How do we respond to the horrific event of white supremacist terrorism that took place at a hate rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a suspected white nationalist allegedly slammed his car into a crowd of counter protesters, killing one woman and injuring 19 others?
The call of ongoing Christian conversion beckons us to embrace the often intimidating truth that we have personal responsibility for the wider world of social sin. In this case, we must take a strong stand against racism, hateful bigotry, religious extremism, and domestic terrorism. We need to make it clear that neo-Nazis, white supremacists, anti-Semites, and anti-Muslim speech and action do not represent America and do not represent Jesus Christ.
As Jesuit priest James Martin of America Magazine says, “Christian white supremacist is an oxymoron.” Directing his message to white supremacists, he goes on to say, “Every time you shout ‘white power’ you might as well be shouting ‘crucify him.’ And anytime you lift your hand in a Nazi salute, you might as well be lifting your hand to nail Jesus to the cross. And lest you missed the point, your savior is Jewish!” For his full speech, connect to the following link: youtu.be/99oVfKqclGM
Do not act as passive spectators in the face of these heresies of racism, white supremacy and white nationalism. Consider how you will show your support for the beautiful diversity of people.
Sister Carol Coston, OP, reflects on her personal discernment process: “As I think back on these experiences and on the way I have changed over the past six and a half decades of my life, I recognize that my personal transformation has been more evolutionary than epiphanic. The movements have involved gradual changes, a sort of unfolding, rather than abrupt shifts— although, once I complete the internal shift, the external decisions to act on the internal change have always come quickly.”
Three deep impulses have guided Sister Carol’s life: her quest for God, her struggle against racism and class prejudice, and her commitment to social justice and care for Earth. She helped found, and for 10 years served as the first director of NETWORK: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, based in Washington, DC. Sister Carol was also a founding member of the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Portfolio Advisory Board, serving as the Board’s chair for 12 years and representing our Congregation in dozens of shareholder resolutions on issues of justice in the global economy.
She founded and directed two Partners for the Common Good loan funds, raising more than $11 million in religious investments to provide low-interest credit to low-income communities in the United States, Latin America, and South Africa. She also co-founded and co-directed Santuario Sisterfarm, a sanctuary for cultivating diversity and sustainable agriculture in the Texas Hill Country.
Sister Carol is the first and only sister to receive the Presidential Citizens Medal, given by the President of the United States “in recognition of U.S. citizens who have performed exemplary deeds of service for our nation.”
What internal change are you noticing in your own life? How has this internal shift borne fruit in external action? What deep motivations guide your life?
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Get out your bell-bottoms and platform shoes, because DISCO is here!
Okay, so it's a little less dancing, a little more talking... Sisters Lorraine Réaume, OP, and Sara Fairbanks, OP, have a video series called DISCO (Discernment Conversations): Dancing with the questions of life!