Seminary as Resistance

This morning, we lamented.

We are gathered here in Lexington for seminary classes… here, in Lexington, on January 21, 2017.

We lamented that we are not marching with peaceful protesters on the streets of D.C.

We lamented that, though we gather in this city, we are not marching with those lifting their voices on the streets of Lexington.

Yes, our names are in pockets and on ponchos and on signs on these streets, as our spirits march with the feet of our sisters, but here we stay.

We lamented the things that we have been told as women:

That our bodies are not right for preaching or teaching the word of God.

That our bodies are not acceptable to stand behind a pulpit.

We have been told we were not smart enough to study the word of God.

That we must cover in just the right way, talk with just the right tone of voice, we must be pretty but not too pretty.

That it is acceptable to be objectified, and, even have our bodies violated.

We have been told if only you were more…, if only you were less…

We lament.

But then, we rise.

Because for us, being here, is an act of resistance.

As people across the nation march, some of us are learning about the history of the church in the United States, that we might understand our heritage and refuse to make the same mistakes again.

As people across the nation march, some of us are learning how to study Scriptures, that we might use this knowledge to understand and help others understand how God is still speaking.

As people across the nation march, some of us are learning about how those labeled “Other” are too often demonized and have been throughout history. We are learning about the role of God in suffering and the ways in which we cause suffering.

We witness and are complicit in the demonization of human beings because of their —

skin color
ethnicity
gender
citizenship
orientation
gender identity
religion or lack of religion

— and acknowledge all those who have been and continue to be systemically oppressed, marginalized, and killed.

And we lament for the ways that we are “other.” We are demonized.

But we are learning about a God who marches.

We are not on the streets, but we are in these classrooms, preparing to lead the church in ways that we have been told we can’t. We will lead a church who breaks down barriers and tears down walls and offers love to all, every person, no matter what.

We’ve been told we can’t…

But we will.

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I wrote this collaboration with seminary colleagues, with eternal thanks to our professors who have mentored us and taught us how to think theologically… and resist. 

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