Archive for the ‘Gun Violence’ Category

Black Lives Matters March; Women’s March; The Me Too Movement; and recently the student demonstrators marching on Washington, calling for action against gun violence after the recent massacre at a South Florida high school. 

Every one of these protests were supported and echoed by professional athletes, Hollywood entertainers and politicians. Every news channel covered these events almost every day. 

But do you know what none of the media were reporting? What professional athletes, Hollywood entertainers and politicians refused to speak out against? The epidemic of child sexual abuse in homes across the country! In fact, there is more community outrage about animal abuse than there is about child abuse! And the only time the news reports any type of child abuse is when it involves multiple sex trafficking, the death of a child, or some horrendous act perpetrated on a child that the news outlets can sensationalize. 

It is reported that 1 in 5 children have been sexually abused before reaching the age of 18. That means that out of the 500,000 students who marched on Washington protesting gun violence, over 100,000 of them had been sexually abused at some time in their childhood—AND THEY SAID NOTHING!

Nebraska law now requires that any child, age 3-18, who has experienced sexual abuse, serious physical abuse and neglect, witnessed a violent crime, or who has been recovered from a kidnapping or found in a drug endangered environment, be interviewed at a Child Advocacy Center by a trained professional. 

In 2015 4,945 children were served by a Child Advocacy Center in Nebraska alone. And out of those 4,945 children served, nearly half had reported being sexually abused—91% were abused by someone the child knew well; a step-parent, relative or caregiver.

Yet, sadly, for every one child that discloses sexual abuse, many more remain silent. Because they are either too afraid, or too ashamed, or both. The number of child abuse cases would easily double, if every child that should be seen at a Child Advocacy Center under state law was actually provided that opportunity. 

http://nebraskacacs.com/Docs/2015%20Annual%20Report%20-%205.30.16%20-%20Compressed%20V2.pdf

Many of us have heard the stories from the Me Too Movement how traumatic it was for adults to be sexually harassed or assaulted. If it’s traumatic for an adult to be sexually harassed by someone, how much more traumatic is it for a child to be sexually assaulted in their own home by someone they trusted and was supposed to care for them? http://theweek.com/articles/749634/how-metoo-leaving-child-victims-behind

To make matters worse, even when the perpetrators are arrested and charged, most judges only sentence them to probation and require them to register as a sex offender— which does nothing to protect vulnerable children. 

The Sex Offender Registration law in many states do not have any restrictions on registered sex offenders. This is a common misperception. The SOR law in these states does not prevent an offender from attending events, limit employment, restrict an offender from entering any facilities—schools, playgrounds, children museums or other public places where children congregate. Some states do not even restrict a convicted child abuser from living with or socializing with their victim! In many states The SOR law can only mandate that the offender register his or her required information at the sheriff’s office within the required time. This is another reason many victims of child sexual abuse never speak out or report their abuse—they know that they will never get justice.

There are many organizations across the country who are working with law enforcement and legislators to fight against child sex trafficking and rescue its victims. I applaud the work that they do, but they are they are working on the symptom instead of the root cause. 

Research has shown that 43% of runaway and homeless youth were sexually abused before they left their homes. These young people often flee abuse at home, but are exposed to further sexual victimization and human trafficking once on the street. One of every three runaway teens on the street will be lured into prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home. And the average age is fourteen. Many of these children will be trapped in prostitution for years before they escape—and the trauma they experience could affect them well into their adult years.

But it doesn’t have to be this way! 

April is both National Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month. There are many ways in which adults can make a critical difference in a child’s life. Whether you are a parent, teacher, coach, neighbor, or family member, you can help. 

Caring adults can support the healthy growth and development of children who have experienced abuse by helping them recognize that it’s not their fault and that you believe them. Children who are able to confide in a trusted adult and feel they are believed by that adult will experience less trauma. Children who falsely claim to have been sexually abused only make up less than 1% of all reported cases.

It is time for adults to speak out for those who have no voice!

