In case you haven’t picked it up yet, here’s the newest edition of the Herald! Inside, student and Herald editor David Goodwin reflects on his experience participating in a Moral Monday protest.
On Aug. 10, before school had started, and the mad rush to Reading Week that is the Fall Term had commenced, I took off of work early to head up to the north side of Chicago, just off the Wilson Red Line stop. The weather had been rainy but humid, and I had to smirk at my luck at picking damp Moral Mondays. But eventually the clouds pulled back, in time for our group of around one hundred volunteers/ religious leaders/students/ concerned locals to walk past closing social services, the first symptoms of Neoliberal control within the Illinois government. We then piled onto buses that took us into Lincoln Park, where we protested in front of the house of one of Illinois Gov. Ruaner’s biggest financial supporters, millionaire Elizabeth Christie.
On the bus ride there, I sat next to a woman who had never before visited Lincoln Park. She was surprised to the point of silence by the unsubtle domination of wealth that would require such gaudy frivolousness as Italian Ice or a restaurant solely devoted to toast. On our return journey, I sat with a Jewish lawyer and we discussed movements within U.S. Judaism calling for solidarity with the poor and organized action against systemic corruption.
As I study the social side of the gospels, and I read the writings of the New Reformation that is Liberation Theology, my upbringing in relative privilege and wealth has become completely jarring. I know I must do more, but “I’m busy.” Which is really just the millennial catchphrase for “I don’t care.” Although we have careers outside of school, or family, or hobbies, or churches, we should know that Christ would not have died had he not advocated for the poor. Thus the very commencement of the process of resurrection, which for many is the heart of Christianity, cannot be divorced from an oppositional stance against the injustices of this world that continue to create poverty and isolation.
The fight for justice and equality, reaching all the way down to our very ecology, is pastoral in a Genesis sense. We are charged to be caretakers of the earth and our neighbors. So I put the question to you: How can we have theological education without it?
David Goodwin is a student at McCormick Theological seminary in the Masters of Divinity program. David has lived and worked all over the world and seeks to build community wherever he goes. Currently, David is the editor and fearless leader of McCormick’s biweekly newsletter, the Herald. You can read more of David’s writing on wineandbread.org.