Monday, August 25th

Hello, Public Theologians.

Come join us again this week as we delve into another facet of what is and has been happening in Ferguson, Missouri: Faith & Ferguson, Part 2, if you will. To those of you who were a part of last week’s discussion, thank you for all your contributions to this important and ongoing dialogue.

Let’s gather at our usual time on Monday, 5:30-7, at the Tap House in downtown, Rochester.

This week, I bring to the table: Civil Disobedience, Clergy, and the role of the Church. Reverend Jeff Hood, the Executive Director of the Center for Theological Activism in Texas, wrote a very interesting post this week: The Violence of Demanding Peaceful Protest: The Missteps of Clergy in Ferguson.

Give it a read-through if you can. These questions should help guide our discussion:

1. What do you think of Jeff’s critique that clergy in Ferguson were over the people (“appendages of the ruling class”), not with them as equals?
2. Should the role of pastoral leaders be just to keep people calm?
3. The cognitive dissonance Jeff describes is deep. He seems to lean towards an understanding that clergy are to be more of a prophetic voice among the people, instead of a pastoral presence over them. He says, “The work that I do is to ensure that acts of civil disobedience remain nonviolent not that they remain nonexistent.” What do you think about that?
4. His final call is powerful: to “nonviolently make life intolerable for those who want to keep perpetuating injustice.” Does that jibe with the Gospel? How so, or not?

I look forward to hearing your perspectives and seeing where this week leads us. See you downtown.
-Paul

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