September 28, 2007
In response to statements made yesterday by the Jena 6 prosecutor, DA Reed Walters, the American Humanist Association expressed its outrage at the blatant use of religion as a cover for racism. Walters had claimed that “had it not been for the direct intervention of the Lord Jesus Christ,” last week’s protests in Jena, Louisiana, wouldn’t have been as peaceful as they were. Instead, according to Walters, “a disaster would have happened.”
In response to Walters’ claim, the director of communications for the American Humanist Association, Fred Edwords, declared today, “When Reed Walters thanked Jesus instead of thanking the peaceful protesters themselves, almost all of whom were African Americans, he appears to have exposed a racist belief that African Americans are by nature violent and need divine intervention to keep a lid on their behavior.”
Walters was applauded by 60 local residents, who CNN described as “white supporters of the DA,” when he credited the prayers of the local “Christian community” with bringing the claimed intervention.
“Was Walters really saying, ‘Christ will shield my racism’?” asked Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association, “Because he seemed to be wrapping himself in the cloak of religion while expressing racist sympathies.”
The American Humanist Association has long stood steadfast against all who would use religion as a free pass to excuse the worst of human sympathies. “People need to take responsibility for their own motivations and misdeeds,” concluded Speckhardt. “Treating harmful views as holy won’t save them.”
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The American Humanist Association (www.americanhumanist.org) is the oldest and largest Humanist organization in the nation. The AHA is dedicated to ensuring a voice for those with a positive outlook, based on reason and experience, which embraces all of humanity.