I just got contacted by someone with the Messiah College Abolitionists about a campaign they are running to stop the college from using prison labor. It’s so exciting to see other Christians taking a stand against injustice! Here’s their statement:
“THE HYPOCRISY OF IT ALL
As a Christian College, we don’t we that we are upholding the mission and identity of what Messiah preaches and tries to personify.
By forming a contract to save the College money, Messiah is supporting an industry that is so deeply tied to the racial oppression and injustice in this country. For a Christian College, that strongly identifies with and preaches the notion of reconciliation and fighting injustice, feigning ignorance on this topic is heartbreaking to those that are witnessing this happen.
Why is it that no one knows that this happened, when Messiah is usually so proud to announce new partnerships? Claiming ignorance due to never having to face the issue of incarceration injustice before is understandable because of the white privilege that provides the ability to be blind to it. But claiming ignorance when the school made no action to inform the students, parents, donors, and community that they were doing this, is not right.
Messiah preaches a message of wanting to be a diverse and multicultural and multi-ethnic campus. But by doing this action, you are slowly shutting that door on non-white students, families, and communities. Imagine if a student, that falls under the racially and marginally oppressed umbrella, attending Messiah College found out about this, would it make them feel safe knowing that their school is full of hypocrisy.
Part of the Mission Statement for this school is that “We don’t just serve because it’s the “right thing to do”; we serve because God calls us to open our hearts to the poor and needy and to work for justice wherever injustice prevails.” So how can these actions be reconciled?”