My Take: Where’s white church outrage over Trayvon Martin?
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People president Ben Jealous at a town hall meeting at Allen Chapel AME Church in Sanford, Florida about on Trayvon Martin’s killing.
March 22nd, 2012
12:44 PM ET

My Take: Where’s white church outrage over Trayvon Martin?

Editor’s Note: Mark I. Pinsky is a former religion reporter for the Orlando Sentinel and author of “Amazing Gifts: Stories of Faith, Disability, and Inclusion.”

By Mark I. Pinsky, Special to CNN

Orlando, Florida (CNN) - In the classic Sherlock Holmes story “The Silver Blaze,” the key clue turns out to be a watchdog that didn’t bark when it should have.

In the aftermath of the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, not far from here, the mystifying missing element so far has been white outrage, especially on the part of central Florida’s religious leaders.

Few if any white clergy have spoken up to demand that the killing be fully investigated. None can be seen standing by the African-American preachers calling for justice, or marching with Martin’s family members. Why?

As someone who covered this area’s faith community for 15 years, I don’t think the answer is racism as much as it is cultural callousness. Week in and week out, the violent deaths and disappearances of poor, black and brown people – especially immigrants – merit a one- or two-paragraph story in The Orlando Sentinel’s (my old newspaper’s) police blotter. So when a middle-class black teen is gunned down, the reaction tends to be a shrug of the shoulders.

In this part of the country gated communities are considered sacred ground, as much or more than houses of worship. The fear of these preserves being violated is enough to shift the presumption of innocence to the presumption of guilt, including among churchgoers. Couple this with a made-for-vigilantes “Stand Your Ground” gun law and, until recently, there is no reason to question the indifference of local law enforcement in investigating Trayvon Martin’s death.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

While central Florida’s modern image is Sun Belt suburban, a theme park mecca, the region has a dark and violent past when it comes to race:

- In 1920, an attempt by two black men to vote in the town of Ocoee led to a race riot that spread to Apopka, Orlando and Winter Springs. When the smoke cleared, Ocoee had been ethnically cleansed with more than 500 African residents driven off. The town remained essentially white for the next 40 years.

- In 1923, a white mob’s attack on the black community of Rosewood burned the hamlet to the ground and scattered its residents forever

- On Christmas Day, 1951, Florida NAACP Executive Director Harry T. Moore, an anti-lynching activist, and his wife were blown up in their wood frame home by Klansmen, including local law enforcement officers. Harry Moore died en route to a Sanford hospital, where his wife died nine days later.

No one was brought to justice for any of these crimes, and white churches had little to say on behalf of the victims.

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Race was the great moral issue in 20th-century America. And one of the burdens of Southern history is the silence – with a few conspicuous and heroic exceptions – of white religious leaders during the Civil Rights movement, especially white churches. There were times and places where silence bled into complicity. When Northern clergy came to the South to join protests, as often as not their local denominational counterparts were resentful.

To its credit, in 1995 the Southern Baptist Convention acknowledged and repented for nearly 150 years of support for slavery, segregation and racial discrimination, saying that “racial prejudice and discrimination are not compatible with the Gospel” and “a deplorable sin.” Since then, Southern Baptists – the nation’s largest Protestant denomination - have made enormous strides in obliterating the color line in its churches and its relations with other denominations.

But in the case of Trayvon Martin, the white religious community – including those affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, this area’s dominant affiliation - has so far been silent and invisible.

Some black Christians are beginning to question this silence. At a predominately African-American Seventh-day Adventist congregation last Saturday, during a previously scheduled discussion of “racial progress,” a man stood up and asked why his denomination had not yet spoken or acted on the Trayvon Martin controversy.

The Rev. James Coffin, a white Adventist minister and executive director of the Interfaith Council of Central Florida, who was one of the speakers, admitted that the man was right. Coffin later wrote the man an impassioned e-mail saying his point was valid, and acknowledging his guilt for his inaction. So far, “it's the victim's affinity group that has to go to battle for him,” Coffin said.

“African-Americans shouldn't be waging this battle on their own,” Coffin told me. “While it certainly has racial overtones and undertones, it's a problem that's bigger than just racism. So for our own well-being and self-serving purposes, if for no other reason, non-African-Americans need to get involved.”

