NAD Issues Response to Recent Deaths and Racial Turmoil

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America is responding to the tragic killings of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, George Floyd in Minnesota, and other recent events that clearly document the racial divide destroying the quality of life for so many and the very fabric of our democratic society. As Christians we condemn such actions of hate and violence and call for justice to be served for the victims and their families.

Walls of separation that serve to destroy the essential rights of human dignity, self-worth, and freedom have been built up. These rights are required for all Americans to live and thrive in their local communities. Some of those who have been trusted to protect all members of society have broken their solemn pact to serve others; especially those in need. Americans should never have to live in fear of going out in public just because of the color of their skin or their ethnicity. We can and must do better.

We urge all our church members to prayerfully consider how they interact with everyone in their communities. We ask you to speak out against injustice and hatred, just as Jesus did when He was on this earth. We can make a difference for those who are marginalized and betrayed by others, and we must provide a forum for the voices of the victims of hatred and racism. Our actions can speak louder than words. We can lead by example in how we treat others and demand that all people be treated equally and fairly. As the most ethnically-diverse Christian faith in the United States, our voices represent nearly every community in this country. They must be heard as we serve to heal our broken communities with the love and compassion of Jesus.

— North American Division Administration

This statement originally appeared on the NAD website and is reprinted here with permission.

Image credit: Pieter Damsteegt, courtesy of the NAD.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/10473
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This is a noble sentiment expressed succinctly. I’m gratified to find my church organization officially speaking out against contemporary unmasked evil.

Now the hard part: living out this sentiment with equal grace and resolve, with discernment and courage, toward those who are marginalized in every aspect, including differing beliefs, races, socioeconomic classes, and sexual orientations.

Anyway, this is a good statement. Thanks to all who had a hand in publishing it.

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While I appreciate this statement from the NAD, it is not enough. We need to convene a virtual SUMMIT on race relations in the division. For too long we have neglected to call the constituents (delegates of conferences) to dialog on this pressing matter. The administrators of the NAD are neglecting this aspect of their duty to lead the Lord’s church in a substantive dialog on race relations, thereby contributing to and prolonging this social problem in society, which is being reflected in the Adventist Church.

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yeah, let’s all get together and TALK about it. And while deploring the seeming unwarranted actions of some police, Condemnation should come for the senseless reaction by the mob. The folks who were protesting peacefully, were sadly, co-opted by what will probably be identified as ANTIFA. There are those whose mantra is never let a good tragedy be allowed to pass without some violence.

Donald Trump promised to build a wall, and he is indeed delivering… via tweets, with messages of glorification of violence. Tweeter needs to shut him down for violation of posting policy!

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Too funny about Trump. We extol Nehemiah for rebuilding, The Wall. The Bible makes it clear about walls. Of course no mention of the rioting, the looting, the burning down of a police station. That should send chills everywhere and realize force is necessary. The very type of force Nehemiah himself used…to build a wall. But then, Trump is to blame for everything. Not us. No, never. Twitter? Terrorists are allowed to use it. World leaders can use it to call for the destruction of Israel. Nary a whimper. But then, people here would welcome the destruction of Israel. And the Adventist church is not any entity to talk about race…we have a history of racial divide…even to this day. We don’t have Black churches for no reasons. We ourselves have a separate but equal way of doing things…Like Black churches and Black colleges. No outrage there. I remember how people were blasting the PEACEFUL protests over quarantining. As if they were evil. And then we give these rioters, looters, and violent individuals props. Too funny. Every act like this creates even more Trump voters.

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Thank-you. What bothers me a lot is the number/percentage of people arrested who were from out of town. And these are often the people most likely engage in mayhem and destruction. I’m not against local people protesting a local problem. But for people to come into town–or be bused in–just for the purposes of protesting, suggests other motives and damages the community even more.

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The authorities are learning that about 80% of the protesters are out of town, and they are the ones causing most of the destruction. Those need to be arrested and properly prosecuted. I wish a certain “orange guy” would make at least one statement on how bad those people are. But, maybe the will tell us, again, that there are many “good people” among them. Remembering the nazis in Charlottesville…

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Yes. It’s those Clayton Bigsby followers with blackface are attacking that poor lady trying to stop them from looting that store.

