being mixed and christian

mixed-chicks-chat-newI had the pleasure to be the guest on the Mixed Chicks Chat podcast (link to audio). Mixed Chicks is a podcast hosted by Heidi Durrow, that explores various aspects of being racially mixed in the United States and includes guests that range from academics, to artists, to activists. It is a wonderful show that does great work to make space for people exploring what it means to work through the “in-between” spaces of American racialized life.

Apparently, I was the first theologian they have had on their show and one of the first to talk about the connections between religion and mixed raced experience. In the midst of the conversation, I realized that the story of my racial self-understanding and my identity as a disciple were difficult to disentangle. I hope this didn’t lead to too much awkwardness on the hosts’ part (I am not sure what their religious beliefs were), as I realize now certain moments might have sounded more like testimony than interview!

While I have written often on the intersections or race and faith, suggesting that the two were always inseparable, in this interview I came to realize just how true that was.

What doing this interview has made clear for me is how mixed identity is a crucial aspect of Christian life in that it requires all of us to account for the many pieces of our lives in new and complicated ways. This accounting is not always neat and never ends with balanced books, but this holy imbalance makes it possible for us to re-imagine new ways of living in the world and new possibilities in God’s coming kingdom.

I wonder how many people, when considering their spiritual journey, can separate racial or ethnic identity from that story? What is it about our present world that makes that separation so easy?