Genocide, the Border, and Water


Water station operated and maintained in the Sonoran Desert by Human Borders.
Pima County, Arizona.

Genocide and water.

Thinking about aspects of genocide and efforts to eliminate groups of people who get in the way of governments and their ambitions. 

An important but hidden issue behind NAFTA [the North American Free Trade Agreement] was that displacing indigenous groups in Mexico would open up access to aquifers under their lands. 

One of the ways of controlling those then displaced people attempting to go North, by design, was and remains funneling those people into the Sonoran Desert, an area notably devoid of water. 

Attempting to aid the displaced people by putting out water for them is a crime in some areas but not in others.

The Sonoran Desert has become a vast cemetery for those displaced persons who had no access to water. 

On the last and most important day of Passover, Jesus stood up in the Temple and shouted, “Come over to me and I will give you living water!” Even the Temple police began to desert, joining Jesus.

The Pharisees, who were collaborating with Rome, began to quake.


Angela Davis, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, and the Problem of Monetizing Our Past

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Follow the money.

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute rescinded its decision to honor activist Angela Davis with its highest award, the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth Award, and canceled the annual gala at which she would have received it. This following complaints from high-rolling sponsors ($50,000) for the most esteemed spot and from Jewish community leaders because of Davis’ association with the BDS movement. BDS is the acronym for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions. Its mission is to “work to end international support for Israel’s oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law.”

The cancellation of the award and gala raises fundamental problems with the monetization and commodification of Birminghan’s troubled past. Or of any area’s past.

Birmingham was once so heinous, so notorious it was dubbed “Bombingham.” Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth’s home in what came to be known as Dynamite Hill was one of those infamously bombed by foaming at the mouth segregationists. Shuttlesworth was a firebrand blue collar preacher, completely unlike Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He made the elites of the Civil Rights Movement nervous.

Dynamite Hill is the neighborhood in which Dr. Angela Davis grew up.

Then came the Children’s March, Sheriff Bull Connor, his police dogs, the fire department’s water hoses, the cameras, and the assassination of JFK. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Birmingham began to rebuild its image. The Civil Rights Movement was monetized. It became an attraction, a must-see for any visitor. The City built the BCRI, strategically situating it between the 16th Street Baptist Church, site of the bombing where the Four Little Girls were killed, and Kelly Ingram Park, site of the Children’s March.

Birmingham became a required site to see on any and all “Civil Rights Tours” with the BCRI becoming its premier stop. For a mere $55, Red Clay Tours provides hotel pickup, the luxury of a small group experience, and air conditioned comfort.

It’s a good museum, especially for those who didn’t grow up in Birmingham or any part of the segregated South as I did.

The problems with these kinds of museums is that they stop the present. They suspend the past like a fly in amber. They are symbols of what once was, not signs pointing to the future.

Unless, of course, there is some intention at forward movement for which the BCRI has announced with clarity it has not with its recision of the award to and gala for Angela Davis.

Enter Israel, the BDS, and Palestine. The monetization and suspension in amber of the Civil Rights Movement meets the horrendous on-going slaughter of Palestinians, a human rights violation of unimaginable magnitude.

The inability of the BCRI to act as a sign vis-à-vis Israel, its lie of omission which at the moment it was crafted became an act of commission in genocide is precisely the same problem I observed at the National Holocaust Museum.

It is a problem fundamentally related to a problem with Bryan Stevenson’s National Lynching Memorial in Montgomery, formally known as the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. I have not yet been to it but sooner or later I will. I expect it to be as moving and powerful as everyone says it is. But we have to acknowledge that lynching is, for the most part, part of our past.

In one of my earliest published pieces on immigration, I referred to the deaths of migrants in the southwest as “the new noose”, a phrase which was eliminated from the published article, whether by me or the editor I don’t recall.

Why not a museum to the ongoing, horrific problem of an official policy of the US government to push migrants to their deaths as part of its policy of “deterrence” of illegal immigration? Will there develop at the NLM a wing dedicated to that?

How do we memorialize the past without monetizing it, without suspending it in amber, and without it becoming complicit in future efforts to guarantee civil and human rights?

Is that even possible?

