10 Things that should be obvious but apparently aren’t

  1. People, especially those born into privilege, should go out of their way to be sensitive to and advocate for those who were born into less privilege AND everybody needs to stop giving other people the power to offend them.
  2. A religion that promotes individualism at the expense of community creates a narcissistic, self-centered faith that is ignorant regarding the formative and normative roles played by community AND a religion that promotes community at the expense of the individual creates a dry, preachy, justice only faith that fails to address the personal or spiritual angst that fuels sustained authentic ethical living and drives individual creativity and passion.
  3. Those who judge too much are sanctimonious hypocrites AND those who judge too little are complicit in ongoing injustices.
  4. Fundamentalism is the name of a religious movement whose uncompromising convictions put an interpretation of scripture before compassion for people. It is NOT the name of groups who hold the equally uncompromising conviction that puts compassion for people before interpretations of scripture (You can’t be a fundamentalist for compassion). Don’t give fundamentalism respect by treating it as a synonym for conviction.
  5. “Who do you think you are?” is not a valid ethical argument regardless of whether it is said by those on the right or those on the left AND who you think you are probably influences how you respond to the other 9 truths on this list.
  6. Conversations can be about a lot more than their content AND the content still be something important that needs to be talked about.
  7. Whoever determines the vocabulary that will be used for a particular conversation controls the course and content of that conversation and determines who will be rewarded and who will be shamed. NO SINGLE VOCABULARY should control all important conversations because there is no neutral vocabulary.
  8. Clergy should recognize the power differential between themselves and vulnerable laity AND should do all they can to empower laity so that those power differentials decrease or disappear.
  9. Callings into ministry are wild AND serving in an institutional church domesticates these wild callings. Candidates need to know this and rebel against it.
  10. The Church needs to publicly grant permission to rebellious leaders who will not wait for the Church’s permission to rebel and the Church will then need to publicly forgive them for not waiting. 

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