Community Conversations Sunday, May 5

After worship, MacKenzie Room 
Faith v. Fascism:
 A Christian Alternative to Dog-Whistles and Scape-Goats

Facilitated by Rev. Dr. Malcolm Himschoot

What the hell is going on with Christianity?

Are you confused by how the faith practices of Jesus of Nazareth became in modern America a strident, condemning, power-grabbing movement suppressing political participation in a multiracial, multi-religious democracy? It is important to frame an answer which can respond to this struggle of our times with depth and religious discernment. Journalists document the phenomenon globally: a pattern of minority rule sought out by those favoring theocratic nationalism. In the U.S. this trend is happening in and through the identities of ‘whiteness’ and straightness and Christianism inter-mingled. It falls to progressive Christians to seek and create a faithful alternative witness to God’s love in order to counter organized hate, political racism, and weaponized Christianity. This work invites change within and across multiple political parties, evokes new ecological, economic and ethical visions, and influences our familial and cultural landscapes.
This class is meant for adults to interrogate the politics of white power in contrast to Christian social ethics; to identify inter-connections between political racism and anti-gay/anti-trans campaigns, how and why they co-opt American religion; to critique blanket use of “Christian” as a political term; and, to name and to enact one’s own values theologically and within history.

Series of three workshops:

How did we get here – What do we need to do – Who are we withReadings are not required. The class will gather and discuss interactive examples and film clips provided in real-time. For those who desire background reading, see the following optional resources on religion and political history:
 Peter Marty, “The dream and the backlash,” Christian Century, Jan. 2024
 William Barber, The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of a New Justice Movement
 Diana Butler Bass, “Understanding Christian Nationalism”
 Howard Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited