Tag Archives: justice

By muralist Judy Baca

Ten Days Into the New Year: Defying Injustice, Speaking Truth

By the second Sunday of a “new” year, exactly 10 days in, we are haunted by headlines of last year.  The forces of evil –and if you do not like that term, “evil,” then you are pressed to come up with some other term that captures the depravity of the human race and its nations roiling in war and terrorism–as I was saying, the forces of evil have marched into the new year, trampling the confetti and ribbons of our New Year’s celebrations underfoot.

What are we to do? What am I to do?  The purveyors of violence have bought politicians; guns flood our streets; governmental and police response to perpetrators of violence is predicated on race or ethnicity; our cities implode; riding on the metro is not just a consideration about timeliness but one’s safety.  Who are we?  Who am I?

Perhaps the first pair of questions–rotated around the question of action–can only be answered by answering that second pair of questions–which rotate around identity and self-awareness.

Here is how we describe ourselves at Riverside Baptist Church, declaring at the close of our communion Sundays:  we are a table fellowship, a covenant people, a welcoming table; we are a people loved by Christ and are in turn sent into the world to love the world, heal it, repair it and redeem it.  When the question of identity is answered that way, then it becomes imperative that we treat others not only as we ourselves wish to be treated, but as Christ has loved us. By this power, the world can be transformed. Gandhi called this satyagraha or truth force.  King created a non-violent movement that was founded on this idea.  What are we to do? What am I to do?  Resist for the truth, defy injustice, speak up for lovingly regarding others as fully human.  And you might consider joining us in worship where every week, we remind one another about who we are and Whose we are.  ~ See you Sunday

*Pastor Bledsoe’s sermon title for this Sunday is, myCloud (of witnesses)

Order the Flags at Half Staff, Mr. President


Order the flags at half-staff, Mr. President. Not just for Sam DuBose, executed by a University of Cincinnati police officer and then supported in lies by fellow officers, but for our nation. We are lost.

Even when an officer’s body camera shows us his execution of an unarmed Black man, an entire chorus of White folk rush to defend the murderer.  Perhaps this is simply the real world where governments arm agents who in turn kill citizens and then pronounce in Orwellian-speak their lies for why they had to do it.  Okay.  So we have a government and tens of thousands of local governments that arm their deputies and a substantial number of White Americans will never indict or convict an officer who claims to murder in the name of God, safety and country.  Wickedness is pervasive.  But Christians and other persons of faith and good will ought to raise their voices in times like these and demand an account and justice.  This too is apparently too much to ask or conceive as a possibility.  At least quit singing “God bless America” at your stadiums.

Guns are a scourge in this nation. Wielded by officers, brigands, gang members and children who find them unlocked in their parent’s bedroom, we are reaping a whirlwind.  It is particularly heinous, however, when an agent of the government charged with keeping the peace and protecting all of us, murders a citizen.  African-American men are 21 times more likely to lose their lives at the hands of police than their white counterparts, according to Attorney and President of the NAACP, Cornell William Brooks.  I pray that the Church might find its voice and say “enough.”    Let us say then and not tire of saying it, Justice!  Justice for Sam Dubose.  

Shame, shame, shame on the complicit, the silent and the perpetrators.