Kingdom Association of Convenant Pastors

I have waited until today to send this note to all of our KACP and churches concerning the horrors we witnessed last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia and the response to such actions by the leaders of the free world. I have concluded that the final withdrawals were made this week from the moral bank of America. It is now insolvent. For some years now we have watched great withdrawals being made without any deposits of righteousness and fairness to replace them. We witnessed the horror of Katrina and the near collapse of the financial system with blame being placed on the shoulders of poor people and people of color. This week we saw the ageless face of racism and white supremacy seizing control of our nations consciousness as it was given moral standing by a sitting president. The failure to call such ideas reprehensible makes the words of Maya Angelou stand out, “when someone tells you who they are, believe them.”

Yet he is not the only one telling us who he is. Business leaders rose to tell us they are not in that camp. Yet the voices of those who sit on his Evangelical Council have not found a voice with which to cry aloud and spare not. They have showed us who they are by their silence and continued association. Many who have been sent to Washington and now control the three branches of government have spoken with despair about the comments but have refused to demand a change in both pronouncements and the policies. I have been heartened by those voices willing to cry against evil and speak against such moral comparisons. God is opening our eyes to the perils of the times. We have to believe people when they tell us who they are.

What then does this mean for us? We cannot be sidetracked into discussions about monuments; it is not about that. Robert E. Lee spoke to these venerable monuments in a letter to a friend, “My conviction is,” Lee wrote, “that however grateful it would be to the feelings of the South, the attempt in the present condition of the Country, would have the effect of retarding, instead of accelerating its accomplishment; & of continuing, if not adding to, the difficulties under which the Southern people labor.” It is about a return to an America where all men are not created equal and where people of color are marginalized back into oppression. This is not the time to mute our voices and just listen. We must join the conversation and assert that not everyone will allow this to happen. We must stand up. Do I think we are in peril? Absolutely! The American model that evolved in its thinking is like an experiment that a scientist no longer wants to continue. The actions of this government seem to say this loud and clear. It is time for us to rise up candidates and to push them into doing their civic responsibility. We need new leadership.

Last weekend a young woman died as a result of hatred and indifference. The response has been strange, but not unanticipated. Our hearts grieve for all those hurt both in body and in spirit but we thank them for exposing the underbelly of our nation. May we find that the disease has not overwhelmed the body system of our nation and may we trust that God still has our back and still with us.

This week we saw the ugly stance of ageless hatred taking control of our consciousness and even religious leaders who associated with this movement even tangentially have found themselves important and co-opted to the same spirit they once denounced…at least publicly.

Bishop Walter S. Thomas, Sr. 
Presiding Prelate


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