by: Rev Cameron Trimble
The shootings seem endless. Each act of violence tears at our hearts and threatens to unravel the fabric of our national soul. The shooting in El Paso represents a carefully calculated and purposeful hate crime targeted at the Hispanic and immigrant community. It is an act of domestic terrorism.
We know that black and brown people are under attack in this country. We also know that President Trump is fanning the flames of hatred and extremism. His Party sits silently by while he hurls racist and bigoted tweets at people of color without consequence. We know that our elected officials are failing to offer leadership at this critical moment in history. The question is: Will our churches do the same?
We have passed the moment where platitudes of politeness and “purple church” politics can provide us cover for our inaction. We are not talking about differences in policies at the theoretical level anymore. We are facing into the very meaning of what it means to be Christian…and what it doesn’t.
If you as a congregation want to walk the ways of Jesus, that means:
You speak to the injustice of poverty, racism, homophobia, toxic masculinity and sexism without hesitation or equivocation. Jesus did not “other” people for the sake of power and neither should we.
You put your physical body on the line when needed to stop harm from coming to neighbors and strangers by the hands of agents who are “just following orders.” Jesus’ execution was legal. Those who killed him were just following orders.
You work to build bridges to those people in your community acting to divide you. Find their pain and listen to their stories. Break bread together. That is the starting place for our shared collective healing.
You support the ground-game to get out the vote as we near November. Elections have consequences, and we can’t afford indifference.
You support organizations working to stop violence against brown and black people. Ask them what they need. Give them your money. Send people from your church to help. Show up. It makes a difference.
At the Center for Progressive Renewal, we are hosting a series of FREE online events aimed at helping the rest of us know what we can do to make a difference. We encourage you to publish these events in your church bulletins. Invite your members, colleagues, and families to join us online. We would also ask that if you know of people who are doing courageous work and need a platform to tell their story, connect us to together. We have a platform we intend to use for the common good.
I dream of the day when we celebrate love instead of battling hate. Until then, keep the faith, and keep up the fight.