How religious leaders are preaching about racism and police brutality amid unrest

Local religious leaders are helping their flocks understand the unfolding crisis.

6/4/2020 1:44:00 AM

'America’s national sin is injustice. America’s national sin is systemic racism.' (via latimesopinion)

Local religious leaders are helping their flocks understand the unfolding crisis.

As demonstrators have taken to the streets to protest the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, local religious leaders have tried to help congregants understand the unfolding crisis. What follows are edited excerpts from some of their sermons and speeches.

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Bishop Charles E. Blake, West Angeles Church, in amessage to congregants:For the past three months, this country has put forth cautionary restrictions to stop the spread of a deadly virus and save lives. But in recent months, three black lives, those of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd have all been snuffed out by a plague even more vicious than COVID-19.

This plague of racism, unlike COVID-19, is not invisible, and we are seeing it far too much. It is time for every legislator, leader of a city, state department and government agency to put forth the same efforts and urgency that has been put into the cure for COVID-19.

AdvertisementFirst responders of the law enforcement community of this country must do better. We as black people deserve better.We are human beings, created in the image and likeness of God, just like all people. No one has the right to crush the very life out of us. Our black and brown young men and women of color, were not created to be executed in the streets, especially by those who have taken an oath to protect life. Our lives are worth protecting!

We must stand and fight — not by looting and burning buildings, but by standing together in love and unity, while we seek the Lord for strategy, which will eradicate this awful blight of racism from amongst and within us.Pastor J. Edgar Boyd, First African Methodist Episcopal Church Los Angeles, from his

Sunday sermonAdvertisementWe are seeing now in the cities of America the kind of violence that comes after justice is denied, and after oppression has lived in a land and amongst a people for far too long.What you see on American streets now is a cry from the oppressed. It’s a cry from those who have been left out and looked over far too long. They are exercising their 1st Amendment rights. We don’t condone rioting. We don’t condone burning. We don’t condone looting. And we don’t condone irresponsible lawlessness. But neither can we condone racism and injustice, which has been in this American community for over 400 years, starting even before our nation became a nation in 1776.

America’s national sin is injustice. America’s national sin is systemic racism. America’s national sin is the denial to give opportunity to those who have been oppressed, left out, locked out, and given almost nothing to survive on for over 400 years in this nation.

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What we’re seeing in America, is a new brand of activism. Young blacks, young whites, young browns, college students who are out of school now because of COVID-19. They are now fed up and tired, and they’re standing tall. They’re standing toe-to-toe with authorities asking for denied justice.

AdvertisementDr. Martin Luther King said that protest is simply the voice of the unheard. We have been unheard too long. We’re standing now to demand justice. What you’re seeing now is simply America being called upon to pay the taxes for the racism and injustice that’s gone on far too long. If we want to stop paying the taxes for the wrong, then we need to sit down and hammer out a new agenda where everybody’s included.

Rabbi Naomi Levy, Nashuva, from a live virtual vigil on FridayOn Shavuot, we are taught that all people are one in God’s light; that we are all reflections of the One — all people, all races, all faiths.We are heartbroken over the senseless murder of George Floyd at the hands of the police. We are heartbroken over the racism, prejudice and injustice toward the black community in our society.

AdvertisementWe are here to stand together to protest injustice and racism, and we hope you will light a candle with us. Remember there is no light until we can all share in that light!Light a candle with us as we pray for an end to racism, as we pray for justice together.

We light three yahrzeit candles tonight because we can’t rest until we remember:“We light the first candle in memory of Ahmaud Arbery.AdvertisementWe light the second candle in memory of Breonna Taylor.We light the third candle in memory of George Floyd.”

Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer, Faithful Central Bible Church, in hisHere we are again with not only a demonstration of the lack of unity and humanity, but the lack of justice, the lack of fairness, the lack of equality. Here we are again.AdvertisementThis one got me, and it got me because it’s in such a sequence, another, and another and another one. When will it stop?