For more information on what you can do to prevent child sexual abuse visit the sites below:

https://www.d2l.org

https://laurenskids.org

http://justiceforchildren.org

http://www.smallvoices.org

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voteWhen criminals are brought before judges for sentencing, judges should weigh factors including the severity of the crime, public safety, losses to the victims and their family and a defendant’s efforts to change. But all too often judges hand down light sentences to repeat offenders who often go on to commit even more violent crimes.

Consider the case of Marcus Wheeler-Cop Killer

Marcus Wheeler had a criminal record dating back to 2008 and on May 20, 2015 officer Kerrie Orozco was shot and killed by Wheeler who was being served a warrant by the Omaha police department’s Fugitive Task Force. Officer Orozco left behind a husband and his two children as well as their newborn baby. The woman who was an accomplice in Kerrie Orozco’s murder by purchasing the gun for Wheeler, was sentenced by an Alabama judge to only probation!

Eswin Mejia—Vehicle Homicide

Eswin Mejia was driving with a suspended license and was in the country illegally when he crashed into an SUV, killing 21-year-old Sarah Root. Mejia was street racing and driving drunk before crashing into the back of Sara’s SUV. Police say his blood-alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit when he was street racing near 33rd and L streets. The loss has left Sarah Root’s friends and family with profound grief.

To make matters worse, Mejia was scheduled for a preliminary hearing, but never made it to court after the judge set Mejia’s bond at only $50,000! The judge revoked Mejia’s $50,000 bond when he failed to appear after a relative posted a $5,000.00 cash bond.

Cases like this happen all too often. And as disturbing as cases like these are, it has become even more common for judges to hand down probation to those convicted of sexual child abuse. Research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control estimates that approximately 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 4 girls are sexually abused in their own homes by family members, step-parents or caregivers!

Judges Refuse To Protect Children

In 2014, state agencies identified an estimated 1,580 children who died as a result of abuse and neglect. That’s between four and five children a day—roughly ¼ of your child’s elementary school class! Sadly, only a fraction of convicted perpetrators of physical or sexual abuse of a child are sentenced to jail. Most of those convicted of child abuse are only sentenced to probation!

What Can We Do?

A judge must run for retention in office in the first general election that occurs more than three years after his or her appointment, and every six years thereafter.  When a judge runs for retention in office, the question presented on the voters’ ballots states: “Shall Judge ___________ be retained in office?” If there are more votes to retain a judge than to remove him or her, then the judge remains on the bench for an additional six years!

We can send a strong message to these lenient judges by voting “NO” to retain judges.

Judges constantly hand down light sentences and probation to repeat offenders and place the public in danger.

When criminals are brought before judges for sentencing, judges should weigh factors including the severity of the crime, public safety, losses to the victims and their family and a defendant’s efforts to change—But all too often judges hand down light sentences to repeat offenders who often go on to commit even more violent crimes.

Consider the case of Marcus Wheeler-Cop Killer

In 2008, Marcus Wheeler was sentenced to five years in federal prison for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. Wheeler was also charged as an accessory in a June 2007 slaying and was accused of shooting at an inhabited home, attempting to cause serious bodily injury to Ashley Bordeaux. Charges in both shooting cases were dismissed and Wheeler got out of prison on supervised release in 2013, but that was later revoked (For unpublished reasons) and he was returned to prison.

Wheeler was again released in February 2014. On May 20, 2015 officer Kerrie Orozco was shot and killed by Wheeler who was being served a warrant by the Omaha police department’s Fugitive Task Force. Officer Orozco left behind a husband and his two children as well as their newborn baby. The woman who was an accomplice in Kerrie Orozco’s murder by purchasing the gun for Wheeler, was sentenced by the Alabama judge to only probation!

The case of Eswin Mejia

Police say he was drunk, his blood-alcohol content more than three times the legal limit, when he was street racing near 33rd and L streets last month. Eswin Mejia was driving with a suspended license and was in the country illegally when he crashed into an SUV and killed 21-year-old Sarah Root. Mejia was allegedly street racing and driving drunk before crashing into the back of Sara’s SUV. The loss has left the 21-year-old’s friends and family with profound grief.

