World events are rarely so clear as they were this past weekend. The violence and hatred expressed and experienced in Charlottesville reminds us that evil exists. We must name evil, condemn it, and dedicate ourselves to the great source of goodness that will always triumph over it.
As we watch the news or talk with family, neighbors, and friends, let us remember that everyone is more than the worst thing they ever do. Human beings are complex and messy.
And still, we remember the stain upon our nation from the sin of slavery and its legacy of racism. After Emancipation came Reconstruction, Jim Crow and Mass Incarceration, The KKK, The Civil Rights Act, Brown v. the Board of Education, the election of an African-American to the Presidency, and now, White Supremacists in Emancipation Park at the footsteps of a university founded by the slave holding author of the Declaration of Independence.
History is messy and the way forward not always clear.
As your pastor, I am asking you to do something very difficult: To hold onto the complexity of life and honor the humanity of those who have done terrible things while also condemning evil for what it is.
And let us dedicate ourselves anew to working to end racism and oppression in all its forms.