What can we do to live a year without fear— and why we must try

January 8, 2013

2013: The year without fear? 
In this special New Year’s article for the “On Faith” section of The Washington Post, theologian Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite says,’We are not going to be able to address a gun culture that makes the United States the most heavily armed nation in the world, unless we also counter a fear culture that is deeply emotionally rooted in our society. What is powerful enough to counter fear? Biblically speaking, it is love that casts out fear.” Thistlethwaite shows how a fear culture and a gun culture reinforce each other.  Some of the issues that she calls the “worst fear triggers” that we must address and counter through the power of love are racism, homophobia, Islamaphobia, and sexism. Take some time to read Thistlethwaite’s comments about each of them and her suggestions for how we might work for change.

Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni (1935-2024) was an independent scholar, writer, and editor, and the author or coauthor of nine books. In 1978, she and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott wrote Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, one of the earliest books urging evangelical Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality (updated edition, 1994, HarperOne). More recently, Letha coauthored (with social psychologist David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage (HarperOne, 2005 and 2006). Another of Letha’s most well-known books is All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, coauthored with Nancy A. Hardesty (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992). Letha served as editor of Christian Feminism Today in both its former print edition (EEWC Update) and its website for 19 years until her retirement in December 2013.