Former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu recently said that the only reason Colin Powell endorsed President Barack Obama was because they were of the same racial group. Not because of merit; it was solely because of race.
One is left to wonder if this works in reverse for white evangelical Christians that had long defined Mormonism as a cult. Today, however, they are ignoring that core theological belief in order to vote for Gov. Mitt Romney. As one of my colleagues at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, Dr. James Evans, observed at the inaugural symposium “Race, Religion and Politics” earlier this month: “Race seems to trump religion so far as the white evangelical vote is concerned.”
I wonder what Sununu has to say about that. Powell gave a list of reasons for his support that had to do with competence and not color. How sad we keep getting drawn back into this racial narrative; as least so far as the black candidate is concerned.
Pres. McMickle gave a sermon at today’s All School Worship, where he explored the theology of Rev. John Jaspers, a 19th century preacher who grew up in slavery (1812-1901). He is best known for his historic sermon “De Sun Do Move.
The service today was presented by the Black Student Caucus at CRCDS. A focus of the event was sankofa, which means: “We must go back and reclaim out past so we can move forward; so we understand why and how we came to be who are today.” The term is used among the Asante people of Ghana.
On July 9, a letter to the editor by President Marvin A. McMickle was published entitled “Black community must rally to subdue violence.” (Read it here.) Pres. McMickle sent this to the CRCDS community, inviting them to share their views and ideas on how the School might address this pressing issue. Below are excerpts from some of the responses he received.
“The American Baptist Home Mission Society partnered with the Hyde Park Union Church to help create the Urban Dolorosa. This is the end result of a vision by the Rev. Susan B. W. Johnson, pastor of that church in Chicago. I believe that the Hill could become the venue for a similar seminary / church partnership.” –Rev. Aidsand F. Wright-Riggins III, D.Min, Board of Trustees Member, CRCDS
“God bless you in your prophetic ministry in Rochester. I would be pleased to collaborate with you in any way, and a sister-city response to violence would be an incredible blessing to everyone. With humility, I find that for every step I take into the violence in Chicago I am blessed a thousand times by the goodness of people who are all but buried beneath it. For me, this work is about reaching survivors, and it is also about the very integrity of the church.” –Rev. Susan B. W. Johnson, Pastor of Hyde Park Union Church, Chicago, IL / Founder of Urban Dolorosa
“Might the Hill be a safe and neutral place to bring clergy, city police and elected officials, school board and community leaders to discuss actions that can be taken? [...] The issue of violence and guns has been called a public health issue, might that be an approach and then the focus could change to hospitals, emergency rooms, community health centers, clinics, etc.?”–Barbara Moore (CRDS, ’89), RSM, Director of the Program for the Study of Women & Gender in Church and Society
“An idea would be to establish some sort of community outreach program that is run by CRCDS students offering counseling, prayer, street ministry, etc. Not only will it help to curb violent activity, but it will also establish a relationship between CRCDS and the community. This endeavor would require a lot of time, work, and a sustained commitment by the School, but it would prove beneficial in the long run.”–Krystal Cunningham, Staff Member, CRCDS
We invite you to share your thoughts and experiences on how CRCDS could take an active role in addressing the critical issue of violence within communities local to us, and to join networks to support initiatives in other places.