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This is Pentecost day, when the church celebrates the unity and power of the Holy Ghost. I’m listening for that unity, but I don’t hear it yet. I’m listening for my white evangelical friends, who were ready to demonstrate and oppose the law to meet in churches today with or without permission.

Now I want my white evangelical friends to shout out on this. My pain is enhanced by those of my white evangelical brethren who won’t say anything.It gets old that some of you will call for us to stand with you and pray with you, but when it’s our turn, you don’t say anything. You go back into the woodwork and you let us go out there by ourselves, because you don’t fully understand our pain.

AdvertisementBut if we’re supposed to be one in the Holy Ghost, which you say we are, then how can I hurt this bad, and you not care? And if you care, how can you not say anything? You call me for your prayer gatherings, and you say you have an ear in Washington. Well then, use your access to say something about this. You say you have an inside track; so, let me hear you on this one. You say you urged and you pushed for churches to be open. OK, go right back up in there and raise some hell on this one.

You wrote your letters and you called me for my signature, which I didn’t sign. You wanted me to protest church closures and meet with or without permission.Who gave that police officer permission to kill that man, to put his knee down on that man’s neck the other night? And what do you say about it? What sound are you going to make now? How many letters are you going to write now.

If we are one in the spirit, then when you hurt, I hurt; when I hurt, you hurt. But I don’t hear you say ouch.AdvertisementMy evangelical white brethren, sometimes it would at least help if you could cry with us. But in order to cry, you have to care.

Archbishop José H. Gomez, Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angeles, from his SundayhomilyIn the events of this week and this weekend, we can see that there are millions of our brothers and sisters who are still forced to suffer humiliation, indignity, and unequal opportunity just because of their race or the color of their skin.

That is not right. It should not be this way in America. Racism is a sin and it denies what God wants for the human person. We know that.AdvertisementBut the way forward for us is love, not hate and not violence. Nothing is gained by violence and so much is lost. Jesus says today in the Gospel, “

Peace be with you.”The peace that Jesus gives us is not the false peace of those who accept injustice out of fear or in order to avoid trouble or confrontation. The peace that Jesus gives is something we have to build, something we have to “make.”It means working to help people see another point of view, the other side of the argument. It means always working to build trust, to promote understanding, and to encourage forgiveness and friendship.

It is hard work, challenging work. And we know that we cannot do it without God’s help. Peace is one of the “fruits” of the Holy Spirit, so on this great feast of the Holy Spirit, we pray today for the gifts of his spirit, the fruits of his spirit. Read more: Los Angeles Times »

opinion Sounds like the definition of Fascism. opinion See, even the church sees you. opinion So let’s blame the guy who’s been in politics for 3 years and go to a guy who’s been in govt for 50 years... opinion ❤️

White House Officials Asked If They Could Take Over D.C.’s Local PoliceJohn Falcicchio, the D.C. mayor’s chief of staff, told the Washington Post that D.C. officials objected, and said they would mount a legal challenge if federal officials made an attempt to do so.. lisettevoytko You've got some right effing idiots in that place lisettevoytko How many hired guns does this clown need? lisettevoytko Do you want it to stop? then Trump has to show respect and take a knee for the lifes lost unfairly of black people. Trump, do you want to join the fight or are you against the fight? trumpknee trumptakeaknee lets join and fight descrimination BlackLivesMatter GeorgeFloyd

White House Officials Asked If They Could Take Over D.C.’s Local PoliceJohn Falcicchio, the D.C. mayor’s chief of staff, confirmed to the Washington Post. Excellent What the fuck does this even mean? Is Mike Pence gonna put on riot gear? Tf US 🇺🇸 is DONE ✅

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Questions raised about role of outside groups in local protests.trymainelee says a black activist told him 'white anarchists and white communists have infiltrated the protest movement.' trymainelee It’s time to end the chaos that’s caused by the instigators and do another million person march on Washington trymainelee Communist antifa ...... exjon trymainelee Antifa sucks