The King’s Dream by T. R. Ragland

“What happens to a dream differed?”1 Langston Hughes, a 20th century poet of the Harlem Renaissance, posed this thought-provoking question in his poem titled Harlem (popularly known as Dream Differed). If the “dream” was indeed a real, flourishing thing at one point in time, what becomes of it when it is neglected? Does it exist in a state of potentiality awaiting the day of actualization? Or like nocturnal dreams, does time seem to dwindle the recollection of it to inexistence? Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. imparted words of power to the United States of America on August 28, 1963 in Washington, DC. He had a dream. A dream that was not meant to merely exist as an idea in the minds of many, but one to be realized. For he did not hide his dream under a bushel, but instead placed it on the mountaintop for all to see. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a man of virtue whose self-sacrifice and courage should not be taken lightly. I speak boldly, as a member of the African-American community, when I say we have a responsibility to see that this dream not be lost along with Dr. King himself. If the African-American community wishes to see his dream come true, they must become a people of virtue. The premise of Dr. King Jr.’s dream was found in this statement: “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’”2

As it pertains to equality, I find it proper to define what we should and should not be expecting from its manifestation. Equality can best be understood as equal opportunity to reach a desired end. The essence of equality leaves no room for advantage or privilege related to accidental properties (skin color, gender, etc.). All participants have a chance to gain access to the thing in question. All participants are also evaluated through the lens of a consistent Continue reading

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It’s Not Just About Homosexuality

Whether through nationally televised political conventions, church on Sunday mornings, or Facebook the rest of the week, it seems near impossible not to encounter an opinion about homosexuality everywhere we turn these days.  Given the political state of affairs playing out, that is probably not a bad thing.  We need to be discussing the issues of homosexuality, and discussing them well, now more than ever.  Our generation is caught at a crossroad, and the decisions we make, both as Christ-followers and as citizens of this country, are likely to shape the landscape of policy and ethics for decades, perhaps centuries, to come.  As our forefathers once stood at the intersection of issues like slavery, suffrage, free speech, and abortion, so we now stand with homosexuality, not sure where the road forward will lead.

This will not, however, be an article that attempts to persuade you to join one side of the debate or the other.  Instead, I intend to make clear that the current nationwide discussion is not just about homosexuality and we cannot continue to pretend that it is.  When we refuse or are unable to talk about sexual identity issues outside of homosexuality, we lose the opportunity to minister to those who need the love of Christ and his Church most. Continue reading

Summer Series: Spiritual Disciplines Final

Let me first apologize for the lack of posts this past month.  I was very excited for you all to be able to read one of Soma’s best writers take on another spiritual discipline for you to meditate and practice.  But, unfortunately, Mr. Shepherd’s entire computer crashed while in the writing process and it has taken longer to restore.  But whenever he can get his post in to us we will publish it immediately- I believe its topic is very valuable but I will let tension build for its arrival!

As some of you have noticed, there are several spiritual disciplines that were not discussed that are core to the Christian life.  The initial aim of this small series was to post articles that dealt with spiritual disciplines that are less practiced or given less attention.  But as we enter into the school year I wanted to conclude the series with those core disciplines that we oft take for granted.

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