For this week’s reading pod selection on the topic of pneumatology, we read “More than Suffering…
Awesome Womanist Pod
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This looks like an interesting article. I’m wondering though, about Baker-Fletcher’s call for “a fine line between anger that spirals into destruction and righteous anger that leads to action.” Is there any context that she gives this space i.e. who specifically is she speaking to? If she means to be universal, I feel that we as Seattle School students need to be more faithful in applying our own race within this context. To not do so problematically means that “we aspire to hold onto hope and bless…moments of lament that lead to change, knowing that God is always faithful”, and yet black communities have very little recourse for lament to be anything other than protesting in the streets that leads to rioting when police forces aggress. White fragility then — the kind that makes disparaging comments about how they just don’t understand why communities of color are so mad and are clashing with police in the streets — turns Baker-Fletcher’s words into a lukewarm theology that presumes peace and humility are called for, on either end of the spectrum, especially if the charge is being read from an academically focused womanist. Reconciliation is certainly what we’re all after, but I (as a white person) see via Genesis 1 that God created good out of the chaos by delving into, and existing temporarily within it. Thus my call is much different than African-Americans’ call to act within their communities. They “could have sunken into violent rage, but instead they walk…in holy indignation and holy dignity,” consistently working toward leading their “[members, just] as they [themselves] followed Christ in the comforting, encouraging, and healing power of the Holy Spirit.” However, this reality should not disparage those who are not only passionately and justifiably angry, but are finding their own path and way of expressing the trauma they’ve experienced from generational racism.

So how we linguistically translate our experience of these articles is of tantamount importance for it intersects with discussions on the pathology behind what causes a person to lament, and applying practical context such as what political infrastructures are impeding resources to move in ways that allow African-Americans to “aspire to hold onto hope and [achieve the] bless[ing] [of their] moments of lament that [will] lead to change, knowing that God is always faithful.”

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