A Problematic Protest Against Family Separation at the Border

People participate in a protest against a recent U.S. immigration policy of separating children from their families when they enter the United States as undocumented immigrants, outside the Tornillo Tranist Center, in Tornillo
Last night I attended an event which had as its purpose protesting the separation of families at the border by President Trump.

I grew angrier and angrier and then felt I could do nothing but cry.

Not because of the situation at the border which has kept me angry for a good 12 years.
But because the event was an opportunity wasted.

Poems read about Europe in the 1930s.

But no mention of ICE.

Talk of the need for a Democrat blue wave with no apparent knowledge that Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Jeh Johnson, Cecilia Muñoz, were among the architects of the horror we are witnessing.

But no mention of separating Madison County, Alabama from ICE.

No mention of the notorious Etowah Immigrant Detention Center in Gadsden, Alabama at the very moment when there are demonstrations against ICE going on around the country at ICE facilities.

Talk of the moral high ground we think we occupy.

Vapid, pointless signs. (I pulled the one above from the internet.)

No mention of the 400,000 per year quota on deportations.

Which Obama carried out.

No mention of the Federal contract to keep 34,000 beds filled with immigrant detainees each and every day.

Which Obama carried out.

No mention of the separation of 1,000 families by ICE that very day.

And every other day in America.

The bad guys are bad guys out of malice.
The good guys are bad guys out of arrogance.
Warren Harding once said, “Its not my enemies that keeping me walking the floor at night. Its my friends. Its my goddam friends.”

Why Good News Is Not Fake News

εὐαγγέλιον

This is the Greek way of presenting what is translated into English as “Good News”. The word embodies the idea that there is a messenger bringing news. Good News is news is news that is reliable, accurate, and tells the listener something he/she needs to know. It embodies the idea of something which has just happened—that which is news in the newspaper or nightly news sense.

There is not much in the gospels—the good news—which is cheery or light hearted. It is often troubling news which challenges understanding, which challenges predominant narratives. Good news is a contrast to the fake news spouted by Empire. My thinking is that good news, reliable news whether cheery or disturbing, gospel news, the news one needs to hear and understand is losing out to fake news. I’m talking about the fake news of news media whether of Fox News or the New York Times. I’m talking about conspiracy theory news and magical thinking news.

I think we Americans are in pretty deep. I think that despite our veneer of Christianity, we can no longer distinguish between gospel, i.e. reliable, truth telling news and conspiracy theories or magical thinking.

Asking Mr. Jones To Save Us From Whitey

From Guest Contributor, Majadi Baruti

 

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Majadi Baruti

When he asked, “What happened to BLACK Liberation Revolution?”

I answered with unintended but pregnant verse . . .

It became the insanity of youtube videos and

womanizing men who get paid to speak publicly in cities at

 

kwanzaa events and bring

the same information every year. It became

people who refuse to read,

people who disrespect Black Women as if their part of our struggle is somehow

irrelevant.

It became I-phone sickness and lack of engagement, it became

alleged Black Panther presentation at Super Bowl events

it became presidents and mumble rap,

it is firmly locked in the erroneous belief that we need to and can rebuild

Kemet

to its greatness.

It is a dance by some girl named

nae nae

it is black beauty supply products being black owned and then sold to koreans,

black liberation revolution is a marxist black family who never read marx and has completely ignored

Angela Y Davis, Claudia Jones.

it went the way of quiet talks in black barbershops that suddenly turns to

discussions of black hoes and bitches after a sister drops her son off for a haircut she could barely afford because daddy shitted on her child support,

it went the way of facebook activism, and is tucked and hidden colors hidden by

ankhs and allegations

that the sisters should follow black men that

have no,

want no

and ask no direction,

it is soft when she needed an erection not an election,

when we gave her an infection when she asked for

an insurrection. It is whips and ripped souls, no aims and no goals

BLACK liberation revolution is a pair of kneepads

asking Mr. Jones to save us from whitey

Majadi Baruti, December 15, 2017, Birmingham, Alabama

Twelve Songs of Dignity

dragon-sun-woman

 

No more manager scenes. Resistance this time.

i. John of Patmos understood. In his apocalyptic vision he saw a great sign in heaven—a Woman clothed with the sun, her womb struggling to bring forth new life, who so antagonizes the Powers (Powers, represented by a Dragon, which deceive) that they sweep to earth a third of the stars. The Woman flees to a plot of land which is prepared to nourish her for a time and times and half a time —1,260 days!

