14 Aug Presiding Archbishop’s Statement to Violence & Racism
I wish to comment on the past few days of unnecessary violence and hatred in Charlottesville as well as the continued rhetoric of the prospects of nuclear war with North Korea.
First of all, I echo the sentiments of my counterpart of the ELCA, Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton. “White supremacy has no place in the kingdom of God, only the love and healing of the reign of the Prince of Peace.” – ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton – But I would like to take that one step further in that racism of ANY type against God’s people has no place in the kingdom of God!
God created all of us in His image, and despite the fact we all don’t look alike or sound alike, we are all created equally among God. Humanity is color blind to God. However, God gave humanity free will and that free will has created the division, violence and suffering which we now see here in the United States and across the world.
It takes strong leadership and compassion to overcome the current state of affairs. As God’s people, we must act to hold our leadership accountable and to denounce the violence, hatred and inequality that has transpired over the past few days.
While the problems of the weekend are not entirely new and frankly go back quite some time, it is time to hold those who represent us, our elected officials, accountable. It’s not just what’s happening now. It’s gender inequality, sexual orientation inequality, racism, corporate inequality, immigration, the list goes on and on!
Humanity is just that, the ENTIRE human race. Not one specific class or “color”. Treating our neighbor with respect and dignity is essential in order to even begin to move forward. The continued division will lead us back to repeat history, either in a civil strife or war, or on a larger scale global war.
Using the words “nuclear weapons” as part of a strategy is not a sign of strength, but of desperation. Their use, even on a tactical level, is irresponsible. The irreparable harm and disrespect of human life and collateral civilian deaths and long term effects, not to mention the possible escalation and total annihilation of our planet, should be enough to not even think of their use!
Again strong leadership needs to take place to deescalate. Weak leadership, like we have, is causing our current environment. We all need to do our part in either prayer, or activism, to make effectual change. God did not create us so that we would destroy one another. We have the choice, we can make change, but we all must work together.
Most Rev. William A. Johnson, D.D.
ACCUS – Presiding Archbishop