By Ansel Augustine, MPS
from the National Black Catholic Congress website
The 10 Commandments have been drilled into me since I was young. Whether it was through Vacation Bible School, religious education, retreats, or whatever other church related education, these 10 “ways of being a good follower of God” have been part of my life since I can remember. Unfortunately, in pretty much all communities around the world, the 5th commandment, “Thou Shalt Not Kill,” seems to have been forgotten.
Here in New Orleans, our visionary Archbishop Gregory Aymond has asked all parishes, schools, diocesan offices, etc. to pray “Our Family Prayer” as we fight the “New Battle of New Orleans” against murder, violence, and racism. Violence has been out of control in New Orleans for some time, and “One murder is too many,” as Archbishop Aymond says. Our police resources don’t match up the violence that continues to plague our neighborhoods. The lack of respect for life can be seen in all levels of society from the elected officials to those committing violent crimes in the streets.
The latest effort in the Archdiocese of New Orleans is to put up banners and send out 5,000 yard signs that say, “Thou Shalt Not Kill – God” According to Archbishop Aymond, the purpose of these signs is to, “increase awareness that we are all in this together and to add a spiritual tone to this battle…Some people who are disposed to violence and murder might see these signs and think twice. If we have thousands of these signs all over the archdiocese, perhaps someone will have a second thought.” In addition to the prayer and yard signs, the archdiocese has also launched the Isaiah 43 program to help with Parenting Skills and to provide youth from all backgrounds with positive mentors from their communities…