Dark Moments Call for Faithful Leaders | Forum for Theological Exploration

Dark Moments Call for Faithful Leaders

By: Stephen Lewis
June 02, 2020

In this dark moment, we need leaders who will guide us in communal rituals of lament and mourning, and help us reckon with the social and systemic effects of racism. We need leaders who demonstrate the moral will to repair the racial, social, and economic breaches that exist between America and the African American community and other communities of color. And we need leaders who will revolutionize America’s values, creeds, and policies in practical ways that work for all of her citizens, especially the disenfranchised and not just the elite and privileged few among us.

The events over the past several days following the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor are the result of anger, grief, and trauma from the injustices and violence Black people have endured for hundreds of years.

Since the birth of the nation, institutional racism has riddled our country and disenfranchised Black and Brown people. What we are witnessing in this cathartic moment is multi-generations of ancestral rage unleashed in the face of a corrupt system and country that denies its Black and Brown citizens equal protection under the law. A corrupt system and country that denies that they too are “created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”1

Still, 1,262 Black people have been shot and killed by law enforcement since January 1, 2015, according to the The Washington Post. “African Americans account for approximately 13 percent of the US population. They are killed by police at more than twice the rate of white Americans.”2 This doesn’t include people killed by other methods. The question is how long will citizens of what we call American democracy allow this to continue? How long will brothers and sisters whose privilege and inherited wealth amassed by generations of killing and exploiting of Black and Brown lives remain complicit in their silence?

While many are shocked and quick to judge protests across the country, rebellions have always been a part of America’s history from its inception. Systemic injustices fan the flames of uprisings and the righteous indignation of people seeking alternatives to business as usual.

In spite of our country’s crisis of leadership, we desperately need empathic, moral leaders in positions of power who will require America to reckon with the sin of her inherent racism and its effects on people of color.

This is why we at FTE do what we do to cultivate faithful, wise, and courageous leaders. Leaders who are captured by a prophetic imagination, motivated to do justice, fueled by empathy, compelled by humility, and emboldened to confront the powers that be by any means necessary to shape a more hopeful future.

In this dark moment, we need leaders who will guide us in communal rituals of lament and mourning, and help us reckon with the social and systemic effects of racism. We need leaders who demonstrate the moral will to repair the racial, social, and economic breaches that exist between America and the African American community and other communities of color. And we need leaders who will revolutionize America’s values, creeds, and policies in practical ways that work for all of her citizens, especially the disenfranchised and not just the elite and privileged few among us.

If we are indeed entangled in an inescapable network of mutuality and collective destiny, and that whatever affects one us, directly and indirectly, affects all us, then Black lives matter. And injustices against Black and Brown life anywhere is a threat to justice and democracy everywhere.

So let us pray. Let us pray that in the days and months ahead of our efforts will not be limited to only writing public statements and social media posts of support and solidarity with people of color. Let us pray that more of us will develop the moral courage to be the catalyst for justice, peace, and love we urgently need. Let us pray that more of us will plan, strategize, organize, and mobilize the vote to remove unjust leaders in our body politics.

Because power will never concede without a revolution and change never happens by only fighting the status quo, let us pray that the flames of Pentecost ignite and sustain a moral uprising against American powers of capitalism, racism, and complicity. Let us change things by building alternatives that make the status quo irrelevant. Let us alternatively build fugitive spaces, sanctuaries, and underground railroads in the face of American imperialism. And let us become the warrior-healers we desperately need now to bring about transformation in our communities, cities, and the nation.

Join FTE in its support of people of goodwill and the next generation of freedom fighters, dreamers, artists, priests, and healers who refuse to accept things as they are and who work to shape a more hopeful future.


1. Declaration of Independence

2. https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/investigations/police-shootings-database/

Tags...: Inside FTE, Thinking Out Loud


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