We must not only deal with the ongoing effects of atrocities, we must also change society itself. Lamentations may acknowledge sorrow over atrocities committed, but they do not repair the harm nor transform the world.
Political leaders’ amorality and immorality about justice has always been tolerated, if not actively enabled, by religious nationalists in congregations in all regions of the country and in every religious sect.
In his new book, The Color of Compromise, Jemar Tisby documents the ways in which white Christians, churches and religious institutions inside and outside the South manifested, acquiesced to and facilitated racist responses to people of color in general and African Americans in particular.
Former faculty members at a Southern Baptist Convention seminary and Baptist professors at other schools joined a call urging financial reparations to American descendants of slavery in a petition now collecting signatures on change.org.
An appeal to my white Baptist sisters and brothers: when it comes to talk about the issue of reparations, I hope you will embrace and maintain a penitent silence during the remaining days of Lent.
We want our children to come of age hearing the same message of civil religion in church, at their “Christian school” and on Fox News. For those who live in this kind of environment, reparations talk sounds like heresy.
The Diocese of Maryland has taken the first of what could be many small steps to engage the issue of reparations and set aside money to help heal the centuries-old wounds of slavery.