A Message from Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Durham and Vicinity Regarding the Recent Events in Durham
Where do we go from here: Chaos or Community?
We are at a time in our nation’s history when the stench of racial prejudice and bigotry has personified itself. Once again, this disease has shown itself. As people of faith, it is a malady we had hoped had been cured. Sadly, we see now that ugly illness was only in remission.
This week the citizens of Durham took to the streets to show the world that there is no place in our beloved city or anywhere else in the United States of America for hate, bigotry, and racism. In no uncertain terms, they made it known loud and clear that the KKK, Neo-Nazis, and other extremist groups were not welcome in the Bull City.
Our beloved Durham and nation and have been at this place before. This day is not unlike another day in our nation’s (not always bright) history when the poor and the oppressed were being ignored when racist men and women spewed their venom of malice and hatred.
It was at that moment God did what God always does. God moved. He raised out of obscurity a 20th Century prophet the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and caused him to ask a question, “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?” It would later become the title of his last book.
Dr. King would challenge the nation to a moment of decision. He would point out that a moment of crisis is always a moment of decision. King’s question is as relevant now as it was then.
The Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Durham and Vicinity believes that no truer words have ever been spoken.
Where do we go from here? Chaos? Indifference? Silence? The Status Quo? Or do we pursue aggressively the “Beloved Community?” As followers of Jesus Christ, the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Durham and Vicinity, now in its 75th year as an organization, stands in solidarity to say that we will not tolerate racism, intolerance, or injustice!
As ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we have chosen sides. We will not remain neutral. Remaining neutral is not an option. Neutrality empowers the oppressor and victimizes the oppressed. Silence emboldens those who persecute and casts down the persecuted.
People of good will no longer tolerate anyone who desires to honor, celebrate and re-establish a very dark period of American history. For sure, 240 years of slavery is America’s original sin. Much effort has been made to move toward a color-blind society and become the “beloved community” Dr. King envisioned.
As people of faith, we strive to make this “beloved community” a reality, one of freedom and discipline, compassion and passion, united and diverse all bound together by our God’s love.
It is in the spirit and hope for the “beloved community” that The Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Durham and Vicinity calls for the immediate removal of all symbols of the Confederacy that are displayed on government property including our United States Capitol.
We believe that when this is done, we can begin to move from chaos to community.
From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.
Acts 17:26 (NIV)