To make matters worse, Mejia was scheduled for a preliminary hearing, but never made it to court after the judge set Mejia’s bond at only $50,000! The judge revoked Mejia’s $50,000 bond when he failed to appear. (A little too late for that now)

Cases like this happen all too often. And as disturbing as cases like these are, it has become even more common for judges to hand down probation to those convicted of sexual child abuse.

Research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that approximately 1 in 6 boys and 1 in 4 girls are sexually abused before the age of 18. An estimated 60% of perpetrators of child sexual abuse are known to the child. (family friends, care givers or neighbors) Out of those, at least half of the perpetrators are family members or step parents.

Sadly, only a fraction of these perpetrators who are apprehended and convicted of their crimes are sentenced to jail. Most convicted child sex offenders are only sentenced to probation and ordered to register as a sex offender.

Let me make myself clear: I don’t believe that the Sex Offender Registry Law should be applied to curious children or hormonal teens that get caught sexting to their boyfriends or girlfriends. (This can be corrected with training, discipline and therapy) This is about adults who knowingly sexually victimize under age children.

The police do their job and arrest these criminals; the prosecutors do their job and convict them, but then the judges hand down light sentences or probation that allows them to re-offend.

Why? Because crimes, whether they are against children or other adults, do not personally affect judges. It’s the same reason that people are not too concerned with the first four of the Ten Commandments.

It doesn’t personally affect me if you:

  1. worship other gods.
  2. make for yourself an idol.
  3. take the name of the Lord in vain.
  4. don’t remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.

But notice what happens with the last 5 commandments:

5. Honor your father and mother

6. You shall not murder

7. You shall not commit adultery

8. You shall not steal

9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor

10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

These are things that we don’t want happening to us, (They personally affect us) so we tend to place more importance on them and expect harsher punishment for those who disobey them.

Judges need to realize the risk that they pose to the public when they give offenders light sentences and be more concerned that the person they release back on the street will be the next one they read about in the newspaper.

We can send a strong message to the court system when we go to the polls to vote by voting “NO” to retain judges.

“Woe to those who enact evil statutes And to those who constantly record unjust decisions, So as to deprive the needy of justice And rob the poor of My people of their rights.” (Isaiah 10:1-2)

“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition…Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

(2 Thessalonians 2:1-3; 10-12) [Emphasis mine]

With all the bad decisions we have seen by world leaders lately, it makes me wonder if this has not already occurred. Has God sent a strong delusion—not only to world leaders, but also to many people on earth?

Take for example the reaction to the recent mass shootings and gun violence. Many believe, like so many politicians, that stricter gun laws are the solution. But most of the guns used in violent crimes are purchased illegally. Some guns are purchased and used for violent crimes by kids as young as 12 years old! So common sense would dictate that tougher gun laws would not have done anything to prevent those crimes.

http://www.publicintegrity.org/2014/08/25/15339/firearms-used-homicides-often-purchased-illegally

Police used to be able to stop and frisk those they deemed suspicious in order to prevent crime. But most states have now outlawed “stop and frisk laws” saying that it is unconstitutional and encourages profiling innocent citizens. Can you imagine watching a 12 or 14 year old child walking or riding his bicycle down a street with a large gun-shaped bulge in his pocket NOT looking suspicious?

On July 20, 2012, a mass shooting occurred inside of a Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, during a midnight screening of the film “The Dark Knight Rises”. The gunman, James Holmes, dressed in tactical clothing, set off tear gas grenades and using a Smith & Wesson semiautomatic rifle, a Remington shotgun and a Glock .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol shot into the audience. 12 people were killed and 70 others were injured.

On October 1, 2015, Christopher Harper-Mercer, killed nine people at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, where he was a student. According to The Associated Press, he was armed with six guns, including a Glock pistol, a Smith & Wesson pistol, a Taurus pistol and a Del-Ton assault rifle.

Would a reasonable person think that stopping someone carrying several weapons on them would be considered a violation of his constitutional rights?

