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Newsline: Brethren leaders release statement on cartoon in N.Y. Post
Thu, 26 Feb 2009 15:50:46 -0600
Newsline: Church of the Brethren News Service -- Feb. 26, 2009
Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, News Director
800-323-8039 ext. 260 -- email@example.com
CHURCH OF THE BRETHREN LEADERS RELEASE STATEMENT ON NEW YORK POST CARTOON
(Feb. 26, 2009) Elgin, IL -- A statement responding to a cartoon published by the New York Post on Feb. 18 has been issued by three key Church of the Brethren leaders: Annual Conference moderator David Shumate, Mission and Mi nistry Board chair Edwin H. Edmonds, and Church of the Brethren general sec retary Stanley J. Noffsinger. The statement follows in full:
"A statement from Church of the Brethren leadership responding to a cartoon published by the New York Post on Feb. 18, 2009:
"The Church of the Brethren leadership expresses grave concern about a cart oon published by the New York Post on Feb. 18, portraying the image of a de ad chimpanzee, shot by police, alongside a reference to the federal governm ent's economic stimulus bill.
"Our concerns center on the cartoon's use of old racist symbolism equating those of African descent with monkeys, and the way it connects that racist symbolism to President Obama, our nation's first African-American president .
"We are concerned about the effect of this cartoon personally for people of African descent, and its effect on our society as a whole during a time in which many hope that America is moving beyond its racist past. Our deepest concern, however, is that the cartoon might be interpreted to encourage vi olence against President Obama and other African-American people.
"Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corporation, which owns the New Y ork Post, has apologized personally for the publication of the cartoon and we are grateful for that. However, the apology does not detract from our co ncerns about the destructive effects of the cartoon.
"We call on members of the Church of the Brethren to hold President Obama a nd his family and the whole African-American community in prayer, and we ca ll our church to a new awareness of how frightening expressions of violent racism are for people in minority groups in our country. We are painfully a ware of an increase in hate crime, and of the various threats that have bee n made against President Obama since he was elected.
"We suggest that members of our church and people of good faith across the United States seek positive responses to the harm that may have been done b y the cartoon. If we act together with faith, we may seize this difficult e xperience in our life as a nation and convert it into an opportunity to do outreach and relationship building with people of every ethnicity, and make it into an opening to talk with the children in our families and Sunday sc hool classrooms about how God loves all people equally.
"The scriptures continue to encourage us as we walk together toward the Kin gdom of God, where we will be among 'a great multitude...from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb' (Revelation 7:9).
"In the name of Christ, our hope and our peace."
The Church of the Brethren is a Christian denomination committed to continu ing the work of Jesus peacefully and simply, and to living out its faith in community. The denomination is based in the Anabaptist and Pietist faith t raditions and is one of the three Historic Peace Churches. It celebrated it s 300th anniversary in 2008. It counts more than 125,000 members across the United States and Puerto Rico, and has missions and sister churches in Nig eria, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and India.
># # #
>For more information contact:
>Director of News Services
>Church of the Brethren
>1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120
>800-323-8039 ext. 260
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