June 14, 2020
Events in recent weeks and months have once again refocused our nation on the evil of racism in our world, our nation, and in our own communities. As followers of Christ who believe we are all God’s children and that we are all loved unconditionally by God, we must clearly condemn racism in all its forms. As a spiritual community whose membership throughout its history has been predominantly LGBTQ and allies, we understand the danger of remaining silent in the face of injustice.
- Express our support for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). No one should have to live their lives in constant fear of their safety, especially in interactions with police forces sworn to protect their communities. No one should have to live with the daily stress and tension that racism causes in the lives of BIPOC. We hear your frustration and rage and wish to stand with you.
- Express our support for anti-racism protestors. Your voices must be heard. We must not only listen but we must also take action.
- Express our support for those police officers and departments who work to do policing the right way with respect for all of those whose safety has been entrusted to them. We need you more than ever to stand up with the world against racism in real and effective ways.
- Condemn the racism that runs rampant throughout the institutions and ethos of our nation, especially our government institutions but also other institutions including churches.
- Condemn all police brutality. Recent incidents such as the murders of George Floyd in Minnesota and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky are unacceptable examples of police actions. Those who are sworn to uphold the public good must be held accountable when they destroy the public trust with their own violent and unnecessary actions.
- Condemn vigilantism in any form. The murder of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia was a travesty of justice. People fueled by fear and hatred cannot be allowed to become judge, jury, and executioner.
- Condemn the use of violence to control peaceful protestors. A free and democratic society must uphold the right to freedom of speech. The use of tear gas on crowds is especially heinous. A weapon banned in war has no place in domestic policing. We also note that while violence has been used against peaceful anti-racism protestors, recent armed, white protestors that invaded our state capitol building were seemingly allowed to do as they pleased.
- Condemn white supremacists who are using this moment of tragedy to foment violence and division in our communities.
- Condemn President Trump’s repeated violent and divisive rhetoric against protestors. Such behavior from our President is a threat to our nation and the safety of its people. The President’s use of a Bible and church as a background for his calls for violence is insulting and blasphemous.
- Call for all Christians and Christian churches, including and especially our own, to undertake the demanding work of living out God’s love by becoming forces for anti-racism. As a spiritual community that has also throughout its history been predominantly white, we, the people of Phoenix Community Church, recognize that we benefit from the evils of racism in ways of which we may not even be conscious. We must do our own work of educating ourselves. We must hear the voices of the oppressed and work with them as partners in our desire to see a world that reflects the hope, peace, and justice of the Kin-dom of God which Jesus called us to build.
- Call for the reform of our society’s racist institutions including but not limited to our criminal justice systems, health care systems, and educational systems. Reformations must be enacted at all levels of government and decision-making must include BIPOC.
- Call for the abolition of stand your ground laws.
- Call for the de-militarization of the police and the enactment of non-violent, anti-racist policing practices and polices across our nation.
With the help of God may we learn to finally respect and honor all of God’s children, regardless of race or religion or sexuality or gender identity or any other human created category. In coming together in love, we CAN realize the just and peaceful Kin-dom of God.
the people of Phoenix Community Church, UCC