According to The Dallas Morning News, Amber Guyger got 10 years in prison Wednesday for murdering Botham Jean, a sentence that set off angry chants outside the courtroom and an unexpected moment of forgiveness inside. “If you truly are sorry,” Botham’s 18-year-old brother, Brandt Jean, told Guyger from the witness stand before walking down and embracing her, “I know I can speak for myself, I forgive you.” The victim’s mother, Allison Jean, said Guyger’s sentence would give the fired officer 10 years to reflect and “change her life.” The native St. Lucian also called for change and a renewed focus on police training in the city where her son died. “There is much more to be done by the city of Dallas,” she said, addressing a crowd gathered around her on the seventh floor of the courthouse. “The corruption that we saw during this process must stop.” Prosecutors had asked for no less than 28 years, a reminder that Jean would have celebrated his 28th birthday this week if not for Guyger. After a day of testimony focused on how long Guyger would spend in prison, Jean’s 18-year-old brother said in his victim-impact statement that he wished she didn’t have to serve any time at all. Instead, he said, he wanted for Guyger what his older brother would have wanted. “I think giving your life to Christ would be the best thing that Botham would want for you,” he told her. “I love you as a person, and I don’t wish anything bad on you.” “Can I give her a hug, please?” Brandt Jean asked. As soon as the judge said it was OK, Guyger rushed to the victim’s brother and wrapped her arms around him. They held each other in a long embrace, while sobbing could be heard in the courtroom. State District Judge Tammy Kemp wiped away tears during the moment.
According to Religion News Service, Islamic extremist group Boko Haram released a video last week showing the execution of two Christian aid workers in Nigeria, sources said. Lawrence Duna Dacighir and Godfrey Ali Shikagham, both members of the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN) in Plateau state, are shown kneeling while three masked, armed men stand behind them in a video posted Sept. 22 on Boko Haram’s Amaq news agency site. The two young men, who had gone to Maiduguri to help build shelters for people displaced by Islamic extremist violence, are then shot from behind. Speaking in the Hausa language, the middle one of the three terrorists says in the video that they have vowed to kill every Christian they capture in revenge for Muslims killed in past religious conflicts in Nigeria. Dacighir and Shikagham, originally from Plateau state’s Mangu County, were captured by Boko Haram, now called the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), as they carried out their work in displaced persons camps. Pastor Pofi, a cousin of the two executed Christians, told Morning Star News in a text message statement also shared with others that the two Plateau state natives had gone to Maiduguri from Abuja. “Lawrence and Godfrey left Abuja for Maiduguri in search of opportunities to utilize their skills for the betterment of humanity and paid with their lives,” Pofi said. “We will never get their corpses to bury. The community will have to make do with a makeshift memorial to these young lives cut short so horrifically.” If the federal government had created economic opportunities for those tempted to join extremist groups and had returned security to the country, his cousins would not be dead now, Pastor Pofi said. “We must ask ourselves if this is the kind of country we want where young men who are earning an honest living are brutally killed while those who abduct and kill others are invited to dialogue with government and paid handsomely,” he said.
According to Christianity Today, Cain Hope Felder, a groundbreaking Bible scholar who called attention to the presence of black people in the Old and New Testaments, has died at the age of 76. Part of the first wave of black Bible professors in the US, Felder’s research challenged generations of scholarship that ignored or downplayed race in Scripture. By showcasing the numerous people with dark skin mentioned in the Bible, the longtime Howard University School of Divinity professor argued that white interpreters had erased black people from the text. That erasure, he said, enabled modern, racist readings of the Scripture. “Black people are not only frequently mentioned,” he wrote, “but are also mentioned in ways that are favorable in terms of acknowledging their actual and potential role in the salvation history of Israel.” Based on his textual and linguistic analysis, as well as his research into the cultures of the ancient Near East, Felder concluded that Moses’s wife Zipporah was black; there were black people in King David’s army in 2 Samuel; and Ebed-Melek, the royal official who saved the prophet Jeremiah’s life in Jeremiah 38, was also black. Felder said it was possible the prophet Zephaniah was black too. He said Jesus was a person of color who might look black in modern America—and certainly didn’t look like a “white Hollywood star.” The world of the Bible was full of racial and ethnic diversity, according to Felder, a United Methodist. Noting the pluralism, he believed, was a first step towards correcting “Eurocentric” interpretations, which can impose modern racial attitudes, including white supremacy, onto the text. His death was announced by Howard, where Felder taught for 35 years. On social media, African American scholars, journalists and activists shared memories and appreciation for his life and work.
