The Anti-Racism Team of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod of the Evangelical Church in America grieves the recent shooting deaths in the Boulder, Colorado, and Atlanta, Georgia areas. We stand in solidarity and support of members of the Asian and Asian American communities who have been harmed by acts of anti-Asian hate. In our mourning for those whose lives were lost, we call for awareness, accountability, and action to combat crimes of violence fueled by racism and ignorance. In our lament for those who have committed such atrocities, we walk boldly toward the acknowledgement that hate crimes are in direct conflict with the Biblical commitment to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves. (Mark 12:29-30).
Anti-Asian racism has tightened its grasp within the United States and abroad as a result of hateful rhetoric surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. The increase in physical and verbal acts of violence targeting persons of Asian descent and other historically marginalized communities reminds us that it is our call, as followers of Christ, to recognize, name, and act against the sins of racism and gun violence while doing all that we can to be agents of change. We can no longer wait in hope that someone else will pick up this cross to carry. For “if not us, who? And if not now, when?”
As members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, we stand on the understanding that gun control is more than a political conversation. Drawing from the ELCA Social Policy Resolution “Community Violence-Gun Control” (CA93.06.10), adopted by the 1993 Churchwide Assembly, we call for “passage and strict enforcement of local, state, and national legislation that rigidly controls manufacture, importation, exportation, sale, purchase, transfer, receipt, possession and transportation of handguns, assault weapons and assault-like weapons and their parts, excluding rifles and shotguns used for hunting and sporting purposes, for use other than law enforcement and military purposes.”
In our relentless pursuit of justice and peace, the Anti-Racism Team of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod of the ELCA challenges every congregation and member to join in the fight against racism, racially motivated hate crimes, and gun violence. There are several ways to partner with us on this commitment:
- Take time to listen to the perspectives of historically oppressed communities when discussions arise surrounding generational impacts of racism and white supremacy.
- Talk with your family about the relationship between our faith and our response to the pain and suffering of racism.
- Explore “A 60-Day Journey Toward Justice in a Culture of Gun Violence.” This is an online resource provided by the ELCA. https://www.elca.org/60days
- Acknowledge God’s command to love one another by expanding your understanding of and interaction with those who are not members of your immediate cultural community.
- Make a financial commitment to the TLGCS Anti-Racism Fund to help the ART bring resources and professional development opportunities to individual members and congregations. Donations can be made by using the following steps: