Last Sunday I was speaking about the dangers of locking ourselves away in our own little Christian world. I’ve heard some call it a “Christian bubble” and that’s as good a term as any. We may feel safe there, and you might argue that we are, but our mission is not safety. Our mission is goodness. Jesus called his followers the salt of the earth, the light of the world. You know the next part, right?
In the tangible darkness of Charlottesville, this point is vitally important. Don’t put the light under the basket.
Another bubble has been growing in our country – the white supremacist bubble. It had been hiding in the shadows for a long time. The KKK still remains an ugly part of our nation’s history (AND present), but with the advent of the internet, these formerly fringe viewpoints have found a fertile ground and those evil seeds are growing. The so-called “Alt-Right” is nothing more than a dangerous bubble of racism, bigotry, and lies. It makes them feel powerful and justified when they take to the streets with torches and combat gear and it leads directly to terrifying acts of violent terrorism.
A white supremacist terrorist attacked a black church, violating sacred space even after he was welcomed into their midst. White supremacist terrorists (or groups) threatened synagogues and mosques and vandalized churches, making them feel unsafe in a land that champions religious freedom. And this weekend in Charlottesville, a white supremacist terrorist rammed a car into a crowd of people and killed an American woman who was standing up for others.
White supremacist terrorism has deep roots in our nation, going back to the institution of slavery, to lynching, to Jim Crow, and myriad other symptoms. But what allows it to grow enough to be so blatant and public is the silence of the majority. The darkness grows when the light refuses to shine, when it hides the light of its truth. As a straight, Anglo, male, Protestant, I condemn the terrorism and evil of racism, bigotry, and hate inherent in white supremacy. It is counter to the principles of my Christian faith, to my God-given moral conscience, and my sense of solidarity with all humankind. The views of white supremacy and superiority have no place in our churches, faith communities, or our society. We should not rest until it is eradicated like the disease that it is.
It’s long past time to take off the basket. It’s time to be light and extinguish this darkness.