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Posts Tagged ‘speak up’

8 Open your mouth for the mute,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
9 Open your mouth, judge righteously,
defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Proverbs 31:8-9 (ESV)

Now is not the time to sit silent and watch.

The Bible speaks to it. MLK called fellow clergy out for their silence on the issue of segregation and the atrocities faced by those fighting for freedom in his Letter from the Birmingham Jail. We saw a similar wave of outcries in the wake of Martin, Brown and others who were killed senselessly based on nothing more than race or the color of their skin.

Open your mouth. . .

Open your mouth. . .

The Bible says we are to speak up and speak out about it.

Much of what we see on display with cities spilling over with protests stems from the outrage boiling over from oppression. Some peaceful demonstrations have turned violent. Looting and destruction have occurred. Curfews have been enforced. Yet, the media coverage and social media feeds may divert our attention from the issue at hand.

The emotions that have been suppressed by so many for so long have exploded into widespread discontent expressed through the solidarity of a rainbow of colors parading the streets with signs and chants to speak out against police brutality and social justice.

The mistreatment and disrespect for human lives has been a black eye for the United States historically due to colonialism, imperialism, enslavement, and exploitation. The most recent uproar has erupted due to the bleak picture of police enforcement provided to many via social media and the press of George Floyd dying at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve. The very guardians of our communities who serve to enforce the law are expected to administer tactics and methods that allow for even the accused to have his or her day in court.

From a Native American perspective, could it be considered genocide when you look back at the Western expansion of America and the Trail of Tears, the Indian Wars, and the reservation lifestyle administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs? Is it any wonder that Latino or LatinX question the response to the “browning of America” when much of America west of the Mississippi River was once part of Mexico or occupied by Spain? From a Black or African American perspective, have mass incarcerations and the criminal justice system combined with the major health disparities served as the common obstacles of daily life regardless of economic status or educational attainment? I by no means could speak for everyone, but I am called by God to speak up and speak out against what I see as an utter wrong against my fellow man.

Open your mouth for the mute,
for the rights of all who are destitute.

Those who have no voice need advocates. We are to serve as the voices for the voiceless. We are compelled to speak up “for the rights of all who are destitute.” In other words, speak up for the ones “who cannot speak for themselves” and “defend the rights of all those who have nothing” (NCV).

It is biblical. It is logical. It make sense. It provides us with a means for supporting and loving our neighbor as we are called to do.

Open your mouth, judge righteously,
    defend the rights of the poor and needy.

We are called to serve as defenders of “the rights of the poor and needy.” It refrains the previous verse’s point of ” defend the rights of those who have nothing.” It places the responsibility on us, not God. He has empowered us and equipped us to engage on such matters and subjects. In this case, we need to serve as defenders.

The poor and needy are most likely not registered to vote. More than likely, the poor and the needy have not completed the census. In many cases, the poor and the needy might be undocumented, under the radar, and off the grid. Yet, the Bible is clear that we are called as their defenders, particularly when it comes to their rights.

Injustice has spilled over from the boiling pot and has licked the flames to a critical point of time. The issues of social justice and inequality have awakened hearts and minds of many. Solidarity has formed among many people of many colors on a widespread issue that seeks justice ad accountability.

But where are the Christians?

If anyone should speak up, it should be us. If anyone should be sickened by unfair treatment of people of any kind, it should be us. These two verses confirm such a stance.

Do not sit back in silence. Become vigilant and vocal about addressing wrongs that are happening right before your eyes.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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