At long last, some other white church leaders are speaking out.

In a letter issued Wednesday entitled “A Statement of Support for the Martin Family and Call for Just Prosecution,” the Florida Council of Churches, which represents mainline Protestant congregations, said that the state “should be a place where a person of any color can walk in a neighborhood without fear of violence or being presumed a suspicious threat. Florida should be a place where the use of deadly force is rare and uncommon.

“The Martin family and the community at large need protection from vigilantism and assurance that Florida's streets are open to all people without respect to the color of their skin,” the statement continued. The council does not speak for the state’s evangelical churches.

Tardy or tepid, it is never too late for religious leaders to demand justice. Which is what they still need to do. A rally calling for justice for Trayvon Martin is scheduled for Sanford's Shiloh Baptist Church, Thursday night would be a good place to start.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Mark I. Pinsky.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Opinion

soundoff (832 Responses)
  1. esajas

    Black people are not named in the bible.This means that there will ALWAYS be tension between white and black people.
    Yes , because of the bible.

    July 17, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • lin

      Esajas, what Bible are you reading? They are in the Bible as are many other cultures. Go and study the Bible and the areas where people lived during that time.

      October 28, 2013 at 10:47 am |
  2. Gulu

    Hello Mark:Could you further exaipln how you direct the visitor to your offer in step 5.2? How exactly would you do this do you send to a capture page on your own site, or directly to the affiliate sales page?Thank youLeo Hanes

    May 21, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
  3. Manieka

    I'm not 100 percent sure, but it looks like the story has been alrteed again. The whole last segment of the story has always been strange and read more like notes than news copy. Anyway, by my reading, this last section was a summary of Zimmerman's account as related by whatever police source provided it. It seems they've added in details from the 911 calls.By my reading, anyway, this clearly seems to be the Zimmerman account. I guess the way I look at anything like this is that it's like testimony rather than a list of facts.I want to stress again that from the get-go, this has been an atrociously written story. It's disorganized, the subheads don't make much sense with what follows them, and yes the attribution, which I still maintain is there, is poorly-done and, at least as the story reads now, unclear in a couple places.But what I think bothers most people is that it's an account from Zimmerman. Just about everyone (myself included) wants to see him punished for what he did, and he wants to avoid punishment. He wants to exonerate himself, so his story is going to reflect that. That means it's probably very unreliable, but it's silly to object to the existence of his account, and the fact that the paper got a hold of his statement is news, whether or not his story contains a shred of truth.I'd also like to remind everyone that this segment immediately followed O'Donnell yelling at an empty chair.

    May 19, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  4. Roy

    The only people who have the real answer to the question proposed in this article are not talking. Why? Because nobody is calling them out by name. If you want to know something you have to go to its source. Where are the white pastors who are pastoring predominately black congregations? Rod Parsley, Paula White, Peter Popoff, are examples of fake shepards who care not for the black sheep. Its apparent that they are not interested in fighting for much more than black church folks' money. Adding insult to injury, we don't hear of black folks in thier churches 't calling them to accountabilty so why should they step to the plate for thier sakes? Go figure!

    April 27, 2012 at 1:45 am |
  5. mexican

    Where is the N churches outrage over all of the attacks of blacks on whites you a hole?

    April 11, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Cousin Death

      Excellent point. The "Ns" overlook the atrocities of their race while eagerly awaiting rare attacks against their own by whites.

      April 15, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • Mister Jones

      Rare? ... You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      May 3, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • Ega

