Thursday, April 3, 2008

Missouri Christians Against Racism and Poverty

I am a part of an organization called Missouri Christians Against Racism and Poverty. The group was formed by the Missouri portion of "Churches Uniting in Christ." CUIC is made up of a wide variety of protestant denominations including the Africian Methodist Episcopal Church, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, The Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presbyterian Church USA, United Church of Christ, and The United Methodist Church. I became a part of the organization as a representative of the Baptist General Convention of Missouri. Obviously, we have some differences, but we share a common passion to be advocates for the most vulnerable in our state.

Missouri Christians Against Racism and Poverty (MOCARP) was formed to invite other Christians to get involved in addressing racial and poverty issues in our state. Earlier this year we sponsored a Legislative Breakfast Forum with legislative leaders from the Missouri House and Senate. It was an opportunity for religious leaders to dialogue with legislative leaders about issues of tax justice and fairness. The group has also sought to be an advocate for health care for the poor and marginalized in our state. Christians should be taking the lead in advocating for racial and economic justice. Yet, some Christians advocate a dangerous type of racism. Brian Kaylor, the BGCM Communications Specialist, wrote an article for Ethics Daily about an editor for a Missouri Baptist publication, Missouri Baptist Editor Supports Confederate Flag. It is both an excellent and scary article. In his book the editor "compared the NAACP to the KKK and asserted that it was 'closer to becoming just another hate group.'" He went on to describe "slavery as 'the misfortunate of blacks' and claimed that Reconstruction actually produced greater injustices than slavery or Jim Crow laws." It is hard for me to imagine someone could call himself a Christian and have these attitudes or publish such hateful words. Check out Brian's blog at For God's Sake Shut-up.

I am grateful for the work of MOCARP and it is my hope that more Christians will get involved. At a time when Baptists from across North American are exploring a New Baptist Covenant and a new level of partnership and collaboration across racial, ethnic, national and tradition lines, other Baptists are locked in a past characterized by hatred, division, bitterness, and attack politics. I am grateful to be a part of the Baptist General Convention of Missouri. We are an organization committed to working with other Baptists and other Christians as we serve our Savior and seek justice in our world.

1 comment:

Keith L. Andersin said...

It appears we have the same battle to fight. I have started a my "Christians Against Racism" in Idaho. I currently do seminars and workshops teaching teachers how to teach students from diverse backgrounds. See my blog
and website: Idaho Center for Racial Sensitivity at
God only gives this mission to people with heavy hearts and strong shoulders. Keep up the work my brother.

Keith L. Anderson, Ph.D.