Stories from exile is a writer's collaborative, bringing you stories written by outsiders in christianity, politics and culture.

 

edited and curated by

nish weiseth

Don't call it a comeback.

So we meet again, good reader. 

It appears I couldn't lay dormant for too long. 

It's been well over a year, nearly two, since A Deeper Story closed its doors and we stopped writing content. So much has changed since we shut down, yet some things have remained the same. 

We have a new president. That's new. I won't go into much of that here, the pieces published here will have plenty to say about that, I'm sure. 

We're still as divided as ever. That's not new. We're probably even more divided than we used to be, to be honest.

We live in an age where facts don't matter. That's new. Also, horrific. 

We still live in a world where women, people of color, LGBT, disabled, immigrant, refugee and religious minority people are routinely marginalized, oppressed, and made vulnerable. That's not new. That bullshit is still happening. 

We still live in a world of war, drones, drought, hunger, thirst, disease, terror, and climate change. That's not new, either. 

We still live in a world where personal stories change the hearts and minds of individuals. That's not new. Thank God, that's still a thing. 

Since I last wrote, more and more people have felt shoved out, pushed out, forgotten, and exiled from Christianity, from politics, from our society. More and more people call themselves politically and spiritually homeless. Where do we fit, they ask? Is there space for me anywhere?

The answer is yes. There's space for you here. There's always space for you here. 

I'd be lying if I said this place wasn't birthed out of some anger - I'm pissed that marginalized people are being pushed further and further into the margins. I'm pissed that a bunch of white Christians sold their soul and whatever moral authority they imagined they had in order to saddle up to the way of the empire. I'm pissed that so many people are looking around at each other, asking, "How did this happen? Why didn't anyone warn us?" when people of color, the disabled community and the LGBT community were sounding the alarm over a year before the election even took place. I'm pissed nobody listened and I'm pissed because there aren't enough platforms and outlets for those voices to get amplified and heard. 

And when I get pissed, I rarely just sit around and do nothing. I have to do something. 

So I decided to open up a space where people could feel less alone, where resistance is found, where marginalized voices are celebrated and amplified. I decided to open up a space that wasn't defined by the traditional power structures and power brokers of Christianity, politics and culture. I decided to open up a space that says YES, everyone gets a seat at the table. Everyone.

You won't see a lineup of writers. This isn't a club. This isn't exclusive. Anyone has a shot at publishing here. Submit your best stuff. If you're a woman, person of color, disabled, LGBTQ, an immigrant or a refugee, your work gets pushed to the front of the line. 

Nothing is off-limits. Op-eds, prose, narratives, poetry, photo and video essays are all welcome submissions. Whatever you do, bring your a-game. 

I'll be honest, I wish this place didn't need to exist. I wish marginalized voices were celebrated and given equal air time. I wish we lived in a world where everyone was valued and we swung the gates wide open, where everyone had a seat at the table. But that's just not our world. 

So, let's write to create the world we hope to see. I'm starting by setting the table in this little corner of the internet. You can sit with me.

Opinion: Betsy DeVos is a dangerous choice.