      The NRA and ALEC are drooling and lckniig their chops over this. This is the law they wrote put to the test(yep thats all it means to them).This brings up the states rights issue again. Let me ask you this: The federal government is picking on pot despensories in California and other states that have legalized them. The promise of even tougher federal crack downs on these legal operations has all but been set in stone if the GOP were to take the white house. And these places are not killing anyone, but the federal government wont touch states that create these insane laws that end up costing CHILDREN(what about the children??) their lives? Selective states rights!How is that workin for ya?Remind you to stay out of Fla? Honey make a list of states with the same wild west gun show shoot em up at 10 paces law you will want to avoid and pretty soon your gonna need a specialized travel guide of the few places left you can go..and after that maybe the gun states will decide to invade their gun free neighbors( why limit yourself to JUST shooting the locals?) so even a trip to a sane state may become a crap shoot. The entire cross country road trip has gone from a really cool thing to do to a frightening idea. Imagine being a un- suspecting tourist in one of these states only to learn cletus is bored and may fancy killin you and the law is on his side. they was northern libruls and they a'scared me! In the small picture, Does this create enough outrage among Fla residents to end this law and does it create enough out rage to change/stop it in your own state? The not so amazing mr z seems to be the poster child for why it is bad. Trevon is forever gone from earth but what can his loss change? I think in the end that matters. What happened is done and there needs to be justice to be sure but now what? Things have to change, from their small community to the larger community that is all of us. From the way neighborhood watch groups operate and interact with the youth to the way states are writing the law that get kids killed to the way police departments conduct (or fail to) their jobs. I wonder, in states where this law is in affect why does any police department ever need funds again to investigate homicide? It seems to be all legal now and I think when people from other states find out they can take someone they dont like to fla and get rid of them legally it will become a tourist destination for a whole other reason, so they may need to re- direct the resources to the increased morgue traffic. Seems like a human hunting ground to me. So what of the poor people caught in the cross fire with out the means to get out?

      May 19, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  6. radagast25

    White religious fury over the case is over here sir - OVER HERE *waving* among those on the hard Left of the religious community among Whites, and nowhere else. Many Wiccans I know who are quite devout are very upset about Trayvon's death. The congregation to which my family belongs is very concerned. I have been active in the justice movement at every level. We marched. I had buttons made. I lobbied my union for a resolution calling for justice and for a reexamination of "Stand Your Ground." I have written hundreds of posts on the topic in multiple forums. I am assuredly White (almost no melanin at all) BUT my goddess loves EVERYONE.

    You can also find White religious outrage among certain Liberal denominations - The Unitarians, the United Church of Christ, the Episcopalians. Among Jews, look for rage among the Reform congregations and maybe the Conservative Egalitarian ones. Among those that are neither Judeo-Christian or Wiccan/neo-Pagan try the North American Spiritualist Church - you'll find plenty of support for Trayvon there.

    OH. You meant among White EVANGELICALS and their related denominations. You were not referencing the fringe faithful and the most liberal mainstreamers. Well.... I'm afraid that those groups have never really embraced racial diversity, anymore than they embrace ANY diversity. They might pretend, but they don't mean it.

    20 years ago, when I was still in the Assemblies of God as a young man 3, that's right THREE ordained ministers told me in the span of 2 years that Black people didn't have souls. You can't make up anything as extreme as the things that fly out of such people's mouths. In what was it? 99 or 2000 the Southern Baptist Church voted at a national assembly to CONTINUE TO ALLOW individual congregations to choose to discriminate or segregate. There were LESS than a THOUSAND votes against that resolution, which passed overwhelmingly (I seem to remember that there were some huge number like 20,000 in support but I could be wrong.) You know the only time evangelical ministers have been colorblind in my experience? I mean GENUINELY colorblind? When they wanted minority churches to support them in being bigots against yet another minority. So, for example, the very churches that fought to prevent "miscegenation" in 1965 or whatever and still allow segregation look for allies among African Americans to try to block "those gay people" from equality.

    I sometimes think that most people cannot look at whole pictures. For ANY minority to give the time of day to White evangelical churches has never made any sense to me. Make the moral decisions you feel you need to – or whatever, but DON'T let yourselves be used, yet again, by the White elites that control the White evangelical and Pentecostal churches. No other path makes sense.

    Kind thoughts,


    April 11, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  7. Phil

    Yes!!!! There is Racism involved.... Why is it the Black community (and the writer of this article) is just assuming the black kid that got shot was the victim??? I do hope there is a thorough investigation into this event. I just hope Zimmerman doesn't get lynched by public who doesn't know the full story. They don't want justice. They want what they perceive as justice. If Zimmerman did it, I hope he is prosecuted fully and if the evidence shows Zimmerman was attacked and acting in self-defense then so be it. Let's just not take statements made by biased people that weren't there as fact. People need to be patient and let the system do its job.

    April 11, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • radagast25

      Excuse me, Trayvon Martin was followed, stalked, harassed, and terrified by a man who wouldn't even identify himself, when asked why he was following the boy (that is proven from Zimmerman's own call to the police – where you can hear that exchange).

