If you are preaching tomorrow, you have to talk about this verdict. Not doing so is ministerial misconduct.
The parable of the Good Samaritan teaches us how we ought to view the stranger: as neighbors deserving of our love for God’s love already reigns over them. It teaches us what our first instinct should be when we encounter the stranger: love and compassion not fear. It teaches us that our response to cruelty and injustice should be blind, abundant compassion.
Justo González comments, “Jesus’ final injunction to the lawyer, ‘Go and do likewise,’ does not simply mean, go and act in love to your neighbor, but rather, go and become a neighbor to those in need, no matter how alien they may be.”
It’s the burden of the calling of God to preach the good news to speak prophetically in moments like these; we can’t pretend from the pulpit that the world is not pressing on our hearts in many and various ways.
- Rev. Dr. Eric Barreto, professor of New Testament at Luther Seminary
In his first lengthy TV interview since killing Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman initially said Wednesday night that he did not regret anything that happened that night.
“I feel like it was all God’s plan,” he told conservative talk show host Sean Hannity on Fox News.
Near the end of the interview, he backtracked, saying he would tell the teen’s parents, “I’m sorry,” and that he would be open to talking to them about what happened.
“I can’t imagine what it must feel like. And I pray for them daily,” Zimmerman said.
The teenager’s father, Tracy Martin, said later in a telephone interview with the Associated Press: “We must worship a different God. There is no way that my God wanted George Zimmerman to murder my teenage son.”
LA Times, “Zimmerman says he’s sorry, but Trayvon Martin’s shooting was ‘God’s plan’”
I am absolutely horrified by this. I think Jesus would have some words for you, Zimmerman, and they would not be nice ones.
I hope the prison chaplain has met and will continue to meet with George, because no matter what happened that night, “it was all God’s plan” betrays a seriously un-Christian view of God. Zimmerman needs some serious pastoral care, and a good hard look at the image of God he’s willing to call on.
I’ve observed an American evangelical phenomenon: let’s go care for the the poor black souls in the country of Africa (yes, I wrote that on purpose), let’s do little mission trips (you know, the touristy kind) to make us feel good about all we have while we get rid of our cast-off clothing, let’s post our facebook pictures with the little nameless black mascot, er, baby from said country…but still clutch our purses when a “suspicious” young man crosses our path with Skittles and iced tea, avoid eye contact at all costs, and remain silent at neighborhood injustices that may blur the thick red line of our politics.
It’s suspect to me that some in our community create an organized, trendy outcry to injustice abroad and turn a blind eye, or worse, deny, the injustice at home. And having been profiled, snubbed and belittled too many times by good Christian people because of how God created me, I’m sick of being polite. For my son’s sake, I must speak out.
Jesus was profiled by some good, law abiding Pharisees. Judged as a criminal, he was unjustly accused and tried, and the good people hung him from a tree.
Sharifa Stevens, “Why I Fear ‘Good’ People: Trayvon Martin and Kony 2012”
My son, you will die. You will perish at the hands of those who fear you. Your death will be likened to a hunting accident. The best you can hope for is that it is not your body that dies, only your spirit, as has been the case with me, your father. When you are older, you will know that you were never meant to be a man. Your very existence, your lifespan and quality of life, are indeed not determined by a heavenly Father, but by the complex societal trappings that deem you, somehow, to be faulty, potentially dangerous, and ill-equipped to exist on equal footing. My son, how could you ever be a man? My prayer for you is that you will grow to adulthood and you will have a family of your own, but know that even in adulthood (should you ever make it there) manhood is a plateau upon which you will never stand.
Let’s be honest, Trayvon Martin was a tribute. He was from one of the lesser districts. If he were from the Capitol, he would have been white, would have dressed differently and his killer most certainly would have been arrested. He certainly wasn’t supposed to be in the district he was killed in and that what’s happens in the games. Kids from his district die. The career youth from our capital districts win, that’s the way it is. Trayvons don’t. Women don’t. When they do it is an exception. Hope to keep the masses happy.
Katniss Everdeens are rare exceptions and when they show up, revolution usually follows at their heels. You could almost see the 99% pin on her chest instead of the mockingjay. Make no mistake, the Occupy movement has shown us popular unrest that does come before revolution.