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June 1, 2020 Belmont's Response to Current Events

Belmont's Response to Current Events

June 1, 2020

Students, Faculty and Staff,

Recent events, including the horrific strangling of George Floyd, have troubled me for the past several days and stirred in me a desire to affirm what we believe at Belmont. I lend my voice to our nation’s call for justice, change, reconciliation and peace. My heart goes out to members of our Belmont community – faculty, staff and especially our students — who feel harmed, fearful, outraged, overwhelmed, disrespected or any combination of these feelings.

I’ve quoted a friend before in saying that we should pick our enemies carefully, and then make them sincere. At Belmont some of our previously declared enemies are ignorance, poverty, bigotry, hate, prejudice and violence. How do we make them sincere? We don’t just seek to call them out as enemies; we seek to confront and defeat them.

I believe that there are two major forces to be used in defeating these enemies. The first is education. Education is a powerful force for changing the world for the better. The more you think, listen, know and understand, the less likely these enemies will be to prevail. Events such as those we are currently experiencing prove that we need our students to become enlightened leaders who are forces for meaningful change in the world.

The second, and even more powerful force for defeating our declared enemies, is the love of God. Only God can change a person’s heart and replace hate with love. Along with the Apostle Paul “… I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge…” (Ephesians 3:17b-19a)

As a Christian educational institution, the need for Belmont’s very best efforts is as clear now as it has ever been at any time in our history. We believe that God created every one of us as equals and for the purpose of serving others. My hope – my challenge, even – for all of us is that we will be a positive force in confronting the world and its problems with education and the love of God.

Bob Fisher