This week, as Black History Month began, numerous Historically Black Colleges and Universities were terrorized with bomb threats. This infuriates me.
Black people are creations of God and loved by God. That should mean something to people of faith. This truth is simple and clear.
Over the past five years, the seminary where I serve has been transformed —no, blessed — by being invited onto the campus of Simmons College, an HBCU in Louisville, Ky. We have been inspired by their hope, their work ethic, their tenacity — even as we have been gifted by their welcome and hospitality.
To assume that we can decide some of God’s creation is not valuable is blasphemy. How do I say this simply: God loves Black people and expects us to do the same.
This is not up for debate or discussion.
White churches, please choose an HBCU and support it. There is one near you — find it. Put it in your budget. Support it. You will be doing something to right the wrongs of so many years of oppression and systemic racism. The young people who move through these schools are capable of doing amazing things — if given the chance. Give them that chance. Do it because of your faith in the God who created you and them.
“White churches, please choose an HBCU and support it.”
This past Sunday included 1 Corinthians 13 as one of the Lectionary readings. While it is commonly read at weddings as an example of romantic love, please read it again. Love is greater than the ability to predict the future, it is greater than knowing everything, it is bigger than sacrifice. Love, as described in this passage, is everything. It is at the center of what God expects of us.
The world is watching and expecting the church to be silent, as it so often is. But love, God’s love, calls us to raise our voices against the hate that is festering in our society. We outnumber them, our love is greater than their hate, and God is with us.
Be noisy, be clear, be loving. Let our Black brothers and sisters know we love them and stand with them. Let those who choose hate know that the God of creation loves Black people and the HBCUs that nurture them. And so do we.
David Cassady serves as president of Baptist Seminary of Kentucky, which is hosted on the campus of Simmons College of Kentucky.