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As chair and as president of the National Council of Churches, we call upon President Trump to retract his statement of November 5, 2020. His claim that the mere counting of votes amounts to the stealing of an election is dangerous speech, speech that he knows—and we fear—has the potential to incite violence. It undermines the very principles upon which this nation is built.

The National Council of Churches is a strong and vital ally of democracy. We realize that our agency, as religious leaders in common cause, derives from our faith, but also benefits from a Constitution that protects and preserves freedom of religion and freedom of speech. For that Constitution and for our Democracy we are profoundly grateful.

It is in devotion to that democratic way of life, one that must guarantee voice and vote to every one of its citizens regardless of their race, gender, or economic status, that we issue this statement strongly condemning the words and actions of our President as the vote count proceeded.

We also ask both the President and former Vice President Biden to patiently await the results of the election and to assure the American people that they will maintain our proud history of accepting the will of the voters.


Rev. John Dorhauer, Chair of the National Council of Churches and General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ

Jim Winkler, President of the National Council of Churches