Much Ado About Evil (but approximately zero solutions)

Red Weather Christians

Season 2, Episode 10

There is a long-standing problem with an omnipotent, omniscient, morally perfect Creator and the existence of evil in this world. While bringing the discussion and theoretical solutions to the table, Jen and Steve offer approximately zero concrete solutions. Perhaps a shoulder shrug is all they have, but they remind everyone that attempting to ignore the problem does not make it any less of one. Can good cause evil? Can evil cause good? Without evil as an option, are we even free to choose?

Sources: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/evil/

The Grief Episode

This episode was difficult for me to record. Several times throughout, I had to stop, breathe, and collect myself before resuming. The point is, grief may not have an ending point. I’ve learned that that’s OK. I hope through listening to this episode, you’ll realize that, too. Especially in the Christian community, we have a tendency to think that it’s OK to grieve — but only for a time. After that time has lapsed, we better be better. If we’re not, sometimes the message to us is that our faith isn’t strong enough. If we really believed that we have eternal life and that we’ll see our loved ones again, why would we continue to grieve?

And yet we do.

Listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Red Weather Christians: “S2E9: The Grief Episode”

a piece

God
you are a poem
metaphor to mountains
and star-studded skies

white     space     and
line
breaks 
and

rhyme 
but most of the 
time
an impossible task
to ask
what it is you mean

your mean is the
average of all of
these words
so I dust off the Bible
and add them all up
and divide by the total
each word with a value
and as I decide 
what is one and what's five
I arrive at the
door of the thought
caught
between opening
-- I supposed -- 
or keeping it closed

I open of course
and the door starts to
crumble
I curse as the knob turns to
sand in my hand
and I crumple
the floor finds my face

the door explodes 
into fragments
and colors
it's shining
it's blinding
and gone
and it's gone 
and each piece
is dissolving to dust
as the dust floats to floor
with watery eyes I
look 

I look
but it's impossible to
see
I want you to
be
on the other side of that door
but before
I said you are
poem
and though I'm
mere mortal
I think I can see
that a poem
means leaving the mean
and not meaning to know
but leaning
and learning
and loving
and so

I look up at mountains
and star-studded skies
white     space      and
line 
breaks
and slowly realize
that the space
and the breaks
and the words
and the marks

all combine to show
a small piece of divine
and I pick up my piece
in my hand say a prayer Please
help me find peace
in my place
in this place
you have made
and this piece
may it be something
special to me so
I feel you and see you in

white     space     and
line
breaks
and star-studded skies.

everyone goes

hey
dad
it's been a 
minute
but I wanted to
talk about heaven
with you
and I think you're
there right now sitting on your lawn chair drinking hot coffee

I wanted to
talk about heaven
with you
and tell you that
I'm sorry
for all the times you told me
Everyone goes to heaven
and I 
scoffed
because I knew
I knew
you didn't understand
how
the 
gospel
works
you called me a princess
but it was an attack
and I hated you for it
but now looking back
I now can see
how that's
exactly
what 
I
was

I was a spoiled princess
How Dare you Defy Me Dad
Don't You Know I Know
more
than
you
about
life

you told me everyone goes to
heaven
how could a god allow people to
go
to
hell
how could he do that
and why
and I
scoffed
the royal princess that I was
and why should I listen
to someone who wakes waiting
to drink
every
day

I was so much better than that
but now I think I'd like to
talk about heaven
with you
and say
I'm 39
and not a day
goes by
that I don't think of you
and I don't think of you
in hell
but how you have a lawn-chair seat in heaven

and when we
talk about heaven
I want to tell you
that I wish I would have
been a better daughter
later after you died
I tried
I tried
I tried to understand your 
pain
in life
your pain
I think you numbed
you'd sink into
grayed and fuzzed and cotton-muffled brain

but we're talking about heaven
and I want to say
that even though you couldn't stay
to make your heaven
here
on
earth
you've got it now
and now
I know that
I 
don't 
know
all the things I thought
I knew
and you
and you are sitting on your
lawn chair
drinking coffee
restful and content
so proud of me
(you were always so proud of me)
I wish I could have been proud 
of you

but it came too late you couldn't wait
to leave
you 
could 
not
cancer decided
you
did 
not

so hey 
dad
it's been a
minute
but I wanted to 
talk about heaven 
with you
and tell you
that I am doing what I can
to make my heaven
here
on
earth
and when I drink
hot coffee
I think 
of you
of you
of how proud
I am
of you.

