More than 100 people filled Trinity Lutheran Church Wednesday night to discuss what has become a big controversy.
The topic of discussion?
The sign in front of the Lansdale Church that last week read, “Black Lives Matter”.
The Rev. Paul Lutz offered an explanation after his church drew criticism for putting the slogan on its message board.
“There was a group of people asking for help, and as Christians that’s what we do — respond to people,” said Lutz.
The predominantly white church wanted to be supportive after the killing of nine black people at a church service in South Carolina.
While the overall response to the church sign was positive, a small amount of comments reflected the opinions of some in the community.
“The negative responses reminded us that we weren’t really aware of some of the people in our neighborhood,” said Lutz.
The timing of the church’s post couldn’t have been worse as a Texas police officer was killed shortly afterward, and a Minneapolis march, organized under the Black Lives Matter label, saw protesters chanting “pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon” on Aug. 29.
People questioned if the church supported police — and some wondered why they didn’t post “All Lives Matter”.
“Lots of people made the assumption we were supporting those terrible, destructive, evil things and we weren’t,” said Lutz.
To address concerns, the church invited the community out to have a dialogue about race.
“A lot of people don’t want to talk about race. People say ‘if I say something I’m going to be accused of being a racist’, but we have to start somewhere,” said Wanda Lewis-Campbell of Lansdale.
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SOURCE: ABC 6 – Sharrie Williams