Racism—the United States’ original sin—continues to divide this country, bringing harm to Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC). This stain of hatred beginning in 1492 with the marginalization of Native Americans and the enslavement of African Americans is being carried out today by social injustices against BIPOC, including mass incarceration and the murder of unarmed African Americans.
The hate of others is against God’s will and God’s plan, causes division within the body of Christ, and hurts the greater good of God’s people. Because of perceived differences and unwillingness to learn about others, individuals or groups perpetuate violence towards others in the name of racial or religious identity. This domestic terrorism towards marginalized groups – who cannot live peaceably because of organized terrorism – may even include the police. We witness atrocities over and over, yet many are desensitized to the inhumane treatment of fellow human beings or feel such actions are justified.
In response, we, the Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley, resolve to dismantle the racism that destroys our human community. We denounce hate of any kind. We stand with our brothers and sisters in their right to equality, liberty, and justice in their daily lives. We will be silent no more and refuse to be complacent and complicit in the injustices encountered by those who are different from us. We refuse to accept the killings of unarmed African Americans; we refuse to accept the violence against Asian Americans; and we refuse to accept the marginalization of Native Americans. We proclaim that social injustices against these marginalized groups, which keep them from flourishing, have no place in our church and society.
As a community of faith that professes to seek love, we, the Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley of the Presbyterian Church USA, stand today to renounce this cancerous form of hatred we call racism. We call on every individual and each congregation to engage in the critical work of dismantling racism as a demonstration of God’s love in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Note: Domestic Terrorism: Violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups to further ideological goals stemming from domestic influences, such as those of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature. https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/terrorism