Read Time: 4 minutes
In the span of just a few weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic was suddenly overshadowed, and our nation’s attention shifted to an issue all too familiar in our country: racism.
Whether you look at slavery at the time of the original colonies, the Civil War of the 1860’s, or the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s, racism has been a consistent struggle throughout American history.
Unfortunately, our nation continues to struggle with it today. Following the deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 and Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta only a few days ago, racial unrest has boiled over across America with protest and riots in major cities. We have seen resignations and indictments of local law enforcement officers. There is even movement in Washington, where our nation’s leaders are wrestling with policy solutions and searching for common ground.
I believe that real social change can happen when our society recognizes what is at the core of the issue – human dignity. And a proper view of human dignity can only be found in the Gospel and in God.
Every human being is made in the image of God, and therefore, has extraordinary intrinsic dignity – or worth and value – that comes from God. Every human has this intrinsic dignity, regardless of born or preborn, race, color, creed, religion, background, occupation, socio-economic status, or age. Genuine human dignity can’t be given by any individual or group of people, and it can’t be taken away by any individual or group of people.
Despite this, many in our culture fail to recognize or acknowledge the dignity of some groups of human beings. This failure plays out in the form of persistent injustices in our society, such as racism, hate, discrimination and, in its most fatal form, abortion.
That’s why, amid the constant headlines and national conversation, we must ask ourselves: how should we, as life-affirming, committed Christians, appropriately respond to injustice and violations of human dignity? How should the church and society productively address these issues, and how can we move forward?
First and foremost, we must turn to Biblical truths as a guide in our actions.
The Bible makes it clear that God’s Kingdom is not reserved for only certain populations of people. In the book of Revelation, John sees the Kingdom as “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language” (Revelation 7:9).
Furthermore, Proverbs 24:11, says “rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.”
Our calling in this verse is clear. We have a responsibility to rescue all human life.
As such, we cannot stand by and ignore injustices like racism against African Americans. We need to speak out against violations of human dignity and stand with those who are peacefully calling for justice. We need to recognize that, at particular points in history, certain people groups suffer more than others, and we should pay particular attention to assist and elevate those groups. We must work in all spheres of influence to not only speak the love of God, but to show the love of God.
In addition to adhering to Biblical guidance, we also must actively participate and lead in the national conversation taking place on racism, and direct this conversation to the underlying issue of human dignity.
Recently, Dean Nelson, the Executive Director of Human Coalition Action, had this opportunity in a meeting at the White House with Vice President Mike Pence on race and inequality. Vice President Pence affirmed our belief that racism is an assault against human dignity, and that we must move forward in a productive manner together.
But it’s not just the conversations with elected officials that can make a difference. The conversations we have in our communities, churches, and homes are vital. Social change can only occur in the heart, one person at a time. And so, it can happen through simple conversations around the kitchen table, in the workplace, or in the church. It can happen through seeing one another as human beings and treating everyone with dignity and respect. Let’s recognize that every human being is a divine work of art, worthy of respect, honor, and esteem.
Over the coming weeks and months, the conversations will and must continue, and Human Coalition is committed to leading in the communities we serve.
Most importantly, we are committed to standing for the dignity of all human life for all generations. It is our honor in Christ to do so.
Thanks for standing with us –