Thursday, June 18, 2015

Rabbi Menachem Creditor on Charleston Church Hate Crime: "This Broken World Demands Upon Us All That We Cry Again to 'Mother Emanuel,' to Mother-God-Who-is-with-Us"

Rabbi Menachem Creditor on yesterday's racist hate crime in an African Methodist Episcopal church in Charleston, South Carolina: 

A church built by former slaves, during a moment of sacred study, was ravaged by bullets last night, fired by a man whose father allegedly gave him a gun for his 21st birthday. 
Nine people lost their lives, cut down in the midst of fellowship, in a Charleston house of worship affectionately known as "Mother Emanuel," which literally translates as "Mother, God, You are with us."   . . . 
The Bible commands that we choose life. Believers and atheists know that command. This broken world demands upon us all that we cry again to "Mother Emanuel," to Mother-God-Who-is-with-U , upon the blood of our sisters and brothers in Charleston. 
We must sing louder than weapons, embodying the words of Psalms: 
"Those who sow in tears, will reap, will reap in joy." 
Believers and our fellow citizens must embody the endurance to end the insanity ripping through thousands of bodies and millions of souls. We must see the sacred in each other's eyes, sanctifying human lives by rebuilding God's Home by saving each other's.

Pope Francis issued an encyclical today that asks the world to join Saint Francis of Assisi in singing a canticle of praise for the beautiful gifts of Sister-Mother Earth. Unfortunately, that encyclical undercuts its message about the value of mothers and sisters to the human community by stressing in a very heavy-handed way that the Christian faith centers on the revelation that God is Father.

Not Mother.

Rabbi Menachem asks us to sing louder than weapons, confident that when we sow in tears, we will reap in joy. Significantly, he also points out that the historic church in which the horrific hate crime occurred yesterday is affectionately known in its community as Mother Emanuel.

For Rabbi Menachem, as we pursue the healing of our fractured world and confront the violence that runs like a dark fate everywhere through the blood-stained fabric of that world, it's important to shine the light of faith on Mother-God-Who-is-with-Us.

Put together Rabbi Menachem's message with Pope Francis's strong, compelling message about healing the world's broken ecological systems, and with his more than off-putting stress that God is Father (when, as Rabbi Menachem rightly notes, God is Mother as well for the Judaeo-Christian tradition), and I wonder what kairotic word is coming to us in the events of this single day.

I find the graphic at a number of websites, with no indication of its original source.

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