Nov 13
Fellow Justice Seekers!
Good People! What exactly comes to mind when we hear that expression? I dare suggest that if we polled any number of people to ascertain a consensus of what “good people” mean, the results would most likely prove inconclusive. On the other hand, why does this even matter? It matters because, if we look to the works and words of the world’s great thinkers, the suggestion is that it takes the actions of “good people” to undo acts of injustice in our world. That is, “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people” (Martin Luther King, Jr.).
“Good People” resonates because it’s nearly one year since the tragic outcomes of the November 8, 2017 election for so many. And once again, so-called “good people” are tasked with electoral opportunities to potentially reverse legislative and executive trends seeking to repeal hard-won civil rights gains by people who have been historically marginalized and/or oppressed. For this reason, even though articulating what “good people” means can be challenging, there is a need for some starting point in identifying “good people” in order to evoke action on their part for the tasks at hand. After all, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men (and women) do nothing” (Edmund Burke).
An example of “good people” might be gleaned from what Jesus taught in his parable of the Good Samaritan. From that story, we can deduce that as beings who are morally aware, “good people” have a duty to help those in need. To standby and assume we carry little or no moral responsibility in dire situations is to allow injustice to persist. In other words, if “good people” are concerned that injustices or evil exists, they will get involved and do something. If they’re indifferent, the conclusion is that nothing’s wrong. Thus, my concern is that “good people” will sit silently by because of indifference. Regrettably, such inaction reflects what Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil… Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
Finally, despite my concerns, I am hopeful. I am refusing to accept that history teeters on having to record that the greatest tragedy of this period was not the deadly words and violent actions of the “bad people” but the appalling silence and indifference of the “good people”. Instead, let us all hold onto these words from Galatians 6:7,8:
“7-8 Don’t be misled: you cannot mock the justice of God. What a person plants, they will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others-… – harvests a crop of weeds… But the one who plants in response to God… harvests a crop of real life…”
If not this, then so-called “good people” simply helps evil to win and cease being good and become accomplices to the evil they did nothing to stop. My hope is that “good people” will do the morally responsible thing in this, America’s season of Thanksgiving.
Yours in Resistance…. Reverend Gale Jones, Executive Pastor

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