Posted on August 7, 2020

Milwaukee Lutheran High School Said Black Lives Matter Group’s Beliefs ‘Do Not Align with Biblical Views’

Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 5, 2020

A prominent Lutheran minister well known for her work at the nexus of faith and racial justice is calling on Black families to pull their children from Milwaukee Lutheran High School over its position on the Black Lives Matter movement.

Milwaukee Lutheran posted a statement online late Tuesday saying it has long supported “Black Lives and Black Families” but that the founding principles and beliefs of the Black Lives Matter organization “do not align with biblical views,” citing specifically its position supporting LGBTQ rights.

The post ignited a firestorm on social media, with many — including students, parents and alumni — calling it un-Christlike and insulting to the Black students and families that make up the majority of the school’s enrollment. Several said they experienced racism at the school.

On Wednesday, Venice Williams, who is internationally known for her work at Milwaukee’s Alice’s Garden — and whose youngest son just graduated from Milwaukee Lutheran — took to Facebook to call on Black families to boycott the school.


{snip} The Rev. John Wille, president of the South Wisconsin District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, said the school is an independent entity. But he said, “as Lutheran Christians, we affirm that all people, regardless of the color of their skin” … and “we recognize each other as precious gifts from God regardless of race.”

Milwaukee Lutheran is owned and operated by 30 congregations of the Missouri Synod, a theologically conservative denomination that teaches homosexuality is a sin and contrary to scripture. Williams ministers in the much larger and liberal Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which allows for gay marriage and gay clergy.

Williams said the Black Lives Matter post was especially troubling because so many Black students attend the school, which is supported in part by taxpayer-funded vouchers. {snip}

“There would be no Milwaukee Lutheran if it wasn’t for Black children,” she said.

“This is not just about Milwaukee Lutheran. This is about the church historically and the things we … do and say in the name of the reigning Christ we claim to follow. For any Christian institution, especially one dominated by Black youth, to come out and say don’t support the BLM movement, it’s mocking us.”