The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA condemns, in the strongest terms, the “Unite the Right” gathering of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday, August 12th. We deplore the ideology behind it and the hatred manifest in it. White supremacy must find no sanction or shelter in America today.
We grieve for the lives needlessly lost. Heather Heyer, 32, died in what we believe has been appropriately named a terrorist act by Attorney General Sessions. She died as a witness to love and justice for all. We grieve for the two officers in the Virginia State Police, Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen, 48, and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, 40, and pray for their families.
We also give thanks for the moral witness given by concerned people of faith, including clergy, who came to Charlottesville to stand as a barrier before those gathered in the cause of white supremacy. We are grateful for the leadership offered by Rev. Brittany Caine-Conley, Rev. Seth Wispelwey, Congregate C’ville (a group instrumental in the organizing of the counter-protest), and dozens of others who spent countless hours preparing for this now-infamous day. Their courage and faith in the face of hate is an inspiration to all of us.
And finally, we call upon our government and church leaders to strongly, and in no uncertain terms, denounce racism and white supremacy We call upon President Trump to prove his commitment to this cause by dismissing cabinet officials and staff members with known links to racist, Alt-Right, neo-fascist, or otherwise hateful groups.
But let justice roll down like waters,
and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
Amos 5:24, NRSV