Featured Author: George Yancy

On June 19th in the New York Times, George Yancy published a Stone article entitled “Is Your God Dead?”

I was so inspired by the power and prose of his piece that I am turning the microphone over today to this brilliant scholar will not only give you a break from my endless ranting, but will hopefully rekindle your outrage and stoke your passion for justice.

Title: sospesi 2 | Author: Chiara Abbate | Source: Flickr | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Title: sospesi 2 | Author: Chiara Abbate | Source: Flickr | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

After I read this piece for the third time (yes, it is that good), I was struck by how easy it is for all of us to retreat into the comfort of our religious institutions or social bubbles and to remain complacent about the pain and suffering that confronts us daily on the streets and in the news. It made me wonder again what it will take for us to emerge from our safety zones, connect with folks who are having a different experience than we are, and to act with compassion.

I hope this article will provide enough of a shock to move us to make a personal commitment to our own integrity and a collective commitment to social justice.

Below is an excerpt and a link to the full article:

“I am pretty sure that no contemporary Christians have seen God, no contemporary religious Jews have seen Yahweh and no contemporary Muslims have seen Allah — certainly not face to face. Yet all of us have seen the aftermath of murdered children from war-torn countries, their fragile bodies covered with blood. I am haunted by the little body of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi who lay dead and face down in 2015 on a Turkish beach after his family fled violence in Syria. I continue to be haunted by the murder of an unarmed Trayvon Martin in 2012. Hundreds of thousands of children around the world are suffering. We all have known about the cruel and despicable violence toward transgender individuals. We know about the magnitude of human trafficking, the magnitude of poverty, and the sickness of hatred. […]

Heschel writes, ‘The prophet’s word is a scream in the night.’ I wait to be awakened by that scream. I have not yet heard it. It is that scream, that deep existential lament, that will awaken us to the ways we are guilty of claiming to ‘love God’ while forgetting the poor, refusing the refugee, building walls, banning the stranger, and praying and worshiping in insular and segregated ‘sacred’ spaces filled with racism, sexism, patriarchy, xenophobia, homophobia and indifference.”

Read the rest of “Is Your God Dead?

Originally published at Perspectives & Possibilities.