1) I no longer care about the moral gymnastics it takes for many to justify treason, human bondage, and the church’s historic complicity in such actions. There is no justification. Those who bore arms against the United States are not heroes. Churches aren’t places where human brutality and immorality can ever be justified. This may have been the case when traitors were heroes and God endorsed slave-holding. Not any longer. Ocracoke United Methodist Church is out of the historic moral gymnastics business. If your church is in the historic moral gymnastics business, leave now.
2) I no longer care about your love of history as embodied in statues to fallen generals. Idolatry is a sin. Statues have been a problem since Moses left the Israelites to go and pick up the 10 commandments. Scripture is replete with God’s people being divided and conquered by idols and the theologies those idols represent.
3) I no longer care who owned slaves and who didn’t own slaves. I don’t care how far the tradition goes back in western or non western civilization. Slavery is and was repugnant. The argument ends there. Anyone who endorses slavery is justifying evil.
4) I no longer care that your great-great grand father fought beside General Lee and while you yourself are not a racist you can see the bigger economic picture driving the South’s desire to secede. I don’t care. Traitors are traitors. There’s no bigger picture with Benedict Arnold, Nazis, ISIS, Emperor Hirohito, Kim Jong-un, Osama bin Laden, the 19 hijackers, Ho Chi Minh, or the Army of Northern Virginia.
5) I no longer care that you believe the expression “It is heritage not hate” will fool me into believing you’re not a racist.
6) I no longer care about your arguments. I do care about the love of Jesus Christ. I will preach from the pulpit a counter-narrative, a counter protest of scripture; against idolatry, against human bondage, and for the equal love of God for all humankind.