To the Editor:

The Iredell Clergy For Healing and Justice, an interfaith and interracial organization of local faith leaders, wishes to express our support for the vote of the Iredell County Board of Commissioners to relocate the Confederate monument. For the well-being of our community and all its citizens, we urge that the relocation of the Confederate monument be concluded without delay.

To honor the dead is one of the deepest forms of human reverence. When this monument was erected, many in our community knew personally those who had died in the Civil War. However, the monument also served to defend the Confederacy and its cause, which its inscription describes as “just.”

From that time until now, this monument in the heart of Statesville has continued to cause anguish in the lives of people of color and moral discomfort to many more, regardless of race and creed. The question facing us is whether we will hear the pain many people of color in our community feel? Is it right to ask people to walk by a symbol they feel is so deeply unjust when we are all seeking after a more just community? The monument is a continual reminder of a time of slavery and oppression, which is hurtful to Black citizens and a reminder of some of the worst parts of white heritage. The present monument brings back hurtful memories for all citizens.

Our faith traditions compel us “to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God” and “to love our neighbor as ourselves.” Such neighborly love leads us to our support of the relocation of the Confederate monument. We pray for a peaceful process toward this goal that will strengthen our community and make it a more hospitable place for all our citizens.

Rev. Steve Shoemaker
Grace Baptist Church

8 thoughts on “Letter to the Editor: Clergy for Healing and Justice supports Iredell commissioners’ vote to relocate Confederate monument

  1. john r kindley says:

    Rev. Shoemaker: I believe this controversy over the memorial statue is just another step toward trying to eliminate our past by the cancel culture. Knowledge of history is the best way to keep society from repeating its mistakes. We need to teach history and preserve our artifacts. I would not want to destroy the death camps that the Nazis used to kill and enslave millions of Jews. I know they do offend certain people; however, they need to stay as a reminder to all of us of the atrocities that man was capable of. This controversy is important, but not nearly as important to me as taking prayer in Jesus’ name out of our Commissioners meetings. I did not see or hear anything from our local clergy when our Brothers and Sisters in Rowan County stood up boldly against the ACLU. That was a fight worth fighting in my opinion.

    • Lisa Barber says:

      There are NO statues to Hitler in Germany. Why should we keep statues to lost causes in public spaces?

  2. With due respect for the intentions to “lovingly relocate” this Confederate monument, has anyone actually poled the people that walk by it daily to ask if they are offended, or effected in any way, or even notice the monument is there? Ask without leading them toward their own bias? I dare say only those seeking to make a statement for their own interest are motivated to move the monument. What about those who wish to see the monument and remember the heritage it represents. Don’t they count as neighbors to be loved?!

  3. If the monument is relocated, it will just be on a different spot of land for someone to disagree with. Erasing our history lends to repeating history – leave it alone!

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