This is the Black Christian News Network One podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.
According to Religion News Service, The Army has promoted an African American woman chaplain to the rank of colonel for the first time. Chaplain (Col.) Monica R. Lawson was given the new status in a ceremony streamed live Wednesday (Sept. 2) on the Facebook page of the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School. The African Methodist Episcopal minister is the chief of recruiting and accessions for the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps. “As an African American woman who has always been proud of the skin that I’m in, in this time this is a bright spot in a sea of what seems to be darkness never-ending,” Lawson said during the ceremony in the auditorium of the school at Fort Jackson in South Carolina. “In a time when we are faced with political polarization, racial unrest, a pandemic and economic uncertainty, it’s good to have something to celebrate and to take our minds off of what is going on, if only for a moment.” The hourlong ceremony began with the playing of a recording of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and ended with those gathered in person singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” also known as the Black national anthem. Lawson spoke on the historic occasion of “the sin of racism” and the need for “heartfelt, heart-changing dialogue.”
According to CNN, a new model says more than 410,000 people in the US could die from the coronavirus by January 1, 2021. That would mean 224,000 more lives lost in the US over the next four months. If a herd immunity strategy is pursued, meaning no further government intervention is taken from now to Jan 1st, the death toll could increase to 620,000. The death rate could reach 3,000 a day by December.
According to New York Times, Seven Rochester police officers were suspended on Thursday in the suffocation of a Black man as he was being detained in March, although the mayor and senior state officials faced escalating questions about why more than five months passed before action was taken. The man, Daniel Prude, who was having a psychotic episode, was handcuffed by officers after he ran into the street naked in the middle of the cold night and told at least one passer-by that he had the coronavirus. Mr. Prude began spitting, and the officers responded by pulling a mesh hood over his head, according to police body camera footage. When he tried to rise, the officers forced Mr. Prude face down on the ground, one of them pushing his head to the pavement, the video footage showed. Mr. Prude was held down by the police for two minutes, and had to be resuscitated. He died a week later at the hospital. His death did not receive widespread attention until Wednesday, when his family released raw police videos of the encounter, which they just obtained through an open records request. The scene — a Black man, handcuffed and sitting in a street, wearing nothing but a white hood — seemed a shocking combination of physical helplessness and racist imagery from another era. Rochester, a city of 200,000 in Western New York, became the latest city to be roiled by the death of a Black person in police custody, with protesters taking to the streets on Wednesday and Thursday. The disciplinary action against the seven officers was the first in response to Mr. Prude’s death. In a news conference on Thursday afternoon, Mayor Lovely Warren apologized to the Prude family, saying that Mr. Prude had been failed “by our police department, our mental health care system, our society. And he was failed by me.”
According to Religion News Service, World Vision U.S., an evangelical Christian humanitarian organization, is starting a yearlong initiative on racial justice for U.S. pastors. “May We Be One,” which has had two introductory webinars over the summer, plans to convene free monthly sessions for clergy and other staffers on Sept. 17. The sessions will feature Asian, Black and Latina experts who have taught and written on cross-cultural and multiethnic relations. The decision to move ahead with the project was made by the relief agency’s president within 24 hours of it being proposed to him and within weeks of the death of George Floyd, a Black man, who died under the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer. “I believe this is a once in a generation kind of moment and we need people to step into it,” said Michael Chitwood, a World Vision executive who received approval for the initiative from agency President Edgar Sandoval Sr. “We see the racial injustice that has persisted in the U.S. as something that breaks God’s heart.” More than 950 individuals have registered — as well as the entire staff of more than 300 people at Chicago’s Willow Creek Community Church.
According to The Christian Post, A group that includes a predominantly African American church has filed a lawsuit against the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma seeking reparations for survivors of a 1921 race massacre and their descendants. Filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court, the complaint seeks “to remedy the ongoing nuisance” caused by the race riot that took place over 99 years ago on May 31 and June 1, 1921, in the city’s Greenwood district. Plaintiffs include 105-year-old survivor of the riot Lessie Benningfield Randle, the historic Vernon African Methodist Episcopal Church of Tulsa as well as several residents and descendants of victims of the massacre. The complaint not only describes details of the riot and its damages but also documents subsequent actions that harmed the local African American community. “Defendants’ unlawful acts and omissions in the years and decades following the Massacre blighted the Greenwood neighborhood, endangering the health and safety of the Greenwood community,” the lawsuit argues. “Defendants’ interference with investment in the Greenwood and North Tulsa community and neighborhood, which began after the Massacre, continues to this day.” Defendants named in the complaint include the City of Tulsa, the Tulsa Regional Chamber, the Tulsa Development Authority, the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission, the Tulsa County Board of Commissioners, Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado and the Oklahoma Military Department. In its prayer for relief, the complaint seeks to have reparations funds go to a scholarship fund for the descendants of the massacre victims, compensation for the two confirmed survivors and the funding of programs to benefit the modern Greenwood community.
According to The Christian Post, Over 120 black American leaders in both parties have signed a document addressed to Planned Parenthood, urging it to confront systemic racism inherent in the abortion industry and the legacy of its founder, Margaret Sanger. “Today, we are saying emphatically and unequivocally that Planned Parenthood must confront its racist founding, mission and practices. Too many Black lives have been lost to abortion. All Black lives matter,” the letter reads. Among those who have signed the letter are Louisiana state Senator Katrina Jackson, Georgia state representative Mack Jackson, and Michigan’s Kent County Commissioner Monica Sparks, all of whom are Democrats. Black Republican signers include Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill and Texas state representative James White. Conservative think tank Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James, former NFL star Benjamin Watson and pro-life activist Alveda King, who is the niece of Martin Luther King Jr. also signed the letter. Pro-life advocates have long pointed out that the vast majority of Planned Parenthood clinics are located in predominantly racial minority neighborhoods.
According to Associated Press, Cam Newton is officially the new starting quarterback of the New England Patriots. A person familiar with the situation said Thursday that Newton was announced as the starter during a team meeting. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team has not publicly announced the decision. The Boston Globe first reported the decision. The move was expected after the 2015 league MVP outperformed second-year Jarrett Stidham and veteran Brian Hoyer during training camp. Newton, who signed with the Patriots in July after being released by Carolina, succeeds Tom Brady following his departure to Tampa Bay in free agency. Newton was also announced as one of eight team captains, along with special teamer Matt Slater, center David Andrews, running back James White, linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley, defensive lineman Lawrence Guy, safety Devin McCourty and cornerback Jason McCourty. “I will not and do not take this opportunity for granted!′ Newton wrote in a post on Instagram along with the captains’ announcement. ”I’m so grateful for this organization, my teammates and this city. Thank You! No need to look back now.” The Patriots open the season Sept. 13 at home against Miami.
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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!