A BRIDGE TOO FAR

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

When President Obama says, “As painful as this week has been, I fully believe that America is not as divided as people have suggested,” he’s wrong.

The anger over the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and the anger over the deaths of the Dallas police officers are not the same angers. Consider their funerals. Unlike Dallas, few dignitaries were in Baton Rouge or St. Paul, highlighting a gulf much wider than our bridges.

Here’s My Take: Churches can share blame here. White Christians have become too cozy with the power structure, accepting literally the biblical words from Paul’s Letter to the Romans “Rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad.” (Romans 13:3) (Interestingly enough, Paul was later unjustly murdered by the very authorities he sought to appease.)

Christ calls the church to lift up the powerless, not the powerful. In view of this, I would suggest that the passage from Romans be replaced with the words of Lavish Reynolds as her boyfriend, Philando Castile, lay dying in his car: “Please Lord wrap your arms around him … Please Lord you know our rights Lord. We are innocent people Lord. We are innocent people.”

It would certainly be a lesson in bridge building.

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