Washington, D.C. – The Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of Washington National Cathedral, today preached in his sermon on the recent upheaval in Missouri and the role Christians can play in improving race relations in the United States.

He admonished white religious leaders saying, “For some reason I don’t understand, my white clergy colleagues have been slower than our sisters and brothers of color to respond to Michael Brown’s death, just as it took us awhile to grasp the implications of Trayvon Martin’s or Emmett Till’s.”

He also gave biblical examples of discrimination and hate, demonstrating that humanity has dealt with fear and hatred of the other since ancient times.

“In the Bible’s diagnosis, human oppression and cruelty start with fear. And fear starts in ignorance. As our Exodus story begins, “a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.” We fear what we do not know. And if we have power we find it easier to control and contain what we do not know than to make the effort to understand it. That was true in the Egypt of 1400 B.C.E. It was true in the Roman-occupied Jewish Palestine of Jesus’ day. It was true in the days of slavery and Jim Crow. And it is true in our day, too.”

The full text of Dean Hall’s sermon can be found HERE.

SOURCE: Washington National Cathedral