Thank you for your comments regarding the challenge we continue to face in America related to racism and injustice. You were on the mark, and you spoke a difficult truth clearly.
I want so much for our Baptist people to be leaders in Christian compassion and attitudes wherever they are—at work, in school, in social settings, in our homes, and, even, in our churches. Many are, but many of us continue to shape our racial attitudes by our raising and our culture, rather than by the clear teaching and example of our Lord.
I believe what you have written will cause many of us to watch what we say more carefully, look for ways to build bridges to people of other races, and, perhaps, begin to understand that if we want peace in our communities, we must work for justice at every level of our society.
My wife was a great school teacher. She had but one rule in her classes: “Be kind to one another, whether you want to be or not!” Not a bad idea for all of us.
Charles R. Wade
Work and pray to end racism
Your editorial on race is correct. We were particularly struck by your statement concerning racism: “Just pay attention to how people talk. You don’t have to listen long to hear people indict themselves.”
We have been grieved over the racist remarks made by fellow professing Christians in church groups of which we’ve been a part—even sometimes from the leaders. Likewise, we’ve been appalled by forwarded emails we’ve received that were blatantly racist, having nothing to do with political positions.
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For instance, soon after President Obama was elected, we received this email (mailed to everyone in the sender’s Bible study group, plus others), “We just received our new government subsidy package—it was watermelon seeds and chitlins.” The sender was a deacon at his church. These fellow Christians adamantly deny they are racist. We are no longer on these email lists, so we don’t know what’s currently circulating.
Our sin is in remaining silent too often, being too fearful of offending people, some who have been longtime friends. We are saddened by the racial divide in our nation, and we realize this multi-layered problem has intensified through decades. We don’t know the solution.
Columns such as yours, calling us to examine our own hearts, are a beginning. Christians, both white and people of color, must begin to pray for God’s guidance, and we must listen to each other. Certainly, we must work in whatever ways possible to help create a fair justice system, something sadly lacking today.
Zack & Nancy Pannell
Congratulations on CLC selection
Congratulations to the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission and Executive Director Gus Reyes for a great future with the CLC’s new director of public policy, Kathryn Freeman.
Thanks to the family of support from Pastor Joe Parker and the congregational leadership of David Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. What a partnership of justice, mercy and love with Austin CLC staff, Ferrell Foster and Julie Valentine.