The Awakening Begins …

A few days ago, in one of my posts about the events in Charlottesville last weekend, I mentioned my friend Bruce, a white, conservative, Christian minister who suddenly realized that the silence he, and others like him, had engaged in was part of the problem. I have, almost since the inception of this blog, and certainly since the arrival of Donald Trump on the political landscape, called for people to wake up to the fact that racism, bigotry in all forms, is still alive and well in this nation.  If Bruce is any example, I believe that awakening is finally beginning.

Although I am not religious, I acknowledge that religion can serve a purpose, can encourage people to strive to be better, to rise above the hatred in the world.  The church, whether Christian or other, has great power, and how the church leaders use that power is important, for too many have used it to promote hatred, rather than to speak out against it.

The events last weekend were horrific, tragic, and should never have happened.  But … if it has awakened people, if it leads to a change in how ministers, rabbis and the like talk to their congregations, then perhaps those who died did not do so in vain.  Below are Bruce’s latest words.  Please read them and be encouraged, for there must surely be other church leaders who feel the same.

“Why do I suddenly feel compelled to call out racism from among all the other evils in the world? Primarily because it is screaming in my face, mocking my silence up to now, and largely because this evil is so persistent in our country and even within the church.

Our country’s history with racism is no secret, but I suppose we can find some comfort in the fact that “it’s better now than it used to be,” or at least I thought so until recently. I am disgusted by the resurgence of racism, or maybe by the boldness of once closeted racists to pull themselves out of the darkness they were hiding in. If the goal were to deal with a vile ideology, it might be a simple (though not easy) matter of voting against racists in roles of authority until their influence becomes only annoyance from the fringe of society. Honestly, this may be the best we can achieve in the “land of the free,” though we may certainly hope for more and strive for more.

However, it is unacceptable for Christians to stand by silently while other “Christians” promote racism and use Scripture to endorse their views. While our American forefathers misunderstood it (or perhaps even ignored it), the Bible is abundantly clear that racism is not Christian. It is untenable for Christians to allow brothers in Christ to go unchallenged as they sing praises to God in a church service on Sunday, knowing that they were chanting “Blood and Soil” on Saturday. As James wrote in his letter, “My brothers, this should not be” (3:10, NIV).

In the church, we must strive for more, and I will strive for more. God, forgive me for my silence and for words and actions that may represent my anger and guilt more than your love.”

Well spoken, my friend … I hope that more will follow your example.

Bruce and those like him personify what religion should be about.  One Bruce is worth a thousand Franklin Grahams, for the Franklin Grahams of this world are guilty of promoting hate rather than love.  Perhaps this is a turning point.  We can only hope.

19 thoughts on “The Awakening Begins …

  1. Dear Jill and Bruce,
    For those of faith, there is nothing that can’t be used for good. I have been decrying for years how the right’s ability to deny the prevalent insidious disease of racism in its midst. But now that is has been exposed for the world to see, those justices of a conservative bent can no longer deny its existence when making decisions regarding states’ voting rights’ issues affirmative action issues, and Muslim travel bans, etc.
    It has been a thorn in my side that 80% of Evangelicals voted for DDT.
    I for one am very grateful for White pastors speaking out about the need to confront this issue head-on. This is a pivotal moment in time.
    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is indeed a pivotal moment in the history of this nation, and one which will also have repercussions globally. I, too, am grateful to see church leaders and congressmen waking up and seeing the monstrosity that they have been supporting, either by their silence or outright support.


      Liked by 1 person

  2. He makes it very clear ‘ once closeted racists ‘ and that is what often happens when conditions are ripe . Sometimes many who thought they were not racists realise they have racist leanings especially when they are looking for a scapegoat to blame for their own misfortunes. It is a well used political ploy summed up perfectly in the well known phrase ‘ divide and rule ‘. Unfortunately it is a human weakness to blame circumstances or other people for life’s rocky patches. Many of us rich westerners expect a smooth run all the time and increasing benefits and lifestyles followed by a lavish funeral.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Quite so. We have been spoiled and tend to think that if our lives are not quite what we wish them to be, then we must look around to find who is to blame, rather than look at our own actions, choices and decisions that led us to the place we are. Human frailty? Certainly. But some of us are able to overcome that and realize that we alone bear the responsibility for our lives. Why is it so hard for others?


  3. Yes! Sadly many so-called professed Christian….of good intent….needs a ‘Road to Damascus’ conversion like Paul of Tarsus before they are able to ‘see’. Good to have people begin to have a truly Christian insight! Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: The Awakening Begins … – The Militant Negro™

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