Listen: The Grief Episode

stories

All of this is Yuck
you said
but Yuck to me is
biting into a bad peach
fuzzy orange skin belying
gray stinking flesh
teeth sink in and

something
is
wrong
It had been sitting on the counter for too long

So that's what you think of me
I looked like a Christian
at first
Did the Right Things
Said the Right Things
but that was the surface
that was my skin when
I had questions when
I had doubts
you were Repulsed
Rot
you thought I was Rot that
I had gone Bad

But even though
the peach had gone bad
its stone pit
its stone heart
was cold and hard
And then I think of 
you

something
is 
wrong
you had been sitting on the counter for too long

stored in a Bible-shaped
Tupperware box
orange lid cracked
but still so hard to breathe
you shouted from inside
the Bible-shaped box
that I was
Maddening
that I was
a waste of emotional energy
(and I can understand that when the simple act of breathing is a chore)
but your voice was muffled 
and I didn't understand your words
I didn't understand that

something was wrong
you had been sitting on the counter for too long

the Bible-shaped Tupperware box didn't move
and neither did you
face up in the box
staring at the underside of the
opaque orange lid
it was simply
all you saw of the Bible-shaped box

something  was
wrong you  had
been sitting  on
the counter  for
too long stored.
a  Bible-shaped
box    with     an
orange          lid.

But this is all just a 
story, of course
Gone in 24 hours
your powers like magic
but really just clicks
erase

me

I'm gone

I've gone

bad.

episode 4

The grocery list taunts me
with dish soap and milk
But this white page draws me
Black ink spills into words onto white

Because I think I could use some
black and white
in my life right now

So I take what I can get
and sit
and think
and write

You told me I didn’t have
faith in the God of the Bible
That you stopped listening
No good for your blood pressure

Things would be different
if there was a cup of coffee
between us
but the only thing
between us
is a continent

(And as I write black words
on white paper as outside
skies are gray
I think
gray is nice and would suffice
for this cobwebbed mind that is prone to
wander

And as I wander I can’t help but wonder
why God
chose the gray for the day we lowered my mom
into wet earth

That gray is part of my history
It mingles in my veins
and it’s there
and it’s always been there
)

But you stopped listening

Things would be different
if there was a cup of coffee
between us
but the only thing
between us
is a continent

So I tread on
heavily
clumsily
as I wrestle with sacred topics

Maybe on your continent the skies
aren’t gray as you listen to
The Bible
on
audio
repeat
sipping
Steaming
Lattes

you said you love me
and support me
and pray for me
you tell me that
I can know Who God Really Is
because You Do

But the truth is that your black words
on the white screen
end there.

And anyway you stopped listening
A long time ago you stopped listening

May I never stop listening



(3) Notes and Quotes from “The Making of Biblical Womanhood,” by Beth Allison Barr: Chapters 5-6

Listen to our podcast episode here: Red Weather Christians “S2E6: Down With the (Christian) Patriarchy!”

Chapter 5: Writing Women Out of the English Bible

… all biblical translations are written by human hands.

A conveniently forgotten truth, that translations are written by fallible humans. This truth is one to hold onto, my friends.

By fall 1997, the battle lines were drawn. Secular culture, especially the feminist movement, was changing Scripture in a dangerous way, and it was time for Christians to fight back.

The exact note I have in my book for this quote is, “Oh, GAG.” And this “battle”? Gender inclusive language in the Bible, something that from Barr’s historian point of view is more accurate than the male dominated language. Barr says the following:

Yet, as a medieval historian, I know that Christians translated Scripture in gender-inclusive ways long before the feminist movement. I’ll admit that the debate also scares me. It scares me for the same reason that it amuses me: because gender-inclusive language has a long history in the church, the debate shows how much modern evangelical Christians have forgotten church history.

This is just a funny little tidbit here. These Christians in 1997 thought the feminist movement was so dangerous, that it was such a big deal, when in reality the gender debate was nothing new. Do they even know church history? Seems not.

The Protestant Reformation changed how the Bible was used by Christians, but it didn’t introduce the Bible to Christians. English translations of biblical text existed long before the Reformation.

Just a little reminder for everyone that the Reformation wasn’t the beginning of it all. It wasn’t the beginning of Christianity, and it certainly wasn’t the beginning of the Bible. The Bible published as a single bound book happened in the 1500s, but the Bible did exist before it was a single bound book.

