From “Filled to Be Emptied: The Path to Liberation for Privileged People” by Brandan Robertson
Now, I will not try to offer a comprehensive analysis of how America got to this dark moment – it would certainly take more than a book of this size to even broach the subject. But what I will say is this: This moment of insurrection – incited by a president whose primary message was rooted in preserving systemic privilege for white, straight, able-bodies, Christian US citizens, and returning the nation to an ear when every politician was a “Christian,” when people of color were not a “threat” to white people’s jobs because they wouldn’t be hired anyway, when women were treated as second-class citizens, when LBGTQ+ relationships were criminalized, and when the only acceptable immigrants were those coming from Europe – was one of the most blatant reminders of just how powerful, prevalent, and destructive privilege is.
In an era of history when America, along with many other nations, is really beginning to grapple with the dark beliefs, laws, and practices that form the very foundation of the nation, and is beginning to slowly and imperfectly work to dismantle systemic injustices, those who have been blinded by their privilege and power are feeling deeply threatened and afraid, and they have shown that they will use every ounce of privilege and power they have left to fight – with literal violence – to preserve the status quo. As we’ve explored at length in this book, when the mountains are lowered and the valleys exalted, it’s easy for those on the mountaintops to feel that what they are experiencing is unfair and unjust. If you’ve lived with undeserved advantage for generations, when the moment of reckoning comes when you are asked to forfeit that privilege for the sake of equity, such a request can feel like too much to ask.
Which is why, in a moment like this, it is essential that all of us who claim to follow the way of Jesus should pause and reflect on how we will respond to this moment of our collective history: Will we be a people of insurrection or resurrection? Will we be a people set against the movement of subversive justice that Jesus called for or will we be a people who yearn for the renewal of all things, in which all people are at last seen as the children of God, worthy of equal dignity and opportunity?
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