I preached on the poor in spirit, because when I listened carefully it sounded like God saying we have to do better – as the church, as communities and as a nation.
My son is now raising black sons of his own. He fears for them, as I feared for him when he was a child and now fear for my grandchildren.
Just as Trump has not risen to the stature of the presidency, religious leaders who have blindly supported and defended him have not risen to the stature of their prophetic calling. A country cannot afford to have both king (president, in America’s case) and prophets fail all at once.
What the eruption of protests – and subsequent riots – across the nation shows is that for too long black bodies have been harmed and victimized by the past and present values of white supremacy.
White people can be exhausting partly because there is so much that they are ignorant of or unequivocally wrong about on crucial, literally life-and-death issues. And that gets old.
The protests and demonstrations this time are different. They may be a sign that something really is changing, even with the longsuffering patience of the black community. At least I pray that is so.
Buried beneath the binary, overly simplistic talking points and rebuttals that ignite social media content wars is the collective cry of black people who have experienced these acts of violence for hundreds of years.
The riotous fire of a burning police precinct might not be the Pentecostal flame many of us expected, and that itself is a failure of white Christians to listen to the suffering around us.
It’s easy to condemn the moral evasion of a past generation and people. The challenge is to see ourselves in them – and to do today the just deeds that will bring no regrets tomorrow.