Are you angry? Are you resentful and bitter over the past? Are there those whom you cannot or will not forgive? Maewyn Succat would tell us that with God's help, there is a Saint Patrick within, waiting to be released.
He recounts a vision, like John-the-seer in the book of Revelation. Except his is not a binary vision of heaven’s victory and evil’s defeat, but of nonviolent generosity and mutual respect—one that embodies Jesus’ call to radical peacemaking.
We cannot bomb our way to peace. What is imperative is that we don’t lose sight of the civilians and families whose homes and communities in Syria and Iraq bear the brunt of these never-ending proxy wars fought between the US, Iran, Russia, Turkey, and others.
As professors—one a politically-engaged theologian and the other a theologically-engaged political scientist—we admit that this situation leaves us concerned and scratching our heads. In our current American context, we wonder: what does it mean to live an authentic life of faith?
But it’s worth celebrating Virginia, the “home of the Confederacy,” as the first state in the old Confederate South to abolish the death penalty. The two facts are related, because the death penalty cannot be separated from our history of race and slavery in America.
The misuse of his words imply that King was primarily teaching a minority people how to suffer well rather than pushing for personal change within the hearts of, and systemic change within the structures of, majority peoples.
We are witnessing the ways that Christianity’s tentacles have bound themselves to patriarchy, nationalism, and white supremacy. For many of us rooted in this tradition, this is a moment of reckoning with its violence.