ii. Orishas are Yoruban deities. Some of them crossed the Atlantic on slave ships. One of them, Oya, is an Orisha of winds, violent storms, lightning, birth, and death. Named for a river in Niger which has nine tributaries, she has been torn by the nine children she bore.

iii. An apocalypse is the full revelation of the knowledge of good and evil. Knowledge so well articulated and widespread that it necessarily brings with it the destruction of the present age.

iv. Dynamite Hill was the nickname given to Center Street, the site of multiple drive by bombings in Birmingham, Alabama which itself was known by the sobriquet “Bombingham”. Between the 1940s and 1960s, there were some forty bombings in a city known for the viciousness of its segregationist sentiments and practices.

Center Street marked the residential color line running through the area of Birmingham known as Smithfield. Whites claimed the land to the west. Blacks were consigned to the land to the east. At the top of the hill, prosperous middle class Blacks steadily chipped away at the boundary as zoning laws were successfully challenged. As it chipped away, occupying White land, the Ku Klux Klan pushed back with fires, gun shots in the night, and dynamite.

Theodora Shores, the wife of NAACP attorney Arthur Shores, once found a case of dynamite in her garden. Her home was a frequent target of mob violence which led to a Shores family ritual: hit the floor and crawl to safety.

The frequency of fires and bombs prompted a neighborhood group called the Dynamite Hill Defenders, a rifle patrol, to defend their properties from attack.

v. Mary, her son, Jesus, growing in her womb, sang a resistance song about bringing down the powerful from their thrones and filling the hungry with good things. So dangerous was she that she had to flee to the hill country of Judea. When her kinswoman, Elizabeth, who also was pregnant, heard Mary’s approach, she cried out loudly, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” Elizabeth’s own child leaped within her womb.

vi. Susan Diane Mitchell has borne nine children all of whom survive. She lives now on Center Street and 11th Court North. Inspired by Dynamite Hill’s legacy of resistance, courage, and self-determination, its community spirit, and the sight of revolutionary Angela Davis’s former home across the way, in 2015 Mitchell initiated the Dynamite Hill-Smithfield Community Land Trust with support from the Magic City Agriculture Project. The Project emphasizes democratic decision making in the development of sustainable, cooperative agriculture. Mitchell and her beloved partner, Rev. Majadi Baruti, find spiritual nourishment in remembering the Black Goddess.

vii. The Black Goddess bears a resemblance to the Virgin of Guadalupe who is a representation of the Woman who fought the Dragon. Clothed with the sun and with stars on her cloak, she stands on the moon, pregnant. Known in Mexico now as the Queen of the Americas, the madonna first appeared to an indigenous man near Tepeyac sometime after the Conquest. The Spanish had destroyed a temple to the Aztec’s mother goddess, replacing it with a chapel dedicated to their European goddess, Mary. But resistant indigenous people knew she was, in fact, Tonantzin.

viii. In 2014, Birmingham had been chosen as the site of the 2021 World Games. With tax incentives, the choice accelerated the development of Downtown Birmingham. For residents of the Smithfield Community, the first community west of Interstate 65 and Downtown Birmingham, “development” is a euphemism for “gentrification” or the displacement of the low and moderate income residents who already lived there.

ix. Susan Mitchell and Majadi Baruti have a home in Smithfield. In the land around the house, they grow food to eat, sell, give away, or barter. A registered urban farm, they named it Ua Mer which means Beloved Water. The name was chosen in solidarity with the millions of women around the world have no access to clean, nourishing water.

The Land Trust Susan established is part of a plan to provide access to affordable housing and sustainable agriculture in the five predominantly African American Smithfield neighborhoods through a process of land adoption. A cooperative, the idea is that the Trust will own the land but individual families will have access to their own plot. There, they will give back to Mother Earth more than they receive.

For Susan, the Trust is an act of resistance and remembrance.* Her resistance is not only to gentrification, but it is resistance to the toxicity of living on earth in the present age. She dreams of creating small villages where people live communally, share what they have, acknowledge the indigeneity of land, and where they can have a home to care for.

