When Senator John Lewis died on July 17, 2020, the New York Times published his letter “Together You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation” which he had written three days before his death as his last address to the nation. In this letter, he talked about his hopes for the beloved community, which he strove to build since meeting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Here is a portion of the letter:
… I heard the voice of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on an old radio. He was talking about the philosophy and discipline of nonviolence. He said we are all complicit when we tolerate injustice. He said it is not enough to say it will get better by and by. He said each of us has a moral obligation to stand up, speak up and speak out. When you see something that is not right, you must say something. You must do something. Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself.
Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble.
…Though I am gone, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe.
So this week our team of Christian antiracist educators and friends go back into the book Christianity and Critical Race Theory: A Faithful and Constructive Conversation by Robert Chao Romero and Jeff M. Liou to talk about the beloved community, a theological idea full of hope and justice.