Editor’s Note: On May 27, 2020, the Central States Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church issued a statement regarding the death of George Floyd. The statement is included in full below and is also available on the Conference’s website:
Statement Regarding the Death of George Floyd
We, the Central States Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, are deeply saddened, angered, and horrified by the tragic death of George Floyd, at the hands of Minneapolis Police Officers on Monday May 25, 2020. We are thankful to the Minneapolis Police Department for their swift termination of the police officers involved in this tragedy. We would like to see justice legally served that is equal to the crime perpetrated against George Floyd.
As a Seventh-day Adventist Conference that oversees churches and members in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area, we fully support any and all non-violent protests, boycotts, and public pressure necessary to achieve justice for George Floyd. As people of the Word, who believe in not only talking about God’s love but demonstrating God’s love, Isaiah 1:17 admonishes us to “Learn to do good; Seek justice; Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.” The wise man Solomon in Proverbs 18:5 reiterates “It is not right to acquit the guilty or deny justice to the innocent.”
Subsequently, we strongly believe that we have a spiritual and moral responsibility to the people and community within our territory, and it is our intent to always be concerned with the eternal destiny and the present welfare of our people. Unlike the priest and the rabbi who witnessed an injured man and passed by on the other side, we will not turn a blind eye to the injustices that continue to be perpetrated against our people of color.
If there is anything that our church members, pastors, churches, and Conference can do to support justice running down like a mighty stream for the family of George Floyd during this time of loss, we are here to serve. May God have mercy on us, as we weep, but not without the hope that the God who sees all will bring present and eternal justice to all.
Image: A woman sits in the street during protests at 38th St. and S. Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis on Wednesday, after the death of George Floyd on Monday night in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by Lorie Shaull on Flickr.com. Used under creative commons license.
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Thank you to the local church leadership for a quick and clear statement!
The one thing that bothers me is the praise for the police department. I have watched the first press conference of the police department … and having seen the “snuff video” as well … there is nothing to be praised about the initial downplaying nor the non-arrest of the officers involved.
Andreas, they are all white, this why they are still on the streets. Imagine if they were eitrher black, or Hispanic, or Asian…
Racism is still alive and well in America! And getting “better” with the comments tweeted by a racist insane President. Can’t wait for October, when I will be mailing out my vote to kick him out of the WH!
The praise is specific. The swift termination of the officers involved. There is no problem in pointing out a positive action, even if the other actions are not. It should be pointed out, though that the police department has no control over who is charged with what crime. They simply arrest and hold after a warrant has been issued. That responsibility lies with the District Attorney’s office who determines whether of not a crime will be charged, which charges, and what penalty will be pursued. Unfortunately, the death penalty has been abolished and ever reinstated in Minnesota, so they most they can get is life. But police officers in jail never have an easy time of it.
I am usually against the death penalty due to the frequent errors being committed against innocent people. BUT, when the crime is caught on camera, \like this one in Minneapolis, there is no reason even for having a costly trial; the video is a fatal witness!
Before the inevitable sidetracking goes further in the comments, I want the significance of an Adventist entity doing the right thing here to be duly recognized:
Kudos and thanks to the Central States Conference.
(Okay, let the games begin. One of the offending Minneapolis officers appears to be Asian, and the death penalty is never right–unless one happens to find someone who is “without sin” to pull the trigger/switch.)
The real problem is that while our constitution attempts to codify the Christian profession of equality it has never been realized. Ironically, the failure to achieve this ideal has been the result of Christian beliefs in superiority over other social constructs. True Christology is based on Universal Love, Freedom and Acceptance (equality). This is truely Good News and it places us in harmony with The Way. At this time it would be better to allow all persons to be treated equal. The whole world wants to live in a civil society with freedom to be all that they can be and not treated like less than human because of some cosmetic distinction. This was the American dream. We worked for decades to spread this Good News. The deception and delusion of superiority has caused the Shinning City on a Hill to lose it’s way.
Let’s say he had every drug from LSD to Vega-Links in him. Let’s say he was a giant in the land, ( Goliath ) Eight minutes? Come on this was murder and yes there needs to be a trial.
As troubling as the officer who killed this man is, it’s as troubling that no other officer said get off of him. Maybe they did so there is reason for a trial. Having said the above, a bad cop is a bad cop. Just as a bad doctor is a bad doctor or a bad pastor/ priest is a bad pastor priest.
The problem is that if we give up on mercy we will be at the mercy of the consequences. Society must have some rules of civility. And our justice system was meant to assure that. But in too many cases justice has not been blind. Many of the old prophets for better or worse saw the societies of their day go thru the same injustices. Can we do better?
i think widespread community reaction is a good gauge for whether justice has taken place…i’d say the reaction in minneapolis, and in fact the country, so far is evidence that justice hasn’t been served…but we’ll see what the reaction tonite will be, now that derek chauvin has been charged with 3rd degree murder and manslaughter…
Again, I’m not sure that the mob is a good gauge of the justice… and that hasn’t really changed since the times of Jesus, through witch trials, to the Reign of Terror in French Revolution, to the KKK lynchings, and now in case of police criminal negligence.
