Churches Uniting in Christ Statement on White Nationalism and White Supremacism
Churches Uniting in Christ’s (CUIC)
Statement on White Nationalism and White Supremacism
We, Churches Uniting in Christ, a gathering of eleven communions in a covenantal relationship, stand in unwavering unity, to firmly condemn any form of racist, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi, white nationalist, white supremacist ideologies.
The events of August 12, 2017, in Charlottesville, Virginia have added tinder to an already volatile situation in this country, as well as in nations around the world. As we mourn the deaths and pray for the families of Heather Heyer and state troopers H. Jay Cullen and Berke Bates, we not only denounce racist speech and actions against people of any race, religion, or national origin, but we also denounce silence and inaction in the face of this type of hate, a silence and inaction not exclusive of the pulpit.
Any practice which denies the dignity of the body of Christ such as white supremacy, racism, and xenophobia are practices that have no place in our theology. The sin of white supremacy and racism must be preached from every pulpit, in every church, of every community, and every communion. We must live out the greatest commandments, as Christ taught and embodied. We are to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves; and in doing so, as children of God:
- We reject racism and anti-Semitism, which are sins that Christians must acknowledge and resist.
- We decry white supremacy, as well as the notion of a national god at the heart of the “Alt Right” movement as a Christian heresy.
- We refute any doctrine, dogma or practice of “America First.” We uniformly denounce any doctrine that replaces the worship of God with the worship of the nation. Idolatrous patriotism erodes and dilutes our religious traditions and virtuous American patriotism.
- We lament and call for the elimination of any policy that isolates this country from the community of nations. Such nationalism fuels xenophobic and racist attacks against immigrants and religious minorities, including our Jewish and Muslim neighbors.
- We confess that all human beings possess God-given dignity and are members of one human family, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ability or country of origin.
- We acknowledge that the gospel of Jesus Christ has political and social mandates that move us to seek unity with one another. One cannot claim to follow the teachings of Christ without publicly naming evil, actively resisting it, and living in harmony and love in the midst of racial, ethnic, religious and other forms of human diversity that make up the rich tapestry of human existence.
Therefore, it is incumbent upon leaders of Churches Uniting in Christ, the leadership of our denominations, and especially our pastors and congregants, to condemn white supremacy, white nationalism, anti-Muslim rhetoric and activity, anti-Semitism and racism. We must work across religious traditions to reflect on the ways we have been complicit in upholding and benefiting from the sins of racism and white supremacy. We must join others in praying for the strength and courage to stand arm-in-arm against racism, white supremacy, and nationalism in all its forms. We must not back down those espousing hate and we must be willing to participate in acts of peaceful protest, including rallies, marches, and at times, even civil disobedience. We must continually and tirelessly engage in action to oppose structural racism, both outside the church and within its walls.
The Apostle Paul reminds us, in his letter to the Ephesians that “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In Him, the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him, you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” (Ephesians 2: 19-22)
May it be so.
Bishop Teresa Jefferson-Snorton, President, CUIC
Mr. Vince Gonzales, Chair, Racial and Social Justice Task Force
Rev. Michael R. Fisher, Jr., Chair, Young Adult Task Force
Mr. Abraham Wright, Vice President, CUIC
Rev. Hermann Weinlick, Secretary, CUIC
Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson, Treasurer, CUIC
Churches Uniting in Christ is a covenant relationship among eleven Christian communions that have pledged to live more closely together in expressing their unity in Christ and combating racism together. The member churches of CUIC include the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, The Episcopal Church, the International Council of Community Churches, the Moravian Church (Northern Province), the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Church of Christ and the United Methodist Church. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is a partner in mission and dialogue. For more information, please see our website at www.churchesunitinginchrist.org