Richard Allen's Birthday

Phil Ryken
A nice piece in today's Philadelphia Inquirer laments that the February birthday of Richard Allen -- once a major event in our city's black community -- receives so little notice.  Born a slave, Richard Allen was a leading voice for racial equality in early American life.  He was also the founding bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, a group started after one of Philadelphia's Methodist churches banished Allen and other black members from their fellowship.

I was especially touched by something Allen wrote in 1794, wise counsel for our country that tragically went unheeded: "If you love your children, if you love your country, if you love the God of Love, clear your hands from slaves, burden not your children or country with them."