I’ve been pondering what to say about the recent/ongoing controversies around the president and Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The problem is that there’s really nothing new to say. These are the same old questions of power and ethics.
However, the lessons remain important – and never more so than during Holy Week, so:
The critically important voices of women of color are massively underrepresented in public discourse in our culture. May we listen and learn from them, recognizing and respecting that those voices are particular rather than monolithic.
White imperial capitalist patriarchy perpetually reacts with violence to challenges to its ill-gotten hegemonic power. The intensity of reaction generally mirrors the intensity of the perceived threat. This power is unambiguously harmful to people and the planet.
Cultural pluralism is one of the greatest gifts of life in the contemporary United States. In that context, religious differences ought to be a site of blessing and respect. May we who are not Muslim hold Muslims in our hearts as our friends and neighbors.
Our lives are suffused with holiness — of time, place, and being. We must actively, daily choose to grasp that reality, to live that way rather than drowning in the transactionalism of contemporary society, that system of dominance that reduces all worth to that of economic production and consumption.
Let those of us who claim an ethical principle of living, rooted in religious faith or not, do our best to embody compassion, justice, respect, and love in ways that reject exploitation, dehumanization, and commodification of all living beings and the whole of Creation.
That is the work of living in this age.
We do this work and walk this path together.