Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Speech

OK, gang, what'd'ja'think?

I, for one, am blown away and amazed that Barack Obama actually pulled it off. I know this partially because I'm watching commentary on MSNBC and Pat Banana's face is peevier than usual because there's not much for him to grab onto. But Obama did it. He denounced the words without abandoning the man, he addressed race as a lived experience, a reality that affects all of us regardless of our skin color. He acknowledged our anger, resentments, frustrations and fears as legitimate and asked us to channel that not against one another but at the forces that are their genesis.

As a religious scholar in training, I mostly am grateful that he addressed the fact that our religions, our denominations, our churches themselves are not monolithic, that we may worship together and stand together in solidarity as fellow beloved human beings in God and Christ without having to agree with one another (which, by the way, is the hallmark of the UCC -- see the UCC's comments on the whole controversy here) and in fact ought to disagree with the things that we say or beliefs that we harbor that have the potential to truly divide us, though in ways that do not distance each other from our fellowship (Heaven knows as much as I hang on every word that drops from SuperPastor's mouth, there are times that he makes me wince; and as much as I love my church there are people there who drive me nuts and make me move away from them -- and that's something I need to work on).

I'm proud to be a member of the UCC, which includes Trinity UCC and even includes all the conservative churches that want the UCC to change its policy of inclusiveness to gays. Our table is open for everyone, and that includes them. I'm proud to be a supporter of Barack Obama, who is dealing with race honestly and from reality, recognizing our tragic pasts without apologizing for its tragic legacies. We do not move forward into hope without acknowledging our despairs. He did that today. Onward into hope. Let's go. Sí se puede.