Lutherans say they “have no need to play a part” in the civil right movement, while at the same time calling for more justice and equality for all people.
A statement issued by the American Legion says, “In the wake of the recent killings in Charleston, the Lutherans of the South, who represent many generations of the black church, have no need for an organization like the American Civil Liberties Union, which was founded on the premise that all people are equal under the law.
We ask you to support our work for justice and for equality for everyone.”
The statement also calls on members to join the American Freedom Defense Initiative, which is dedicated to fighting “anti-Black racism, the criminalization of Black people, and the oppression of Black women.”
The American Legion statement also says, “[T]he American Civil Rights Movement was a part and parcel of the Civil Rights movement, not a separate and distinct movement.
It was an extension of the struggle for Black liberation and equality.
It is a movement rooted in the struggle of Black Americans for the right to vote, the right for them to own guns, and for them the right of their communities to elect and control elected officials.
The American Civil War was the war fought to end segregation and the civil war fought against Jim Crow.
Today, the Civil War is a time of civil rights, not one of race, ethnicity, or religion.
Lutherans are in the forefront of civil-rights and anti-racist efforts, but we will not play a role in any civil rights or anti-racism efforts until we are willing to work together for justice.”
A statement from the American Unity Committee, which represents several of the country’s largest Protestant denominations, said, “Lutherans in the South have no desire to be part of a movement that promotes racial segregation.
Our goal is the equal rights of all, not the pursuit of racial separation.”