Originally Appears in First Things Magazine

Below is an excerpt from Black Lives Matter and the Christian. To read the article in its entirety, please click here.

Our country requires a revival of love of God and neighbor and a new birth of civil rights rooted in the only firm foundation: the natural law and the truth about the human person. America has a deficit of love, of authentic freedom and truth, and of respect for human dignity—which manifests itself in part through racial discrimination and unjust inequality. It has led to police misconduct and racial discrimination in our criminal justice system, and to the disproportionate suffering that COVID-19 has wrought in many communities of color.

Racial injustice is part of the culture of death. To build a culture of life in America, we need a revival of God’s love and a new era of civil rights. As a black man, I am pained to learn of police officers killing unarmed black people. As an attorney who has also worked as a staffer in Congress and the executive branch, I have seen that the majority of law enforcement officials are good people seeking to protect and serve. However, racial discrimination in the criminal justice system continues in the form of racial profiling, police misconduct,  and discriminatory criminal sentencing. Our country has not fully realized the central American creed: Every person—born and unborn—is endowed by his Creator with the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Further criminal justice reform is still needed.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 crisis has also exposed racial inequality in our health care system. Many black communities already had unequal access to medical care, inadequate access to preventative health and wellness options, and insufficient health education. These health disparities have made it more difficult for many in these communities to fight the virus. Even once this health crisis ends, many African American communities will still not have the medical care they deserve. Historical patterns of racial exclusion have exacerbated negative health care outcomes. Ensuring that the vulnerable have access to proper medical care is necessary to restoring a culture of life. 

Louis Brown is the Executive Director of the Christ Medicus Foundation and CMF CURO