New Orleans Tribune clipping

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LET THE WORD AFRICAN BE STRICKEN FROM THE DISCIPLINE OF THE CHURCH.

BY REV. JAMES LYNCH.

The opinions expressed in an article written on this subject about a year since are again introduced. The sequel has proved and is still proving their correctness. The times in which we live, pregnant with the events that promise to the colored race the enjoyment of equal rights in this land, demand of every one an earnest consideration on this subject.

Let us seriously weigh the reasons why the word “African” should be stricken out of our discipline.

1. Because it signifies that our Church is built upon the basis of color. The word African in our denominational title does not signify a distinctive feature in doctrine or of ecclesiastical polity, nor the locality of the Church, and therefore is not a legitimate term, as any one of these conditions would be necessary to make it so.

2. Because we are not Africans, but a mixed race, mingling Saxon, Indian and African blood, and if you take the whole Church, it is doubtful if the latter predominates.

3. Because the word “African” in the denominational title suggests the idea of the formation of all persons of African descent into a separate nationality and is a tacit recognition of the prejudice of the whites, and the expression of an avowed willingness to yield thereto.

4. Because color of skin, as an issue in this nation is fast passing away, faster than any political issue so great in extent, has ever moved in any country or any age of the world. Surely he who looks will wonder, and declare that the hand of the Great God has been laid upon it.

The progressive and far seeing portion of our Church disclaim the idea that it is an organization for colored persons exclusively.

A position otherwise taken would be opposition to the great statesmen who have attacked and killed the national proscriptive laws, and written upon the forehead of American prejudice, “Thy days are numbered.” It would be meeting our Phillips, and Tiltons, and Beechers, and Cheevers, and Channigs on the platform before thousands of their fellow-citizens and saying, “Still tongue we want, not your aid.” But still the retention of the word “African” in our denominational title places us just in that position.

Unless this word be stricken out, our organization will be a waning power in this nation; intelligence and progression will drift from it, and it will become a decaying hulk grounded on the erroneousness of its own position.

We are now called upon to manfully battle against prejudice and for equal political rights, and an equal share of the privileges of the institutions of this land. We are to battle for our rights to use the Public Library, to share the privileges of the Historical and Scientific societies, the Academy and the College. We cannot start all these on our own account. Sympathy with the whites should everywhere be cultivated and encouraged, and all our actions and expressions so shaped as to be in eager anticipation of that fast approaching day when prejudice shall be no more. [Christian Recorder.

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New Orleans Tribune; Lynch, James, 1839-1872, “New Orleans Tribune clipping,” Mississippi State University Libraries, accessed February 24, 2024, https://msstate-exhibits.libraryhost.com/items/show/2148.

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