To all of my conservative friends: I’ve seen a lot of angry posts recently about how Hillary Clinton and the Clinton family seem to live above the law.
Though I hardly call myself a conservative pastor anymore, I’ve shared these sentiments and have posted many of these same posts.
Not a Conservative Pastor Anymore
I’ve expressed the same anger and vitriol over just how unfair our justice system is.
But, after not one, but two back-to-back nationally reported police shootings of reportedly nonviolent black men, I’m not seeing the same anger, vitriol, or demands for justice.
Let me be perfectly clear, you cannot clamor for justice regarding Hillary Clinton and ignore the clear abuse of power when it affects our black friends, family, and neighbors.
There is no difference in these scenarios.
Power and Authority are the Core Issues
The core issue is precisely the same, someone (or a group of people) with power and authority acted above the law and appears to have the support of the “system” to get away with it.
My heart breaks for the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile not only because they shouldn’t be dead today, but because I identify with them personally.
From all the accounts I’ve read, Alton was an entrepreneur. I’m an entrepreneur. Similarly, from the accounts I’ve read of Philando, he was a law-abiding, licensed concealed firearm carrier. I’m a law-abiding, licensed concealed firearm carrier.
Our Skin Color is What Makes Us Different
The only tangible difference between me and Alton and Philando, is the color of my skin. I don’t fear getting shot by police in my day to day business, probably because I’m white.
I don’t fear getting shot by police while legally carrying a firearm for protection, probably because I’m white.
I know what many are going to think and some are going to be so bold to say, “Ya, but there’s more black on black violence in an urban context everyday than can account for the total number of black men who have been shot by police.
Culture of Violence in the Inner City
If black lives truly mattered they should stop shooting each other.” And, I hear that. I do. There is a culture of violence in our inner city, urban neighborhoods that must end. But this anger I’m feeling right now isn’t about that.
The anger I’m feeling right now has everything to do with people of authority who live and act as if the law doesn’t apply to them. I’m sick of it. It makes my stomach turn. I’m tired of the excuses.
Either the law applies to everyone and everyone is treated equally, as the constitution suggests, or this entire notion of liberty, equality, and justice is simply a farce.
Churches are Called Out to Rise Up
I’m a pastor. As a pastor, I am calling on our churches to rise up with the prophetic voice that God has given us.
It was largely because of the church’s prophetic voice that slavery came to an end. It was largely because of the church’s prophetic voice that institutional and legally protected racism and segregation came to an end.
Now, we have an opportunity, no, the responsibility, to use our prophetic voice again and demand justice and equal treatment under the law regardless of race, position, or perceived authority.
Rise up church!
It’s time to take on the hands and feet of Jesus. It’s time to stand before the elite, the powerful, the authorities, and demand change. No matter the cost, even if they must crucify us, this is our calling.