      It is likely that George Zimmerman also pushed him down after refusing to answer his question and responding by instead saying "What are you doing around here" - while, according to police, OPENLY carrying a gun – although we have no proof of that – still it is clear that Zimmerman repeatedly provoked Trayvon, and Dee Dee's testimony, which is as valid as the testimony of any other "ear-witness" indicates that Trayvon told her a man was following him and he was scared.

      Trayvon did not lose the right to respond under Stand Your Ground just because he was African American, or did you forget that? He was a citizen. A citizen being accosted by an unknown man who he could see had a gun, had been stalking him, and wouldn't answer questions. Quite frankly, if he did pop Zimmerman at that point, I think he was completely justified, but of course, we know Zimmerman followed him, and refused to answer his simple question "Why are you following me?" We don't know that Trayvon hit him, we have Mr. Zimmerman's testimony – given when he knew he could go to prison for killing Trayvon and therefore certainly under duress – but we have no proof that he did, or that if he did it wasn't after Zimmernan first pushed or hit him.

      The biggest problem in this case MAY be (we don't know) that a great deal of evidence was either contaminated or destroyed by the local police department. We will yet see.

      Regardless, I see no way that Trayvon can be perceived by anyone as anything other than the victim. I am White btw - and if you seriously believe that he might not be the victim, despite being unarmed and just going home - then I would ask you to reconsider your preconceptions. I know you don't mean to have any, but I think you might possibly find some surprising ones there.

      Kind thoughts,


      April 11, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • Tracy

      I find it funny that the writer says that you should be able to walk the streets without fear of being shot. I agree with this but it sounds as though he doesn't understand what a gated community is or what a neighborhood watch is for. People who are not living in that community shouldn't be there to begin with without consent from someone living in the area and then you have to be signed in to enter. Neighborhood watch is common even outside of gated communities. Everyone is under scrutiny if the watch is doing what it is designed to do. George should've stopped when the 911 dispatch told him to and maybe this wouldn't have happened but I still stand with the watch and maintain that all in my view while on duty are suspect until otherwise proven innocent!

      April 16, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Alison

      The reason why the black community is outraged and have assumed Zimmerman's guilt is because Trayvon was UNARMED! How much of a threat could he really have been without a weapon? That fact we do know. Essentially, he was guilty of walking in the wrong part of town while Black. And to make matters worse, police officials assumed that because he was Black he must have been at fault. How's that for being Innocent until proven guilty?

      May 9, 2012 at 1:44 am |
      • alxrss

        Alison, Trayvon might have been unarmed but he was committing an atrocious assault, which is a felony when George shot him in self-defense. There were no marks on Trayvon from the fight except on his knuckles from beating on George and the gun shot wound. George had a broken nose, two black eyes and cuts on the back of his head from Trayvon slamming his head in a "pound and ground" on concrete. No crimes were committed by either George or Trayvon until Trayvon punched George in the nose. This is misdemeanor assault. Being watched by a neighborhood watch person in a gated community (where no one should be unless they live there or are signed in as a visitor) is not justification to punch or fight somebody. Being followed is not justification to punch or fight somebody either ethically, morally or legally. Trayvon hitting George in the nose and breaking it was the first crime: simple assault, a misdemeanor. Once Trayvon got on top of him and started the "pound and ground" it became atrocious assault, a felony. The reality is during such a vicious attack the next blow could kill you or knock you unconscious where you could be killed. To make the point that Trayvon was unarmed doesn't make his attack and less vicious or dangerous. In such a situation George shot his attacker in self defense. Please note George didn't pull out his gun before being beaten to the point where the safety of his own life was at issue. This is evidenced by the broken nose, two black eyes and assorted cuts to the head. Trayvon was shot in self defense while he was in the process of committing a felony, atrocious assault. This was a tragedy for sure but what is "justice for Trayvon Martin" other than George Zimmerman being found not guilty because of self defense? Instead of judging "white ministers" perhaps you should examine yourself to see if you are still in the faith. Do you love George Zimmerman? Are you praying for George Zimmerman and his family? I wonder if, Alison, you are being judgemental and racially biased. I will pray for you as well as the Martin family and the Zimmerman family and all who are affected. Jesus is still Lord.

