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January 21, 2009

Comments

angela almond

Amen, and again, AMEN!!

chris

Thanks for posting the text - though I agree about the importance of his voice. Don't you think the white people who have already embraced what is right will know that they have done this and join in the prayer themselves?
I may come back to this - I have a good friend who has been very involved in the Civil Rights movement in Birmingham, Alabama.

Jim Gordon

I agree Chris. But racism as stereotype, bigotry and dehumanising isn't confined to one colour of God's rainbow. The new president, as a child of a black father and white mother, is himself an embodiment of racism transcended by humane values and human personality. And yes "white embracing what is right" rings deeply true to the experiences of many people in America. But reconciliation is an embrace that requires more than one embracer if the process of social, political and spiritual healing is to culminate in a new vision of one people. The Croatian theologian Miroslav Volf's book Exclusion and Embrace captures in the title the human alternatives at the extremes of human relationships - reconciliation is possible when we move from exclusionary stereotypes and practices to an open embrace of the other. Anyway - some initial thoughts, which don't subtract at all from the hopefulness of what happened yesterday. Coincidence - one my close friends, an exiled Scot, is a professor in Birmingham Alabama - be interesting to compare notes.

chris

Huh! So is mine! Except that his family moved to the States several generations ago. His response, which I have now been able to ask for, was that the bit of the prayer in question was "inappropriate". His wife, also an academic, said she was "pissed" by it - and I think the word she used must stand as an honest and instant reaction.
Oh dear. It's not at all easy, is it? Reading Obama's first book, I'm struck by his perseverance as a young man. It's fascinating.

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