We seem to live in an era where we in the US are ever ready to protect our own God-given (we believe) rights. To stand our ground, so to speak. We are vehemently ready to safeguard our own rights, but not so much someone else’s. In these past few weeks where we have seen the SCOTUS gut the Voting Rights Act, the outcome of the Zimmerman trial, and even Paula Deen’s almost inexcusable gaff of exposing the mangy underbelly of racism in our society everyone is feeling imperiled and embattled: the majority culture, the minority culture, and the vast center that just wishes we could stop talking about all these uncomfortable issues and get back to watching Jeopardy. And it makes trying to talk about (much less trying to enact) hospitality a tough sell indeed. So I’ve been trying to think of things we can do to nudge us all a closer to caring more about our neighbors whoever they are, whatever color they are, whatever accent they speak with, whatever headscarf or hoodie or necktie they choose to wear.
I will never use the “N” word, and I will make sure that anyone using it around me knows I think it is unacceptable. Not for political correctness, but because I cannot imagine how that epithet ever builds another person up. It is almost always destructive.
A gun used in a killing should always be confiscated and destroyed. Even if it was justifiable, even in self-defense, if it was used to kill a human being that gun should be removed from society. If it deemed that the killing was not illegal, the gun’s owner still caused a death and should have to forfeit that firearm. They can get another one if they desire. But a gun used in a killing should be gone.
As long as I’m meddling about the 2nd Amendment, can we work toward a consensus that my right bear arms never trumps another person’s right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness? I’m not saying that we can’t ever own guns, but our technology is such that I don’t think we necessarily have right to own every kind of arms.
Can we create a society where even if you think what I said in #3 is the looniest thing you’ve ever heard, you can still sit down and drink a cup of coffee with me? All I’m asking is that we somehow are as ready to see each other as neighbors as enemies.
I was watching an old episode of “Cadfael” recently where a minstrel is being chased by a mob accusing him of murder. He runs into the church, right up the main aisle, grabs the cloth on the altar and cries for sanctuary. The brothers intercede themselves between the minstrel and the mob, offering him their safety and protection.
That’s exactly what I see the Urban Abbey doing. When someone is being pursued by mobs of anger, violence, prejudice, and fear they find sanctuary in our midst. We ponder, practice, and offer different ways of existing in our culture and community. We are the people ready to intercede on behalf of peace, healing, and unconditional justice and love. We want to be the place that nurtures these kind of crazy ideas, ideas that can change the world.