The Church Council of Greater Seattle decries the white supremacist messages, hateful rhetoric and actions of violence and terror against protesters, including many leaders of faith, in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the last two days. We grieve with the families and friends of the people whose lives were lost and pray for them and all who were injured by the horrific car attack. There is nothing Christian nor patriotic in promoting racist attitudes and behavior in our pluralistic democracy. Indeed, as torch-bearing “nationalists” marched on one of our nation’s leading public institutions of higher learning, evoking images of racist, violent movements current and past, they passed a banner which, if they had cared to see it, truly honors the best aspirations of America, “Our diversity is our strength.” We condemn a political and societal atmosphere of fear-mongering and saber-rattling. We seek a bridge to our common humanity that joins people from many different paths, experiences, and backgrounds toward a racially just and economically equitable future, inspired by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of the Beloved Community. The Jesus who we follow is the bearer of the good news of God’s reign rooted in love of neighbor, solidarity with the marginalized and excluded, and radical inclusivity. Our God demands the witness of a faith that challenges narratives of hate and offers the alternative way of love-beyond-borders. Our churches and friends from the various religious traditions will honor this responsibility in such a time as this.

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