I was struck by how the SBC leaders harped on 1 Timothy 3:2, that overseers should be husband of one wife. They used this as ironclad proof that senior pastors had to be men. Yet Lucy Peppiatt shows us how 1 Timothy 3, the chapter so often cited by the male leaders of the conservative resurgence as articulating why only men can preach, was shaped by English-language translations to look more masculine than it actually is. We assume 1 Timothy 3:1-13 is referencing men in leadership roles (overseer/bishop and deacon). But is this because of how our English Bibles translate the text? Whereas the Greek text uses the words whoever and anyone, with the only specific reference to man appearing in verse 12 (a literal Greek translation of the phrase is “one woman man,” referencing the married state of deacons), modern English Bibles have introduced eight to ten male pronouns within the verses. None of those male pronouns in our English Bibles are in the Greek text. Peppiatt concludes that the problem with female leadership is not actually the biblical text; it is the “relentless and dominant narrative of male bias” in translations.

“Whoever” and “anyone,” you say? Interesting. Those original pronouns sure do seem gender neutral. I wonder why they were changed? A head-scratcher, for sure. Here’s just 1 Timothy 3:4-7 (NIV) with all the male pronouns in bold:

He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.

Please don’t ever think that pronouns are insignificant.

From this perspective, gender-inclusive language isn’t distorting Scripture. Gender-inclusive language is restoring Scripture from the influence of certain English Bible translations.

Well, what a refreshing shift in perspective. And from a historian, no less.

The English Bible makes it clear that Genesis 2:22-24 sanctifies marriage. Yet neither the word marriage nor the word wife appear in the Hebrew text.

Genesis 2:22-24 (KJV), often under the heading “Institution of Marriage”: “And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

Funny side-note: Several years ago, I and my husband were actually a part of a Bible study called “Leave and Cleave.” It was … not our favorite.

Chapter 6: Sanctifying Subordination

Medieval women moved closest to equality with men when they were furthest from the married state.

Well that’s just not Christian. Come on now. Moving along…

After the Reformation, the spiritual economy flipped, so wives received the highest honors, followed by widows. This time, virgins — now demeaned as spinsters instead of celebrated as saints — brought up the rear.

This is sounding more Christian. Phew!

To be a Christian woman was to be under the authority of men.

This is definitely the Christianity I know. Huzzah!

During the nineteenth century, a similar fixation with female purity emerged — stemming from a new ideology about women, work, and family life — which historians call the cult of domesticity.

OK, back to reality. I don’t want to be part of a cult. Do you?

Purity culture thus shamed women in the nineteenth century as it continues to shame women today.

(Because that’s what Jesus came to do: shame women. Among other things, of course.) Barr goes on in this section to chronicle many of the times that people broke the “rules” and Jesus responded with love. So if a girl let her bra strap show at Bible camp, Jesus wouldn’t condemn her.

Once again, the world in which we live oppresses women, fighting to control their bodies from their “natural” fallenness. … Once again, the God we serve has always done the opposite. Jesus has always set women free.

And to this I say as genuinely as it gets, “Thank you, Jesus.”

Perhaps the most famous early proponent of complementarity was the philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In his famous text Emile, he expounded his philosophy of education for women, arguing that “the search for abstract and speculative truths, for principles and axioms in science, for all that tends to wide generalization, is beyond a woman’s grasp; their studies should be thoroughly practical.”

“Quit being so selfish, Jean,” and give the women some credit. And speaking of practical, Jean, I’d like to see where we’d be today if it weren’t for women.

What evangelicals have failed to realize, explains Randall Balmer, is that the “traditional concept of femininity” that we believe to be from the Bible is nothing more than “a nineteenth-century construct.”

Christians, oh CHRISTIANS, did you hear that? Certainly we can believe that we are above adhering to a nineteenth-century human-made construct, right? Right. Good. Moving on.

History matters, and for modern evangelical women, nineteenth-century history has mattered far more than it ever should have.

Yep.

See you next time for chapters 7-8.

Becoming Red Weather Christians

I have one life and one chance to make it count for something. . . . My faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference.

Jimmy Carter

If you’ve been following along with my life, you’ll know that Steve and I started a podcast called “Red Weather Christians.” It’s a big deal for us. And it’s nerve-racking.

Because it’s about our journey growing up in the Christian faith . . .

And then growing out of the Christian faith.

(Spoiler alert: We are still Christians.)

So we wrestle with how to reconcile still being Christians with lots of questions and doubts. With questions and doubts are we even Christians? Are we Christian enough? Steve and I think we are.

But we do wonder what other people — other Christians — might think.

Listen, there’s a problem in the Christian community: If we ask the hard questions or express doubt, we’re often met with dismissal, eyebrow raises, and defensiveness. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Steve and I are two simple people who would like to change the narrative. We’d like to normalize questions and doubts and embrace an incomplete understanding of our own faith (which, if you’re a Christian, I’d challenge you to think about that: can you say you have a complete understanding of your own faith?).

After all, we have only this one life. With one chance to make it count for something. So we’re going to do whatever we can, wherever we are, whenever we can, for as long as we can with whatever we have to try to make a difference.

