Russell Moore, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, is calling out white evangelical Christians who are looking the other way from the brutal killing of Ahmaud Arbery.
In an essay published on his website, Moore said that the video showing two white men chasing down and shooting Arbery deserves Christians’ attention as a matter of basic justice.
“There is no, under any Christian vision of justice, situation in which the mob murder of a person can be morally right,” he writes. “Those who claim to have a high view of Romans 13 responsibilities of the state to ‘wield the sword’ against evildoers ought to be the first to see that vigilante justice is the repudiation not just of constitutional due process but of the Bible itself.”
Moore then said that many white Christians seem tempted to write off Arbery’s killing because they don’t want to confront issues of racism in the United States.
“Sadly, though, many black and brown Christians have seen much of this, not just in history but in flashes of threats of violence in their own lives,” he writes. “And some white Christians avert their eyes—even in cases of clear injustice—for fear of being labeled “Marxists” or “social justice warriors” by the same sort of forces of intimidation that wielded the same arguments against those who questioned the state-sponsored authoritarianism and terror of Jim Crow. And so, they turn their eyes.”