There’s a reason why due process exists, and it’s precisely because crowd generally runs with raw emotion that doesn’t look at the broader facts that should be taken into account.
Either way, I really hope you are not saying what it sounds like you are saying.
Could someone tell me what ‘maybe drugs’, ‘problems with the law’, have to do with the murder or justice for the victim! It’s sort of like …" well, yes Your Honor, the rape and murder of this young woman was terrible, but she was wearing provocative clothes and had been picked up for prostitution before…".
A fair trial, yes, of course! What about the victim, who gets no day in court? Why should the the character of the victim have to do with Sentence for the Crime? As any trial lawyer would attempt, make the victim a contributor to their own death. Rather sad!
Your rape analogy doesn’t make sense, given that a prostitute isn’t if any particular threat to the rapist, and we don’t really pay rapists to keep them off the streets.
The way this arrest was handled is obviously beyond problematic, but you can’t simply ignore that this was an arrest of a repeated offender with a history of aggravated robbery at gun point.
Now… you be in a position of that police officer for a second, when you are sent to arrest a person who can be under influence, who has shown tendency for violent behavior in the past.
People expect police to act like…
But, again, given that police IS in fact using violence to stop potential or actual violence… I don’t find it particularly surprising that people will die. It’s horrible and tragic… but let’s not be naive in thinking that police are enjoying themselves as they get tangled up in situations like these.
Apparently the victim and the perp worked security at the same nightclub.
There may be more personal history to that story.
Besides being an outright crime, I have some misgivings in the unsurprising haste to use this as some sure litmus test indicative of endemic, systemic and societal racism.
To stereotype the white half of society as supremracist on the basis of the criminal action, however horrific, of one man, is illogical.
I’m sorry your father had this experience, no one deserves any kind of abuse.
Edit to add answer to your comment further down, quoting you.
During at least the past decade, there has been a systematic disregard for black lives MURDERED BY BLACK PEOPLE.
I’ll connect those dots for you-murder of a black man seems to only matter when it is divided by race. A black man is disproportionately far more likely to die at the hands of his brother, and curiously, a cop is more likely to be killed by a black man than a black man by a cop!
It’s difficult in this subject to remain objective given the emotional nature, but it is needful to view this multifactorial issue from all angles. It’s far too easy to take the reverse, still solely race based view, and claim “systemic racism” or “white supremacy” as the cause of the frayed social environment. Are we not just exchanging one way racism for the other? Racism came to America-and a bloody war was fought and freedom bought for God given inalienable rights. I am stridently adamant, America is not systemically racist-America has done more for racial equality than any other nation.
If all the cops were killed-or disbanded (as the Panthers started to agitate for in the 60’s), how would society be able to survive? It cannot. Race is the face of the issue, just the skin (as a lame, but perhaps useful metaphor), but the deeper heart of it is hiding. It always is…
Finally an arrest!!! Why did it take so long? What part of the several videos available was not understood on day one?
But the circus just started. Third degree murder? That’s not what we can see on the video. Oh…, the video… It was taken by a minor, 17 y/o girl. Hmmm, will it be admissible in Court? Yes, expect the most absurd comments like this being made. by the defense team and probably even some Spectrumites… Stay tuned…
One arrest. Excellent. But, what about the other three figures of authority who surrounded the scene of the ongoing assassination so that no civilian would approach? Just imagine the four policemen being black and killing a white person. Any doubt that the (four) arrests would have been basically immediate?
Read my lips: Racism will never be cured in America. Just look how many people are trying to minimize the seriousness of this horrific crime, and to even make the victim responsible for it. Again, what did he do to be arrested, handcuffed in the first place??? Apparently he was trying to buy some goods with a counterfeit $100 bill. This is a crime, but not punishable with an immediate summary execution.
i agree that due process should be served, but community reaction must also be given space, and then be taken into account, even when attached excesses occur…the cost of these excesses is part of the cost of an effective restoration of justice…
the point is that people don’t perceive truth and justice only on an intellectual level…there is also the visceral, feelings component that must be addressed if a sense of effective, complete healing is to occur…i think jacob frey, at 39, showed unusual prescience last night in essentially withdrawing law enforcement in order to allow the minneapolis community to vent undisturbed…no doubt his catholic education enabled him to correctly assess the holistic nature of the problem, as well as its required solution…
we need more leaders who can communicate a wise combination of intellect and emotion, especially when dealing with a large cross-section of people…people cannot be effectively governed when their feelings are always being minimized…i would actually argue that in something like racism, feelings may be the more important component of the hurt that is inflicted, and experienced…
I would agree that it took to long to arrest this officer. However, the charge of murder III and manslaughter can be up graded. If you charge Murder I and can’t prove intent the prosecution has a real problem.
Let’s see what happens with the charges of both the physical killer and the other three officers in terms of charges. I would also like to see charges against the rioters and the looters. The protestors always get their voices hurt by the small percentage of criminals.