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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Being brave to speak up in these challenging times

Uploaded: Dec 1, 2020
Brenda Salter McNeil, a black professor, pastor and author, has changed her view on what’s necessary to achieve racial justice in America.
In a conversation with her friend, Pleasanton businessman Roy Goble, she shared about her new book, “Becoming Brave, Finding the courage to pursue racial justice now.” She’s been teaching and preaching on this for 30 years.
Saying her background growing up in a Pentecostal church that was led by God, she noted that reconciliation is an ongoing spiritual process with God intervening in human affairs.
“I was writing about leadership and that the next generation of leaders would be like Esther (the book of Esther in the Bible). A lot of things happened, but the global, cultural, social and political climate changed around me and it made me grapple with it. You can’t write about things rationally and intellectually, you’ve got to live it. I realized I was being transformed and more was being asked of me,” she told Goble.
“The book wasn’t called “Being Brave” when I started it. By the time I got to page 128 . It was clear that I was going to have to swallow hard because I was saying things now that I've never quite said like this before.”
“When I'm preaching I'm not entertaining people… I'm doing that for a reason. And I'm doing that with everything I've got because I believe in the church. I believe that we have been entrusted with the message of reconciliation. And then when I see us do the polar opposite to what it is we declare the Bible says, yes, it breaks my heart. It is a dream deferred.”
She went on to say she’s been working on the issues for 30 years and it has not produced the reconciliation. Her study of Esther called her out of the comfort place and forced her to be brave in these days. Esther, one of the king’s wives, learned of a plot to kill all of the Jewish people and was called to bring it to his attention. That took courage because no wife could approach the king unless he summoned her. The penalty was death, but she did it anyway and saved the Jewish people.
“The solution is that reconciliation is an ongoing spiritual process involving forgiveness repentance and justice that transforms broken relationships and systems to reflect God's original attention for all creation to flourish,” she said.
“I believe that's what we're going after. And I realized now that my playing it safe was kind of trying to say to almost like a person who is sick and goes to a doctor and says Hey Doc, I'm really not well I need your help…Please help me know what to do and the doctor, makes a diagnosis right and the person then says to the doctor now I don't think I want to do that. I have to give it to you straight, You're going to have to make these changes, if you want to get better. I am not being a mean person to be an honest and truthful person to say, I care so much about you that I will not give you a diluted message,” she said.
Her plan forward: tell the truth and care enough to break the silence. That takes being well informed and calling people out when they say things like the “China virus.”
That certainly means being brave in today’s politically polarized America.
Their conversation took place during a virtual get-together for Pathlight International, the ministry working to provide a quality education for children in Belize. It was founded by Goble and his wife, D’Aun. Pathlight.

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Comments

 +   16 people like this
Posted by Lahommed, a resident of Dublin,
on Dec 1, 2020 at 9:46 am

Lahommed is a registered user.

Being brave now a days is standing up to those who want do destroy what worked in America for well over 200 years now. We are watching the slow dismantling of our constitution and our core beliefs. radical left ideology has no place in America, Socialism has no place in America. If we want America to be strong we need strong people. Our Political representatives such as Eric swalwell are spineless jellyfish who enrich their own pockets at the expense of the hard working tax paying citizens. Who will stand up to the wolves at America's doorstep? I will as I have all my life....the question is Will you?


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Rich Buckley, a resident of Livermore,
on Dec 1, 2020 at 10:40 am

Rich Buckley is a registered user.

Regarding "the message of reconciliation, and pursuing racial justice." In spite of the fact that our higher inner wisdom inside each of us, speaks to us and calls us to include reconciliation on our view of world realities, there are no recent historical examples of healing through reconciliation. It's done for the spiritual benefit of the victims not the perpetrators. As to reconciliation, it nonetheless needs to be implemented as a form of self forgiveness. We can not forgive others without first forgiving ourselves. What's difficult is knowing when we are dealing with full information.

Equating reconciliation and social justice is mixing water and oil. Reconciliation is a personal spiritual awakening process that is self defeating when mixing the concept of reconciliation with the current social justice movements. All we see today is exactly what commenter Lahommed above points out in concise form, "dismantling of our constitution and our core beliefs."

Professor Brenda Salter McNeil is no doubt a loving and wonderful human being...but she is trying to bring the light into the darkness by carrying a lighted Roman Candle into the powder magazine and morally proclaiming this is the high road. I just do not accept that answer from her as definitive, or even as helpful. She is still afraid to leave her tribal connections and her comfort zone and is hiding in the false meme of the radical left theology. Worst of all she apparently believes she is well informed.


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