Borders signify the advancing presence of imperial desires and colonial fantasies of gradual yet total dispossession and disappearance of peoples of other nations that continue the founding settler colonial violence in the US.
We Christians who are citizens must be physically present on the border with México, that we might bear witness to the realities of what we experience alongside those who are most acutely affected by the policies of the current Administration.
The import of particular identities for the national identity is not to be dismissed precisely because it is what the nationalist agenda attempts. This means that our religious discourse has to account for particular identity experiences as integral parts or building blocks of a multifaceted universal and not as something to be merely included or absorbed by a pre-existing universal condition.
The prophetic role of the Church here is to crack open and break up this renewed parochial nationalism, and remind all of the words of Paul in Galatians 3:28, that regardless of background, we are all one in Jesus Christ.
For the very reasons that religious freedom discourse is powerful, arguments made in its register, especially as they stretch the indeterminacy of religion in the directions of collective rights, should appropriately be on the table in Native peoples’ efforts to protect what is sacred to them.
By auto-jurisdiction, I mean to convey the ways people look past the putative authority and mechanisms of prevailing jurisdictions and, alternatively, invoke the authority of tradition as long-term grounded experience in order to construct and speak forth their legitimacy.
I want to make a case for the possibility of creating a public that can see Native religion, conceive of Native sovereignty, and then, perhaps, support the protection of beloved places under the mantle of religious freedom.
Neither the government nor the Court doubted the religiosity of the practice for which the Yurok, Karuk, and Tolowa nations sought protection. Yet, arguments about religious freedom obscured the true issues at stake and the need for sovereign freedom.
In these panels and throughout his work, Tracy instantiates a tension between violence and redemption as he conscripts objects and places—material objects and physical places—into his aesthetic theology of the borderlands.
To illustrate the centrality of democratic discernment in the fate of public art, I turn to two cases where the voices of local communities have been ignored in decisions about the removal of murals from public spaces on the Northside of Denver, Colorado.