I am blessed to be in ministry with lay and clergy who pray for me and love God and neighbor. I remain an ambassador for hope and love deeply rooted in the example and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
However, I am so tired of being tired, tired of being angry at the abuse of humanity and the toxic, distorted ideology that dares to provide an explanation for hatred and violence.
The recent murder of Black shoppers in Buffalo is repugnant and revealing in the truth that white supremacy hatred has been marketed with various versions of replacement theory. There are theories that Jews, immigrants, the government, African Americans, and Asians are trying to replace white Christian Americans.
There is no creative energy or moral courage to address this bizarre theory because so much effort has been expended to create laws and renounce critical race theory. A healthy Christology would free us from poisoned racist ideologies rooted in fear and ignorance.
I have no understanding of why automatic weapons, body armor, and racist manifestos are easier to get than baby formula right now. I suspect we will blame a few individuals while we lament our inability to agree on a more excellent way to live as human beings with respect for one another.
In a recent conversation with a colleague and friend, the subject of antiracism was discussed. He shared a common and sometimes compelling perspective on why some people are turned off by the term and the invitation to become anti-racist.
“If we approach this challenge from a more positive approach, as in working toward common respect and celebration of all people, then United Methodists in Indiana would see this work as part of their faithful discipleship,” he said. Maybe my colleague is right. But our silence in the face of racial and ethnic hatred is wrong. Dead Wrong.
I am going to keep doing antiracism work and pray that I am on the right side of history. I will keep working with those who will join in the work of building bridges in pursuit of beloved community. I aim to be pleasing to Christ and honor and respect all lives. The Bible is not ambiguous. “Thou shall not kill.”
Bishop Julius C. Trimble
Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church