Our media obsession with the taking of life (whether fictional or under the guise of “news”) literally defines our culture and era. And nothing captures our attention, passion, clicks, and eyeballs more than the portrayals of Black deaths at the hands of white vigilantes . . .
It is awfully convenient to believe the right thing to do is whatever you want, at anyone else’s expense. It felt like the lives of the sick and vulnerable didn’t matter. Then George Floyd was murdered.
It’s been a long road, and it’s not over, though it does seem to be changing. And we felt we couldn’t let this moment pass without marking it together in some way.
Within our denominations, grassroots justice organizations, organizing networks, and movement partners, we have engaged in the best of our sacred traditions to pursue a vision of Beloved Community, of an America that is yet to be, of a nation where ancient breaches are repaired.
In the Bava Kamma Mishnah (the traditional Jewish interpretation of the law), a slap incurred a fine of 200 silver coins - but a backhanded slap required a payment of 400, the same amount as for spitting on someone. It was more than violence. It was degrading
The killing of black men by police is a relentless beating against the souls and the spirits of people who believe in justice and who operate in hope. But with each assault, those same spirits become more and more wounded.
For every time we preached about the blood of Jesus and did not talk about the blood of Breonna Taylor…George Floyd…Ahamad Arbury…Jacob Blake…and so many more…[Say all their names!]. We repent and we turn toward justice.