In the last few days since the events of August 11 and 12 in Charlottesville, Virginia, we have found ourselves horrified by the hate and fear that was on full display by the white supremacists of those events. It was surreal to see people motivated by hate of others and a sense of superiority be armed and organized in public in the 21st century in a country that strives to provide liberty and justice for all and not just for certain groups.
We found ourselves as Christian pastors wondering how to respond to such hate and violence in the way of Jesus. It is easy to succumb to feelings of hate and to our desire to eliminate those who threaten to harm others. But the way of Jesus calls us to nonviolent resistance that holds the possibility for transformation for all.
So we invite you to join us in condemning any ideology or religious claims that promote racism and hate. Any person who says that there is one race that is better than another is in direct defiance of God’s will for diversity and harmony. We also invite you to join us in recommitting ourselves to working for justice and peace in our community in ways that do not turn us into the evils we are trying to resist.
We have to be intentional in our efforts to never fall into the trap of using violence and hate as means to resist them. We will be holding a prayer vigil for peace and justice on Thursday, August 24 6:30 p.m. at the YWCA at 301 North Street in Batavia.
We are grateful that the YWCA will be hosting this event as part of their commitment to eliminate racism. We hope that you will join us to unite our hearts to dedicate our lives once more to the ways of love.