LESSONS FROM CHARLOTTESVILLE – “NEW LIFE” BULLETIN
“Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh when will they ever learn?”
(Where have all the flowers gone?)
There is nothing to be learned from the events in Charlottesville. If we didn’t already know what brought this about, it does little good to rehash it.
The face of Charlottesville is the face of our nation, and has been since it’s founding. The racism, bigotry and racial superiority seen there is a reflection of a world-wide culture. There is nothing to learn, just the witnessing of reality.
We can string words together in condemnation of such action, but they do nothing to change the facts. This is America and has been from the beginning. The problem comes when we either deny it or don’t know it.
An interesting moment took place after the events in Charlottesville. The media was interviewing several people concerning their feelings about what had happened. One was a United Church of Christ minister who had been part of the clergy apposed to the KKK, Alt-right, white supremacists etc., Another was a local politician who lamented that this kind of thing could take place in the home of Thomas Jefferson.
After he spoke the minister reminded the viewers that Jefferson believed in white supremacy. (See Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia.) There, Jefferson says blacks are “in reason, much inferior, in imagination, dull, tasteless and anomalous”
He also suggests that males would mate with orangutans.
Racism and white (or European) supremacy, male supremacy etc., has been part of the world century upon century. In fact, it defines history. Every conflict has been based on the assumed rights of one race or culture over the other. So embedded in humanity it is often the minority who will dare say it is evil and morally inexcusable. And even having said it, there can haunt in the nether regions of the soul the idea that it might be so. It’s known as prejudice.
I’ve heard the quotations about how hatred has to be taught, and I agree. However, after the Charlottesville incident, the father of one of the white supremacists announced that he and his family were disowning that son. He went on to say he had no idea where his son came up with those ideas, but they were never part of his family. Other relatives commented that the young man had become “scary” and they wanted nothing to do with him. This is a common response by those who have children who become part of hate organizations. Do we believe the testimony of the family? We have no reason not to. Most of us have seen children of “good” families go bad. It would be easy to say it was the devil. But how is it that the devil finds a way to get in? Children with every reason to become part of such groups that bring terror, don’t. That will, for the time being, remain a mystery.
It would also be easy for the Christian to say it was a lack of teaching about God and Jesus. But the evidence would say otherwise. The resent gathering of supremacists gathered in Seattle to have a prayer meeting. Prayer meetings before Klan rally’s was a common experience.
The burning cross was not an antiChristian symbol, but a symbol that God was on their side. How many of those, Neo Nazis, Ku Klux Klan, White Supremacists (NNKKKWS) in Charlottesville, call themselves Christian is anybodies guess. But there is enough evidence to show that many of them do. The leader of the KKK in Danville says they are a peaceful group who want to protect the supremacy of the white race. He claims Christianity but denies that Jesus was a Jew.
How many openly NNKKKWS sit in churches each Sunday? How many preachers accept their views as “just opinion”? If they do it should not surprise us. Many in Christian churches (CofC included), openly endorsed segregation. Our Christian Colleges were segregated. Northeastern Institute for Christian Education (NICE) in Villanova, Pa. was the first to integrate, in 1959.
Racists were not only accepted in churches, but often were ministers and elders and educational leaders. Racism was not called a sin, but Biblical truth.
How did that change? Mostly grudgingly. Government improvement loans were denied any segregated organization. No blacks, no gymnasium money.
Will Christian ministers refuse membership to NNKKKWS who openly espouse that ideology? Will they ask them to renounce it in the name of Christ? Or will it be viewed as one opinion over and against another. Will it be called sin and evil?
The length of time it took for many Christian churches to call segregation sinful and evil took centuries, and there is still an undercurrent of racism in some churches.
Do I understand how it is easy for a “Christian” to spew prejudicial statements and still feel “Christian.” Yes. Because I also understand how easy it is to be drawn into letting fear and superior feelings find a foothold in me. Regardless, it is still sin and evil.
What bothers and frustrates me is remembering the past. The time when segregation was the norm in many places. When blacks and whites couldn’t legally marry. When black children would not be adopted to a white family, and certainly vice versa. I see all this and the progress made, but I am impatient. I don’t want anyone to suffer discrimination or death while so much time is spent waiting for the minds of people to change. We are always looking back to what used to be that is no longer accepted. Thank God in each period there are those who refused to accept such sin and evil.
Once again the Christian church has a decision to make. It cannot claim to follow Jesus, everyone says that. It will have to maintain its integrity and be known by what it produces. As Jesus said, “by its fruits”.
CONCERNS: Teryn Gaynor’s mother had to stop the cancer treatments for a few weeks. Alisa Flora will have surgery at Duke next month. Tolly Nicklas, Leena Bolin’s cousin. Gary Overstreet had cataract surgery and now can enjoy much better sight. Steve Gaynor’s sister is improving each day. Melisha Scruggs asks prayers for a co-worker named Jeanie, who has a child with serious heath issues. Sheila Jansen and daughter, Amber Weaver. Marjorie Wilson, Melanie Gentry, Wayne Phlegar, Ray & Darnel Barns, Gil Richardson, Jim and Mary Smith and Tim Elder.
OUR DAILY BREAD: AUGUST 21-26
Monday: John 1:1-18
Tuesday: Luke 18:1-4
Wednesday: II Corinthians 1:3-11
Thursday: I Corinthians 5:1-8
II Corinthians 1:23-2:11
Friday: Job 1:13-2:10
Saturday: Psalm 97:1-12
OUR DAILY BREAD: AUG. 28-SEPT 2
Monday: I Timothy 6:11-21
Tuesday: Psalm 119:89-112
Wednesday: Mark 2:15-3:6
Thursday: Acts 8:4-24
Friday: Luke 22:39-53
Saturday: I Corinthians 15:42-48
Former members, Jeff and Karissa Forsyth are the overjoyed parents of a baby boy. His name is Nelson Oaks Forsyth. He was born August 10th.
SOME FAMILY NEWS
Lyn and Susan Jordan have returned from working a week at the Ezell Clinic in Guatemala. We look forward to hearing their experiences soon.
Nick Bolin is back, or soon will be, from an internship with Amazon is Seattle. Mom and dad are on a “working” cruse where Del is lecturing as they travel.
Megan and James Downing are spending a week at the Outer Banks with James’ parents.
Today is Super Sunday. We will have our fellowship meal in the annex following the morning service. If you are a visitor consider yourself our guest.
THE SERVICE TODAY
This third Sunday of the month’s service has been arranged and conducted by Wayne Flora. Our thanks to him for his preparation. It will consist a service of readings and songs.
A family of seven is in need of any kind of furniture. They are involved in a civil suit where a landlord rented them a house he did not own and robbed them of most of what they had. Let Keith know if you have anything you a about to replace.
THE LABOR DAY WEEKEND BAR B QUE
This year’s Bar B Que will be on Saturday, September 2nd. A sing-up list is on the foyer table. While not mentioned as a preference, this year via a gift, we will be smoking some prime rib as well as pork and chicken. Bring food that goes with Bar-B-Que.
We plan to eat about 4:00 PM