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Not so silent night

The lovely story of "Silent Night" is that the world changed—was saved—by the birth of Christ during a silent and holy night. Millions have been soothed and reassured by the carol's peaceful, hopeful message and harmonies.

But isn't it interesting that in order for the song to have effect, voices must be raised—silence must be disturbed?

I'm an advocate of disturbing the peace, especially when so many endure misery and suffer hatred. In this blog, I try to stir up conversations that speak to controversy and aim for informed, respectful dialog. Right now in America, millions live under the threat of violence, carry the burden of prejudice, and grapple with ways to make life better for all of us, but especially for the children. 

If we look at the Black Friday protests in Seattle, San Diego, Chicago, Cincinnati, and other places, can we listen and learn? Can we constructively contribute? Many who speak for Black Lives Matter and those who are aligned with them are angry, but who can be surprised by that? This civil rights movement is addressing a legacy of slavery in America that has never been fully dealt with.

From our Constitution through all of our societal institutions of justice, law enforcement, education, housing, finance, health, and government, America as a nation has not been honest about its history of promulgating notions of European-descended people's superiority. America as a nation has not been honest about its history of promulgating notions of African-descended people's inferiority.

And America as a nation will never right its wrongs unless individuals come together to speak up, speak out, and speak right on about these deep fissures in our society and culture.

Instead of "sleep in heavenly peace," let's speak in heavenly peace. What will you say to to help others find that peace?

Speaking out . . . on a limb

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Friday, 25 May 2018