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Statement on Racial Injustice

June 2, 2020

Band practice

From WLC's President, Dr. Daniel W. Johnson:

Friends of Wisconsin Lutheran College,

It's with a heavy and sad heart that I address the events of this past week regarding the death of George Floyd and the subsequent aftermath that has been so disturbing, crushing, and heartbreaking. What happened to George Floyd, and others before him, was beyond egregious and there are just no words. Racism in America is so complex and so complicated - more than I can try to note within these brief comments, and yet here we are. The events of this past week are certainly deserving of peaceful protests and much-needed conversations. However, the unspeakable violence and looting is not the answer.

We know there are bad characters because of sin in every profession - in law enforcement, health care, on Wall Street, and in education too. To the vast majority of women and men in law enforcement who so courageously serve with integrity and honor and protect our communities and colleges too, thank you. Our hearts go out to you too.

More than anything though, I simply want to remind all of us that we need to be open to and engage in ongoing, tough, and honest conversations on race. We recognize that we don't have all the answers. However, we have a God who does.

The only way through this mess is grace - undeserved love and forgiveness that we only have in our Best Friend, Jesus. In Scripture when Jesus was asked about what are the greatest commandments... what are THE most important things for all of us on planet earth to know, Jesus said this: Love God. Love your neighbor.

That's it… love God. Love your neighbor… all your neighbors… of every tongue, every tribe, every nationality, and ethnicity. It's the beautiful mosaic of God's creation. So, as we continue to confront the past, and engage in really tough and complicated issues moving forward, love your neighbor. Live grace.

We also need to PRAY about this. Right now, we need to bombard the throne of God and ask him NOW to heal this nation like only Grace in Christ can. If your church hasn't prayed about this whole situation, ask your spiritual leader to rally the throne of God this Sunday and implore our God to help heal this nation and help us put this back together - to help us better love Him by loving our neighbor. As Christians, we need to lead in this healing and we need to pray about this.

Finally, we recognize that the unjust death of George Floyd and the recent events since highlights the persistent inequities faced by our non-white brothers and sisters. WLC stands with our community leaders and partners and recognizes that serious changes need to take place within our country, region, and our cities. Racism and systemic inequities in access to education, justice, and other aspects of society are unacceptable. We are committed to work alongside our community partners to ensure the safety, well-being, and security of all people.

Warriors family, we can't wait to come back together in August. What a surreal couple of months this has been. As the next generation of Christian servant leaders, we need you to help all of us keep living and loving like Jesus. Our world needs more Christian servant leaders like you - and I really believe this generation of young people has a fresh and unique perspective on this whole issue of race. We need to keep learning from you and with you… and we look forward to the return of our WLC family in a few months.

Warriors, love God by loving your neighbor. And pray mightily for God's healing of our broken country.