VP Pence: Publicly Declare That White Supremacy Has No Place in the White House
I write to you as a person of faith who has given my life to serve my Lord Jesus Christ. I know you also proclaim a deep Christian faith and it is in the spirit of our shared faith that I call upon you to act with the courage of your convictions in this moment. You are well aware of the horrific events in Charlottesville that injured dozens and killed one young woman, Heather Heyer. Her death is the direct result of the rallying of people who call themselves the Alt Right but who are in fact the modern day manifestations of the Ku Klux Klan, Nazis and white supremacists. As you are also aware, President Trump has equivocated in his condemnation of the events of Charlottesville, saying that there are 'good people on both sides'. These organized groups of men bearing torches chanted Nazi slogans from World War II. These are not good people who share American values, and this false moral equivalency has emboldened and encouraged the leaders of the Alt Right who are planning more rallies and threatening more communities in the coming days. While you have condemned the violence you have refused to specifically denounce President Trump and even recently confirmed that you "Stand with the President" and his "both sides" argument. Your position is extremely hurtful to all those who have felt the brutal effects of Nazis, the Klan and white supremacy and betrays the American values and Christian values of dignity, justice and equality that I believe you hold dear. There can be only one moral position when it comes to condemning racism, anti-Semitism and white supremacy. Take the moral convictions of your Christian faith and publicly declare that white supremacy is repulsive, counter to all this country stands for, and has no place in the White House; condemn and affix blame solely on the shoulders of these white supremacy ideologues for inciting hate. You must be clear that there can be no moral ambiguity when it comes to these groups and their fixation on white Christian supremacy in America. We stand by to make faith leaders available to you from around the country to provide counsel. Rev. Dr. Noel Castellanos President, Christian Community Development Association Board Member: National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) and World Vision Auburn Senior Fellow
Tell ICE: Let Pastor José Be! #SanctuaryNow
The School for Conversion (SFC), a Durham-based religious education center committed to “making surprising friendships possible,” has joined together with the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, and a coalition of religious and community-based partners to make a public announcement of why we have offered sanctuary to Pastor José Chicas. Chicas fled his native El Salvador during its civil war in the 1980’s, seeking asylum in the United States. In the 1990s, before Chicas and his wife experienced a spiritual conversion, he struggled with alcoholism. During that time, he was charged with and pled guilty to driving under the influence and domestic abuse. But 20 years ago, Chicas reconciled with his wife, received a call to preach, and has served his family and community in North Carolina for two decades. Under the new aggressive immigration enforcement policies of the Trump administration, Chicas has been targeted as a “criminal” by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which ordered him to leave his family and congregation last Tuesday without any hope of ever returning. “My congregation is calling, asking me, “‘When can you come back? We miss you,’” said Jose Chicas, who pastors Iglesia Evangelica in Raleigh, NC. “I met Pastor Jose through his son, Ezekiel, who shared about how his father was to be deported the day before he was scheduled to graduate from a Wake County Elementary school,” said Rev. Barber. “The Jesus I follow had to immigrate to Egypt when he was a child, where neither he nor his parents had papers. When he grew up, that same Jesus said to his followers, ‘I was a stranger and you welcomed me.’ As a disciple of that brown-skinned Palestinian Jew, I don’t have any option but to embrace Jose and his family.” Please join Rev. Barber, myself and other community partners in asking that ICE grant Pastor José relief by signing and sharing this petition.
We Pledge To Resist Deportation And Discrimination Through Sanctuary
Calling upon the ancient traditions of our faiths, which recognized houses of worship as a refuge for the runaway slave, the conscientious objector, and the Central American refugee fleeing the civil wars of the 1980s, Sanctuary is once again growing among communities of faith that are standing in solidarity with immigrants and marginalized communities facing immoral and unjust deportation and discrimination policies. We find ourselves entering a new phase of U.S. history wherein the politics of fear has stoked an atmosphere of racism and xenophobia across the country. The new Administration has pledged to criminalize, detain and deport undocumented people at new levels that will tear families and communities apart. As people of faith and people of conscience, we will take civil initiative out of our moral obligation to embody principles of human rights and dignity, and resist any harmful and unjust policy proposals that further undermine due process and lead to racial profiling and discrimination. By signing this pledge, we are dedicating ourselves to educate and activate our congregations, to amplify and respond to the voices of immigrant leaders, and to speak out against the discrimination of any and all marginalized people. We are ready to open the doors of our sacred spaces and accompany those facing deportation and discrimination. We support those answering the call to provide sanctuary at schools, hospitals, college campuses, community centers and family homes. We will work with partner organizations to create sacred space of sanctuary wherever it is needed.