And we’d like for you to come along with us, asking questions, expressing doubt, and opening yourself up to healthy dialogue. You might have questions for us. You might express doubt towards us. We welcome that.

So I encourage you to join us as we chronicle our disillusionment and analyze our commitment to the complicated faith called Christianity.

We are Red Weather Christians.

Episode 1: If Those Idiots Call Themselves Christians, What Are We?

Episode 2: Sometimes God Moves You. Literally.

Episode 3: Navigating the Missionary Position

That’s what we have so far. Stick around, and the sound quality gets better, I promise. Thanks for giving us grace on that. This is all completely new to us, and we’re learning a lot along the way.

Peace be with you.

Church in the Time of COVID

The evangelical church fears that recognizing women’s leadership will mean bowing to cultural peer pressure. But what if the church is bowing to cultural peer pressure by denying women’s leadership?

Beth Allison Barr, The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth

And in other words: what if we’ve gotten it wrong? Barr acknowledges that in her work as a historian and as a teacher, asking the question, “What if I’m wrong?” has enabled her to be a better listener and to keep her humble.

If only we all could ask that question.

And while this particular book is about how we got it wrong in terms of women submitting to men, I can’t help but relate it to so many things I grew up believing about what it means to be a Christian. It is humbling. It is enabling me to be a better listener to people of other faiths and to people who are, simply put, different than I. And while I am moving in this direction, I feel an undercurrent of hostility towards me from The Church. No, not anything direct. Not any particular person. But hostility nonetheless. I sometimes think that if The Church knew what I really believed, they wouldn’t think I was a true Christian.

But I am not renouncing my faith. I hold firm to identifying myself as a Christian, but man it’s been a rough year to be a Christian. I have been embarrassed and ashamed of so many things The Christians have been up to. And when I get embarrassed and ashamed of a group of people I somewhat associate myself with, I start asking them questions.

I’ve always had a problem with getting shut down when I question things, whether it be as a member of a Bible study or as a teacher in a meeting. Have you experienced this? It’s frustrating. I like to discuss, challenge, and disagree with popular opinion. But when my questions or comments are seen as undermining The Faith or threatening the powers that be, they don’t go over well.

I remember being stuck in yet another English department meeting, slogging through the meeting to-do list. One item was to go through these gosh-awful, beastly, 3-ring binders and talk about how what we’re doing in the classroom is meeting blah blah blah particular standards. Listen: Standards are good. They can keep people accountable. But when you teach at a small school where department and division heads actually do visit your classroom and students do fill out teacher evaluation forms and in general The People do know what you’re doing in the classroom, taking 15 minutes for each teacher in the meeting to turn pages in a binder and describe what, in my opinion, was a very contrived, rule-following-robots type of classroom was a colossal waste of time. The first teacher finished her Goldilocks just-right curriculum, then the second, and then I couldn’t take it any more. I spoke up.

And that has always been my problem.

But its being my problem is The Problem. Why can’t I politely make a comment that perhaps this isn’t the most productive use of our time? Why is questioning the meeting to-do list met with such hostility?

Because it was. My department chair was MAD.

During a Bible study at The Church on a Wednesday night a couple years ago, I challenged the pastor’s take on a passage in Hosea. After I asked some “why” questions, the pastor said that Max Lucado says that it’s OK to ask “what, God,” but it’s not OK to ask “why, God.” I tried to look this quote up, to no avail. So I’m not sure if it’s even accurate, but there it was, stated to me from the pulpit. I shouldn’t ask why. Another elder spoke up to say that I was just struggling with my faith right now.

Well, what? (I can ask that, right?)

So when it comes to our being in a pandemic and things getting political about *all the things* and The Church having to vote on a president based on a single issue (why?), I can’t help but ask if we’ve gotten it wrong about some things.

When Steve and I went to church on Sunday, hardly a soul wore a mask. In our neon green ones, we felt like swamp monsters. None of the kids or kids’ leaders (that we saw) wore masks. We (naively? stupidly?) assumed that the adults working closely with the kids had been vaccinated.

When we got a text on Tuesday that someone who had worked with our kids that Sunday was unvaccinated and had tested positive, our first thought was “Wow, that was reckless.” But we thought we’d be fine. We had gone a year and a half without getting COVID, and Steve and I were just a few weeks out from being fully vaccinated (we got our first shot literally the first day we got to the States, which happened to be the day before church).

SPOILER ALERT: We all got COVID.

And I’m writing this in my COVID fog because I want to capture how my brain is working right now. I hope my writing is bearable. I hope I’m getting my points across. But I’m hazy, I’ll tell ya.

