Reconciliation Replay (August 14, 2014)

highlighting the best reconciliation words around

HONOR dwarfs: “Don’t Look Down on Me” by Jonathan Novick

Jonathan describes the microaggressions he experiences on a daily basis and gives suggestions on how to honor people with dwarfism.

WELCOME diverse people: “Just Because the Door is Open Doesn’t Mean I’m Welcome Here” by Kathy Khang

“Churches tend to take on the cultural influences and traditions of its members and community…The problem arises when churches and believers refuse to identify those influences and traditions as possible barriers to welcoming new members. The surprise is often how tightly we hold on to some traditions and influences that have nothing to do with our core beliefs as Christians. But in allowing some traditions to change and new influences to be introduced, we create a new culture that may welcome the very people who have walked through those open doors and then never returned…Read more

LISTEN to African voices: “These are the African Writers You Should Be Reading Right Now” by Lauren Said-Moorhouse

“In years gone by, chances are cultural icons like Nigerian literary giant Chinua Achebe or South African Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer might have popped straight into your head. But lately new names from across the continent are becoming part of popular literary consciousness. “Purple Hibiscus,” “Half of a Yellow Sun” and more recently “Americanah” have brought international acclaim for Nigerian author du jour, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie…Read more

LISTEN to African-American male voices: “When Terrorism Wears A Badge” by Ryan Herring and others

“Several years ago I lived in the suburbs of Louisville, KY where my parents had purchased a home in a newly developed subdivision. We lived there for a couple of years when one day while driving out of the subdivision I was signaled to pull over by two police cruisers. I was accused of burglarizing the home of a White neighbor. Being the only Black kid in the entire subdivision, it came as no surprise that I was singled out. A few years after that, in the same subdivision, my brother and my best friend had their cars broken into outside of our house. When the police arrived I was obtained and questioned as if I was a suspect…Read more

RECONCILE: “Reconciliation with Gender” by Brenda Salter-McNeil and Nate Grossman

EXAMINE gender stereotypes in higher ed: “Teaching and Gender: I Don’t ‘Mother’ My Students” by E. Lawrence

“ I have honestly never heard any of my male colleagues speak about teaching as a kind of fatherhood. I suspect that this is because men are allowed to have different roles and relationships and modes of intimacy in both the private and the public realms, and nobody blinks. Men are the norm, the starting point for being human, so obviously they can both “father” and “teach” and “publish” (and, if we are being honest, perhaps these latter, professional activities are expected to take up the bulk of the male’s time). “Man”= “human”, and that provides its own flexible pivot point for a variety of life activities. I can’t imagine having a conversation like that at a departmental picnic with a male colleague who says, “I really want to be a dad, so I am looking forward to teaching [at the university level].” Is that a cultural script? Nope….Read more

ACQUIRE racial literacy: “What Does It Mean to be White?” by Robin DiAngelo

“In the U.S., while individual whites might be against racism, they still benefit from their group’s control. Yes, an individual person of color can sit at the tables of power, but the overwhelming majority of decision-makers will be white. Yes, white people can have problems and face barriers, but systematic racism won’t be one of them. This distinction — between individual prejudice and a system of unequal institutionalized racial power — is fundamental. One cannot understand how racism functions in the U.S. today if one ignores group power relations….Read more

INTEGRATE worship and justice: “We Have to See Justice as Part of Discipleship and Ultimately…Our Worship of God” by Eugene Cho

“Sometimes, when I hear folks talk about justice in the church, I cringe…I cringe because if we’re not careful, we’re again compartmentalizing justice rather than seeing it as part of the whole Gospel; We need to see justice as a critical part of God’s character and thus, our discipleship and worship. Just like we shouldn’t extract the character of “love” or “grace” or “holiness” from God’s character, such must be the case with justice.

People often ask me, “What’s the most critical part about seeking justice.” My answer: We must not just seek justice but live justly. Justice work and just living are part of our discipleship. Justice contributes to our worship of God. Justice is worship…Read more

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