A Statement from Bishop Eaton on Racial Injustice
“But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5:24).
The last 16 days have been a microcosm of the original sins of racism and white supremacy in the United States. This has included the trial of Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd; the extrajudicial killings of Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Park, Minn., and Adam Toledo in Chicago; the lack of justice for Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis.; and the release of the body cam video of the abuse of Lt. Caron Nazario in Norfolk, Va.
As an anti-racist church that condemns white supremacy, we acknowledge how these injustices are traumatizing to Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) and call on God’s comforting love. We join in lament over the lost lives of Daunte and Adam and in the cry for justice. We recognize that “rooted in slavery, racism is manifested through the history of Jim Crow policies, racial segregation, the terror of lynching, extrajudicial killings by law enforcement, and the disproportionate incarceration of people of color” (“Declaration of the ELCA to People of African Descent,” page 2).
As we await the verdict in the Chauvin trial, we pray for justice, we cry out as in Amos 5:24: “But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” We call for reforms to this and any institutionally racist system. We also encourage you to join Campaign Zero, a 10-point policy platform created by the #BlackLivesMatter movement to address and improve relationships between local law enforcement and the communities in which they serve, at joincampaignzero.org and to learn more about ELCA resources at elca.org/blacklivesmatter.
The 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly adopted a resolution condemning white supremacy [CA19.04.18]. ELCA members can join the efforts to end racism by participating in the ELCA Anti-Racism Pledge here.
We join other Christians in condemning these injustices. Read more at nationalcouncilofchurches.us/topics/statements/.
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
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