The Trust is also an act of remembrance of a time before patriarchy, before large scale agriculture, and before capitalism when land was not owned but was worked by women. Susan remembers the time before the Garden spoken of in Genesis.

x. The Black Goddess whom Susan and Majadi remember is the crystallization of this long ago time when the black or brown or red earth was our Mother whose womb provided home and hearth, living waters, clean food, and safety.

xi. In an act of resistance, members of indigenous communities all across Colombia marched to demand the country’s leaders adhere to the terms of a peace agreement. They said, each and every one with the red and green flag held high, with pain and anger for their fallen comrades at the hands of the government for the sole reason of defending their territories, the platform of struggle and the principles of unity, land, culture, and autonomy called them to defend life, Mother Earth, and every being that inhabits it. They called each and every indigenous in one voice to sing a single song of dignity.

xii. So angry was the Dragon with the Woman that it tried to drown her but the earth came to her rescue, opened up its mouth, and swallowed the river pouring from the mouth of the Dragon.

*Many thanks to Susan Diane Mitchell for explaining what the Black Goddess, Ua Mer farm, and the Land Trust mean to her, in a phone conversation, October 31, 2017.

Ellin Sterne Jimmerson

Inflated Language and the Death Penalty

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When Felix Ortega crashed into Tad and Leigh Anna’s car and killed them, he and the police officer who was pursuing him in a high speed chase took my life, too.

I never believed Ortega committed murder, though. There was no intention to kill them. He didn’t go after them. He killed them. That was enough. That was bad enough. Yet, the prosecutors charged him with two counts of murder. I thought vehicular homicide would have been an accurate charge. Or manslaughter.

Because he was undocumented and, I suppose, because it was a high profile case involving appealing teenage sweethearts, there were those in Huntsville who wanted to drag him from the jail and murder him in return.

I don’t know much about the law in Alabama, but I do know this is a death penalty state. We have the highest per capital death penalty rate in the US, outranking even Texas. And, until this year, a judge could impose a death penalty when a jury suggested life imprisonment in its verdict.

As it happened, in a plea bargain Ortega exchanged a jury trial for a bench decision. He received 15 years which I thought was sufficient.

What I would have liked to see was less emphasis on inflating the language, the charges, and the responses and more emphasis on the high-speed police chase which contributed in no small way to Tad’s and Leigh Anna’s deaths and the interruption of Ortega’s life.

But few were interested in that. An in-house investigation, during which the officer said the magic words, “I backed off”, culminated in his receiving not so much as a reprimand if what I’ve been told is accurate.

It doesn’t matter to me that at the last second he “backed off” when he had spent many minutes pursuing Ortega who had been headed out of town. Being pursued, Ortega made the fateful decision to try to elude the officer and, instead of heading out of town, made a left turn onto one of the busiest arteries in Huntsville and toward the highly congested intersection where the light had just turned red.

During sentencing, the District Attorney, as has become customary walked us and Tad’s family into the courtroom as a unit in a visual announcement to the judge that what we had undergone was a worthy of the maximum sentence. Ortega was there in shackles. But the officer was nowhere to be seen.

After sentencing Ortega apologized to the families. Privately, he apologized to Leigh Anna’s father and me. He expressed profound remorse.

We never heard a word from the police officer or the police department. Not the night of the accident, not any time since.

Inflated language, inflated charges, inflated responses. There seems to be a sense that inflation somehow says what happened was horrific. Or somehow that we care.

But they seem to carry with them their inverse—no language, no charge, no response at all.

Reviews of The Second Cooler

The Second Cooler Main Graphic, Kilpatrick

Excerpts 

“Connects the dots between immigration and trade policy. Highly recommended.”
State Senator Chip Shields (D-Portland, Ore.)

“Blew me away.” Jose Perez, DREAMER

“Goes where few other films go–no filters presented, required, or encouraged.”            Victor Palafox, DREAMER

“After I watched The Second Cooler, I could barely move. Profound.”
Rev. Dr. Alice Hunt, President, Chicago Theological Seminary

“Transforms those who watch it.”
Rev. Delle McCormick
Former Executive Director, BorderLinks, USA

“Strong in giving voice to those who might otherwise be voiceless.”
David Person
Member, Board of Contributors, USA Today

“Nothing short of magnificent!”
Dr. J. David Gillespie
Author, “Challengers to Duopoly: Why Third Parties Matter in American Two Party Politics”

“We all need to shout about this film! It is prophetic and can change lives and systems.”
Rev. Howard Williams
Weatherly Heights Baptist Church

“Tackles the issue head on.”
Eric Lee
LabourStart.org

“Hard to dismiss or forget.”
J. Wayne Flynt
Co-Founder, Alabama Poverty Project and Sowing Seeds of Hope

“Riveting!”
Kay Campbell, The Huntsville Times

“Compelling!”
Paula Clayton Dempsey
The Alliance of Baptists

About The Second Cooler

The Second Cooler Main Graphic, Kilpatrick

The Second Cooler. Directed by Ellin Jimmerson. Narrated by Martin Sheen.

