Lay down the weapon of good intention

A few years ago, my partner and I were invited to speak with a small group of white Catholic North Americans visiting Bolivia. My partner, from Bolivia, was asked to speak briefly with the group about Andean spirituality, and I was asked to translate his words from Spanish to English. (I am sharing this storyContinue reading “Lay down the weapon of good intention”

Freedom songs

Selma has been on my mind lately. With the passing of John Lewis, my social media feed has been flooded with photos of him standing at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, stories of his constant bravery and even videos of him dancing or crowd surfing. We have lost a legend. And my mindContinue reading “Freedom songs”

10 summer reads from our archives for the heat and these hard times

Here are 10 summer reads from the Messy Jesus Business archives that could fuel your fires, ignite your actions, inform your choices. These words could companion you in the summer heat and during these hard times.

What’s whiteness got to do with it?

“You don’t dismantle white supremacy by ‘learning about other cultures.’ You dismantle white supremacy by deconstructing whiteness. – Benita Grace Joy I saw this quote the other day. As any good meme does, it deeply resonates with my own experience. As a white woman who chose to move to South America, originally serving as aContinue reading “What’s whiteness got to do with it?”

Choosing not to live in fear

My feet were numb. It was the night of January 27, 2017, and I was standing outside O’Hare International Airport in Chicago with hundreds of supporters of Muslims.The number of Muslims, immigrants, allies and politicos surged to 1,000 in a few short hours. Many travelers arriving at O’Hare decided to forgo their itineraries and joinContinue reading “Choosing not to live in fear”

White supremacy and me and you

1. I am driving through the Northwoods of Wisconsin, talking to a friend, a man I know very well, on the phone. Tall, snow-covered pines line the ditches; gray overcast hovers. The man and I are catching up, chatting about our lives. The tone of his voice becomes shameful, reluctant. My gaze moves over theContinue reading “White supremacy and me and you”

Whitewashed Mary and White Supremacy

What image of Mary. the mother of God, do you remember seeing as a child? When you close your eyes and imagine Mary today, who do you see? What color is her hair? Her eyes? Her skin? What type of clothes is she wearing in your imagination? As a kid growing up in a tight-knitContinue reading “Whitewashed Mary and White Supremacy”

Serving up accountability this holiday season

Thanksgiving in the United States is often a time to come together with family, friends and whomever else we call community. My favorite memories of Thanksgiving are around the table sharing food, memories full of warmth, comfort and a feeling of belonging. But as I grew up, I also learned about the real history behindContinue reading “Serving up accountability this holiday season”

MLK Day and choosing white discomfort

I don’t believe that remembering Martin Luther King Jr. and the movement that he represented is supposed to be comfortable for us white folks. And I wonder what we might learn if, on this national holiday created in his honor, we were to sit with his speeches that most challenge — not affirm — ourContinue reading “MLK Day and choosing white discomfort”