The 2016 presidential campaigns of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have added to the anger, fear and misunderstanding already present in our communities. We refer specifically to the inflammatory and blaming language used by Donald Trump regarding Muslims, Mexican immigrants and women and by Hillary Clinton regarding the Russian government and “deplorable” Trump supporters.

The election results require us to be far more serious about lost jobs and income.  American households of all colors have suffered from economic policies and military interventions pursued by Democratic and Republican administrations over the past 25 years.

Most importantly, we dare not ignore that the elevation of Donald Trump as President of the United States came with threatening, authoritarian messages. If such talk is not opposed, we open the way to more radical attacks on human rights and democratic processes here in the U.S.  And we can expect even more reliance on military threats and force abroad.

As followers of Jesus ourselves (see names below)—and with a fervent hope that other faith communities, secular groups, etc. might use this as a model—we feel led by God’s Spirit to call upon congregations and other assemblies to make the following public commitments in their communities:

 

  1. We will protect and support the worth and rights of all people, including marginalized persons who are targeted, discriminated against or singled out by hate crimes or state-sponsored/sanctioned violence;
  2. We will oppose the aspirations of those who seek U.S. global domination through the use of propaganda, inciting terror, military threats, regime change and war. We will support instead the practices of diplomacy and negotiation, which lead to peace.
  3. We will support a just economic order—one that is sustainable as a servant of the people amid the changes in climate that have already begun.
  4. To keep these promises, we will reach across lines of creed, class, ethnicity, race and party preference in a spirit of empathy and learning, seeking relationships of solidarity with other groups.

 

Originating Committee:

John K. Stoner, founder of Every Church a Peace Church (jstoner42@windstream.net)

Tony Brown, founder of Peacing It Together Foundation (tonyhb@hesston.edu)

Rev. C. T. Vivian, civil rights leader and recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom

Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith, senior organizer for Fellowship of Reconciliation; consultant for Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference

        (cassady2euca@icloud.com)

Berry Friesen, co-author of IF NOT EMPIRE, WHAT? A SURVEY OF THE BIBLE

 

Initiators of this Call:

(affiliation is noted for identification only and does not convey organizational support for this Call)

Rev. Dr. Tim Ahrens, senior minister, First Congregational Church, UCC, Columbus, OH

Rev. Dr. Valerie Bridgeman, CEO of WomanPreach! Inc. & associate professor, Methodist Theological School in Ohio

Rev. Amy K. Butler, senior pastor, The Riverside Church in the City (NYC)

Tony Campolo, co-founder of Red Letter Christians

Dr. Iva Carruthers, general secretary of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, former President and First Lady of the United States of America

Shane Claiborne, author, activist, co-founder of Red Letter Christians

Rev. John Dear, author, activist, co-founder of CampaignNonviolence.org

Rev. Ronald Degges, president, Disciples Home Missions, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Jim and Shelley Douglass, co-founders of Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action and Mary’s House Catholic Worker

Bren Dubay, executive director of Koinonia Farm, Americus, GA

Page #2 – A Public Call to Protect All People

 

Mel Duncan, director of advocacy and outreach, Nonviolent Peaceforce

Elaine Enns, author and co-director of Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries, Pasadena CA

Ted Grimsrud, senior professor at Eastern Mennonite University

Michael Hardin, executive director, Preaching Peace

Rev. Dr. Alice Hunt, president, Chicago Theological Seminary

Rev. Dr. Katharine Henderson, president, Auburn Theological Seminary (NYC)

Hyun Hur and Sue Park-Hur, co-founders and directors of ReconciliAsian, Pasadena CA

Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator, Voices for Creative Nonviolence

Rev. Mike Kinman, rector, All Saints Episcopal Church, Pasadena, CA

John Paul Lederach, professor at Kroc Institute, University of Notre Dame

Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis, senior minister, Middle Collegiate Church, New York City

Norman Edgar Lowry, KN9758, prisoner of conscience at Dallas State Correctional Institution in PA

Leslie Watson Malachi, director of African American Religious Affairs, People for the American Way

Rev. Michael McBride, pastor of The Way Church, Berkeley, CA and director of PICO Network’s “Live Free” campaign

Dr. Catherine Meeks, chair of Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta’s Commission for Dismantling Racism

Don Mosley, co-founder of Habitat for Humanity International and of Jubilee Partners

Ched Myers, theological animator, author and organizer

Dr. Han S. Park, professor emeritus, founder of GLOBIS, University of Georgia

Gilberto Perez Jr., senior director of intercultural development and educational partnerships, Goshen College

LeDayne McLeese Polaski, executive director/directora ejecutiva, Baptist Peace Fellowship~ Bautistas por la Paz

Dennis Rivers, author and editor of LiberationTheology.org

Gerald W. Schlabach, professor of theology at University of St. Thomas (MN)

Rev. Ken Sehested, editor of Prayer&Politiks.org

Ronald J. Sider, president emeritus, Evangelicals for Social Action

Elizabeth Soto, professor at Lancaster Theological Seminary

Rev. Kristin Gill Stoneking, executive director, Fellowship of Reconciliation

Sarah Thompson, executive director, Christian Peacemaker Teams

Rev. Cameron B. Trimble, chief executive officer of ConvergenceUS and of the Center for Progressive Renewal

Jim Wallis, founder and president of Sojourners

Rev. Dr. Richard Wing, senior Pastor, First Community Church, Columbus, OH

Carol Wise, executive director, Brethren Mennonite Council for LGBT Interests

*****

 

Click here for a downloadable version of a Public Call to Protect  Implementation Guide.