Frederick Douglass

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Frederick Douglass might have classified many professing Christians with the scribes and Pharisees of whom Jesus said, “Do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach”  (Matthew 23.3)  Douglas recalled that his one-time owner had “attended a Methodist camp meeting and there experienced religion.  If it had any effect on his character, it made him more cruel and hateful in all his ways.”  How?  Because with his conversion “he found religious sanction and support of this slaveholding cruelty.”

How does the practice of your faith affirm or deny racism in your workplace, in your school, in your kitchen table, in your family and home?

Frederick Douglas also said this:  “What I have said respecting and against religion, I mean strictly to apply to the slave holding religion of this land, and with no possible reference to Christianity proper; for between the Christianity of this land, and the Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible difference – so wide, that to receive the one as good, pure, and holy is of necessity to reject the other as bad, corrupt, and wicked…I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ:  I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land.” ( from Preaching about People, J. Ellsworth Kalas, chap. 11)

How might your own examination of the Social Principles of the United Methodist Church serve you to uphold the rights of Racial and Ethnic Groups in our community?

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