Jesus Radicals Blog 2005-2017
Join Christians all over the United States September 25th to October 2nd for a week of taking action and encouraging the Church to bring an end to police violence. These 7 days will be filled with Jesus followers encouraging the Church to speak out against the racial injustice that the black and brown community is enduring at the hands of police.
As seen in the Gospel narrative, Jesus calls the Church to practice a radical form of love that is fueled by justice and mercy, particularly centered around defending the poor, marginalized, and oppressed.
However, the North American Church today has largely been silent about systemic violence affecting black and brown communities, particularly widespread police violence. This overwhelming silence and passivity as Christians not only deeply fails our neighbor, but fails our call to bring justice to a hurting world.
On the night of September 16th, an unarmed black man named Terence Crutcher was shot by police after someone called in his abandoned vehicle. On his way back from attending a class at his local community college in Tulsa, Terence’s car began to experience mechanical issues. Scared the car may explode, he got out of his car to ensure his safety. Within minutes of arriving to the scene, Terence was killed by police. More: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/20/us/video-released-in-terence-crutchers-killing-by-tulsa-police.html?_r=0
Only days later on September 20th, police shot and killed Keith Lamont Scott - a disabled black man in Charlotte, North Carolina while he was reading in his car, waiting for his child to get off the bus.
These are only two incidences of hundreds, where innocent lives were taken without . Many of these include black and brown women, children and members of the LGBT community.
These incidents are only two of hundreds of others that have shown the merciless abuse of power by police that people of color continue to fear. It is time for us to take action to stop this violence, and encourage the Church to move towards building just and merciful cities that better reflect a vision of Beloved Community.
Note: Originally published on Dan's blog, On Journeying with Those in Exile
Luke 1.1-4: Friends of God
Jesus was an Indian and God is Red. Red like love and rage. Red like the earth that constitutes our bodies. Red like the waters that flow from the mothers who birth us. Red like Grandfather Sun whose warmth and light and love is given unconditionally to all. Red like the fire the Story Keepers and the Old Ones (Kehteyak in Cree) say will destroy the world of the whites. And red like ochre and the scalps of the Beothuk.
The Beothuk, it is well known, were hunted for sport by European settlers, their scalps collected by those who came to bring civilization to the savages. So much civilization was brought to them, that the Beothuk are no more. This is often referred to as the “Beothuk extinction,” but that seems to suggest that the Beothuk were a species of animals — perhaps prehistoric, like the Mammoth or the Giant Sloth. But the Beothuk were a people, not prehistoric animals, and what happened to them was genocide.
“Beothuk,” by the way, means “Red.” They were called “Red Indians” because they took red ochre and smeared it on their bodies. They were red like love and rage and blood and fire and God.
Editor's Note: An addendum will shortly follow which will provide some details on the background of this action as well as the dynamics of the response to it.
August 21, 2016
Early this morning, we smashed out all the windows of the Starbucks housed in our church.
Christianity and Capitalism cannot coincide. Jesus was the first to recognize this.
Many years ago, businessmen attempted to conduct business in the house of God. Jesus forced them all out - causing them to lose their merchandise and their profit. He made a whip, driving out all who would sell anything in His house, and refused to allow anyone to even carry merchandise through the temple.
We are Christians. We are also anarchists. We believe that Christianity necessitates anarchism, and that both are defined by freedom and by struggle – against oppression, against Capitalism, and against our Enemy.
As of late, some churches have allowed Capitalism to seep into our places of worship. We follow Jesus, and cannot allow this in His house any more than He did.
For this reason, in the early hours of Sunday morning, we went to our church before our brothers and sisters would arrive for worship. Following Jesus' example, we attacked the place made for buying and selling in our Father's house – smashing out all its windows. We left hundreds of copies of a letter we wrote to the church.
The letter admonishes them and explains to them the spirit in which we acted. It outlines the Christian position against Starbucks, against business, and, greater still, against Capitalism. However, our letter was truly intended for the larger body, as we recognize that the church in America at large has fallen into this acceptance of buying and selling in our Father's houses.
So, we address our letter, and thus our action, simply to the Church of the West.
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