Violence


This morning I settled into my couch with a cup of PG Tips, thankful to have the day off in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and conscious of those who are not granted this time.

Meanwhile, social media sites were blowing up with response tweets to a well-known pastor who degraded the faith of the President, Facebook posts from friends proud that the President is being sworn in on such an anniversary, and this video:

This clip really has me thinking. MLK’s legacy should be honored and his prophetic voice should be remembered and heard again as if it were new to us today. What he stood for – nonviolence, equal rights, beloved community, care for the poor – should be what we strive for year-round, not just romanticize one day of the year.

MLK’s message was the message of the Kingdom — maybe not perfectly or wholly — but it was based in the person of Jesus and expressed through the voice of the African-American community. The Kingdom glimmered through him and all who participated in the Civil Rights Movement.

So yes, I resonate with Dr. West in that having President Obama be sworn in on MLK’s Bible is questionable and upsetting. But I am more concerned that I haven’t thought twice that all presidents are always sworn in on a Bible. While I do not by any means doubt the faith of the President, I wonder if we are trivializing the call of the Word on our lives.

While President Obama’s action today may have misrepresented MLK’s legacy, let us not play with Jesus, and let us not play with his Kingdom. Let us not use the Bible as a moment in a presidential pageantry without understanding the challenge that the Word presents to all of those who are in power, no matter what color.

I think I have a crush on Jackson Katz.

“If we want to deal seriously with reducing violence we have to turn away from thinking about it as kids imitating violence and focus instead on all the different ways we as a society are constructing violent masculinity as a cultural norm – not as something unusual or unexpected but as one of the ways boys become men.”

“We have to show that vulnerability, compassion and caring are also a part of what it means to be a real man. One of the ways in which we need to see more diversified images of masculinity is we need to see more honest portrayals of male vulnerability. Because the idea, again, that we are invulnerable is just a fiction.”