Last week a crazy gunman entered the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and opened fire on the worshippers. He reportedly yelled ugly slurs against Jews as he carried out his evil plan. This kind of sickness demands a swift and clear response from a society founded on the moral and ethical commands to love our neighbor.
United in Moral Outrage
Join me as I pray for those most closely impacted by this tragedy and for our political leaders who voice our moral outrage. Solutions are inevitably varied and complex, but our voice must be clear and unyielding. We will always condemn violence against the innocent and defenseless.
The fact that this type of violence is on the rise could have two negative effects: (1) a sense of apathy toward what is becoming far too common; and (2) fear. We must fight against both. We will never allow evil to cause us to become apathetic, nor will we fearfully shrink back from God’s mission!
The Apostle Paul reminded his young mentee, Timothy: “… for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline” (2 Tim. 1:7, NRSV).
We are strong and bold because we know that God is in control and nothing can separate us from his love (Rom. 8:39)!
A Collective Response Against Racism
Here are various quotes against racism and antisemitism from some of the best thinkers of the past.
“Racial prejudice, anti-Semitism, or hatred of anyone with different beliefs has no place in the human mind or heart.”
— Billy Graham
“Ignorance and prejudice are the handmaidens of propaganda. Our mission, therefore, is to confront ignorance with knowledge, bigotry with tolerance, and isolation with the outstretched hand of generosity. Racism can, will, and must be defeated.”
― Kofi Annan
“I wish I could say that racism and prejudice were only distant memories. We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred and the mistrust…We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.”
― Thurgood Marshall
“As a nation, we began by declaring that ‘all men are created equal.’ We now practically read it ‘all men are created equal, except negroes.’ When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read ‘all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics.’ When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty – to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.”
― Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln Letters
“Pit race against race, religion against religion, prejudice against prejudice. Divide and conquer! We must not let that happen here.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt
“Racism does not have a good track record. It’s been tried out for a long time and you’d think by now we’d want to put an end to it instead of putting it under new management.”
― Thomas Sowell
“Whoever debases others is debasing himself.”
― James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time
“The prejudiced are easily manipulated.”
― Wayne Gerard Trotman