iOS app Android app

Byron Williams
Rev. Byron Williams is one of the leading public theologians in the nation. He is a columnist, author, and pastor of the Resurrection Community Church in Berkeley, CA.

He is the author of the bestselling 1963: The Year of Hope and Hostility, which won the 2014 International Book Award for US History. His previous book, Strip Mall Patriotism: Moral Reflections on the Iraq War, is a series of essays covering a four-year span in what is arguably America’s worst foreign-policy decision.

In 2010 and 2011, Williams' work was nationally recognized by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), which nominated him for “Columnist of the Year.”

Williams has spoken across the country and appeared on numerous television and radio news programs, including CNN, MSNBC, ABC Radio, Fox News, and National Public Radio.

Entries by Byron Williams

Do Republicans Warrant Being the Majority Party in Both Houses?

(0) Comments | Posted July 24, 2014 | 12:46 PM

Conservative humorist P.J. O'Rourke once said of Republicans, they are "the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it."

O'Rourke's observation may prove to be the most cogent rationale for a Republican victory in November.

If tradition holds, Democrats will lose seats...

Read Post

California Moving Toward the Age of Enlightenment on Capital Punishment

(1) Comments | Posted July 17, 2014 | 12:31 PM

United States District Court Judge Cormac Carney's recent ruling on California's death penalty validated what those in opposition have known for decades, it is unconstitutional, violating the 8th Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

The arbitrary implementation and delay of California's death penalty system led Carney to opine...

Read Post

America Was Built on Hope Not Fear

(0) Comments | Posted July 10, 2014 | 6:05 AM

Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor -- Bare.
But all the time
I'se been a-climbin' on,

Read Post

It's Alive! The Supreme Court as Dr. Frankenstein

(0) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 5:37 PM

In the 1931 version of the movie "Frankenstein," Dr. Henry Frankenstein, portrayed by Colin Clive, looks on as the hand of his creation slowly rises, prompting him to say:

"It's alive. It's alive... It's alive, it's moving, it's alive, it's alive, it's alive, it's alive, it's alive!....Oh, in the...

Read Post

Iraq Is Beyond Cheney's Comprehension

(0) Comments | Posted June 24, 2014 | 4:49 PM

Much has been said of former Vice President Dick Cheney's Wall Street Journal op-ed where he criticized President Barack Obama's handling of Iraq. Cheney's contribution to the discourse in Iraq is as meaningful as someone holding an emergency meeting on the Titanic to ascertain the whereabouts of the missing bucket....

Read Post

Santa Barbara Shooting Reflects American Culture

(2) Comments | Posted May 28, 2014 | 6:27 PM

Isn't it time to come to the realization that shooting sprees like the one recently in Santa Barbara that left six dead is simply part of American culture? Why treat it like an aberration?

From Columbine to Virginia Tech to Sandy Hook into the present, we are temporarily shocked by...

Read Post

California: A Tale of Two States

(13) Comments | Posted May 21, 2014 | 11:03 PM

California produces roughly 50 percent of the fruit consumed in the United States. It remains the Mecca for the high tech industry; it has Hollywood, and two of its public institutions of higher education (UCLA and the University of California) are consistently ranked among the top colleges in the nation....

Read Post

My Sadness Over the Detroit Pastors' Opposition to Marriage Equality

(2) Comments | Posted May 16, 2014 | 3:48 PM

I recently watched on The Huffington Post, with deep sadness, a video of a coalition made up primarily, but not exclusively, of African American pastors in Detroit speaking out against marriage equality.

The reason for the pastors' uproar was Michigan's ban on gay marriage had been overturned in March....

Read Post

Michael Sam's Kiss Proves That Change and Discomfort Are Correlatives

(1) Comments | Posted May 14, 2014 | 10:53 PM

It is a natural impulse that members of the prevailing status quo maintain their requisite comfort while the inevitable change in the culture takes place. But that's not how it works.

When Michael Sam became the first openly gay player drafted to the NFL by the St. Louis Rams,...

