June 5, 2020 All Lives Cannot Matter Until All Lives Matter

A video message from Father Michael.

Text of the video follows below.

A Pastoral Letter from Father Michael Tinnon

Dear Christ Church Family,

As we have grieved the past several days of life in America – our hearts were broken, our spirits crushed, and our dreams of community up in flames. 

In shock and disbelief, we painfully witnessed the tragic and senseless death of George Floyd – an innocent person of color – killed in the custody of police – yet another victim of the oppressive sin of racism. 

I must confess that like so many others, I expressed great heartache and anger as I heard George Floyd’s final plea for help.  His repeated cries reminiscent of so many other Black people whose lives have “simply not mattered.”

Up close and personal – the world witnessed a defenseless human being lying face down on a dirty metropolitan street, hands cuffed behind his back, a crowd of bystanders looking on – as one police officer forcibly pressed his knee against George Floyd’s neck until all breath and life was extinguished.

These images should forever be seared in our memories.  Such callous disregard for human life should compel every citizen to action.  George Floyd’s death must represent the final wake-up call for every person regardless of race, religion, creed, or color. 

My brother and sisters – our guilt has been exposed.  The time has come.  Our action is long overdue. We can no longer remain silent for our silence condemns us.  We can no longer simply do nothing, stand idly by, turn a blind eye, a deaf ear, or hide behind our white protected status. 

We can no longer smugly preach, “That all lives matter – until ‘ALL’ lives truly matter – until black lives matter.” 

George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other victims of systemic racism were our neighbors – our brothers – our sisters – our family – our friends – our responsibility to protect.  We are indeed our brother and sister’s keeper. 

The words of Jesus ring out loud and clear: “In as much as you cared for the least of these – you demonstrated the love of God.” 

Yes, the time has come for all Americans to stand up, to speak up, to shout out, to stand together.  To boldly seek an end to the sin racism, injustice, inequality, and oppression. 

I am convinced we can succeed – if “united we stand.”  This is my prayer, my hope and dream.