Monthly Archives: September 2015

Decent people

I oppose the death penalty for a number of reasons. Andrew Stroehlein, European Media Director of Human Rights Watch, expressed one of the most important reasons in these terms:

You don’t reject the death penalty because the criminals are decent people. You reject the death penalty because you are decent people.

 

 

Our position on the death penalty says as much about us and our characters as it does about the person and the character of the person facing the death penalty.

Brian, the wife of my friend Bruce Reyes-Chow,  was murdered at his place of work in 2008. In the wake of the execution of Kelly Gissendaner and the four executions (Richard Glossip’s execution was stayed until Nov. 6 due to questions about the lethal injection drug that would have been used) scheduled between now and October 7, Bruce shares some “Thoughts on the Death Penalty and Remembering Brian.” He writes in part:

We are that family who has lost a loved one and we do not believe that the death penalty is right, just, or humane. Did the killer of Brian extend the same compassion, justice, or humanity, no. Are there times when rage and sadness manifest themselves into wanting revenge, certainly. But we also know that responding to evil with evil, hate with hate, and murder with murder pays no honor to the person that Brian was or to the world that he hoped we would become.

So for the very reason that so many scream. “Death! Justice! Vengeance!” in honor of the person who has been lost, even in the midst of our own rage, sadness, and our own yearning for retribution, we plead, “Life! Compassion! Dignity!” in honor of the person we lost.

Our position on the death penalty says as much about us and our characters as it does about the person and the character of the person facing the death penalty.

I am honored that Bruce and his family have chosen to be friends with me.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Capital Punishment, Current Events, Death Penalty, Friends

Embracing the Other: Podcast “Love in a Dangerous Time”

My friend Grace Ji-Sun Kim explores the themes of her book, Embracing the Other, in a podcast with Russ Jennings of “Love in a Dangerous Time“

Grace Ji-Sun Kim

Kim_Embracing the Other_cov_9780802872999This is my new Podcast Interview about my new book, “Embracing the Other“. 

It is for Russ Jennings’ Podcast, “Love in a Dangerous Time“. Please listen to all the other interesting podcasts on Jennings’ site.

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Filed under Antiracism, Books, Friends

New Book: Embracing the Other

My friend Grace Ji-Sun Kim has a new book, Embracing the Other. I look forward to reading her reflections on how the Holy Spirit inspires and sustains us to work toward healing, reconciliation, and justice among all people, regardless of race or gender.

Grace Ji-Sun Kim

Kim_Embracing the Other_cov_9780802872999Embracing the Other: The Transformative Spirit of Love will be released this Fall 2015 by Eerdmans.

 It is book for the Prophetic Christianity Series.  Co-editors Peter Goodwin Heltzel, Bruce Ellis Benson, Malinda Elizabeth Berry.

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Purple flowers – Morningside Gardens 10

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26 September 2015
Morningside Gardens
Manhattan, New York

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Purple flowers – guest collection #17

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Purple flowers for the International Day of Peace
21 September 2015
Thanks to Jeff Geary

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Purple flowers, U.S. Tennis Center 2

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6 September 2015
U.S. Tennis Center
Flushing, New York

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Purple flowers, U.S. Tennis Center 1

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6 September 2015
U.S. Tennis Center
Flushing, New York

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For all who work

I give thanks this day for all who work –
whether that work is
paid or unpaid
honored or unrecognized
whether that work
earns a pay check or simply involves the day-to-day tasks of living
whether that work is
a labor of love
or somehow combines all of the above.

I give thanks for all who have lived and died
to protect the lives and rights of those who work.

I give thanks for all who live and give of themselves,
and risk themselves,
to make a better world for all who work.

I confess and grieve that the life I live,
the privilege and comfort I enjoy,
too often rests on the backs of brothers and sisters who work.

I recognize that all too often sisters and brothers work
in dangerous conditions, in situations where they are exploited, violated.

I pray that the day will come when all people have work to do
work that is safe and meaningful,
work that is honored and valued,
work that pays a wage that allows the workers
to provide a decent living for themselves and for their families.

I pray that I will receive the grace and the wisdom and the courage
to in some small way
make a contribution to the dawning of that day.

I give thanks this day for all who work.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Current Events, Family, Friends, Human Rights

Purple, not flowers – elephants, Montreat

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22 August 2015
Montreat Conference Center
Montreat, North Carolina

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Purple, not flowers – fake flowers, Montreat 1

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22 August 2015
Montreat Conference Center
Montreat, North Carolina

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