Read Post

Was Rice the Victim of Liberal Racism and Sexism?

(0) Comments | Posted May 7, 2014 | 11:56 AM

Last week, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice withdrew as Rutgers University's commencement speaker.

Citing months of protest by faculty and students in stepping aside, Rice wrote: "Commencement should be a time of joyous celebration for the graduates and their families. Rutgers' invitation to me to speak has become...

Read Post

Christianity's Dubious Legacy of Dehumanization Continues in Uganda

(0) Comments | Posted April 30, 2014 | 9:38 PM

In God Loves Uganda, Academy Award winning filmmaker Roger Williams takes a circuitous route that begins with well meaning, if not naïve, young missionaries at the International House of Prayer, a megachurch located in Kansas City, MO, and concludes in Uganda in a bastion of hatred, legalized discrimination and death.

Read Post

Donald Sterling Say It Ain't So!

(7) Comments | Posted April 26, 2014 | 6:12 PM

I truly hope the alleged comments attributed to Los Angeles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, is false. Let this be one of those infamous "gotcha" moments that just went viral.

Tell me that the TMZ obtained tape that allegedly has Sterling saying to his African American-Mexican girlfriend "It bothers me a...

Read Post

LBJ Wasn't Alone

(0) Comments | Posted April 14, 2014 | 2:57 PM

The 1964 Civil Rights Act is 50 years old. The majority of commemorations have focused on the legislative prowess of President Lyndon Baines Johnson. When Johnson became president after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the civil rights establishment was justifiably concerned.

Would a southerner, who had never been...

Read Post

When Will We Really Start Supporting the Troops?

(0) Comments | Posted April 8, 2014 | 2:46 PM

Speaking at the Michigan Military Academy in 1879, William Tecumseh Sherman famously opined about the nature of war: "I've seen cities and homes in ashes. I've seen thousands of men lying on the ground, their dead faces looking up at the skies. I tell you, war is Hell!"

Have truer...

Read Post

Leland Yee Is the Tip of California's Problems

(2) Comments | Posted April 2, 2014 | 8:11 PM

The collective ethos of dysfunction has made obtaining a supermajority in the California Legislature seemingly the only way to govern.

California, with its quirky initiative process by which voters attempt to solve one problem by creating another, has become a place that necessitated a supermajority in...

Read Post

There Is No Comparison Between Zimmerman and Alexander

(0) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 3:42 PM

I have long been dubious of the court of public opinion. Too often it bears an over-reliance on emotion while conveniently disregarding facts.

A prime example are those rallying against the apparent injustice of Marissa Alexander, who is facing 60 years imprisonment in Florida for allegedly firing a warning...

Read Post

Eulogy for Fred Phleps

(2) Comments | Posted March 20, 2014 | 3:09 PM

The news that Fred Phelps, the Westboro Baptist church founder and a man known for hate-filled protests against gay people, is dead will not bring a chorus of eulogies from those familiar with his peculiar brand of ministry.

For more than 50 years, Westboro, largely under Phelps' leadership, has...

Read Post

The Significance of 12 Years a Slave Winning Best Picture

(0) Comments | Posted March 12, 2014 | 7:24 PM

In my book, 1963: The Year of Hope and Hostility, I examined the political and cultural events that continue to impact the nation, which included Sidney Poitier winning the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Homer Smith in Lilies of the Field.

It marked...

Read Post

SB 1062 Was Never About Religious Freedom

(4) Comments | Posted February 27, 2014 | 3:15 PM

"Well aware that Almighty God hath created the mind free; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burdens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion" -- The...

Read Post

Brewer Spoiled My Entertainment

(1) Comments | Posted February 26, 2014 | 11:13 PM

I have a confession: A part of me, a rather big part, was hoping that Arizona Governor Jane Brewer did not veto a bill that would have allowed businesses that asserted their religious beliefs the right to deny service to gay and lesbian customers.

It was a disgusting, irresponsible, and...

Read Post