AN OPEN LETTER TO STUDENT PROTESTERS AT MIZZOU

Welcome to Roger’s Take on Religion: An Inclusive Perspective

Let me first say how very proud I am of you.

Having grown up in a racist, segregated culture of another era, I firmly believed that in my lifetime equality would be achieved. As a young boy, I saw myself standing on a crowded bus so Rosa Parks could have a seat. It was Mrs. Parks and I, arm in arm.

In my mind, I sang “free at last” with Dr. King in Washington. I crossed the bridge in Selma on “Bloody Sunday.”

My generation, scars and all, would end all hatred and discrimination and make God’s kingdom whole again – brothers and sisters as one. That was the dream, the legacy, your rightful inheritance.

Obviously, like wars to end all wars, we failed, and some would say miserably so.

We failed, that is, until your protests. Regardless of what we did or did not accomplish, you have shown us that the dream, the hope, the fight continues. That may mean more to me than to you.

Here’s My Take: As a clergyman (and an MU graduate with my own distant but not-so-fond memories), I do not believe that God answers prayers. I do believe that God realizes dreams. I believe that dreams have lives of their own and roam the universe until the dream and the dreamer are united. I believe that to be faithful is to dream one dream – the dream of a just and compassionate world.

I believe, too, that soon Rosa Parks and I will walk together again, arm in arm. Today, however, I believe in you.

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