How did the term “woke” become the insult of choice in 2020? The word is simply an African-Americanism meaning to be awake.  It has been around for many years. It came to describe those who had become awake to their subjugation. Woke people were awake to racial injustice, the historical effects of the slave tradeContinue reading “Woke?”

My country right or wrong?

“Patriotism is the last resort of a scoundrel” This was the classic first term subject for the University debating club to get their teeth into.  Of course, each year we would make the mistake of debating whether or not patriotism was a good or bad thing. In so doing, we missed the point that theContinue reading “My country right or wrong?”

Racism is a sin of omission not just comission

One of the things that has been concerning for white church pastors like me in response to some of the discussion about racism has been the level of defensiveness. We want to say that we are not racist and so we get very defensive when people talk about systemic racism going on in our churchesContinue reading “Racism is a sin of omission not just comission”

When a community has a blind spot

I want to pick up on a brilliant question that was raised by one of our church family on the Zoom discussion last Sunday. We had listened to James preach on Matthew 7:1-6 and then one of the members asked “is it possible for these verses to talk about a whole community, church or institution?”Continue reading “When a community has a blind spot”

If we are going to see racial justice we will need to escape the monster/angel narrative

It did not take long did it.  Fairly soon after George Floyd’s murder and the outpouring of grief, anger and protest, the stories were circulating. Floyd was high on meth, Floyd was a serial, violent criminal so why was he being celebrated as a martyr. Of course those stories started with the socially required statementsContinue reading “If we are going to see racial justice we will need to escape the monster/angel narrative”

Antisemitism is racist – no ifs no buts

Once again, antisemitism is in the news.  A celebrity has been sounding off on his twitter account, threatening to take on the whole Jewish community, comparing Jews to the KKK, encouraging the usual tropes about Jews controlling the world’s money. If we thought that antisemitism had gone away with the change of Labour Party leadership,Continue reading “Antisemitism is racist – no ifs no buts”

Being Salty You can be distinctive by speaking up when it is unpopular

Yesterday, we saw that Jesus’ command to be salt and light is not primarily about social justice but rather about sharing the Gospel.  Today, I wanted to pick up further on  little side point, which is that if we want to be distinctive in what we speak up about, then we need to be readyContinue reading “Being Salty You can be distinctive by speaking up when it is unpopular”

Word Crimes? Thought Crimes?

Police have decided that: “No criminal offence took place when a plane banner carrying the message “White Lives Matter Burnley” was flown over a Premier League match between Manchester City and Burnley,”[1] No doubt, some people will be relieved and delighted by that decision this morning and will hail it as a victory for common-sense.Continue reading “Word Crimes? Thought Crimes?”

Food from around the worldwide web (19/06/2020)

Grieving Well My Story practical advice on how to live through the immediate aftermath of bereavement. George Floyd and Me Hip hop artist Shai Linne writes movingly about how the death of George Floyd affected him. The problem of NRPF Free School Meals hit the headline this week through Marcus Radford’s campaign. Here is anContinue reading “Food from around the worldwide web (19/06/2020)”

If you don’t want to be racist, don’t misrepresent what black people are saying

Since George Floyd’s death, I have been fascinated to see the number of tweets, Facebook posts and articles by Christians responding to the call to “take the knee.”  Some Christians have chosen to do so, others have not and that’s the way it should be. We should not force people to take particular actions, theseContinue reading “If you don’t want to be racist, don’t misrepresent what black people are saying”