        July 15, 2013 at 8:05 am |
        • lin

          Alxrss, God is also a God of justice as well. Instead of advising someone else to examine themselves to see if they are in the faith, you might want to take your own advice. Your religious comment was nothing more than a deflection as you had no adequate or reasonable response to the statement of the person posting. No matter what you say or believe, the fact still remains that Zimmerman initiated this whole tradgedy in more ways than one but also by not following the instructions of we don't need you to follow Trayvon.

          October 28, 2013 at 11:13 am |
  8. coastlinecascot

    Why the white church? Why not the Hispnic church. Since Zimmermn is hispanic? The white church is the better target? I get it.

    April 9, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Jim

      Hello I am a proud Canadian ,the land of the true north and FREE.
      I can walk in any community,town,city at any time of night and feel safe
      I watch a lot of american NEWS, and so I have a very good idea of American Ideology.
      It seems to me that most Americans are afraid of each other because of their color of skin ,their ethnicity,their culture
      so,I have this distinct feeling that you are all racists but are afraid of saying so because you are afraid of each other

      May 19, 2012 at 8:41 am |
  9. Tom

    Here is another "talking head" that does what they to best, inflame the situation, distort the facts and hope to get their face/name in front of the media.

    What ever happen to innocent until proven guilty? Do they not teach that concept in journalism school anymore? Apparently not! The matter is being given a methodical investigation. Let the chips fall where they may. Let's not rush to judgment regardless of the color of the suspect/victim.

    April 8, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • Lumen Veritatis

      Amen. Thank goodness these white churches are responsibly praying and advocating for justice (whichever form that may take) rather than publicly appointing themselves judge, jury, and executioner.

      April 8, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • radagast25

      Er, I don't know about where you are, but quite a few Hispanic churches here, including some evanglical ones, have called for Justice for Trayvon.

      Kind thoughts,


      April 11, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  10. CSX

    Outrage? Why? Waht a stupid article once again suggesting racism. Yet the racism is coming from the fake antiAmerican anger.
    George is our hero. Yet we have outrage at the President, news media (lies) and blacks for being so fake drumming up a political issue.


    April 7, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • radagast25

      Excuse me, you have NO RIGHT to tell me or any other citizen that because we think Mr. Zimmerman should be tried for manslaughter that we are anti-American. In fact, if anything, advocating for no trial is itself anti-American because it suggests that people should not be responsible for their own actions, which the last time I checked was a rather basic American, as well as moral, valuel.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  11. Richard

    1. Every human life has the same value–white, black, and every shade in between.
    2. I refuse to be "outraged" unless I am given clear reason to be outraged. This "incident" will remain an "incident" until it's proven a crime. Consider the implications of being "outraged"–should I get uncontrollably angry before the facts are clearly established?
    3. I refuse to go with the flow of a predetermined outcome. Here's the script, if any of you missed the Rodney King thing 20 years ago: White guy (in that case, 4 white guys) gets acquitted after a trial. This is followed by a bunch of marauding animals that set fire to their community. This is followed by pleas of community healing. Then another trial brings a conviction. DID THE FACTS OF THE INCIDENT CHANGE BETWEEN TRIALS? PROBABLY NOT. And to add to the mix, remember the OJ principle: Neither motive, nor means, nor opportunity, mean a thing. The suspect was bIack, and any intimation of guilt is the result of an intrinsic hatred for blacks, and nothing else.
    I predict this trial will (a) be a media circus; (b) follow the racial script we've established between Rodney King and OJ, and (c) make one guy named Zimmerman wish he wasn’t half white.
    Here’s some advice for the black community: I’m a white who has a genuine love for his black friends. But if you want anyone to listen, stop playing the same old cards. Most whites, especially in northern states, had nothing to do with the injustices blacks have suffered since you came here as slaves. So don’t blame us. And quit reading our minds. You have no idea what other people are thinking. Stay out of our heads.

    April 7, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • JW

      Do you not understand that the outrage is because there has been no arrest, and no investigation, so that all the facts can be considered in a trial by jury? Instead it has been swept under the rug the the State attorney and the local police. That is what everyone is outraged about. There is no race card being played. Justice in the hearing of the dead young man's side as well as Zimmerman's is what is desired.

      April 7, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Say What!