According to NBC News, A black student at a Christian school in Virginia who accused three white sixth grade boys of cutting her dreadlocks and calling her ugly now says she was lying about the attack. The alleged incident garnered national attention partially because Vice President Mike Pence’s wife, Karen, teaches part-time at Immanuel Christian School. On Monday, Stephen Danish, the head of Immanuel Christian School, said in a statement that Amari had “acknowledged that the allegations were false.” Danish thanked the Fairfax County Police Department for their work investigating the accusations. The Fairfax Police Department had no comment Monday. Amari’s family’s attorney told NBC Washington that security camera footage viewed during the investigation showed that the attack did not happen where and when Amari alleged. She does maintain that she has been bullied, the attorney said. “While we are relieved to hear the truth and bring the events of the past few days to a close, we also feel tremendous pain for the victims and the hurt on both sides of this conflict. We recognize that we now enter what will be a long season of healing,” Danish’s statement said. “This ordeal has revealed that we as a school family are not immune from the effects of deep racial wounds in our society. We view this incident as an opportunity to be part of a learning and healing process, and we will continue to support the students and families involved,” he said. In a statement, Amari’s family apologized to the three boys and their parents, the school and the community. “We understand there will be consequences, and we’re prepared to take responsibility for them. We know that it will take time to heal, and we hope and pray that the boys, their families, the school and the broader community will be able to forgive us in time,” the statement said.
According to Black Press USA, Their raised fists were as legendary as they were controversial. Tommie Smith and John Carlos, known for their Black Power salute during the 1968 Olympics medal ceremonies, have earned induction into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. The induction is scheduled for Nov. 1. Smith’s and Carlos’ gestures of declaration, performed at the height of the civil rights movement in the U.S., were among the most powerful statements made during that era in American history. The two athletes courageously used the world’s biggest stage to take a stand against racism, injustice, and inequality. Their selection to the Hall of Fame, an honor based on character, conduct, and off-field contributions, comes 51 years after the U.S. Olympic Committee — and much of White America — vilified the heroes. “It sends the message that maybe we had to go back in time and make some conscious decisions about whether we were right or wrong,” Carlos told USA Today. “They’ve come to the conclusion that, ‘Hey man, we were wrong. We were off-base in terms of humanity relative to the human rights era.’” The men competed in the 200-meter sprint during the Olympic Games held in Mexico. Smith won the gold, while Carlos earned a bronze medal.
According to the Associated Press, A federal judge Tuesday cleared Harvard University of discriminating against Asian American applicants in a ruling that was seen as a major victory for supporters of affirmative action in college admissions across the U.S. In a closely watched lawsuit that had raised fears about the future of affirmative action, a group called Students for Fair Admissions accused the Ivy League college of deliberately — and illegally — holding down the number of Asian Americans accepted in order to preserve a certain racial balance on campus. U.S. District Judge Allison D. Burroughs, however, ruled that Harvard’s admissions process is “not perfect” but passes constitutional muster. She said there is “no evidence of any racial animus whatsoever” and no evidence that any admission decision was “negatively affected by Asian American identity.” “Race conscious admissions will always penalize to some extent the groups that are not being advantaged by the process,” Burroughs wrote, “but this is justified by the compelling interest in diversity and all the benefits that flow from a diverse college population.” Her ruling, which came after a three-week trial a year ago, brings temporary relief to other universities that consider race as a way to ensure campus diversity. But it also sets the stage for a prolonged battle that some experts predict will go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. While Harvard President Lawrence S. Bacow welcomed the ruling, saying that the consideration of race and many other factors “helps us achieve our goal of creating a diverse student body that enriches the education of every student,” Students for Fair Admissions said it will appeal. In the case against Harvard, the plaintiffs argued that Asian Americans were held to a higher standard in admissions, amounting to an “Asian penalty,” while the school gave preference to black and Hispanic students with poorer grades.
According to The Wrap, Opera legend Jessye Norman died Monday at age 74. The soprano died from septic shock and multi-organ failure secondary to complications of a spinal cord injury she had sustained in 2015, according to a family statement issued to the Associated Press. “We are so proud of Jessye’s musical achievements and the inspiration that she provided to audiences around the world that will continue to be a source of joy. We are equally proud of her humanitarian endeavors addressing matters such as hunger, homelessness, youth development, and arts and culture education,” the family statement read. Norman was born in Georgia to a musical family. As a child, she sang in the church gospel choir and listened to the Metropolitan Opera via radio. It wouldn’t be until 1982, after spending a decade in Europe building up her operatic repertoire, when she made her U.S. debut performing with the Opera Company of Philadelphia. She would debut at the Metropolitan Opera — the company she listened to as a child on the radio — the following year. By the mid-’80s, she was one of the most in-demand sopranos in the world. Norman sang at the second inaugurations of presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. In 1996, she sang at the Opening Ceremony of the 1996 Summer Olympics, which were held in her home state of Georgia. She also famously sang at the 9/11 memorial in March 2002. Norman won four Grammy Awards over her long career and won the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. She was also bestowed many honors, including the Légion d’honneur, the Kennedy Center Honors, and National Media of the Arts. She received the 12th Glenn Gould Prize for her contribution to opera and the arts in 2018. She was also a philanthropist, contributing to many causes dear to heart, including music and homeless programs, and AIDS research.
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In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Thanks so much for listening and may God bless your day!