Statue of Slave Breaking the ChainsWhen I was in seminary a few years back, Derrick Jackson of the Boston Globe wrote an editorial on why US Presidents can’t bring themselves to apologize for more than 200 years of institutional slavery in this country, which was founded on Judeo-Christian / biblical ethics and Enlightenment rationalism. (You can read this piece here.) Now, Virginia’s legislature has passed an official apology for their role in not only slavery but in the injustice of Native Americans as well.

This raises the question of whether this apology has any value beyond a token one, and what kind of implications might this have? Does the apology open the door for remuneration of some sort? What kind of serious amends might be asked for, and what kind might be granted? How should the churches respond? It seems to me that this is an opportunity for us to examine our individual and church consciences and remember that we’re all culpable, even us Scandinavian immigrants, for injustice and unspeakable evil, and our holy and sacred scriptures are absolutely capable of being misinterpreted to defend these acts.