“Guns are not legal in the United States and its territories.”

These are the only words from political leaders that will make a difference for the American addiction to guns.

This country has incredible problems with addiction in general, but the most lethal addiction, which fuels not only our sick gun culture but the opioid crisis, the debt crisis, White nationalism, racism, xenophobia, sexism, sexualism and our entire capitalism based economy is the American addiction to fear. It began with the European colonial fear of indigenous people and infected every aspect of life here from that point forward. …

I identify religiously as a Unitarian Universalist. I am also black. These two identities often sit in conflict. I am also gay. Anyone who has read this blog knows all of these things about me. Its worth noting that I was once publicly challenged by Michael Eric Dyson for choosing the predominantly white spiritual space of Unitarian Universalism that affirmed my identity as a gay man over spiritual spaces that affirmed my blackness and left my sexuality on the sidelines. I’m not alone in making this choice. …

Image by Zach Dulli from Pixabay

And so it begins…

The public and judicial enshrinement of the idea that “sincerely held belief” and “religious liberty” supersede public good, health and general wellbeing started last night when the Supreme Court, shortly before midnight, issued their opinion in Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, New York v. Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of New York.[1] From Amy Howe at Scotusblog.com, “The Supreme Court late Wednesday night granted requests from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and two Orthodox Jewish synagogues to block enforcement of a New York executive order restricting attendance at houses of worship.[2]

As I look at…

What is reparations to me?
It is not financial
It is not legislative
It is not policy based or retro-fit in any way.
Those answers
Accept as truth
The systems that created and continue the harm.
Those answers are the master’s tools.

Reparations to me is a new constitution.

A declaration that is not built on
Deliberate anti-black and anti-indigenous violence.

A governing document that does not merely tolerate
But celebrates all gender, sex and sexuality as the completion of humankind.

A public agreement that requires that mental, physical and emotional disability Are not segregated, demeaned or erased by either…

I recently began studying for a Master in Public Policy degree at Tufts University. Someone asked me why I was doing this when I already had a Master of Divinity degree and they wondered how the degrees were related. My answer is playing out in real time this week with the 2020 United States Presidential Election. Although my initial impetus to pursue the degree came from a desire to counteract the harmful ways in which I recognize religion is being turned into a policy weapon, I see that this violence is much more wide spread. …

Thomas L. Friedman wrote a piece for the New York Times yesterday that was part of a collection of opinions titled “ What Have We Lost.” Friedman’s entry is called “ Trump Has Made the Whole World Darker”. It is appropriately dystopian and bleak and references China and Russia and loss. But for me the title is also weirdly ironic because if Trump made the world darker, that darkness didn’t touch the New York Times. Out of 15 writers, this piece includes no women of color (to my knowledge, although there is a small sprinkling of men.)

Like Friedman, there…

My faith is embodied…

It believes that the most intimate connection with another consenting adult is a divine right.

It believes that the sacred capacity to gestate a new life is a blessed and totally autonomous covenant between an individual and their conscience, god or God.

It believes that gender is holy, is not a choice, and that it is revealed by, with and to the individual.

It believes that ability is relative, individual, valid and unshamable.

My faith is counter colonial…

It believes that black history is ongoing American history that is more than slavery, poverty and incarceration.

It…

When I first encountered blatant racism as a child in elementary school, my first reaction was to cry. This didn’t win me any friends or empathy. In fact, it simply garnered more teasing and bullying. I was already a bookish kid who dressed funny and wasn’t afraid to use his adult vocabulary. I was also the only black child in my grade at the time. When I was physically threatened and called “fag”, I learned that I could literally outrun everyone in the school. This was my golden ticket out from under the thumb of the school bullies for that…

I am a minister, I am black and I serve a predominantly white congregation. The definition “white congregation” extends beyond the physical and also appears in priorities and perceptions of the congregation as well. I am not alone. I have many colleagues from a wide variety of non-white backgrounds who have chosen to work, serve, and contribute to Unitarian Universalist and other religious denomination congregations as ministers, DREs, Musicians, Administrators and Building Managers where they are one of only a few or the only person of color on staff. They do what they do because they are people who are…

I make it a habit to never question someone’s racial cred. In a world of blended families, interracial families and trans-racial adoptions, none of us has any business questioning someone else’s racial identity. So when I point out the fact that both Barack Obama and Kamala Harris are bi-racial and the fact that none of their parents identified as African American, I do so from a very personal place. I know from my own family that this is a specific and sometimes complicated place to occupy in American racialized culture. …

Adam Lawrence Dyer

Ir-reverend “Embodimentalist”

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