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steve chavez2Our Place in History

Who knew that making history could be so hard? Those who read history superficially might be forgiven for seeing history as a series of events that had a beginning, a middle, and an end.

The U.S. Civil War, for example, began with the Confederate bombing of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor on April 12, 1861, and ended with Lee's surrender to Grant in Appomattox, Virginia, on April 9, 1865. But the remnants of those bloody four years are still being felt 156 years after the hostilities between north and south came to an end.

Indeed, White violence against African-Americans didn't end with the Civil War. Lynchings, mob violence, and voter suppression were practiced well into the twentieth century. And today's voter suppression legislation is likely a modern manifestation of keeping voters of color "in their place."

Many of us have witnessed great advances in human rights extended to LBGTQA+ individuals. The right to marry, to be employed without discrimination, to hold elected office, these ideals could hardly have been imagined 50 years ago.

Yet the struggle continues. Legislators in many states are still making it difficult for gay and lesbian couples to adopt children, for transgendered individuals to live their true identities, for LBGTQA+ individuals to be protected from harassment. Bigotry is not going away; in some places—even in the church—it seems to be getting stronger.

Jesus said, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 6:33, NIV). Progress is being made toward a society in which people can live freely without regard to race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. It's our privilege to contribute to that progress, to be on the right side of history.

"Let us not become weary in doing good." says the apostle Paul, "for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (Gal. 6:9).

— Stephen Chavez, Director of Church Relations
    Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International

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