Indian Independence, a wandering Aramean and what makes up identity

“Jai Hind!” I greeted my Sikh neighbors in the elevator this morning. “Jai Hind!” the husband laughed in response. “I told my co-workers yesterday that I should get today off because it’s my July 4th!” I didn’t grow up celebrating Indian Independence. I knew when St. Andrew’s Day was when I was in Kindergarten, because myContinue reading “Indian Independence, a wandering Aramean and what makes up identity”

Homelessness, the woman on my patio and the Woman at the Well

Sermon preached at First Christian Church of Palo Alto, August 10, 2014. Text: John 4:5-15 (with references to later verses), the story of the Woman at the Well Preamble to the sermon: I am known in some circles for preaching a really up-on-your-feet, clap and shout amen kind of sermon. I think that was whyContinue reading “Homelessness, the woman on my patio and the Woman at the Well”

The Myth of Street Smarts versus Book Smarts

Delivered June 13, 2014, at Disciples Divinity House at the University of Chicago annual Convocation. I looked, and a hand was stretched out to me, and a written scroll was in it. He spread it before me; it had writing on the front and on the back, and written on it were words of lamentation andContinue reading “The Myth of Street Smarts versus Book Smarts”

“That’s why I don’t watch the news,” #notallmen and the global protection of rape culture

He was for real the sweetest guy I’ve ever met. I had opened up my home to a couple of people coming to Oakland for a conference for activists. We totally bonded over finding a space to create our own identities rather than the identities the world tried to impose on us. He told meContinue reading ““That’s why I don’t watch the news,” #notallmen and the global protection of rape culture”

The false dichotomy of fit versus fat

Why I’m eager to get healthy but not eager to get thin I’m on a juice fast for Holy Week (the week leading up to Easter in the Christian calendar). I’m on day three and it’s going pretty great. It’s been about a year since I did the first one, and this time has beenContinue reading “The false dichotomy of fit versus fat”

Microaggressions, calling out, giving power and eating our young:

Why how we treat Suey Park might matter more than her campaign to cancel Colbert You may be bored by now with the #CancelColbert controversy. I was bored with it before it became a media sensation. And yet here I am, because I just found out that Suey Park is 23, and that turned everythingContinue reading “Microaggressions, calling out, giving power and eating our young:”

Yo pastor is so poor… reflections on Lent, poverty and justice

Lent is a season of sacrifice or spiritual renewal in the Christian tradition, 40 days (plus Sundays) leading up to Easter to deeply consider one’s life. Or Lent is a way of providing a little dignity to really poor people. That’s how it started out, according to my mother. And this brings me some solaceContinue reading “Yo pastor is so poor… reflections on Lent, poverty and justice”

Truth, facts, and the La Paz Cathedral: vacation thoughts on postmodernity

I visited a Jesuit mission church on Wednesday, in the city of La Paz. The missions along the West Coast of Mexico and the United States have a very complex history of bringing faith that people value deeply today but also bringing coercion and violence and conquest. Nonetheless, the guide focused mostly on telling usContinue reading “Truth, facts, and the La Paz Cathedral: vacation thoughts on postmodernity”

Culture Clash: Why We (People of Color) Get Stuck At “They’re Bad.”

note: I’m doing a different one on POC and White people later. If you’re White, you’re welcome to eavesdrop, but let me get schooled by people of color this time around. You’ll get your turn to school me later. 🙂   I walked into my sophomore dorm room to see my college roommate sitting onContinue reading “Culture Clash: Why We (People of Color) Get Stuck At “They’re Bad.””

Sometimes you’re the restaurant worker; sometimes you’re the hipster: Thoughts on gentrification

I hung out at the intersection of La Mission and the Mission. I was hanging out at the intersection of the past and the future. A couple of months ago I went to a fundraiser with a good friend of mine at a Mexican restaurant in the Mission District of San Francisco. The organization wasContinue reading “Sometimes you’re the restaurant worker; sometimes you’re the hipster: Thoughts on gentrification”