Saturday, July 16, 2016

Unity Rally Speech

My heart has been heavy over the past few weeks as we have seen what many would call racial unrest across our country. Terrible events in Texas, Minnesota, and Louisiana have polarized our nation. There are strong feelings, and emotions are high. While we can’t do much about what is happening in other states, we can come together right here in our county.

I keep hearing words like race, racial, and racism, but I don’t like that word race. Until the 1850s the word race only referred to nationalities, like the English race, or the Spanish race. It had nothing to do with skin color. It wasn’t until Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species that the word took on a new meaning. He grouped people together by skin color, and his theory was that different races evolved over time, with some groups more evolved than others. This was the beginning of racism.

Scientifically, there is only one race—the human race. We are all homo sapiens. Scientists have now mapped out the human genome, and there is almost no difference between any two humans. In fact, the genetic difference between any two people is only .2%, and that is mostly attributed to different levels of melanin located in our skin. The only difference between us is that some are a little lighter and others a little darker, all in accordance with how God made us.

In other words, red and yellow, black and white, we’re all precious in God’s sight.

I believe the blood of Jesus that flowed down from the cross was color blind, and “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  Now the Bible teaches that the greatest command is to love—to love God with all your heart, and to love everyone else the way you love yourself.

In John’s vision of the end times, he saw people gathered around the throne from every kindred and nation and tribe and tongue—people from all walks of life. If we’re going to get along up there, we should be able to get along down here. But if we can’t get along down here, I’m not convinced we will even make it up there. Loving others is now the test to see if we really love God.

So life can’t be me versus you, or us versus them. Let us focus on what unites not, not what divides us. Let us focus not on what is different, but on what we have in common. We are one. We are all Americans. We are all South Carolinians. We are all part of the human race. We are all created equal in the image of God. We are one.  So let us love.