Lament, Caste, and Racism

The faculty at Wartburg Seminary is reading Caste: the Origins of our Discontents, by Isabel Wilkerson. It is a very interesting book in which she uses the concept of caste, as well as several vivid metaphors, very creatively as a way to invite people into thinking about racism with new categories and fresh eyes. (The…… Continue reading Lament, Caste, and Racism

Reflections on “After Whiteness”

I want to share some reflections about a book I just read, After Whiteness: an Education in Belonging, by Willie James Jennings. I don’t know exactly what I was expecting, but it turned out to be something even better than I thought—something really thought-provoking and important.  I read it with the other ELCA seminary leaders…… Continue reading Reflections on “After Whiteness”

What does Authority Look Like?

What does authority look like? Answer: it depends. If you are a white man, you don’t have to ask what authority looks like, you just have to look in the mirror; it looks like you. When someone says CEO, Fortune 500 business leader, Chief Operating Officer, President, more often than not, people assume a white…… Continue reading What does Authority Look Like?

Mitch McConnell and the Importance of Timing

Today, Mitch McConnell learned the importance of timing. As shocking, horrific images of insurrection in the Capitol building fill the news, my thoughts keep turning to Mitch McConnell, and I wonder if he regrets his actions in the weeks following the election–actions, which, I believe, have contributed to the rioting that took place in Washington…… Continue reading Mitch McConnell and the Importance of Timing

The Cost of Demonization

Perhaps you are familiar with one of Shakespeare’s more famous sonnets, “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun.” In that sonnet, he repeatedly violates our expectations of love poetry by rejecting traditional–and exaggerated–claims of loveliness in describing his beloved: “If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun; if hairs be wires, black…… Continue reading The Cost of Demonization

A Prayer for our Leaders, A Prayer for Ourselves

Today is an election day like no other, and I think many of us are feeling lots of different emotions today: exhaustion, hope, anxiety, apprehension–and that’s just for starters. In this fraught moment, I could say lots of things, but I think all I want to offer is this prayer from To Bless the Space…… Continue reading A Prayer for our Leaders, A Prayer for Ourselves