Both Ta-Nehisi Coates and Jon Stewart have spoken my mind on the murders in Charleston. I feel heavily the charge that white people need to speak more forcefully against racism. One thing I can do is use my particular gift of writing; I’m also privileged to be in seminary these days, wrestling with understanding the Bible. I know for sure: the Bible speaks about violence, understands violence, portrays it. Who needs Game of Thrones to understand exquisite cruelty, anger, revenge? The seeds of violence are in the human heart and it is a most persistent weed; it is evil in the garden.
The sin of racism has allowed this weed to flourish for centuries. When violence arms itself with guns, wraps itself with flags, seduces the cowardly or weak-minded, the result is lethal. There is lament in Charleston and throughout the land.
Do what you can. Those of us who are privileged cannot afford despair. Read, march, weep, pray. There are many prayers of anger and lament in the Bible:
Don’t kill them,
or my people might forget;
instead, by your power
shake them up and bring them down,
you who are our shield and my Lord.
For the sin of their mouths,
the words that they speak,
let them be captured in their pride.
For the curses and lies they repeat,
finish them off in anger;
finish them off until they are gone!
Then let it be known
to the ends of the earth
that God rules over Jacob.
Ps. 59: 11-1