Know what I like best about 606? Our readers.
Yeah, I know it’s kinda mushy, but it’s true: I have been participating in 606 for almost two years now, and the best part, every time, is hearing from readers who want to know more about the topics we cover, have a suggestion for a story, find themselves inspired or irritated or challenged by what we publish, or have shared what we’ve written with others and found themselves in deeper, better conversations–and, ultimately, we hope, relationships–for it.
So, thanks friends, for a great year. Here’s a little review highlighting some of my favorites from this year:
Guest writer Kimberly D. Schmidt, professor of history at Eastern Mennonite University and director of the Washington Community Scholars’ Center. She invites us to think again about the most popular story of Mennonite martyrdom–this time, thinking about all those people who stood by as Dirk Willems’ saved his captor in Run, Dirk, Run! Wrestling with the Willems Story
Here are MY favorite posts by Joel Mathis this year. (Joel may have a different set of favorites, of course!)
In An Open Letter to My Trump-Loving Friends, Regarding those “Shit-Hole” Countries and Conservative Racism, Joel delivers this reminder:
There’s no way around this: If you continue to support this president, it’s not mean or out-of-bounds for other observers to conclude that you’re ok supporting a racist.
And if you’re ok supporting a racist for the highest office in the land, well, it might not be entirely fair, but it’s probably to be expected that people are going to draw conclusions about your character as well.
I especially appreciated the way that this post was in conversation with a post by our friend Ellen Kroeker. Given that the global church is now centered in so-called “Third World” countries, Trump’s assault on people from those places is necessarily an attack on the future of Christianity.
Trump’s damage to Christianity was a theme for us all year. Here’s Joel in If Trumpism is What Christianity Has to Offer, I’ll Happily Go to Hell:
To the Christians who support this stuff: This is your witness. All of us are imperfect — we all fall short of the glory of God, as it were — but seriously: People are forming their view of your God, your faith, based on your support of this man and his cruel policies.
Cruelty is coming to define America, Joel notes in We’re America, Bitch: Mercilessness in the 21st Century. I’ve italicized the line that has been resonating with me since he wrote it:
This is who we are. This is how we’ll be remembered. This is what we’ll be lying about to our grandchildren when they ask what we did during this era. All we can do is hope that those same grandchildren show us the mercy we’re withholding from those who need it so much.
I blogged daily during the Kavanaugh hearings. (Is stress writing a thing?) Brett Kavanaugh’s Unwilling Exorcism, a brief consideration of his behavior during his confirmation hearing as a scene of casting out demons.
In Boys Will Be Boys, I ask actual boys when it means to be a boy. Surprisingly, none of them make excuses for adult men sexually assaulting women.
Readers, tell us what you liked this year at Sixoh6. What made you smile? What helped? What challenged? What did you share with friends? And, most importantly, what do you want to read more about?