Daniel Honoré, the president of the Northeastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, released the following public statement on the death of black New York resident Eric Garner, killed by a police officer.
December 5, 2014
A STATEMENT FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE NORTHEASTERN CONFERENCE:
The Bible teaches us the "righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people". Proverbs 14:34
For millions of New Yorkers this was an anxious week. Many patiently awaited the results of a grand jury inquiry into the death of Staten Island resident, Eric Garner. The failure to indict the police officer, who is clearly seen on video applying the banned chokehold procedure on the victim, as he pleaded for his life, is a tremendous disappointment to millions of law-abiding citizens. There is a sense that justice has eluded us and that certain lives are valued less than others.
As I think of my own sons and the thousands of minority youths whose spiritual home is the Northeastern Conference, I cannot but be compelled to join our voice to those crying out for a more just society. I join those calling on the Federal Government to conduct its own investigation into the death of an unarmed black man. The Word of God urges us "Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause". (Isaiah 1:17)
I call on our Pastors and lay leaders to speak up respectably in support of the safety and civil rights of our young men and women. Engage the youth of your church and community in discussion, action and prayer. We encourage your participation in public forums, marches and non-violent events in which Seventh-day Adventists can speak up for peace and justice without compromising our religious convictions.
May the Lord bless you and keep you as you "do justly, and love mercy, and walk humbly before God".
NORTHEASTERN CONFERENCE OF SDA