The Rev. Irene Monroe and the Rev. Emmett G. Price III spoke to Boston Public Radio on Monday about the role and responsibility of faith leaders after former Minneapolis, Minnesota, police pfficer Derek Chauvin was found guilty last week over the death of George Floyd. Religious leaders were quick to offer faith-based thoughtsin response to the verdict.
"We are still debating whether this verdict is justice or not," Price said. "It's clearly a sense of accountability and a move towards justice. But even within the clergy, folks are still debating whether it is a justice or not."
Faith leaders can be quick to put out statements with the hope of being quoted, Price said.
"So I think the real message here is what do you preach in your pulpit, mosque or temple the holy day following [such an event], not necessarily what do you post on your social media," he said.
Many of the statements given by prominent faith leaders following Chauvin's verdict just sounded like soundbites rather than substantive analysis, Monroe noted.
"I want us to seriously begin humanizing the emotional toll that this has been and continues to be on Black and brown bodies," she said. "So I would like to hear pastors talk abuot how this is a toll on the individual as well as the community."
Monroe is a syndicated religion columnist, the Boston voice for Detour’s African American Heritage Trail and a visiting researcher in the Religion and Conflict Transformation Program at Boston University School of Theology. Price is a professor of worship, church and culture and founding executive director of the Institute for the Study of the Black Christian Experience at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Together they host the All Rev’d Up podcast, produced by GBH.