In the past, local religious leaders attempted to deal with church segregation. “For a season, it was a fad where folks became excited,” said Rodney McAuley, director of community and church engagement for Spokane Youth for Christ. “We did events and projects where we began the process of tearing down those walls, but when it got tough or when we bumped up against the real life difficulties and challenges around our differences, we, in my estimation, did not maintain the intentionality to see the breakthrough.”
Statistically, church segregation is common as 93 percent of churches are uniracial, meaning their membership is at least 80 percent of one racial group. Going beyond numbers, Rodney McAuley, director of community and church engagement for Spokane Youth for Christ, and Russ Davis, pastor of leadership development, teaching, and administration at New Community Church, offer seven reasons why people should want to do something about church segregation.
The time that Christians are coming together to praise God — 11 a.m. on Sundays — is also the most segregated hour of America, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once pointed out. Two local religious leaders say decades later King’s words still ring true. They offered their insights on church segregation today, explaining what it looks like, why they believe people should care, and what can be done about it.
In the wake of Trayvon Martin’s death on Feb. 26, 2012, and now again in the aftermath of the acquittal of his shooter, George Zimmerman, many commentators have speculated on how the outcome might have been different if some critical aspect of the case were different. I call this the What If game. For example, “What if Martin were white?”
Anthea Butler, an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Department of Religious Studies, said the acquittal of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot Trayvon Martin last year, shows that God is an armed white racist stalking young black men, the New York Post reported Wednesday.
Leaders from Washington’s African American, Latino, Asian, Native American, and Middle Eastern communities gathered Monday in Seattle, Spokane, Olympia, Tacoma and the Tri-Cities to release the new report “Facing Race: 2012 Legislative Report Card on Racial Equity."