Martin Luther King, Jr: Sacramental Theologian

We aren’t going to let any mace stop us. We are masters in our nonviolent movement in disarming police forces. They don’t know what to do. I’ve seen them so often. I remember in Birmingham, Alabama, when we were in that majestic struggle there, we would move out of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church day after day. By the hundreds we would move out, and … Continue reading Martin Luther King, Jr: Sacramental Theologian

How are Non-White Americans forced to live today?

This is part two of a series of reflections on Charlottesville via Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s last speech “I See the Promised Land” (text and audio here). See the Intro here. I can remember [applause], I can remember when Negroes were just going around, as Ralph has said so often, scratching where they didn’t itch and laughing when they were not tickled. [laughter, applause] But that … Continue reading How are Non-White Americans forced to live today?

Where is God’s Hand in Today’s Struggles?

This is part one of a series of reflections on Charlottesville via Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s last speech “I See the Promised Land” (text and audio here). See the Intro here. The nation is sick, trouble is in the land, confusion all around. That’s a strange statement. But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars. (All … Continue reading Where is God’s Hand in Today’s Struggles?

The Promised Land After Charlottesville

After Charlottesville, what changes? The change is what matters. The posturing doesn’t matter. The marching only matters as a means to an end. After Charlottesville, as in after Charleston, Ferguson and Baltimore, what matters is the change in society to where black Americans can say “Yes! We are truly free!” Perhaps we forget this larger transcendent goal in the immediate skirmishes over policing and monuments. … Continue reading The Promised Land After Charlottesville

I’m White, but I Don’t Feel Like It

So for Father’s Day, I got an Ancestry.com DNA test kit. I spit into a little tube, mailed it off and awaited an emailed result. And the results are as intriguing as advertised. Prior to getting the results, I had my surname analyzed and found that “Raines” traces back to a village in Essex, UK called Rayne. Or it could come from Rennes in Brittany, northern … Continue reading I’m White, but I Don’t Feel Like It

The Confederate Flag, Mary Poppins, Family Systems Theory, American Exceptionalism and Some Cute German Girls I Met in England

Mary Poppins: A Starting Place I was watching Mary Poppins with my children the other day. There is a scene where Mary Poppins is talking about Mr. Banks’ general inattentiveness to his surroundings. In teaching Jane and Michael about the birdwoman on the steps of St. Paul’s Mary Poppins remarks that “sometimes a person we love, through no fault of their own, can’t see past … Continue reading The Confederate Flag, Mary Poppins, Family Systems Theory, American Exceptionalism and Some Cute German Girls I Met in England