      Richard, in reference to your statement "Most whites, especially in northern states, had nothing to do with the injustices blacks have suffered since you came here as slaves" you need to read up on history. The northern states shipping industry are the ones who brought slaves to this country and sold them to southern states.

      April 9, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • Tracy

      Richard, While I agree with most of your points and where you are going with you thoughts...I must say that I am from the South and I, like you, had NOTHING to do with the slavery thing! While there are prejudices shown towards the black community by select groups here in the South, I have no affililation with any of them and this article has enraged me due to the fact, and I hold firm in my convictions, that George Zimmerman is not WHITE! So, if he is not white, then this is not a white/black debate. However, the media is making it out to be a white/black issue and inciting the racial divide for nothing more than RATINGS! This is a travesty that no one will gain from except the media. The media will make money off any outcome from this and other things associated to this situation. Truly terrible what people do out of stupidity...MORBID what the media does for money!

      April 16, 2012 at 11:09 am |
  12. morris2196

    People have already poured a lot of gasoline on this fire. Step back and let the system work.

    April 7, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • mominChiTOwn

      I think what bothers me is that there is so much hatred flowing through the air. How many shootings are on your news stations daily. Kids shot in their living rooms because someone is shooting outside (same race) and yet we don't see MOBS going after them. We hear communities "we are outraged" but there are no marches no constant bombarding of the same story daily hourly. IT is important to stand up and shout but why just the one incident. I know you all see the news. So if someone could clarify that?.... All across america there are killings in cold blood – black/black, black/white, black/hispanic, black/asian and all the vice versas and so on. If there is new evidence here lay it out – we all heard edited tapes and opnions – a month later people came out of the woodwork and changed their stories denying what they told the police then. How can we accurate judge – we can't. I will pray for both sides and God knows the truth

      April 14, 2012 at 7:31 am |
  13. Mark

    I am part of the Church and I happen to be white. I am outraged that everyone is rushing to convict Zimmerman before they even know what the facts are. If this is truly a self defense case and has nothing to do with race, there will be a lot of people that will be "eating crow."

    April 6, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • George

      I happen to be white too. Color isn't even in the facts. Somebody killed somebody else, with a gun. Obviously, the killer, claims self-defense, the killee claims nothing. All the facts are in, that should be sufficient. Other than that, the top cop BAILED,
      NO arrests. Justice?! Truth is....

      April 7, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • waileka

      I agree. The police investigated, Zimmerman was not arrested. This is NOT a racist incident on the part of the cops, though it is certainly a racist incident on the part of the black americans who are weighing in. (The real racists today are BLACK.) Even Zimmerman's best friend, who is black, stated that Zimmerman is not a racist. Is this 1920? In some black people's minds, not in mind. A kid died. He tried to beat Zimmerman to death, Zimmerman defended himself. Trayvon, even the name is indicative of 'black trash'. The kid was expelled from school, he was 6'3" and was staying with his dad and his shackup lover (why do they always call such trash 'fiance') cause his mom didn't want him. He's dead. Too bad. That's all that can be known by us, but the POLICE did not arrest Zimmerman based on the LACK OF EVIDENCE AGAINST HIM.

      April 8, 2012 at 5:14 am |
    • radagast25

      Excuse me, the POLICE wanted to arrest, they filed for a warrant. They were OVERRULED by the state attorney. An attorney who subsequently recused himself and admitted to consulting on the case (very inappropriate given his position).

      it is possible, though not known yet, that a great deal of evidence was either tainted or destroyed. It is more than possible that a failure to convict might well happen due to wrongful actions on the part of local authorities early in the investigation due to that refusal by the State Attorney.


      April 11, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Pash

      I just think the media needs a new story to cover. Remember Casey Anthony? Every media outlet from here to the moon declared her guilty and built the gallows. She's free now isn't she? The evidence wasn't there to convict her and the media ruined her life. She'll never be able to work again, probably never be able to go to the grocery store without someone insulting her. Maybe she did kill her daughter. We don't know what happened. We don't know what happened in this situation either. I wish the media would stop convicting people before the trial happens.