I’m disappointed in The Church. I’m disappointed that we can’t ask why. That doing something to protect others is seen as a political statement that comes with its own judgments.

And I have my personal regrets as well. When we got to church and saw the dearth of masks, why didn’t we hightail it outta there? I don’t know. But that’s our fault. We take full ownership of that.

Coming full circle, I think it’s time for The Christians to start taking a little look inward, asking some “why” questions, and definitely asking if maybe they’ve gotten it wrong on some things. As I am a Christian, I will be doing this as well. To take it one step further, I think it’s what God would want us to do. On the podcast The Faith Angle, Kirsten Powers and Jonathan Merritt talk about how doubting things about God and the Bible and religion means that your faith is alive. What an interesting perspective.

So maybe you fear wearing a mask or getting a vaccine will communicate to people that you are a Biden-idolizing, abortion-loving liberal.* But what if wearing a mask or getting a vaccine is how you can show Jesus’ love — by communicating that even though you might not want to do this, you’re doing it on the off chance that it might help others.

Because my understanding of Christianity is that it’s about others.

*To those people who choose not to get vaccinated and live a stay-relatively-at-home-or-around-a-few-designated-people kind of life, I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to the people who are living life in a pandemic as “life as normal,” or treating life in a pandemic as some political thing, or treating life in a pandemic as a way the secular world is trying to undermine God.

And another note: if anyone from this particular church reads this, please contact me directly and let’s chat. I’m not trying to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I felt I should be candid in relaying my experience.

Which Side Will You Be On?

Which way are you going? Which side will you be on? Will you stand and watch while all the seeds of hate are sown?

Jim Croce, “Which Way Are You Going”; cover and revised lyrics by Drew and Ellie Holcomb

You know, with all the craziness (read: pandemic, mask politics, vaccine skepticism, conspiracy theories, protests, blatant racism, disregard of others, and just plain hatred) of the past year and a half, I think it’s important to take a step back and ask ourselves: Which way are we going?

Because when things calm down (and they will), we’re going to look back to see which side we were on. We’re going to see if we stood and watched while the seeds of hate were sown.

But it’s not too late to reassess. To make a change. To do good.

Which way are you going? Which side will you be on?
Will you stand and watch while all the seeds of hate are sown?
Will you stand with those who say “let his will be done”?
One hand on the Bible, and the other on the gun.
One hand on the Bible, and the other on the gun.

Which way are you lookin’? Is it hard to see?
Do you say what’s wrong for him is not wrong for me?
Lives have changed, they’ve rearranged, what have we become?
All the olive branches turned to spears,
and the flowers turned to stones.
All the olive branches turned to spears,
and the flowers turned to stones.

Every day, things are changin’, words once honored turned to lies.
People wonderin’, can you blame them,
‘Cause it’s too far to run, and it’s too far to hide.

So now you’ve turned your back on all the things you used to preach.
Now it’s let him live in freedom, brother if he lives like me.
You walk the streets of righteousness, but you refuse to understand.
You say you love the baby, but you crucify the man.
You say you love the baby, but you crucify the man.
I don’t understand.

You say you love the baby, but you crucify the man.

US Coronavirus Deaths to date: 617,952

US Gun-Related Deaths in 2020: 43,558, up by over 110% from 2019

US Children Aged 0-11 Killed by Guns in 2020: 299

Black people killed by police officers since the murder of George Floyd:

