Pastor Voddie Baucham, Pastor of Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, Texas, took to Fox News to attempt a Christian answer to the ongoing situation in Ferguson, Missouri.
Back in August, unarmed african-american teenager Michael Brown was fatally shot by a white police officer – inciting months of tense race relations, violent riots, and widespread looting. National media attention has intensified the situation as many perceive the event to be an example of racial profiling and excessive police force. Widespread looting broke out last week in the St. Louis suburb as a grand jury declined to indict the officer involved in the shooting. Officer Wilson has since resigned from the Ferguson Police Department.
Pastor says Ferguson is a “Celebration of Criminality”
On Saturday, Pastor Baucham went live on Fox News to share his viewpoint as an african-american pastor. “…They expect black pastors and black leaders to respond to this in the same way. I don’t see it the same way.” Pastor Baucham characterized the Ferguson protests as a, “celebration of criminality” and “thuggery” adding that Michael Brown was a “criminal” engaged in, “a violent robbery and then engaged a police officer in a violent confrontation…”
Speaking to the nature of crime in black communities, he added that there is a bigger issue of ‘black-on-black’ crime in city’s like Chicago. Upset by a disproportional murder rate by blacks and the “randomness” of violent crimes, Voddie concludes that,”the police are not the ones that we have to fear, it’s other black people.
Al Sharpton v. Voddie Baucham
Baucham’s words serve a sharp contrast to what has been delivered by other leaders in the african-american community like Al Sharpton who have called the grand jury’s verdict, “an absolute blow to those of us that wanted to see a fair and open trial.” His efforts have called attention to what he believes to be racially motivated episode of police brutality and an unfair judicial system prejudiced against black americans. “Ferguson is not just Missouri, we can lose a round, but the fight is not over,” said Sharpton, who is now moving forward on a call for a federal criminal indictment.
Hope for the Future
While the Fox News anchor was not happy to receive it, Pastor Voddie concluded with a positive outlook for racial relations in America. “My message is that the Gospel gives us hope. I am a pastor, not a politician. I’m not here to make political points. I’m here to point to the cross and say that there is room for us to be united.”