It is with a troubled heart that I write this letter, for the words of DeSean Jackson of the Philadelphia Eagles regarding our Jewish brothers and sisters have caused me great pain. I am grateful to God for my brothers and sisters of the Jewish faith who stand with us day by day as we fight racism in this country. It lets us know we are not in this battle by ourselves, therefore we are obligated to stand side by side with them for there is no place in our world for any kind of hatred. Anti-Semitism cannot be tolerated and we cannot remain silent. Racism of any form is against all of the ethics of our faith. If one is hurt, we are all hurt.
I do not even want to repeat the words that were said by DeSean Jackson and others, who continually use words to divide us across racial and faith lines. I cannot count the times we, as African Americans, have received prayers and words of encouragement during these times as we raise our voices and say, “Black Lives Matter.” As a community, we have to make our voices heard and say loud and clear that racism has no place in our community.
When one suffers, we all suffer. We remember the words of the profit Amos, “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God.” I have been blessed to pastor the Bethlehem Baptist Church for over 34 years and have been a part of the Wissahickon Faith Community. Rabbi Gregory Marx, the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Or, has proven to be a friend, colleague, and brother. The members of Congregation Beth Or, as well as all of our houses of faith, are gifts from God. I pray the time will come we will not have to respond to these kinds of hurtful words and ungodly deeds we see every day.
It does not matter whether the individual is a sports figure, entertainer, politician, or civic leader, they are supported by people, and consequently, no matter how successful their careers may be, without the support of ordinary people they would not receive the fame and riches they have.
Let us rise up and condemn every word or deed that seeks to tear down another human being and let us make our voices heard that love is stronger than hate, and we will not let our voices go unheard. May we all seek shalom and strive for justice and equality. Remember: no peace, no justice!
Charles W. Quann, Pastor
Bethlehem Baptist Church