Leadership Group to Fight Hate with Love
On Monday morning, July 13th, citizens from the Abilene Community met at Station One Venue, the scene where words of hate had been written, to speak words of love.
Someone had painted a swastika sign on the property and written a racially insensitive word laced with profanity.
Dr. Kelvin Kelly, Associate Professor of Practical Theology at HSU, Dr. Jeanene Reese, Associate Professor of Bible at Abilene Christian University, Dr. Jason King, Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at Hardin Simmons University, and Dr. Jerry Taylor, Founding Director of the Carl Spain Center for Religious and Spiritual Action, came together to put the community on notice that this is not acceptable. They also announced the formation of a group called Abilene African American Council of Leaders, who will work for a better community.
Dr. Kelvin Kelly said: “Abilene has long declared itself an all-American city.” These important characteristic demands action just as much as distinction. Therefore, let us be clear on this, in order to be an All-American city, we must honor all of our citizens.” We must take practical action to accomplish this simple principle of the golden rule: to honor, value and serve one another. Any other interpretation of this golden rule or this Christian code of conduct, is spiritual malpractice. Love requires action.
Dr. Reese had this to say about the individuals who wrote the graffiti: “They are not my enemy. They are my neighbor. ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ “It is time for all citizens in Abilene, Texas to unite and come together”.
Dr. Jerry Taylor said, “We have come to call all our fellow citizens of Abilene, Texas to stand courageously together as peacemakers, despite the invitations extended to us to make war with others because of our race, creed, color or culture. Our city is blessed with three major institutions of higher religious learning, as well as numerous local churches that claim to be under the Lordship of the Prince of Peace. Christians are called to expose and challenge credible threats to peace. Our primary vocation as Christians is to be peacemakers”. Jesus said, “blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons and daughters of God”.
Dr. Jason King echoed the same sentiments as his peers.