A Response re- Peter Bruce article Sunday Times 6th June 2020.
Peter Bruce in his editorial of the 7th June 2020 gets some things right and some woefully wrong! He has powerfully articulated the horror and repugnance that we all feel over the execrable brutality unleashed on George Floyd. We add our voice to the public outcry and declamation of this infamous deed and the attitudes and structures that made it possible.
However, Bruce has missed the point entirely in his assertion as to the origin of this behaviour. He entirely fails to recognise the huge divide which separates political and, in some cases, ecclesiastic institutions from that vibrant and compassionate community of believers that constitutes the true Christian church.
Moreover, he singularly fails to acknowledge that it is this very group that has made radical reforms in society to eradicate the discrimination and exploitation that both we and Bruce abhor.
If Bruce had done his historical homework he would have found that the abolition of slavery was against great opposition dedicatedly driven through the English parliament by William Wilberforce whose sole motivation in doing this was a deep and compelling Christian faith. The same Christian compassion moved Mother Theresa to establish the Missionaries of Charity to bring comfort and nurture to millions of the downtrodden of society throughout the world.
In our country, the same spirit moved a young Moravian missionary Georg Schmidt to begin a work of compassion in 1737 at Genadendal which despite opposition by the government and official church of the day became such an
outstanding beacon of racial harmony and progress that our beloved President Mandela took its name for his official residence as a symbol of reconciliation.
So, Mr Bruce, we join you in strongly decrying the abomination of the events in Minneapolis, but we equally exhort you to please check your facts before irrationally and arbitrarily ascribing responsibility.
The true Church is a body committed to expanding a kingdom where every human being is valued as a unique creation of God with huge and equal individual worth. A body which believes that God became man in Jesus whose very body was broken by the same sort of police brutality that we oppose today.
Please think again, Mr Bruce!
Mr Alex Anderson,
Dr Peter Chapman,
Mr Shaun Courtney,
Mr Mark Kirby,
Dr Daniel Simango,
on behalf of the Augustinian Renewal Fellowship.