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We Must Not Forget

Updated: Feb 29

"Man was born into barbarism when killing his fellow man was a normal condition of existence." Quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's book, "Why We Can't Wait" 1964

Our history is important. We must remember our collective past as Americans if we are to make progress toward a more perfect union; one centered on God, His commands and promises. As much as we would like to forget the painful aspects of this country's history, we must not forget.

Forgetting allows for repetition of evil behavior. Remembering gives our behavior context and allows us, as a nation, to set a moral compass focused on what is truly right and wrong. With the right intention, this knowledge can lead and guide us to a future of true institutional and societal equality.

In that spirit, let us go backwards to see our past mistakes so that we can move forward in honesty and integrity. For a long long time in America, it was perfectly legal for church-going, law-abiding white citizens to buy, sell, trade, barter and will away black human beings. This right was intended to extend into perpetuity and might still be in place if not for a God that is faithful and answers prayer.

Wealthy and landed whites could simply put pen to paper and legally determine the lifetime fate of the black people who cooked their food, raised their livestock, worked their fields, built their homes and businesses, ran their errands, wet nursed and played with their children and raised them. Poor white children understood that they had the right to disrespect a black person no matter their age or gender even if they did not have the financial means to own them. They also knew that, as adults, they would always be called upon to enforce any laws set in place by the wealthy to keep black people in their place of subservience.

White pastors, deacons and lay leaders who read and interpreted the bible, much as now, were able to justify the degradation of black people in the name of right standing Christianity; and they did so with absolute moral certitude. It was common for a well- respected pillar of the community to attend his upright segregated church on Sunday, come home and eat a dinner made by his trusted black cook, go to bed and the next day, sell that cooks' infant off to a stranger if she displeased him in some way or, if he simply thought the sale was in his best financial interest.

Let us be clear; this behavior, backed by it's unjust moral code and conveniently binding and unrighteous laws went on for hundreds of years here in America.

We must not forget our history. We must not forget that what happened in America degraded everyone. And it is that universal demeaning of humanity which calls to us in this present moment to confront our history. Here's why:

Because of our looooong standing disrespect for human kind and personhood, (all while professing Christian values) , we have allowed ourselves to become a nation that freely and lawfully kills children who are "imago dei" or made in God's image. We have legally sanctioned murdering children up to and including their estimated date of birth. Make no mistake; this behavior is not new towards black people, it is simply universally available now to every citizen.

One chilling recent example: A medical student in Wisconsin recently testified before a legislative body that she deserved the right to be taught how to kill a child in the womb up until his or her estimated date of delivery (click here for her testimony). The student stated that not only was she not alone among her peers in her stance on this issue but that she would leave the state if not given the necessary instruction in how to butcher a child in the womb.

(Go to to educate yourself on various abortion methods). When you see her calm demeanor and hear her measured tone, you will probably be appalled at her sense of entitlement. When you look at her you will realize that she could be your daughter. Your blood runs cold as you recognize that as a future healer, she feels entitled to learn from other healers how to exterminate children. You think to yourself, "where on earth could she have gotten this idea?" And then you remember our history and, in context, it all makes sense in a queasy kind of way. This future doctor feels she has the "right" to control the fate of people who have no ability to speak for themselves.

We think these callous attitudes towards life started with recent legislation. Not true. This country was founded on a notion that it is possible to be both legally right and morally corrupt towards people deamed "less than."

That is not what God intended for this country.

Attitudes that dismiss the inherent rights of a person to be recognized as a person start in the heart of a nation; and its laws reflect the heart posture of that same nation and not the God it professes to trust.

When we forget history, we doom ourselves to perpetually repeat the sins that marred this country for decade after decade after decade. From the de-humanization of the indigenous people (which included forced sterilizations well into the 1970's. Click here to learn more) to the enslavement of the eastern European and the African to the mutilation and murder of the unborn.

If we don't stop to humble ourselves, turn from the legally sanctioned wickedness and seek God with our whole repentant heart, what people group, pray tell, will be next on the hit list?

For further insights, I suggest reading, "Why We Can't Wait" by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. which includes "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" written while in prison in Birmingham, Alabama for peacefully protesting injustice.

Song: "Heal Our Land/ Come & Move" by Maverick City Music featuring Joe L. Barnes & Maryanne J. George.

In this fight together, Sylvia

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2 comentarios

The February post is a profound connecting of the dots of history.

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What a powerful and on time message. I sometimes marval at the lengths a person will go to do evil and believe they have the right to do such horrors. And yet I hear and see the atrocities each day. Please, Lord, help us.

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