Bring Skittles and Iced Tea to Your UU Church This Sunday pt. 2

Charles Howard, in an opinion piece at the Huffington Post, writes:

This weekend, thousands of houses of worship will gather to sing to, pray to, read about and preach about God — a God Whom I am most certain cares about Trayvon and the culture around him. And yet, in so many of the sermons and the prayers that will go up, any mention of Trayvon, of gun violence, racism and profiling, will be absent. Silence. Nothing. No condemnation of an atrocity that is inconsistent with the teachings and spirit of the faith. No pastoral outreach. Just a silence that will make many congregations “look suspicious.”

The bullets of silence hurt just as much as the bullets that took Trayvon’s life.

I am Trayvon Martin. And there is a Trayvon in every congregation. Even the affluent suburban ones. Perhaps it is in those places that this story needs to be told most.

I recognize the hesitancy in many preachers to “get political” in their pulpits. Fine. No need for strong condemnations about gun laws (unless you feel so led). But a boy died. A boy who was not committing a crime. He died because black men walking in certain neighborhoods, perhaps like the neighborhood your church is in, look suspicious. For people of faith to be silent seems to be inconsistent and a poor witness. If you don’t want to bring it up in the sermon, perhaps make it one of the items you all pray for. Or at least reach out to someone you think might be grieving because of this case. Or perhaps have a small group or an after service discussion about gun violence in your city.

I am Trayvon Martin. This name should be spoken, at least whispered in your service. Care. Your God certainly does.

Bring Skittles and iced tea to your church on Sunday. Wear your hoodie. Do it even though this happened far away from you–and yet know that it’s happening in your town too.

2 thoughts on “Bring Skittles and Iced Tea to Your UU Church This Sunday pt. 2

  1. As you may have already noticed, Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern has decreed that this coming Sunday, March 25th, is “Wear Your Hoodie to Church Day” at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto. So some California UUs will be wearing hoodies to church but I am not sure about the Skittles and ice tea part. It does occur to me that UUs *could* have a Skittles and iced tea communion in honour of Trayvon Martin and other African American victims of similar murders but this cannot be the tokenistic be all and end all of UU solidarity. Indeed it seems to me that the UUA should have a segment of its upcoming “Justice GA” devoted to this issue. Kind of ironic that Trayvon was murdered by an ever so “White” Latino/Hispanic. No?

  2. I regretted using the word “murdered” almost immediately after posting the above comment. Killed would have been a more appropriate. I still believe that George Zimmerman wrongfully killed Trayvon Martin but “murdered” is a judgment call that I am not really in a position to make.

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