12 million migrants are in the US illegally? Why? Who benefits?

The Second Cooler is a documentary about illegal migration shot primarily in Alabama, Arizona, and in northern and central Mexico. The premise is that Arizona is the new Alabama—the epicenter of an intense struggle for migrant justice. The documentary’s purpose is to bring basic migration issues into focus. Those issues include the impact of free trade agreements on migration, the lack of a legal way for poor Latin Americans to come to the United States, the inherent abuses of the guest worker program, the fact that many migrants are indigenous people, anti-immigrant politics in Alabama, the thousands of migrant deaths at the border, and an escalating ideology of the border.

Awards

Best Feature Documentary, Peace on Earth Film Festival, Chicago, 2013

Film4 Change Award, AMFM Festival of Art, Music, and Film, Palm Springs, California, 2013

Humanitarian Award for Ellin Jimmerson, AMFM Festival, 2013

Film Heals Award, Manhattan Film Festival, New York City, 2013

Official Selection, Arizona International Film Festival, Tucson, 2013

Official Selection, Boston Latino International Film Festival, Boston, 2013

Official Selection, Red Rock Film Festival, Hurricane, Utah, 2013

Official Selection, Dominican Republic Global Film Festival, Santo Domingo, 2013

Official Selection, Impugning Impunity: ALBA Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, New York City, 2014

 

 

Lot’s Wife

This article by guest contributor, Seff R. Davis, originally appeared in a different version in Impact Magazine, September 27, 2017.

Summary: How is the smiting of Lot’s wife compatible with a God of love? One possibility is that the story works as an allegory for all people trapped between the life they know and the fuller life God intends for them. Through an interpretation of Hawksley Workman’s song “Safe and Sound” and the personal experience of her mother’s death from early-onset dementia,  Seff R. Davis considers that perhaps Lot’s wife was mercifully protected from her suffering until such a time that she’s ready to move on to the better place God has promised. 

 

Sodom_Monreal

Lot and daughters escape the destruction of Sodom. Mosaic at Monreal Cathedral.

The character of Lot’s Wife has always been a difficult one to reconcile with a God of love. Why does God smite this woman for looking back on the burning city that was her home? Can such a story reveal anything loving about God?

According to Jewish tradition, Lot’s Wife, who is given the name Edith, was watching for her daughters, who were married to Sodomite men.  If God smote her for disobeying God’s command, God seems like a monster, killing a mother for worrying about her daughters’ lives or mourning their deaths. Could God really smite her merely for being sad to see her city die? Don’t we all love people who aren’t righteous, and doesn’t Jesus?

One way to avoid that interpretation is the possibility that she’s punished for being like Jonah, hoping to catch a glimpse of vengeance, thinking, “I want to watch those rapists burn!” This seems in keeping with the Jewish commentary remembered in the Passover service that says that when the angels cheered the Red Sea falling in on the pursuing Egyptians, God said, “How can you cheer when my children are drowning?” But unlike Jonah and the angels, who are merely reprimanded for their blood-thirsty thoughts, smiting her for wanting vengeance while raining fire and sulfur on others makes God not only monstrous but hypocritical.

Another possibility is that maybe this is just God in a weak moment. God is doing dirty work and is embarrassed to have it witnessed and acts out of that shame. How much murder is done because we can’t stand there to be a witness to our sins, in a paradoxical attempt to murder the murderer in ourselves reflected in our victim’s eyes? But that reading doesn’t make the story any better, does it?

