Today, I have added my name to this joint statment prepared by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Kentucky:
The events of the past 48 hours leave us wearied and burdened. We grieve yet two more deaths of black men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castille, at the hands of law enforcement officers. We mourn the vicious attack and death of five officers at the hands of vigilantes.
As Christians and ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we are called to seek justice in ways that reconcile black and white. We are called to transcend the divisive rhetoric that seeks to inflame. We are called to declare, “We are one human family.” We are called to stand in solidarity with our black brothers and sisters, to grieve with them, to work with them for a day when peace and justice prevail, when racial violence no longer dominates our headlines, and when beloved community between black and white becomes more than a prophet’s dream. We are also called to stand with law enforcement officials who face the dangerous challenge of trying to keep the peace in a dangerous world and in violent communities.
We acknowledge that our silence is part of the problem that divides our nation. Today we break our silence. Today we no longer close our eyes and shut our ears to the pleas of those who live in constant fear. Today we say to our black brothers and sisters, “You are not alone. We are with you. We will not tolerate racial violence.” We call on community, civic, and religious leaders, black and white, to work tirelessly to solve this national crisis—to hear the growing cries of those who mourn. Today we also say to those in law enforcement, "We hear you when you lament having to face the end result of so many unsolved problems in our society, and we pray that the path to racial reconciliation might lead to safer streets on which you work."
Together, we must find a way to a better world. We must find a way.
May God have mercy. May Christ have mercy. May the Spirit make us One.
Rev. Mark D. Johnson
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