of a panel at a scholarly conference for the first time

Langston Hughes was part of the Harlem Renaiss...

My Experience At the Southwest Commission for Religious Studies

Saturday, I entered arena of scholarship once more, the first time as an “Independent Scholar.” But don’t be deceived, my independence gave me the freedom to ask questions at every session I attended. My goal was to network as much as possible, and I achieved that goal, primarily in the morning.

In the afternoon, I felt I was in good company with the Womanist and Liberationist Ethics session of the AAR, and then a little later at the plenary session lead by Joerg Rieger.

Our panel, the Harlem Renaissance and Black Religion(s), was the first Panel I have been asked to be a part of. It was sort of a risk to go where I had never gone before, to actually do a scholarly presentation on black science fiction, postcolonial theology, Christianity, and race, but I pulled it off. My thesis adviser and Brite professor Keri Day was the moderator, while Phillip Luke Sinitiere also presented on Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I also volunteered to read Lou Joseph’s paper on Langston Hughes’s play Emperor of Haiti so he could receive credit on his CV. I felt like this panel was the beginning of something different and special, and Lou’s work was very important. Thus, I felt compelled to volunteer to read (I myself in the past have had a reader for a paper).

The best thing about all of our research projects is the potential for engaging the Harlem Renaissance and Black Religion(s) from an intercultural perspective. With Lou’s look at the Haitian Revolution in light of the Catholic religion and Langston Hughes’ literature, Phillip’s engagement with Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s being influenced by the Negro church tradition, and my observations on the similarities and differences between Irishman C.S. Lewis and George Schuyler, the possibilities are real and endless. It’s part of my vision to be a Black Church scholar for a Multicultural world, and this project may fit the bill. At the panel itself, I spoke for a total of close to 80 minutes (both presentations were at 30 minutes, then the q & a); I just couldn’t stop talking. I was like the Bubba Blue of Black Sci Fi!


I would definitely like to be part of a panel again, even if it’s not about the Harlem Renaissance or science fiction. I would highly recommend you give it a try if you are a student, since it means collaboration with other scholars and more engagement with the audience.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Economy of Jesus: Widows, Classwarfare, and The Fair Tax

The Americans For Fair Taxation logo

Image via Wikipedia

A couple of months ago on a post, I do not remember which, Joel “Olsteen” Watts and I found ourselves in rare agreement in politics that the income tax system in the United States, as it is, is quite corrupt. In fact, I would say, arbitrarily so, and here is why.

It is non-sensical to have public officials to have the ability to change how much your taxes are going to go up or down with a majority vote.  There are no limitations on this power, and as a wise person once said, in life, there are only death and taxes. And guess what? Activist centralized governments have the ability to wield both? Capital punishment? War? Abortion? Anti-lynching laws? Regulation of businesses? Taxation? All of the above. So with this in mind, I think that the idea that Congress does not have a check on the power of taxation as ridiculous.  On the right wing of the taxation spectrum, we have the GOP, who want irresponsible tax cuts on a whim that ends up really being tax burdens on our children’s future as this chart shows.  The promotion of tax cuts, while it is a good idea, should be limited, otherwise, we end up with an unstable means of funding important government functions, including education (as Calvin Coolidge promoted) for the promotion of the common good.  On the left side of the taxation oppression spectrum, leaders in the Democratic Party like Bill Clinton wants his taxes raised; but think about this: do we really want a government with the capacity to threaten us with tax hikes? It’s almost like sabotage, really, and it breaks down at that grassroots level into the rhetoric of class-warfare.

That is why over the past few months, I have begun to sympathize in a limited way with the concerns of the Fair Tax movement. It is at least an attempt to guard against our governing institutions from being less hostile to our livelihoods. However, from a biblical perspective, I must dissent with the Americans for Fair Taxation on their definition of fairness.

Part of the injustice that is the current tax code in the U.S.A. is that it rewards married couples and punishes singles, particularly single mothers.  Also, as many conservative columnists have pointed out, there are so many loopholes in avoiding to pay taxes, that the government prevents itself from balancing its own budget by trying to bow down to special interests.  It is for these very reasons that we need  a fairer, perhaps a better term, a JUST Tax system, and a Just Tax movement maybe.

What would a Just Tax look like? Well, for starters, if one looks throughout Scripture, one finds that YHWH commands that God’s people show true justice by treating the widow and the poor justly. My ThM thesis adviser, ethicist, and Black Church Studies director Keri Day talks about how economies effect the lives of single Black mothers, and that they may well be considered the modern-day widows.  My friend, Hebrew Bible scholar (ABD- all but dissertation PhD), Stephanie Wyatt also has done considerable research in the area of widows in the Bible, and that perhaps some images of widows, like the ones that interacted with the prophets Elijah and Elisha can give us ideas into how empowered rich women were in the Ancient Near East. If anything, our definition of fairness when it comes to taxation, should take this route. Perhaps a flatter tax would be beneficial, but I think a Just Tax system should start, first, with the economic impact of the poor in mind, and second, it should limit the federal government’s power by, for example, not allowing the tax code to be changed so easily, perhaps it only being allowed for change every 10 years, along with the Census.

Thank you, Moses:

‘Cursed be anyone who deprives the alien, the orphan, and the widow of justice.’ All the people shall say, ‘Amen!’

(Deuteronomy 27:19)

UPDATE: Doug Chaplin writes on the UK Green Party taxing the poor for the benefit of the wealthy.

Enhanced by Zemanta