When I think back to history that I was taught, I’ve come to realize that I learned incomplete stories. Finally, we are learning more of the truth. We are learning what occurred from the moment Europeans landed here and brought with them enslaved people from Africa. We are learning about forced sterilizations of Indigenous sisters and forced boarding schools for Indigenous children.
We are not responsible for these historical acts. But we are responsible for what we do with the knowledge of those acts. We are responsible for learning as much as we can and for working to change systems that unfairly advantage some and discriminate against others.
This Independence Day, I encourage us all to spend some time relearning our shared history. Review the Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery, adopted by both the ELCA (in 2016) and affirmed by Women of the ELCA (in 2017). It’s a start. We need to do the important work individually and working together. In that way, all of God’s people can love and be loved, as Jesus teaches us.
This message excerpted from “Relearning our shared history,” by Linda Post Bushkofsky from the July 4, 2022, blog of the Women of the ELCA. Today is Independence Day in the United States.
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