I did not get the news of the Zimmerman verdict until after Sunday morning. Remarkably, I thought, I included in the message a quote from a letter by John Wesley to William Wilberforce, written only a week before Wesley’s death. Wesley was urging Wilberforce to remain strong in the battle to abolish slavery and offered up even larger questions of civil rights on February 24, 1791. The quote below is from Albert Outler’s wonderful compendium John Wesley, page 86:
O be not weary of well doing! Go on, in the name of God and in the power of his might, till even American slavery (the vilest that ever saw the sun) shall vanish away before it. … I was particularly struck by that circumstance that a man who has a black skin, being wronged or outraged by a white man, can have no redress; it being a “law” in all our colonies that the oath of a black against a white goes for nothing. What villany is this?
Some well-written and more current reflections on race and religion in our nation that are worth reading are linked below. They start from the verdict in the Zimmerman case and reflect from there. It is worth prayer and self-reflection, particularly by those of us in a position of privilege.