I am very grateful to Fred Clark for recommending my Bilgrimage blog in his new year's list of "daily blogs of the day" to which I pointed Bilgrimage readers a few days back. In his lead-up to his overview of my blog, Fred writes,
What I like best about Bilgrimage, I think, is that William Lindsey doesn’t just consider the perspective from his own peripheries. His peripheral status, rather, has led him to seek out, engage and amplify the voices of others from other peripheries, other margins, other otherings.
As Fred notes, I've found myself having to live at the intersection of several different peripheral places, as an openly gay Catholic theologian who lives in (and grew up in) the outlandish place of Arkansas, which is dominated by right-wing evangelicals, notably by the Southern Baptist church in which I grew up. He's right to point out that my experience of living on several margins has sensitized me to others living on the margins--as growing up during the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s in a place like Arkansas was also designed to do for any of us who had our eyes open in those years.
And because of my experience of living on several margins, I've long been convinced that any marginalized group does itself a colossal disservice when it can't learn from the experience of other marginalized groups. And when it fails to make common cause with other marginalized groups--something that's much in my mind as the Martin Luther King holiday comes and goes, because I'm convinced that Taylor Branch and other King scholars are correct when they say that King began to pose a very serious threat, indeed, to the powers that be when he drew together a poor people's coalition that transcended racial boundaries.
I hope I can merit half the praise Fred offers my blog in his recommendation. There are few fellow bloggers and fellow thinkers about American religion whose praise I'd like to merit than Fred Clark's.