      April 16, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • Tracy

      I'm white too....what does this have to do with anything? Zimmerman is NOT WHITE! Everyone who allows Zimmerman to be labeled as WHITE is helping propagate this whole WHITE/BLACK racial debate! I have NEVER seen before this case where a Hispanic was called White Hispanic/Black Hispanic! Every job application or federal form I have ever filled out has NEVER catagorized race as "White Hispanic/Black Hispanic"...it is Hispanic alone! White has NOTHING to do with this case! NOTHING!

      April 16, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Alison

      I am part of the church as well and am outraged that some people just don't seem to understand that Trayvon was unarmed. It's like people assume that just because he was Black that he must have been somehow at fault for what happened. We also know that Zimmerman went after him despite being told not to by police. Come on.......I know Zimmerman deserves a trial, but seriously?

      May 9, 2012 at 1:59 am |
  14. Rosstrex

    So "White" Christians are supposed to be outraged when a Hispanic man kills a Black Teenager. I would agree but we appear to have so much death and mayhem in the world that the "White" Churches will be very busy being outraged. I doubt they will have time for actual worship or anything else if they spend their time Outraged over every atrocity.

    April 5, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • smiley

      Well trayvon wasnt white, so why would they care?

      April 6, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • JW

      Do you not know that Christians are supposed to cry out for justice, work for justice, and love their neighbor as they love themselves? This is true worship of God, to obey His commands. He commands them to work for justice for the oppressed, the widow and the orphan, and to hate evil. To cry out for justice in this case is good! Otherwise, everything will be swept under the rug as usual, and there will be no justice for Trayvon. The problem is, people will side with their own color, and not look at what is fair and just. If you do not love people of all colors and work for justice, you can't be Jesus' disciple.

      April 7, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • radagast25

      If you take Christ, rather than a bronze age and early iron age book seriously and you are a member of the church in general then yes, you will. EVERY issue of social injustice is a cause for outrage and for action. The more egregious the issue, the more cause. This was a pretty egregious issue, so.

      April 11, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Brad

      There isn't enough time in the day to sit around and get mad over every sin. Perhaps the better question is why, with thousands of innocent people killed every day all across the globe, is there all this outrage and hand-wringing over this one? Is the death of someone from malnutrition not worth our outrage? Is the death of someone in Syria not worth our outrage? Is the abortion of an unborn human being not worth our outrage?

      The simple fact is that humanity as a whole has tremendously discounted the value of human life, because humanity has tried to discounted the One who gives human life value...our Creator. The evidence of that screams from every corner of the planet. If we are just something evolved from slime...where is the purpose in life, or the value of a human being compared to a twig or grain of sand?

      April 12, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Tracy

      To JW...yeah, and maybe they're supposed to turn the other cheek too! Right? The media and others who are making this into something its not are allowing this to escalate beyond all rational thought. This situation has people apologizing for being WHITE or feeling bad for something they can not control. I empathize with the family for their loss and I want to see justice prevail but I will not show outrage at a religious sect for what the media precieves for shock ratings as racial indifference!

      April 16, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  15. Kevin Nivek

    What do white people have to do with this? The victim is black, the assailant Hispanic. Why do we have to be dragged into it again?

    April 5, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • disser

      Yeah where is the hispanic churches outrage

      April 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  16. garc

    A good question. Another question to me is, where are white churches' outrage over the assaults on women's rights as well? I'm not a religious person, but it seems to me that educated people are fleeing the church now because there appear to be so few Christian leaders who actually behave in a manner advocated by Jesus in the New Testament (he actually seemed to LIKE and RESPECT women, and you know he wouldn't be out stalking and killing children walking in their own neighborhoods). Where are religious leaders actually coming out in these crazy situations and saying, "You know, we don't all think like the extreme right; in fact, we'll do what we can to help bring about peace and justice and equality"?

    April 3, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • garlic

      dude, no one cares about woman. They are the lesser creation.

      April 6, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • TruthSeeker

      To be fair, churches are effectively barred from participating in the political arena, and in general won't enter a public position on things like this, for fear of losing their status as non-profit.

      There are obvious exceptions, especially when there's cross-over (abortion being the most obvious).

      As a white church-goer, my position is simple–I want to know what the facts are. Thus far, there has been very little factual information about what happened that day released. It would seem Zimmerman instigated a confrontation, but whether or not he started something physical–impossible to say with the data that is in the public domain. You can make some assumptions, if you like, but I'd rather reserve judgement until I know what needs knowing.

      April 9, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.