On June 1, President Trump ordered Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C., to be cleared in order to take a picture with a Bible in front of St John’s Church. The Rev. Gini Gerbasi, a rector in the Episcopal Church, recorded the events firsthand: “Suddenly, around 6:30, there was more tear gas, more concussion grenades… The police in their riot gear were literally walking onto the St. John’s, Lafayette Square patio with these metal shields, pushing people off the patio and driving them back.” This was 30 minutes before the 7 p.m. curfew.
Such behavior is a betrayal of our First Amendment and a betrayal to everything our Lord teaches us in the Bible, which our president waved around for photographs.
Inasmuch as this moment taught me the deep pain of seeing someone like me (clergy) have their rights abused and ignored, I have the smallest understanding of the experience of black Americans watching as they have seen someone like them murdered. Their pain runs far deeper and is longer-lasting than any I will ever know.
The Bible teaches us to “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed” (Isaiah 1:17a). As justice comes from God, as God’s law is written on the hearts of every Gospel-believing Christian by the Holy Spirit, I enjoin those who claim the name of Jesus to act in the name of Jesus for the cause of justice on behalf of people of color and in defense of our Constitution.
The Rev. Benjamin Marsh
Pastor, First Alliance Church
Frequent articles and letters in this paper about the worsening pandemic, job losses and the lack of a well-functioning political system are a wake-up call for new leadership. Dedication, knowledge and commitment make Terri LeGrand the clear choice for N.C. Senate District 31.
Terri co-founded Piedmont Earth Day Fair and Piedmont Environmental Alliance and uses her extensive world-class training to strongly advocate for clean air and water. This includes making professional presentations throughout the Triad on combating climate change. Terri is a person who walks the walk without fanfare. For example, when she contributes food, and feeds the homeless, it is inspiring to see her sit down with these guests and deeply listen to their stories.
Terri arduously works for what is fair and good for the community as a whole. For example, she is a strong advocate for school teachers and all aspects of education, including disadvantaged children’s needs. She would fight for all students to get the direction and training to flourish and for all teachers to get the respect and the pay they deserve.
Also, Terri is deeply concerned about the health and safety of all North Carolinians and would strive for improved access to better health care, as well as protection for all.
In summary, Terri would work for the needs of all North Carolinians.
Two other complementary and excellent candidates running in other local races are: Elizabeth Motsinger for N.C. House District 75 and Dan Besse for N.C. House District 74.
Better than this
The American Heritage Dictionary defines racism as “The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.” The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis was racism, plus insane hatred, done by the Chief Devil and his cohorts.
The Good Book says that Satan is “as a roaring lion, going to and fro, seeking whom he can devour” — divide, steal, kill and destroy. Did the bad white policeman not destroy a person’s life over a misdemeanor? Floyd had no weapon, was hand-bound, in distress, saying over and over that he couldn’t breathe.
Areas of law in any city that allow and do not punish their officers for such behavior represent and serve Satan and his followers. Wrongdoers, no matter what race, will continue this as long as they get just a casual slap on the wrist. Don’t we all want our nation to be better than this?
The front page above-the-fold photo of the June 1 Journal (“Protests Grow”) was riveting in its intensity. It captured perfectly the anger, the frustration and the anguish of the participants in the Black Lives Matter protest — emotions that so many of us are experiencing in the aftermath of the brutal murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
My admiration goes out to Olivia Moore, the 16-year-old high school student who is pictured lying face-down on the street in the photo, for organizing this demonstration. And kudos to your photographer, Andrew Dye, for capturing that moving moment on film. The photo is worthy of a major photojournalism award.
Ernest J. Lunsford
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