As faculty members of The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology, we endorse Dr. Anderson’s Statement on Charlottesville, and confirm our commitment, despite our limitations and failures, to discourse. We (re)commit to dialogue and discourse in the face of the fear, loneliness, fragmentation, and disconnection that has birthed the racism, bigotry, hatred, and violence seen throughout the United States and its people in recent days. We renounce any movements or mindsets that privilege one person or group of people over another. We seek to testify to the magnificent dignity, inherent value, and distinct personhood of every human, each purposefully and particularly fashioned by God before the beginning of time.
President Obama’s recent Tweet citing Nelson Mandela has been hailed as the most well-liked tweet ever: “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion…” Following this lead, we are reminded that hatred is learned. As faculty who represent an institution of higher learning, we are aware that much learning and unlearning needs to take place in order for personal wounds and cultural traumas to heal, and for divisions to be mended and for space to be created and held for all things to be made new.
We commit this coming academic year (2017-2018) to tending to discourse with each other and with the larger community regarding power and privilege, and to the institutionalized structures that were erected to support a few, but not all. We commit to actively join the God who is spoken of as “the Most Moved Mover,” seeking relationship in the face of refusal, love in the face of accusation, and truth in the form of living, breathing, Christ-like communal engagement.
We commit with God’s blessed Holy Spirit to work for transformation of church, culture, and society as we live into Martin Luther King’s call for a beloved community.
Photo Credit: Edu Bayer for The New York Times