November 25th, 2014

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

The Whited Sepulchre: The Stench of Corruption

The Gospel According to Matthew 23:27...Alas for you, lawyers and Pharisees, hypocrites.  You are like tombs covered with whitewash; they look well from outside, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all kinds of filth.  So it is with you: you look like honest men, but inside you are brimful of hypocrisy and crime...

And here we have the white sepulchre, the carnal house of white supremacy, covering itself in white sheets and hoods, but inside--hatred, hypocrisy, crime.   For the coverup that began on the day Michael Brown was shot down for walking down the middle of a street...the day the police department began its campaign of lies to prove that he was a criminal and deserved to be shot down and left lying in the street for hours...that day was nothing more or less than the construction of yet another whited sepulchre of exactly the kind Jesus meant--a collusion of those in power to justify the murder of another African-American youth.  Whitewash the story, make it all about the poor innocent white man (in a car, with a gun) who was afraid for his life and had no other choice but to pour bullet after bullet into a kid...try to cover up the long stinking history of racism in Ferguson, of mistreatment and neglect and downright dishonesty towards its African-American citizens. 

But it cannot be done.  The stench covers the land...there is not enough whitewash and or white sheeting to smother that sickly odor: hypocrisy, hatred, malice, deceit.   It is not just in Ferguson.  It is in every state, in every county of every state, in every community in every county of every state.  The stench rises from every grave where a person of color lies who was killed because he or she was black or brown...while white people who had done the same thing walked alive and free, from every cell in every jail and prison where a girl or boy or man or woman sits confined because they were black or brown....while white people who had done the same thing went free or got "community service." 

You are like tombs covered with whitewash; they look well from outside, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all kinds of filth.

Those in power in Ferguson are white--have been white--have been content to see their African-American citizens suffer--to deny them justice, to deny them education, to deny them any respect at all.  Educated people.  Cultured people, they will tell you.  Law abiding people.   With that shell of white on the outside, they believe they're entitled to all the respect, all the privilege.  But inside, they are filthier, dirtier, nastier, uglier, more vicious than an entire slum.  And they know it.   And so they project their own crimes, and their hypocrisy, onto the poor, the powerless.  Instead of cleaning out their own filth, they blame it on others.

...And so on you will fall the guilt of all the innocent blood spilt on the ground...

And from Chapter 25, 31-46: When the Son of Man comes in his glory and all the angels with him, he will sit in state on his throne, with all the nations gathered before him.  He will separate men into two groups, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

The reasons for the division, for who is a beloved sheep and who is judged an unwanted goat?  Not intelligence, not creativity, not education, not wealth, not the color of their skins, not fame/celebrity, not power...but something simpler and much harder.   For the sheep, they had obeyed the command to love their neighbors:

For when I was hungry, you gave me food; when thirsty, you gave me drink; when I was a stranger, you took me into your home; when naked, you clothed me; when I was ill you came to my help; when I was in prison you visited me.

And that meant "anything you did for one of my brothers here, however humble, you did for me."

The goats...did none of these things and for that--for lack of love, for refusing to grasp that everyone in the community was a brother, however humble--...they will go away to eternal punishment.

There are, this tragic night, white people in St. Louis saying they're afraid now.   Never mind that whites control the government, the army, the National Guard--that they have the armor and the guns and the bullets and the tear gas.   These people have created in their own minds monstrous images to justify the killing of Michael Brown and others, the jailing of thousands more.  And so they're afraid. 

And they should be afraid.  But not of the people they think are scary...people who, at worst, can only kill their bodies--but of God, who can unmake them wholly or send them to eternal torment, as many believe.  Of God, who can see right through that white skin into that evil heart and thus knows the reality of each individual.   They should be afraid of Judgment.

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