My friend Mihee Kim-Kort provides a theological reflection on Marissa Alexander and fear. “The only way I can make sense of those words is the thought of Jesus speaking us into that darkness. We’re the embodiment of those words, ‘Fear not.’” Mihee includes ideas for action. Good stuff as always. I am always grateful when I see a new post from her appear in my email. Yes. That is a gentle suggestion that you go to her blog and subscribe.
“What kind of body and performance can adequately represent “fear” in the US judicial system, or in our communities? And why is the proof of fear necessary to assert one’s right to defend one’s life? Racial justice, feminist anti-violence, and anti-prison/policing movements must take the implications of this ruling seriously in order to make their work more relevant to black women’s lives.” -From The Feminist Wire
I remember hearing once that the phrase “Fear not” is found hundreds of time in the Bible. Fear was clearly pervasive in that culture and time period – an oppressive government, economic disparities, and abuse from religious leaders – and then, Jesus comes along. Jesus, with his radical ideas about God’s kingdom and loving enemies, and all those wonderful miracles, Jesus, and his offering the possibility of change in their context, of course, of course, there would…
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Here is some more information about Marissa Alexander, the woman serving 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot as a way of defending herself from her abusive husband:
Anderson Cooper and some others offer coverage of her story.
Like the Free Marissa Now Facebook page.
Sign the petition to Florida Governor Rick Scott.
If you are being abused, or know someone in an abusive situation, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE.
Learn more about the work of Presbyterians Against Domestic Violence. There are lots of other good groups out there working to end domestic violence. Support their work.
See you along the Trail.
I signed a petition asking Florida Governor Rick Scott to free Marissa Alexander. Marissa acted to defend herself from her abusive estranged husband … she fired a warning shot … she hurt no one … and now she is in prison. Here is how the organizers of the petition describe the situation:
In August 2010, Marissa Alexander defended herself from further violence by her abusive estranged husband in their home by firing a warning shot toward the ceiling. No one was injured by the shot fired to save her life. Without bond to care for her premature nursing daughter, in May 2012, Marissa was wrongly convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Under Florida’s mandatory minimum sentencing law, Marissa was sentenced to a minimum of 20 years in prison. Marissa had a restraining order against the serial abuser, a legally licensed gun and permit, and no criminal history. Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law did not work for her in the way it worked for Trayvon Martin’s killer which raises serious concerns of discrimination against Marissa. It appears that stereotypes about Black women project them as aggressors even when defending their lives upon deadly attack. Something has to be done regarding all women who defend themselves against their abusers. Too often they receive little understanding and sympathy from the systems charged with demonstrating justice.
I signed. Will you?
See you along the Trail.