Dear White Christians of Florida

christstainedglassAn Open Letter from Pastor Michael Bledsoe, Riverside Baptist Church Washington DC.

Dear White Christians of Florida:

Far be it that I, a white clergyman who is not a lawyer, instruct you as to the illogical nature of your “stand your ground” license to kill but let us note something that is apparent now after two cases where your predominantly white juries could not agree to convict a man who admitted he killed an unarmed teen-ager: if you convict a person for attempting to murder ten teens but fail to convict the killer for actually killing a teen, then you have incentivized killing since, not only on the face of it but in actuality, you have told the person we will not convict you for killing a black, unarmed teen-ager but we will imprison you for attempting it.

The stench from your houses of worship is wafting its way across this country, polluting citizenship, demoralizing parents and families, mocking accountability and blaspheming the Holy God whom you say you love and worship. If that offends you, try reading Amos.

Here is my premise and I dare you to prove me wrong: if white Christians in Florida stood up and cried out for justice, demanding an end to the license-to-kill-stand-your-ground law, it would be rescinded immediately. Where is your conscience? Where is the little light you promised to shine for Christ? You have put it beneath a bushel and suffocated it. You know as well as anyone that teen-agers should not be killed for playing loud music. But then, we all know don’t we, that Jordan Davis was not killed for playing loud music. He was killed for being an uppity black kid who dared to smart off to a drunken white man with a concealed weapon’s permit. Speak up, for Christ’s sake, for the sake of your conscience and because you know in your heart of hearts that had a black man killed your white son playing music in a car with friends, you probably would not have to be demanding he be tried because a mob of white folks would have administered mob justice. Shame. Shame. Shame!

White Christians of Florida, speak up for justice. Stand up and demand that this license for murder be removed from your books, from your lives. Stop defending it. It is but a few steps removed from lynching. And you recall, do you not, that the center of the Gospels is the story of the passion of our Lord who was lynched by Romans who perceived him as a threat?

I’ll end with a word from the great neo-Orthodox theologian Karl Barth, a man acquainted with evil in the form of Nazism and who, along with a small group of other ministers, signed the Barmen Declaration, refusing to swear an oath to the Fuhrer. This is what he said in the 20th century—it is as apt today for your hearing as then: “The time is not always ripe. It may be past, it may be still to come. But woe to the church if when the time does come it is silent….”

Speak up for justice. Rescind Stand Your Ground for the blasphemous sham it is. Do it because were the roles reversed, you would want someone to cry out for your murdered child.

In the Name of the Murdered and Risen Christ,

Dr. Michael Bledsoe
February 16.2014


9 thoughts on “Dear White Christians of Florida”

    1. Sharon knows it’s a race issue. This seems to be the new way of trying to hide the race issue by saying it’s a human being thing or a human race issue. Pure stupidity.

      1. I agree Daniel. It is blatantly obvious that the white businessman in any court is treated differently from a young black man. I could give a dozen examples. I am a white woman and I live in FL. It is definetly a race ‘thing” if thats what you want to call murder.

    2. You are wrong. Race had everything to do with it! The cleric was right when he said, “you know in your heart of hearts that had a black man killed your white son playing music in a car with friends, you probably would not have to be demanding he be tried because a mob of white folks would have administered mob justice. The problem persists because so many people just like you refuse to acknowledge the truth.

  1. Not until 2 or 3 white teens are killed for harassing some middle-aged African Americans , and stand your ground gives them justification will there be an outcry. It is going to happen soon because white teens sag, wear hoodies, and listen to loud rap music also. They also are obnoxious like black teens too. It is just a matter of time before the roles are reversed. And then… Oh what an outcry will there be then. When Cleofis Brown walks for killing a white teen there will those begging that legislators take another look at stand your ground in Florida. Karma works that way!

  2. I don’t believe that Dr. Bledsoe understands SYG laws, and his politically-driven self-righteous condemnation of them with a diff view – those ‘white Christians’ who don’t agree with him? – is a crock.
    I get his gig, though: he’s speakin’ truth to power, he’s daring to be daring, he & his are the faithful remnant, and them others are all whited sepulchres & even nazis. I get it.

    1. uh no really don’t get it..not even close. The stand your ground law happened to be in the jury instructions in case you don’t know. So those ‘white christians’ who are in your face about Jesus and how christian they are and yet don’t stand up in their communities and condemn these murderers are a crock huh? Educate yourself please.

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