Those tricky Nazis. Your blackface makeup will not fool us! We know you are from out of town!

BTW. Remember those hospital care wavers you were asking people to sign if they are to get out and protest and ignore social distancing rules? I think you may want to send some to Minneapolis, Atlanta, Columbus, and LA… among some :slight_smile: … unless of course there’s “only if you disagree with my ideology” fine print in there. Then, of course, these people are free to protest as they are.

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While any rational person would condemn the burning and looting in recent hours, your underlying message gives cover to the very reason Mr. Floyd is no longer with us. Your bigotry seems to ooze out of your distain for those who feel the indignity of the events that caused this unrest. It may be unintended, but your not part of the solution, your part of the problem.

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Why am I not surprised at your position…once again.

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Lynden, which position would that be? Anti-violence and pro-rule of law? You think that such position is objectionable?

The fact is I disagree with your ideology…There is absolutely no justification in any shape or form for what we witnessed done to Mr. Floyd. But like I said in an earlier statement. I do not justify looting and burning either. But one does not wipe the stain of the other away. Racism sickens me to the core.

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Why would you think that I am justifying what was done to him? So that you understand where I stand in this:

  1. This was injustice done to George Floyd. Police involved should face consequences. The police should address their detention practices to make these more safe and viable to avoid incidents such as these.

  2. It was likely unintended consequences by police negligence. I highly doubt that officer wanted to kill him.

  3. We can’t rush to assume that George Floyd died because he was black… Because police negligence doesn’t seem to be running solely along the lines of race. For example… the case below is one of these cases happening 10 months ago, but one you likely never hear of in the media:

  1. The reactionary riot and looting is a form of criminal behavior. People who are caught should face consequences.

  2. The news media should stop dishing up excuses to justify such behavior as expected.

Please indicate anything that I’ve said that would constitute bigotry?

George Trump has called down these out of state protesters who are looting and burning.

Lindy, I agree that there is virtually no defense for what that police officer did to that black man in Minneapolis. But how about the senseless attacking of a woman in a wheelchair by rioters or black protesters kicking cars on a freeway who were blocked from moving by these idiots. Where are the black leaders to try and quell the violence. There silence is deafening?

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Racism and Coronavirus. One is learned behavior the other is a pandemic that is uncontrolled. Horrific events have happened. Webster defines Racism as “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race” We are living in very difficult times. .I know I must say something, even though I know that the people who truly need to be moved are immovable. They don’t care about black lives or any lives… They don’t even care about their own life… They won’t even wear masks to mitigate a virus for which there is no cure. Eventually, doctors will find a coronavirus vaccine, but black people will continue to wait, despite the futility of hope, for a cure for racism. We will live with the knowledge that a hashtag is not a vaccine for white supremacy. Many hide behind the misunderstood quote that the ‘racial problem in the US will never be solved”. So, why get all worked up? Racism can destroy us more completely than the Coronavirus. We live with the knowledge that, still, no one is coming to save us from racism. Each person must reject racism as the pervasive sin that it is. The rest of the world yearns to get back to normal. Will a racist lifestyle be part of that normal? Racism cannot be normalized and must be eradicated.

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You highly doubt that the officer who had his knee to a guys neck pinning him to a pavement while said guy repeatedly cried out “i cant breathe” intended to kill him??? What exactly could his intentions have been? Pre summer neck massage maybe? The intention couldnt have been to restrain him…he was already cuffed.

The riots, looting and vandalism must be condemned…and im dissapointed the NAD hasnt done that. It is however highly disingenuous to dismiss the floyds death as just another case of police negligence…that was pure, unadulterated, stone cold murder by cop…period.

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Tom, have you noticed who are in the protesting crowds? Look carefully. Yes there are blacks in greater numbers, but there are MANY Withes, Asians, Hispanic. Why did you demand responsibility only from “black leaders,” thus ignoring the facts that “other leaders” should do the same. Any particular reason for singling out the “blacks?”
Just wonderin’ …

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Ditto!
I am not sure what part of that video some people don’t understand! Or, don’t want to understand?

I wonder if the “minimizers” would see things different if the victim were a white person. Would that be still considered a mere “police negligence” or, a real murder indeed? It seems that … color matters, isn’t it?

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