For the first time in my life, I Googled the word “clergy” and found a majority of the news items were about clergy speaking in resistance to the injustices of our day.
When I was first ordained it was quickly apparent people wanted me to say blessings over the status quo, but not to talk about seeking a fairer world. I could tell that, as clergy, we have to choose between being chaplains to the status quo or prophetic voices for a better world.
There have always been prophetic voices coming from religious leaders, but words cannot express the joy and relief of reading so MANY clergy friends on Facebook who are risking their denominational relationships in order to line up behind Black Lives Matter.
The Pflugerville clergy had an online prayer gathering the other night where we white clergy listened to our Black colleagues calling for us to go beyond our easy prayers and enter into their struggle for liberation.
Last night our Presbytery had a prayer gathering where our General Presbyter Sallie Sampsell Watson broke down reading the names of Black lives lost to police violence. One could feel everyone speaking last night had cast their fate with those on the margins seeking justice.
Episcopal and Catholic clergy are speaking with a moral clarity I don’t remembering hearing in these numbers. Here in Austin, Methodist minister John Elford reports that one of our local Imams, the noble Sheikh Islam Mossaad, took the unbelievably brave stand of refusing to serve as chaplain for the police department so he could clearly be seen to be on the side of the vulnerable and oppressed.
How ironic would it be if the presidency of Donald Trump resulted in transforming clergy from officiants of the capitalist culture to one unified prophetic voice on behalf of all humankind?