But THAT is the problem. Everyone is trying to solve our gun violence problem with unreasonable solutions!

God’s solution:

The more humanity seeks to live by its own rules and rejecting God’s rules, the more we see the sad results of doing so. Lost humanity seeks to exercise their perceived right to rule their own lives. As long as this thinking permeates society, we can expect to see even more violence. When we reject God’s way of doing things, there is simply no other outcome.

It is clearly the heart of mankind that causes people to do the unspeakably evil they do. The apostle James writes: “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.” (James 4:1-2 ESV)

Sinful mankind’s natural tendency is selfishness—and if not restrained, they will do whatever it takes to get what they want. Many of the most heinous crimes have been perpetrated out of anger, lust or desire. People have acted out in terrible ways attempting to fulfill their need for these. However, our desires can only be met in a relationship with God. This is God’s solution to violence—a changed heart.

When one turns his or her heart over to God, the blood of Jesus washes that heart clean and gives us new desires. No longer will anger, loneliness, heartbreak, or any other selfish un-godly thought be one’s motivation. Instead of those evil fleshly desires, one is filled with life and peace and the former tendencies are done away with. (2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 8:5-7)

A person who is truly surrendered to God does not commit things like the horrific acts we have witnessed lately. There is no other permanent cure for violence, gun or otherwise, except the complete regeneration of a person’s heart by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And this only comes when one repents of his or her sin and dedicates their lives to loving and serving God.

The kinds of tragedies that we are seeing should serve as a wake-up call for humankind. It should make it painfully clear that we are doing something wrong. And yet, many will continue to live their lives selfishly, on their own terms. To them I say, “How’s that working for you?”

As Christians, we should be even more motivated to live, and love as Jesus did—and lead a more Christ-like existence while we still have breath in us. I pray that God will soon use his spirit to convict people to repent and surrender their heart, mind and spirit to him.

“Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” (John 4:35)

The Columbine High School massacre, the Sandy Hook shooting, and the mass shooting at the midnight premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colorado, were all perpetrated by white males, who obviously suffered from mental illness—Stark reminders that crazy people live among us. Many have debated whether we should create more institutions for the mentally ill in order to protect us from these dangerous individuals.

But what should we do about the typical gang violence in major cities that we see broadcasted on the local news? Every night it seems that a similar story is told: “Police have responded to the scene of a shooting; Police believe the shooting was gang-related; No suspects have been arrested.”

People living in neighborhoods with known gang populations where these types of shootings frequently happen represent a legitimate fear of private citizens, parents, children and business owners who live, work, and go to school in these neighborhoods.

Five year old Payton Benson was killed when three callous gunmen peppered her street with a barrage of bullets and one of the bullets shot and killed the little girl as she sat eating her breakfast.

Stephen Arps and Johnnesha Brown were shot just outside Brown’s parents’ home near 45th Street and Grand Avenue in Omaha, Ne.

Even those trying to change the gang environment in their neighborhood are not immune to it. An anti-gang activist’s 16-year-old son, Charles Trotter, who has acknowledged ties to the 37th Street Crips in Omaha, has been charged in the shooting deaths of two men at a party.

Can we just pray it away?
An Omaha group called ‘First Responders’ have been meeting together at places where community members have been violently murdered. They meet to pray for the victims’ families and believe they will help reduce violence in Omaha by mobilizing people from churches and neighborhoods all over Omaha to pray together. Two prayer walks were already held in Omaha soon after the New Year began in response to two shootings that left three people dead.

Unfortunately, prayer alone won’t deter gang violence. It hasn’t worked in Chicago, It hasn’t worked in Detroit, and it won’t work in cities where the minority black population works overtime to fight against violent crime in their neighborhoods.

Don’t misunderstand, I believe in prayer. And I believe that we should rally around the friends and families of victims of gang violence and support them in prayer. I also believe that many of God’s miracles are wrought in the bowels of the prayers of godly men and women. But if prayer alone would stop violence, then we should be holding prayer-walks along the Mexican/ US border and in every country where violence is destroying lives.

