Archives For Michael McRay


Shattering our views
of Criminal Offenders

A Review of

Where The River Bends: Considering Forgiveness in the Lives of Prisoners. 
Michael McRay

Paperback: Cascade Books, 2016
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle  ] 


Reviewed By Paul D. Gregory


In the documentary “What I want my words to do to you,” American playwright and activist Eve Ensler spoke of the metamorphosis in her thinking about incarcerated women in the Bedford Correctional Institution in Bedford Massachusetts. Similar to most of society, Ensler originally viewed these incarcerated women as “mistakes” saying:


“Everyone is here at Bedford because of a mistake. Some of those mistakes occurred within months—some within minutes. Most of the mistakes were dreadful, catastrophic. Now we [society] have frozen you in your mistake. Marked you forever. Held captive. Discarded. Hated for your mistake. You have essentially been forced to become your mistake, the walking daily embodiment of your mistake. Held in the monument constructed to punish mistakes. Before I came here to Bedford, I imagined you the women here—mistakes lying on mistake cots behind steel mistake bars. Mistakes do not have faces or feelings or histories or futures. They are bad. Mistakes. We must forget them—put them away” [ 1 ]


Most of the mistakes we make are forgivable. A young man fails to show up for his weekly coffee date with his best friend. A young woman breaks off her engagement to her significant other. We unthinkingly berate a coworker, causing hurt to her/him. Forgiveness is granted for a large majority of our own mistakes.

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Invaluable and Necessary and Absolutely Brilliant

A Review of

Letters from Apartheid Street: A Christian Peacemaker in Occupied Palestine
Michael McRay

Paperback: Wipf and Stock, 2013
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

 Reviewed by Wes Magruder


There is absolutely nothing original, novel, or strikingly new in Michael T. McRay’s book, Letters From Apartheid Street: A Christian Peacemaker in Occupied Palestine, which consists of letters and journal entries during his two-month stint with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) in Hebron, Palestine, in January and February 2012.


And nothing happened in Hebron during McRay’s stay that doesn’t happen on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis in occupied Palestine. McRay recounts episodes of random soldier searches, harassment of children on their way to school, and midnight raids and seizures.


Those who keep themselves abreast of the ongoing narrative in Israel/Palestine beyond that which is spun by the major American media outlets are well aware of the real situation. The separation wall built by Israel has further marginalized and isolated the people of Palestine, while emboldening the growing settler movement.

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