  1. Tony McDade aka Natosha McDade, 38, Tallahassee, FL
  2. Modesto “Marrero Desto” Reyes, 35, Marrero, LA
  3. Ruben Smith III, 35, North Little Rock, AK
  4. Jarvis Sullivan, 44, Yulee, FL
  5. Terrell Mitchell, 34, Philadelphia, PA
  6. Momodou Lamin Sisay, 34, Snellville, GA
  7. Derrick Thompson, 46, Fountain, FL
  8. David McAtee, 53, Louisville, KY
  9. Tyquarn Graves, 33, Brooklyn, NY
  10. Kamal Flowers, 24, New Rochelle, NY
  11. Lewis Ruffin Jr., 38, Orlando, FL
  12. Phillip Jackson, 32, Tunnell Hill, GA
  13. Michael Blu Thomas, 63, Lancaster, CA
  14. Rayshard Brooks, 27, Atlanta, GA
  15. Cane Van Pelt, 23, Crown Pont, IN
  16. Donald Ward, 27, Phoenix, AZ
  17. Brandon Gardner, 24, Beach Park, IL
  18. Terron Jammal Boone, 31, Rosamond, CA
  19. Derrick Canada, 43, Giddings, TX
  20. Skyleur Toung, 31, San Bernardino, CA
  21. Robert D’Lon Harris, Vinita, OK
  22. Rasheed Mathew Moorman, 26, Roanoke, VA
  23. Aloysius Larue Keaton, 58, Little Rock, AK
  24. Kevin O. Ruffin, 32, Sheboygan, WI
  25. Ky Johnson, 31, Kansas City, MO
  26. William Wade Burgess III, 27, St. Louis, MO
  27. Joseph W. Denton, 35, Milwaukee, WI
  28. Paul Williams, Houston, TX
  29. Malik Canty, 36, Paterson, NJ
  30. Erroll Johnson, 31, Monroe, LA
  31. Richard Lewis Price, 49, San Diego, CA
  32. Hakim Littleton, 20, Detroit, MI
  33. Vincent Demario Truitt, 17, Austell, GA
  34. Aaron Anthony Hudson, 31, Syracuse, NY
  35. Darius Washington, 24, Chicago Heights, IL
  36. Vincent Harris, 51, Baton Rouge, LA
  37. Jeremy Southern, 22, Sacramento, CA
  38. Name withheld by police, Detroit, MI
  39. Chester Jenkins, 60, Stockton, CA
  40. David Earl Brooks Jr., 45, Roxboro, NC
  41. Darrien Walker, 28, Detroit, MI
  42. Ashton Broussard, 30, Houston, TX
  43. Amir Johnson, 30, Ventnor City, NJ
  44. Julian Edward Roosevelt Lewis, 60, Sylvania, GA
  45. Salaythis Melvin, 22, Orlando, FL
  46. Jonathan Jefferson, Bossier City, LA
  47. Rafael Jevon Minniefield, 29, Moreland, GA
  48. Kendrell Antron Watkins, 31, Tuscaloosa, AL
  49. Anthony McClain, 32, Pasadena, CA
  50. Adrian Jason Roberts, 37, Hope Mills, NC
  51. Trayford Pellerin, 31, Lafayette, LA
  52. Damian Lamar Daniels, 31, San Antonio, TX
  53. Julius Paye Kehyei, 29, Houston, TX
  54. Name withheld by police, 43, Dearborn Heights, MI
  55. Michael Anthony Harris, 44, Daytona Beach, FL
  56. Robert Earl Jackson, 54, Thorsby, AL
  57. Dijon Kizzee, 29, Westmont, CA
  58. Deon Kay, 18, Washington, D.C.
  59. Steven D. Smith, 33, Syracuse, NY
  60. Major Carvel Baldwin, 61, San Antonio, TX
  61. Steve Gilbert, 33, Delray Beach, FL
  62. Jonathan Darsaw, 28, Moscow, TN
  63. Robert Coleman, 88, West Sacramento, CA
  64. Darrell Wayne Zemault Sr., 55, San Antonio, TX
  65. Charles Eric Moses Jr., 33, Brunswick, GA
  66. Dearian Bell, 28, Atlanta, GA
  67. Patches Vojon Holmes Jr., 26, Bellefontaine Neighbors, MO
  68. Kurt Andras Reinhold, 42, San Clemente, CA
  69. Willie Shropshire Jr., 57, Waggaman, LA
  70. DeMarco Riley, 27, Decatur, GA
  71. Jonathan Price, 31, Wolfe City, TX
  72. Stanley Cochran, 29, Philadelphia, PA
  73. Tyran Dent, 24, Queens, NY
  74. Anthony Jones, 24, Bethel Springs, TN
  75. Kevin Carr, 23, Los Angeles, CA
  76. Dana Mitchell Young Jr., 47, Los Angeles, CA
  77. Fred Williams III, 25, Los Angeles, CA
  78. Akbar Muhammad Eaddy, 27, Rock Island, IL
  79. Dominique Mulkey, 26, Tampa, FL
  80. Marcellis Stinnette, 19, Waukegan, IL
  81. Rodney Arnez Barnes, 48, Elmwood Place, OH
  82. Gregory Jackson, 45, Moss Point, MS
  83. Mark Matthew Bender, 35, San Bernardino, CA
  84. Ennice “Lil Rocc” Ross Jr., 26, Kansas City, MO
  85. Jakerion Shmond Jackson, 19, Sylvester, GA