We need to understand that gang violence grows out of a distorted mind-set. When David Wilkerson went to New York to minister to the gangs there, he didn’t hold prayer-walks at the scene of murders. Instead, led by God’s spirit, he reached out to the gang members in order to change their mind-set of violence.

Sometimes, one of the biggest hindrances to reducing gang violence is the news media sensationalizing every gun-related crime that happens. These stories get played over and over again with the pictures of the perpetrators of these heinous crimes plastered across the TV screen until they’re burned into peoples’ memory. They give these criminals their 5-minutes of fame while the victims are barely mentioned!

Most people recognize the names of Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, but how many would recognize the names Kelly Fleming, Matthew Kechter, or William Sanders? Many in the Omaha area will recognize Nikko Jenkins’ name, but do they know who Jorge Cajiga-Ruiz and Juan Uribe-Pena were?

During the time of Noah, “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5) There it is—the people of Noah’s day had a mind-set of violence! All the bloodshed, murders, etc. that take place are the fruit of a mind-set of violence. And God blames all violence on a mind-set. (Thoughts and intents of the heart) “In your heart you devise injustice, and your hands mete out violence on the earth.” (Psalm 58:2)

It starts with the children.
Changing a mind-set has to start with the children. If a child grows up with love, attention, compassion and understanding, then he will not pull out a gun and kill others when he is older.
Being a parent is the most important job in this world. And we need to take seriously the responsibility of teaching them love, respect and everything else that will assist them in growing up to be moral and loving adults.

How can we expect a teen or a young adult to be an asset to society if he is brought up in an environment where there is no love or respect in the home? Many of those that kill are hurting—and they’re angry. They hate their life, and because they cannot stand it, they lash out in violence.

As Christians and as fellow human beings, we should look out for those who are hurting, sad and angry, and let them know that they are not alone. Usually, we ignore the signs because it’s so much easier to walk away.

Robert Wildeboer, a criminal and legal affairs reporter, discovered that the city of Toronto has about one seventh the number of murders than Chicago, even though the two cities are of equal size. He observed that a key difference is that the public in Toronto demands a crime-free society, and that this expectation filters through the neighborhoods, the news media, politicians, lawmakers, and law enforcement. http://www.wbez.org/series/under-gun-murder-chicago-and-toronto
To me, this observation suggests a striking possibility: that by refusing to accept criminal behavior as acceptable, we can actually reduce it.

David Wilkerson saw firsthand the advantages of using the weight of his thoughts on the side of respect, love and forgiveness. Rather than thinking of individuals as irredeemably corrupt, or concluding that violence will always be a part of their life, he believed that God’s constant influence of calm, clarity, integrity, and goodness would have a better and lasting effect. http://www.historymakers.info/inspirational-christians/david-wilkerson.html

Separating the crime from the individual is difficult, but without addressing the underlying cause, the crime will continue—and there will be a thousand others to carry it out. The prisons are already filled with them.

Instead, each of us must think properly and prayerfully about the issue of violent crime. Rather than responding with fear, we can insist that violence in our cities and our lives is not an unavoidable fact of life.

I believe that if we join hands in prayer with our neighbors facing violent crime we can succeed in separating crime from our humanity and realize that violence is not a “necessary evil.” There is no criminal legitimacy. Crime is opportunistic, cowardly and non-intelligence. Our responsibility to our neighbors around us is to reject the idea that crime has any legitimacy, and separate it entirely from our humanity.

This prayerful approach will not only enable us to support our neighbors, but will also lead to appropriate law enforcement measures to curb violence and give us safer cities and neighborhoods. It is only then that our communities will begin to be filled with good citizens and neighbors and bring us all closer to our rightful inheritance.

