• Black Lives Really Matter 2

    From Lee Lofaso@2:203/2 to All on Sun Jan 31 00:29:35 2016
    Hello Everybody,

    In answer to Franklin Graham, the Sojourners
    took to the pen and wrote a scathing reply -

    An Open Letter to Reverend Franklin Graham

    Dear Rev. Graham,

    We write to you in the spirit of Matthew 18: we aim to
    reconcile with you. You have sinned against us, fellow members
    of the body of Christ. While your comments on March 12 were just
    a Facebook post, your post was shared by more than 83,000 people
    and liked by nearly 200,000 as of Monday morning, March 14, 2015.
    Your words hurt and influenced thousands. Therefore, we must
    respond publicly so that those you hurt might know you have
    received a reply and the hundreds of thousands you influenced
    might know that following your lead on this issue will break
    the body of Christ further.Frankly, Rev. Graham, your insistence
    that “Blacks, Whites, Latinos, and everybody else” “Listen up,”
    was crude, insensitive, and paternalistic. Your comments betrayed
    the confidence that your brothers and sisters in Christ, especially
    those of color, have afforded your father’s ministry for decades.
    Your instructions oversimplified a complex and critical problem
    facing the nation and minimized the testimonies and wisdom of
    people of color and experts of every hue, including six police
    commissioners that served on the president’s task force on
    policing reform.In the nadir of your commentary, you tell everyone
    to “OBEY” any instruction from authorities and suggest that the
    recent shootings of unarmed citizens “might have been avoided”
    if the victims had submitted to authority.And you bluntly insist,
    “It’s as simple as that.”It is not that simple. As a leader in
    the church, you are called to be an ambassador of reconciliation.
    The fact that you identify a widely acknowledged social injustice
    as “simple” reveals your lack of empathy and understanding of the
    depth of sin that some in the body have suffered under the weight
    of our broken justice system. It also reveals a cavalier disregard
    for the enduring impacts and outcomes of the legal regimes that
    enslaved and oppressed people of color, made in the image of God
    — from Native American genocide and containment, to colonial and
    antebellum slavery, through Jim Crow and peonage, to our current
    system of mass incarceration and criminalization.

    As your brothers and sisters in Christ, who are also called to
    lead the body, we are disappointed and grieved by your abuse of
    the Holy Scriptures. You lifted Hebrews 13:17 out of its biblical
    context and misappropriated it in a way that encourages believers
    to acquiesce to an injustice that God hates. That text refers to
    church leadership, not the secular leadership of Caesar. Are you
    also aware that your commentary resonates with the types of
    misinterpretations and rhetoric echoed by many in the antebellum
    church? Are you aware that the southern slavocracy validated the
    systematic subjugation of human beings made in the image of God
    by instructing these enslaved human beings to “obey their masters
    because the Bible instructed them to do so?”Your blanket insistence
    on obedience in every situation exposes an ignorance of church
    history. God called Moses to resist and disobey unjust authority.
    Joseph and Mary were led by the Spirit to seek asylum in Egypt,
    disobeying the unjust decrees passed down by authority figures
    in order to ensure the safety of Jesus. And Paul himself resisted
    authority and ultimately wrote Romans 13 from jail.In modern times,
    Christian brothers and sisters abided by Paul’s command to the
    persecuted Roman church. They presented their bodies as living
    sacrifices. They refused to conform to the oppressive patterns
    of this world. Rather, they were transformed by the renewing of
    their minds. (Romans 12:1-2) Throughout the Jim Crow South, in
    El Salvador, and in the townships and cities of South Africa
    Jesus followers disobeyed civil authority as an act of obedience
    to God — the ultimate authority, the Lord, who loves and demands
    justice (Psalm 146:5-9, Isaiah 58, Isaiah 61, Micah 4:1-5, all
    the prophets, Luke 4:16-21, Luke 10:25-37, Matthew 25:31-46,
    Galatians 3:27-28). Likewise, Christians who marched in Ferguson,
    Mo., New York City, and Madison, Wis., follow in the holy footsteps
    of their faithful predecessors.As one who understands human depravity,
    your statement demonstrates a profound disregard for the impact of
    sinful individuals when given power to craft systems and structures
    that govern millions. The outcome is oppression and impoverishment
    — in a word, injustice.

    Finally, if you insist on blind obedience, then you must also insist
    that officers of the justice system obey the U.S. Constitution, which
    protects the right of all to equal protection under the law. Yet,
    reports confirm unconscious racial biases in policing, booking,
    sentencing, and in return produce racially disparate outcomes within
    our broken justice system.Likewise, you must also call on officers to
    honor their sworn duty to protect and serve without partiality. The
    Federal Bureau of Investigations director, James B. Comey, acknowledges
    that law enforcement has fallen short of this mandate : “First, all of
    us in law enforcement must be honest enough to acknowledge that much
    of our history is not pretty. At many points in American history, law enforcement enforced the status quo, a status quo that was often
    brutally unfair to disfavored groups.”Let us be clear: We love,
    support, and pray for our police officers. We understand that many are
    doing an excellent job under extremely trying circumstances. We also
    understand that many officers are burdened by systems that routinely
    mete out inequitable racialized outcomes.For the past nine months, many
    of your fellow Christian clergy have been engaged in sorrowful lament, prayerful protest, spirit-led conversations, and careful scriptural
    study to discern a Godly response to these inequitable racialized
    outcomes within America’s justice system. We have wrestled with God
    like Jacob, begging God to bless us with peace in our streets and
    justice in our courts.Rev. Graham, as our brother in Christ and as a
    leader in the church, we forgive you and we pray that one day you will recognize and understand the enduring legacy of the institution of
    race in our nation.Now is the time for you to humbly listen to the
    cries of lamentation rising nationwide. We do not expect you to be
    an expert in racial issues, police brutality, or even the many factors
    that go in to our complicated and unjust criminal system. We do,
    however, expect you to follow the example of leaders and followers of
    Jesus throughout the scriptures and modern history. We expect you to
    seek wise counsel and guidance first from those who bear the weight of
    the injustice and second from other experts in the field. Ultimately,
    we invite you to join us in the ongoing work of the ministry of

    In Jesus,

    Onleilove Alston Executive Director



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    * Origin: news://eljaco.se (2:203/2)
  • From Tim Richardson@1:275/93 to Lee Lofaso on Sun Jan 31 11:24:12 2016
    Hello Everybody,

    In answer to Franklin Graham, the Sojourners
    took to the pen and wrote a scathing reply -

    An Open Letter to Reverend Franklin Graham

    An open letter to the so-called `executive director':


    You're full of prune juice!

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    * Origin: Telnet://valhalla.synchro.net - Richmond, Virginia (1:275/93)