  86. Walter Wallace Jr., 27, Philadelphia, PA
  87. Maurice Parker, 34, Las Vegas, NV
  88. Kevin Peterson Jr., 21, Vancouver, WA
  89. Name withheld by police, 42, Detroit, MI
  90. Justin Reed, 34, Jacksonville, FL
  91. Michael Wright, Sacramento, CA
  92. Reginald Alexander Jr., 25, Dallas, TX
  93. Frederick Cox Jr., 18, High Point, NC
  94. Rodney Eubanks, 25, Baltimore, MD
  95. Vusumuzi Kunene, 36, Lanham, MD
  96. Brandon Milburn, 37, Oklahoma City, OK
  97. Tracey Leon McKinney, Gulfport, MS
  98. Angelo “AJ” Crooms, 16, Cocoa, FL
  99. Sincere Peirce, 18, Cocoa, FL
  100. Arthur Keith, 19, Cleveland, OH
  101. Name withheld by police, Inglewood, CA
  102. Shane K. Jones, 38, Dania Beach, FL
  103. 103. Shawn Lequin Braddy, 37, Laurel, MD
  104. Jason Brice, 39, La Vergne, TN
  105. Kenneth Jones, 35, Omaha, NE
  106. Rodney Applewhite, 25, Los Lunas, NM
  107. Terrell Smith, 17, Atlanta, GA
  108. Rondell Goppy, 41, Queens, NY
  109. Ellis Frye Jr., 62, Culpeper, VA
  110. Cory Donell Truxillo, Houma, LA
  111. Mickee McArthur, 28, Ferry Pass, FL
  112. Udofia Ekom-Abasi, Phoenix, AZ
  113. James David Hawley, 47, Pineville, LA
  114. Kevin Fox, 28, Detroit, MI
  115. Dominique Harris, 20, St. Petersburg, FL
  116. Maurice Jackson, 42, Phoenix, AZ
  117. Andre K. Sterling, 35, Bronx, NY
  118. Casey Christopher Goodson Jr., 23, Columbus, OH
  119. Kwamaine O’Neal, 47, Toledo, OH
  120. Mark Brewer, 28, St. Louis, MO
  121. Donald Edwin Saunders, 37, Dayton, OH
  122. Thomas Reeder III, 44, Flint, MI
  123. Joseph R. Crawford, 23, Fort Atkinson, WI
  124. Joshua Feast, 22, La Marque, TX
  125. Charles E. Jones, 36, Houston, TX
  126. Bennie Edwards, 60, Oklahoma City, OK
  127. Jeremy Daniels, 29, Concord Mills, NC
  128. Johnny Bolton, 49, Smyrna, GA
  129. Larry Taylor, 39, Mobile, AL
  130. Andre Maurice Hill, 47, Columbus, OH
  131. Isaac Frazier, 31, Houston, TX
  132. Sheikh Mustafa Davis, 20, Midway, GA
  133. Shamar Ogman, 30, Hartford, CT
  134. Marquavious Rashod Parks, 26, Davisboro, GA
  135. Larry Hamm, 47, Denver, CO
  136. Helen Jones, 47, Phoenix, AZ
  137. Jason Cooper, 28, Charleston, SC
  138. Jaquan Haynes, 18, Atlanta, GA
  139. Shyheed Robert Boyd, 21, Highland, CA
  140. Dolal Idd, 23, Minneapolis, MN
  141. Carl Dorsey III, 39, Newark, NJ
  142. La Garion Smith, 27, Homestead, FL
  143. Tre-Kedrian Tyquan White, 20, Richburg, SC
  144. Vincent Belmonte, 18, Cleveland, OH
  145. Shawn McCoy, Spokane, WA
  146. Robert “Lil Rob” Howard, 30, Memphis, TN
  147. Jason Nightengale, 32, Evanston, IL
  148. Matthew Oxendine, 46, Pembroke, NC
  149. Patrick Warren Sr., 52, Killeen, TX
  150. Lymond Maurice Moses, 30, Wilmington, DE
  151. Kershawn Geiger, 24, Carmichael, CA
  152. Reginald Johnson, 48, Biloxi, MS
  153. Zonterious Johnson, 24, Lawton, OK
  154. Christopher Harris, 27, Toledo, OH
  155. Eusi Malik Kater Jr., 21, Titusville, AL
  156. Tyree Kajawn Rogers, 38, Wichita Falls, TX
  157. Randy Miller, Los Angeles, CA
  158. Roger D. Hipskind, 37, Wabash, IN
  159. Karl Walker, 29, Dixon, CA
  160. Marvon Payton Jr., 27, Las Vegas, NV
  161. Jenoah Donald, 30, Hazel Dell, WA
  162. Dontae Green, 34, Baltimore, MD
  163. Treyh Webster, 18, Mobile, AL
  164. Christopher Hagans, 36, Stratford, CT
  165. Andrew Hogan, 25, Trotwood, OH
  166. Dustin Demaurean Powell, 34, Lakeview, TX
  167. Gregory Taylor, 45, Seattle, WA
  168. Jordan Walton, 21, Austin, TX
  169. Brandon Wimberly, Coral Gables, FL
  170. Daverion Kinard, 29, Fontana, CA
  171. Arnell States, 39, Cedar Rapids, IA
  172. Benjamin Tyson, 35, Baltimore, MD
  173. Donald Francis Hairston, 44, Culpeper, VA
  174. Chandra Moore, 55, Detroit, MI