In the essay “The Outskirts of Sodom” in Rainbow in the Word: LGBTQ Christians’ Biblical Memoirs,  Tyler Heston offers a much more appealing alternative, with Lot’s Wife being an allegory that applies to queer Christians, “frozen at the intersection of two supposed conflicting realities– sexual orientation and faith.” I’d like to see the church that did not accept him for his sexuality respond to seeing themselves recast in the role of Sodom! Quoting Jeanette Winterston’s novel Oranges Aren’t the Only Fruit, he says, “Pillars hold things up and salt keeps things clean, but it’s a poor exchange for losing yourself.”  Lot’s wife then need not be seen as a horrible person, and neither is God. She is merely not ready to accept the blessing of a new life in a new, less violent place, and God is unable or unwilling to force her into that choice.

There’s a song that Hawksley Workman sings, written by Matthew Ryan Corrigan, that offers a related alternative. In “Safe and Sound”, a couple drives into the night, the voice of the song the driver, “you” the passenger, who sometimes trusts the driver to get to the destination but sometimes consults a map. “You slept through the last small town… your eyes are closed like you truly believe you’re safe and sound with me.” Later, ‘you’ wake and cry and we’re given the first hint that though the song works if it’s about two lovers or a parent and an older child, an allusion to the story of Lot’s wife hints that it could also be God speaking to a human: “No turning back, no turning into salt. Behind us the city was crumbling but baby, we’re not to fault” and we are reminded yet again, “you’re safe and sound with me, just like you always will be.” And yet, despite these assurances, “You read the map like you’re reading poetry. And it might just take you forever to believe you’re safe and sound with me.”

God tells her not to look back because it’s not her fault: maybe Lot’s wife was looking back out of guilt and was trapped by it, unable to move on. What if Lot had done a little better in the bargaining with God? What if she had been able to convince her daughters and sons-in-law? Even in cases when it’s very clear a person isn’t at fault, like a natural disaster, survivor’s guilt can be agonizing and keep a person from enjoying the blessing of a new life after the event that killed others.

Instead of smiting as they escape Sodom, God is incredibly gentle with your traumatized state: “my shirt sleeve dries your eyes”. The escape is the fulfilment of a promise of care, as God says, “When things got too rough, I promised you we’d leave.”

That line was on my mind when my mother was dying. Her brain was bleeding uncontrollably and that caused a terrible seizure as parts of her brain rapidly died. She was in terrible pain but unable to speak and I asked for more pain-killers. I knew that the amount of pain-killers needed to take away that much pain would mean she’d probably never wake again, never look at me and say, “Sweetheart” again, or even squeeze my hand and know I was with her, but I wanted her to be comfortable even more than I wanted her to be able to comfort me. “When things got too rough, I promised you we’d leave.” This is a mercy God gives all of us, a knowledge that when life becomes truly intolerable, we leave it, and my dearest hope is that it’s for a better place.

Out of love, I asked for my mom to be taken out of the agony she was in. Maybe instead of being punished, being turned into a pillar of salt was an act of mercy— “pillars hold things up and salt keeps things clean”, and a pillar can feel no pain. Maybe Lot’s wife was sort of cryogenically preserved— flash frozen to await a brighter future.

There’s no judgement in this song for not trusting that you’re safe and sound, no annoyance at your need to consult a map, just a gentle acceptance that “it might just take you forever to believe you’re safe and sound with me.” And Christian hope is we do have forever to finally believe. Christian hope is having faith that the Bible has it right when God says that in the fullness of time, everyone will “Turn to me and be saved, Every knee will bow to me, every tongue will swear allegiance” (Isaiah 45: 22,23) and every soul will be ready to be welcomed by God at the better place. I hope that even if it takes forever, Lot’s wife, that all of us, will move on to the better place God has promised, and that the daughters she has waited so long for will finally run into her arms and together, they will walk on to the better place God has promised.

Seff R. Davis is genderqueer. She teaches high school students with developmental disabilities. Her article, “The God Who Said: ‘My Bad'” was included in Rainbow in the Word: LGBTQ Christians’ Biblical Memoirs (Wipf and Stock, 2017). She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and Philosophy and a Master of Arts in English from McMaster University, a Bachelor of Education from York University, and studied theology at Emmanuel College of the University of Toronto. She is passionate about disability rights, opera, and the novels of Marilynne Robinson. She lives with her partner, one-year-old daughter, and a retired racing greyhound named Lady Gaga in Toronto, Canada. Please contact her @SRLimDavis.