Faith Witness in Charlottesville

Posted: August 16, 2017 in Uncategorized

“Moral Inversion” is the way that evil deflects truth-telling so that it will not be exposed.  It does so by claiming that up is down, white is black, true is untrue and untrue is true. Most often evil distracts by blaming others.  Recently in events and language surrounding Charlottesville evil deflected attention from the cancer of the KKK, Nazis and White Supremists by charging that the crowd protesting that evil was really the problem. “Poor, poor white supremists – how persecuted they are!” Moral inversion is also accomplished by creating false equivalencies: “There are really two sides to this issue, good and bad are on both sides. You’ve got Hitler and his truth and Ghandi and his. It’s all a matter of how you view it.”

The corrective to attempts at moral inversion is direct truth telling by trusted eye witnesses. In Charlottesville clergy gathered to provide flesh and blood presence and witness, a faithful opposition to the subculture of hate and racism in our society. One of our Disciples of Christ ministers, Jeff Moore of Webster Groves Christian Church in St. Louis, was there and one of those witnesses. I share his eye witness, first person account at the fateful rally:

“Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, By now you have heard news and seen images of the chaos in Charlottesville as white supremacists brought their hatred and violence to threaten the people there. I was present, along with many interfaith clergy, students, and concerned citizens, and saw first hand the ways in which armed neo nazis and neo fascists attempted to intimidate people of color, lgbtqi people, and the entire city.

The good news is that the people of Charlottesville were not intimidated, and, as we clergy sang and chanted as we protected people and held the street – “love has already won.” We clergy were present to provide a prayerful witness against this hatred and to speak and demonstrate God’s love for all. We were also on hand to aid first responders and help calm and move the crowd as more than a dozen people were injured and one woman died as the result of a hate-filled hit and run into a crowd. Two people also lost their lives in a helicopter crash late Saturday afternoon.

I saw hundreds of people stand for love and peace – offering food, water, medical care, and supportive presence. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to call out and resist injustice, and to love courageously and compassionately because God infinitely loves us and all people. We must continue to speak and act for the dignity and liberation of all those who have been targeted by racist, homophobic, fear-filled evil. What happens in Charlottesville, and in all places, matters to us as people of faith because, as Martin Luther King, Jr. has said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Please continue to keep the people of Charlottesville in your thoughts and prayers as they care for one another and continue to actively resist those who would spread hate and violence.”

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