“Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.” Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We are deeply troubled by the hatred and violence thinly cloaked by American rights of free speech and freedom of assembly. We call for an end to this perversion of justice and power that perpetuates terror, racism, and intimidation which is antithetical to the gospel and to the American vision of freedom and justice for all.
Free speech and the ability to protest, while the right of every American, should not be used to terrorize, intimidate, or incite violence. As Christians and United Methodists we believe in the right of all people to thrive as individuals undergirded by a society of laws rooted in our common humanity, our common good, in short – in the love and justice of God.
Dr. King stated, “justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.”
As monuments to America’s sinfully corrupt history of slavery come down across the south, let us not revel in this superficial progress without acknowledging the deep hatred and bigotry rising to resist and defeat the demands of love and justice. Surely the hatred of neo-Nazis, fascists, and white supremacists that we are seeing in Virginia, New Orleans, and cities across this country have no place in this or any other society.
We call on all United Methodists, indeed all people of faith and good conscience, to join in the spirit of our common humanity to be people of power rooted in love and to put that love into action in every community, to stand as allies for justice, neither sentimental nor anemic but resolute in the knowledge that all people are created equal.
Photo credit: Carol Guzy