Division and Darkness: White-Washing America’s Disease

Darkness and division are words frequently evoked by those condemning the insurrection in the United States Capitol on January 6. From statements of President-Elect Biden to the words of members of Congress who actually helped foment the invasion, these words roll easily off the tongues of American political leaders in times like these. And faith leaders follow in kind, preaching sermons about the need to “come together” and prioritize unity and civil discourse and other such values that we are supposed to all hold dear in this country. Such rhetoric serves to do more harm than good as the United … Read the full post

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The Mythology of Goodbye: 2020 Is A Part of Us Now, Whether We Like It or Not!

The mythologies of new beginnings and fresh starts gave birth to the United States of America. And their chimerical charm has infected our collective psyche ever since. Those mythologies are what brought white Northern European people to these shores, believing that they could start over. The problem is, they brought their trauma with them. And instead of knowing that truth about themselves, they deposited their denial and defensiveness all over this land. Starting over is a myth. And that’s an important truth for us to carry into 2021. If we want to heal from what ails us, reprising the mythology … Read the full post

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Lament for the Human Race

Great Mercy, Ocean of Love Abide in sorrow of dreams denied Defied by pride and slicing violence Of those who despise Loathing is destroying us Deep inside, eliding all inviting All healing repeating flowing Instead blocking, instead mocking Tears flowing filling rivers Oceans poisoned by grasping Blind to the gasping, the gaping Wounds inflicted and given title Our humanity scarred, scared Barred, bearing the weight Of some primal cry For a way to feel safe At home with violence Swaggering, daggering, daring Staring, watching, surveilling Reveling in the affliction of fear Dear Spirit, living, breathing We evoked you Choked you, … Read the full post

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Do You See It Yet, White America?

Can you see it? Are any more white people waking up out there? Do you see what’s going on, what has been going on?  Do you see it now? If I hear one more white person say: “Why is all this bad stuff happening to Black people, it just doesn’t make sense,” I might resort to one of the temper tantrums I use to throw when I was five years old. For the love of God, everything that is happening—EVERYTHING makes perfect sense when you acknowledge the depth and power of white supremacy culture and patriarchy:  The chaotic and dangerous … Read the full post

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Are You There, Humanity? It’s Me, Marcia.

Are you there, humanity? It’s me, Marcia.* We’ve tried talking before—the whole lot of us.  I am a theologian, after all. What in the world would I be doing if I weren’t trying to talk to all of humanity? I come from a particular context, and context does limit perspective. But, this time, I am actually really hoping you all can hear me out. The truth is, I’ve been concerned about you, that’s all of us, for a while now. We can be such a self-destructive bunch!  It’s breaks my heart, and I know you probably feel it, too.  War, … Read the full post

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Mis(sing)Understanding: Kobe, Pompeo, and a Paper Towel by Marcia Mount Shoop

My latest post on the Feminism and Religion Website: Who knows when each of us first learns that sensation—the sensation of being misunderstood.  My hunch is that it comes early on in our lives, maybe even before our brains are making narrative memory, maybe even before we have begun to understand much of anything about ourselves or the world. But it doesn’t take much for the seed to be planted in us that the world won’t always understand us. My mom has long told me a story about me as a frustrated toddler trying to be understood. I was sitting in … Read the full post

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Fallen Friend: A Poem

The mournful, eery groan of a majestic felling friend Finding the ground she had shaded and stood sentry Called me to come and be a witness. The loamy smell of secret dirt, roots Torn from their 100s of years underneath The lost height now stretching endlessly toward grey liminality. A wash of grieving tears for this mother of so many, still budding Still reaching for growth Her battle scars, her rings of ancient days beautiful and wrenching. Brother hawk sat vigil, too Both of us knowing enough To come and be. To come and be.

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History and Healing in America: Can Governor Northam Help or Hurt?

A few years after my mother was born in 1937 in Fayette, Mississippi, my grandfather, a carpenter, farmer, and contractor planted a live oak sapling in their front yard. He planted it in the center of the yard in front of the house he built for his family to grow along with my mother. Every summer while I was young we’d sit under that grand live oak in lawn chairs, you know the kind that left an imprint on the back of your legs and that you could replace the vinyl strips if they started to wear out. We’d eat … Read the full post

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Nothing But The Truth: A Word to White America After the “Recent Unpleasantness” in Washington, D.C.

When I was a Junior in High School in Danville, KY, my U.S. History teacher burst into the room shouting and loudly dropped an object on the floor.  A few people in the room (who had been prompted by him) shouted back and began running out of the room.  The whole class erupted in chaos for the following several seconds and then the teacher said, “What just happened? Write down what just happened.” We quickly figured out that we all remembered things differently. There was a lot of disagreement on what happened in those chaotic seconds in our classroom.  “That’s … Read the full post

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Not Yet the Death Rattle (Latest Feminism and Religion Post)

I have had the honor of sitting vigil with dying people. And I have prayed through the coming of the death rattle. It can be painful to witness, especially for those witnessing death for the first time. Sometimes the person can hang on, seemingly fighting the inevitable final step of their transition into death. In those times, I have encouraged families to share affirming words with their loved one, to tell them that it’s ok for them to go, that they are going to miss them, but that they will be ok. I have listened as wives tell husbands thank … Read the full post

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