Rev. Margaret Aymer, Ph.D., D. D. is Associate Professor for New Testament at the Interdenominational Theological Center and a Teaching Elder in the PCUSA. She is the author of First Pure, Then Peaceable: Frederick Douglass, Darkness and the Epistle of James, and the 2011-2012 Horizons Bible Study, Confessing the Beatitudes. A native of the Caribbean, Dr. Aymer combines her scholarly training in early Christianity with her lived experiences of migration, and being black and female in the USA. She is happily married to Dr. Laurent M. R. G. Oget, a native of France, who is a software engineer (aka code poet).
Posts By This Author
On Scripture: Foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18-24)
Children are suffering from violence in the U.S. and around the world.
Michael Brown. The children of Gaza. The refugees of Central America. Only three of numerous heart-breaking stories to fill the airwaves in the last month. But, unlike the gruesome murders of innocent news reporters by ISIL, these news stories about violence toward unarmed children have faced loud voices justifying that violence.
These voices argue for the “rule of law.” They insist on the inherent goodness of hyper-militarized, monocultural police forces using tanks and tear gas against peaceful protestors. They claim the inherent righteousness of the state of Israel, even after the bombing of United Nations schools. They defend border guards and those who clamber into busses to scream violence and hate at asylum-seeking children.
So, the wounded or dead are put on trial and convicted for their own deaths, even though they were unarmed children. It’s their fault. To say otherwise is just foolishness.
Some Corinthian Gentiles and Jews must have reacted in exactly this way to the teaching of Paul. Jesus was crucified by the Romans — the imperial power that had brought peace to the city of Rome and quiet to the provinces, that legendary pax Romana about Augustus Caesar himself boasted. This was Paul’s testimony.
On Scripture: May April Tragedies Bring May Justice
Resurrection is the theme of the 50 days of Eastertide. Yet, for decades, the month of April has been filled with particularly horrific deaths:
- The assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. (April 4, 1968)
- The murder of 13 persons at the American Civic Association Immigration Center in Binghamton, N.Y. (April 3, 2009)
- The shooting death of 32 students at Virginia Tech. (April 16, 2007)
- The end of the Waco siege and the death of 82 members of the Branch Davidians. (April 19, 1993)
- The bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City that killed one hundred sixty-eight children and adults. (April 19, 1995)
- The Columbine High School shooting resulting in deaths of 15 persons (April 20, 1999), a shooting that has been echoed in 31 schools since, most recently in Sandy Hook Elementary School of Newtown, Conn.
In 2013, April continues its trend. On Monday, April 15, someone decided to plant bombs along the route of the Boston Marathon. The explosions killed at least three people and wounded more than 100. Among the dead is 8-year-old Martin Richard.