In September, Pope Francis fired a Paraguayan bishop accused of sheltering a pedophile. Francis said his decision to fire the bishop was incredibly difficult. However, it was necessary for “the greater good of preserving the unity of the local church.” Pope Francis’ decision to fire the bishop underlines his “zero tolerance” approach to sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis followed up on his zero tolerance as he launched a blistering attack on the Vatican bureaucracy Monday, outlining a “catalog of illnesses” plaguing the church’s central administration, including a “narcissistic pathology of power, existential schizophrenia.” The pope also denounced the lust for power of ladder-climbing clerics—those who indulge in hypocritical double lives, and lamented a sense of “spiritual Alzheimer’s” that leads clerics to forget the joy that is supposed to animate their lives. He was especially critical of cliques that enslave their members and become a cancer that threatens the harmony of the body, eventually leading to “death by friendly fire.”

Many would argue that the same could be said about our own political leaders. But remember, we’re the ones who voted them into office. Are our own religious leaders guilty of the pope’s accusations? And what about us? Are we also suffering from spiritual Alzheimer’s?

2 Peter 1:5-9 tells us to, “Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

We are told that the Christmas season is a time for faith, goodness, joy and godliness—that “Jesus is the reason for the season.” And yet, our lives are plagued with greed, jealousy, hate, violence and discord—just the opposite of what Peter tells us we should possess as Christians! Have we forgotten that as Christians we possess all of the godly qualities that Peter speaks of?

James chapter 4 gives us the reason AND the solution for all of the hate that is plaguing our communities. The reason: “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

The solution: “Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

Pope Francis suggested that his prelates examine and improve themselves. Should we not do the same?

If ever there was a time to pray for revival in the Church, it is now! May this Christmas season fill us all with a resolute spirit to seek God and His righteousness and love for our fellow human beings.

My heavenly father, I am crying—crying for the hurting—crying for the haters. I am crying from seeing people killing one another. Please hear my prayer! Help us stop all the hate on earth! Please give us peace again. Please look at these people killing and being killed and show them your mercy! Let us return to the God of our fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Please hear my prayer and do what you think is good. Amen.

 

Many of us watched in confusion, shock and anger as images of the riots and looting in Ferguson, Missouri played out across our TV screens. Some activists not only supported this anarchy and looting, but even encouraged it!

I understand that racial tension has been running high for some time now, but reducing racial prejudice and racism is a complex task that varies from community to community, so it doesn’t lend itself well to simple, “1-2-3-one size fits all solution” that can be adopted and applied without having a thorough understanding of the environment. Something like this takes knowing your community well and choosing strategies that best fit your community’s needs, history, context, energies, and resources.

And even then, none of these activities or strategies alone will lead to a sustainable change at the individual level. In order for such change to occur, we have to take actions that will allow us to consistently affect the different levels over a long period of time.

Racial ArmsThe first thing to understand is that there is only one race—the human race. Caucasians, Native Americans, Africans, Asians and Jews are not different races. Rather, they are different ethnicities of the human race. All human beings have the same physical characteristics—Eyes, ears, noses, and mouths. (With minor variations, of course) More importantly, all human beings are created in the image and likeness of God. (Genesis 1:26-27) God loved the world so much that He sent Jesus to lay down his life for us. (John 3:16) The “world” obviously includes all ethnic groups.

Racism, in varying forms and to various degrees, is a plague on humanity. Those who practice racism, prejudice, and discrimination need to repent. They are passing on that same hateful way of thinking onto their children and future generations to follow. And victims of racism, prejudice, and discrimination need to forgive. Ephesians 4:32 declares, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Racists may not deserve our forgiveness, but did we deserve God’s forgiveness any more than they?

So what is the solution to the racism problem in our communities? The bottom line is that God has already given us a solution to racism and discrimination in His Holy Word, the Bible. God does not show partiality or favoritism, (Deuteronomy 10:17; Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9) and neither should we. (James 2:9)

All forms of racism, prejudice, and discrimination deny the work of Christ on the cross. So we need to love others with the same impartiality as God. If we treat a person with contempt, we are mistreating a person created in God’s image; we are hurting somebody whom God loves and for whom Jesus died.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” (John 13:34)

So instead of working so hard to fight back against racial prejudice, maybe we should be working even harder on how to love one another without prejudice and overcome evil with love.