Recording of “An Asian American Christian Perspective on Race”

In May, I spoke about Asian Americans and race at City Church San Francisco.  The audio recording has been posted here.

My friend Jeff made this helpful outline, if you want a sense of what I discussed:

Intros, Group Convo, and Caveats – 0:00

THEOLOGICAL REFLECTION
Interpretation and Application of Galatians 3:28 – 14:30
Interpretation of Luke 4 – 19:26

HISTORY OF RACE IN THE US
Slavery in the US – 22:14
Post-Emancipation – 29:45
Post-Depression – 34:20

ASIAN AMERICAN HISTORY: 42:12
Immigration, Anti-Asian legislation, Internment – 43:24
Model Minority Myth – 51:00

APAs AND RACE (DESCRIPTION):
Cultural Value of Harmony – 54:50
Anti-Black Racism in Asia and Asian America – 58:09
Diversity in Asian America – 60:56
How We Are Privileged – 65:00
How We Are Not Privileged – 76:15

APAs AND RACE (PRESCRIPTION)
Middle Minority Ethics (inc. Peter Liang) – 78:42
What we can do differently – 86:05
A Hopeful Note for APA efforts… – 93:00

Further Reading/Learning – 95:05
Q&A – 98:15

Shame on You, Wayne Grudem

Dr. Grudem,

On Thursday, you posted a piece called “Why Voting for Donald Trump Is a Morally Good Choice,” in which you encouraged Christians to vote for the Republican nominee — a candidate you denounced less than six months ago.  I found the article to be abhorrent, especially coming from someone who claims, as you do in the piece, to be an expert on Christian ethics.

I have no objection to a look-at-the-alternative argument.  Though I disagree with your conclusion and much of what you use as supporting evidence, an election is ultimately a choice between alternative scenarios, and arguing that the other option is worse is a perfectly acceptable way to make your case.

I do object to…

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Becoming a Mom Transformed My Relationship with Mine

Every now and then, when I’m on the phone with my mom, I’ll mention something that I’m not looking forward to doing. Going to the DMV, perhaps, or needing to initiate a conversation that has the potential to be unpleasant.

My mother will respond: “Well, you just have to do it.”

“MOM,” I’ll say, rolling my eyes heavenward, immediately reverting to the 16-year-old version of myself. Obviously I have every intention of finding a dentist, I’ll say in a huff; I’m simply commenting that I’m not looking forward to it. I do not need to be reminded or convinced that it needs to be done.

“Okay,” she’ll say, in a way that I can’t quite read. Has she heard me? Does she really think that I’m considering not taking my car to the dealership for a safety recall? I don’t want to tell her that a more helpful response would be “Oh, that stinks” or “I don’t like doing that either.” She’s my Asian mom, after all, and I’m not sure how she would receive that kind of direction from anyone, let alone her child.

In hindsight, I think I subconsciously expected these conversations to increase after I had a baby. The world of new parenthood, I was told, was full of doing things that are tedious and unpleasant but need to be done anyway. I imagined that when I talked with my mom, three time zones away, about how I was doing, I would be hearing a lot more “Well, you just have to do its” and doing a lot more eye-rolling.

That I have yet to hear this refrain once, nine months in, is testament to how much has changed between us.

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In Response to Opponents of Gun Control

Umpqua Community College.

WDBJ in Virginia.

Chattanooga.

Charleston.

Lafayette.

And that’s just the last 3 months.

So for real now — can we talk about gun control?

Every time a mass shooting occurs, the same chain of events unfolds: One group of people brings up the need for gun control, citing the alarming (and increasing) frequency with which these events are taking place and the slew of data indicating that gun control is an effective way to reduce gun deaths. Gun rights advocates respond with their usual litany of reasons why gun control is futile or somehow un-American. No meaningful action is taken. And then another shooting happens, and the cycle begins again.

Two things about this pattern concern me: One, how desensitized it’s making us to mass shootings, and how much more devastating each one needs to be in order to even register on our radars; and two, how gun rights advocates are able to shut down conversation about gun control — and thus prevent any kind of change from happening — given that their arguments are full of questionable logic.

I’m not sure what I can do about the former. But regarding the latter, I’d like to take a moment to respond to the arguments I hear bandied about every time we see a tragedy like the one that happened last week:

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