All human beings are created in the image of God. And yet in Charlottesville, Va., white hatred, intimidation, anti-Semitism and physical violence toward people of color and religious minorities was on bold display. The hateful rally of white supremacists organized by Richard Spencer, leader of the “alt-right,” has not only resulted in death and physical violence. It seeks to destroy the very soul of our nation.
White supremacist beliefs, whether they be expressed by the KKK, neo-Nazis, the alt-right or publications like Breitbart, are antithetical to our scripture and to America’s ideals.
Today we faith leaders call on all elected officials to explicitly and publicly condemn white supremacy and the organizations that advance and seek to give it mainstream credibility. We call on President Trump to remove Steve Bannon and other supporters of the alt-right from his White House and stand against the racist policies they propose.
We are reminded of God’s call in the Hebrew Scriptures: “Choose this day whom you will serve.” One cannot serve God and embrace hate and inequality. One cannot be American and be silent when others would tear our values asunder.
We recognize that this is an American issue and call on all elected leaders to embrace our democracy and uphold our cherished values of the dignity and worth of every human soul. These values have brought America her finer moments, enabling us to end slavery and Jim Crow and to advance human dignity and civil rights for all.
Let us be clear that the America we know and love is the America that honors each and every human being as created in God’s image.
Prominent signers include: Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO, Faith in Public Life; Brian McLaren, activist and writer; Rev. Jacqui Lewis, Pastor, Middle Collegiate Church; Dr. Katharine Henderson, President, Auburn Seminary; Valerie Kaur, Director, Revolutionary Love and Sikh Activist; Pastor Michael McBride, Director for Urban Strategies/LIVE FREE Campaign, PICO National Network; Shane Claiborne, speaker, activist and author, founder, Red Letter Christians