  175. Andrew Teague, 43, Columbus, OH
  176. Howayne Gale, 35, Lakeland, FL
  177. Tyshon Jones, 29, Rochester, NY
  178. Tyrell Wilson, 32, Danville, CA
  179. Nika Nicole Holbert, 31, Nashville, TN
  180. Christopher Ruffin, 28, Palm Bay, FL
  181. Daryl Lenard Jordan, 50, Miami, FL
  182. Kevin L. Duncan, 38, Bellefontaine, OH
  183. Frankie Jennings, 32, Charlotte, NC
  184. Travon Chadwell, 18, Chicago, IL
  185. Malcolm D. Johnson, 31, Kansas City, MO
  186. Donovan W. Lynch, 25, Virginia Beach, VA
  187. Matthew Blaylock, 38, Los Angeles, CA
  188. Michael Leon Hughes, 32, Jacksonville, FL
  189. Willie Roy Allen, 57, Lithonia, GA
  190. DeShawn Latiwon Tatum, 25, Rock Island, IL
  191. Noah R. Green, 25, Washington, D.C.
  192. Diwone Wallace, 24, Alorton, IL
  193. Gabriel Casso, 21, Bronx, NY
  194. Desmon Montez Ray, 28, Birmingham, AL
  195. Dominique Williams, 32, Takoma Park, MD
  196. James Lionel Johnson, 38, Takoma Park, MD
  197. James Alexander, 24, Philadelphia, PA
  198. Raheem Reeder, Tallahassee, FL
  199. DeShund Tanner, 31, Georgetown, KY
  200. Faustin Guetigo, 27, Rockford, IL
  201. Daunte Wright, 20, Brooklyn Center, MN
  202. Miles Jackson, 27, Westerville, OH
  203. Mathew Zadok Williams, 35, Decatur, GA
  204. Anthony Thompson Jr., 17, Knoxville, TN
  205. Pier Alexander Shelton, 28, Bremen, GA
  206. Lindani Myeni, 29, Honolulu, HI
  207. Innes Lee Jr., 25, Cleveland, OH
  208. Roderick Inge, 29, Tuscaloosa, AL
  209. Larry Jenkins, 52, Winter Haven, FL
  210. Name withheld by police, 31, Fort Worth, TX
  211. Dequan Cortez Glenn, 24, Douglasville, GA
  212. Doward Sylleen Baker, 39, Dothan, AL
  213. Ma’Khia Bryant, 16, Columbus, OH
  214. Andrew Brown, 42, Elizabeth City, NC
  215. Tory Casey, 41, Rosenberg, TX
  216. Michael Lee McClure, 26, Billings, MT
  217. Marvin Veiga, 32, Nashville, TN
  218. Hanad Abidaziz, 25, Kansas City, MO
  219. Terrance Maurice Parker, 36, Washington, D.C.
  220. Eric Derrell Smith, 30, Biloxi, MS
  221. La’Mello Parker, three months, Biloxi, MS
  222. Latoya Denis James, 37, Woodbine, GA
  223. Ashton Pinkee, 27, Mesquite, TX
  224. Adonis Traughber, 54, Clarksville, TN
  225. Kalon Horton, 29, Leicester, MA
  226. Lance Lowe, 30, Stockton, CA
  227. Tyrone Penny, 21, Decatur, GA
  228. Darion M. Lafayette, 24, Champaign, IL
  229. Kortnee Lashon Warren, 23, Albany, GA

To close, some book recommendations that I hope my friends and family and anyone reading this post and anyone with a pulse will read:

The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson (If you can read only one, read this one. Please.)
How to Be an Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi
The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
Caste, Isabel Wilkerson
Prayer: 40 Days of Practice, Justin McRoberts & Scott Erickson
Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again, Rachel Held Evans
The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives, Dashka Slater

And on my to-read list:

The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth, Beth Allison Barr
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, Jason Reynolds
Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger, Ronald J. Sider
The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism, Jemar Tisby
God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships, Matthew Vines
Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation, Kristin Kobes Du Mez

As a final thought: Throughout history, there often has been a difference between the winning side and the right side. I hope moving forward we can better determine which side of history is the right one and choose that side.

And help it win.