Believers Must Respond With Prayer And Action To Help Heal A Wounded Nation | Opinion
The anarchy that erupted in the streets of Washington DC and in particular on the United States Capitol yesterday January 6 is a dark stain in our nation’s history.
When people defend their leaders or their political goals, there is never a justification for committing acts of violence. The deep divisions in our nation right now are traumatizing tens of millions of people. As people of faith, we must provide the necessary response through prayer and action, necessary to heal a wounded nation. The events at the United States Capitol have claimed lives. Is there no balm in Gilead?
In his “Letter from Birmingham Prison, Dr Martin Luther King Jr. wrote:
“In a real sense, all life is interdependent. All men (women) are caught in an inevitable web of reciprocity, bound in one garment of fate.
Our destiny as Americans is not separate from the rest of the world; in fact, we are simply a part of the human tapestry of God in which the lives and experiences of all are sacred. Dr. King also stated in this seminal letter, written to the clergy of Alabama, “whatever directly affects one, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I should be until you are what you should be, and you can never be what you should be until I am what I should be.
As a nation we can never be all that we are called to be unless we are willing to live the credo that all men and women are created equal and that we are “endowed with certain rights.” inalienable, foremost among which is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. “
Our call forces us to speak the truth to power, galvanize a movement for justice, and challenge our nation and its leaders to pursue the nature of our best angels.
January 6 was not our best day as a nation, but my prayer is that today and the next day we all rise to the challenge of creating a beloved community.
On behalf of the Pennsylvania Council of Churches and its member churches, I side with justice and peace. Violence is never an answer in resolving our disputes. Aristotle was right to say that we are social beings. In our associations, however, we must learn the importance of mutual respect and the affirmation of the dignity of all people.
The Reverend Dr Larry Pickens is Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Council of Churches.