Bishop of California's statement on President Trump's xenophobic tweets
The Rt. Rev. Marc Handley Andrus, Bishop of California
Like so many people in the United States and around the world, I am sickened and deeply distraught by the destructive, dehumanizing language the President of the United States has unleashed against four members of Congress over the last few days. As bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California and as a Christian, I cannot be silent on this matter. The President's tweets were blatantly xenophobic, tinged with racism, and designed to fuel further discord within an already divided nation.
Although some continue to dismiss the President's words as mere political posturing, refusing to recognize those words for what they are — hate speech — comes with dire implications for the health of our nation and the integrity of the ideals for which it stands. To quote the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:
Hate multiplies hate,
violence multiplies violence,
and toughness multiplies toughness
in a descending spiral of destruction...
The chain reaction of evil --
hate begetting hate,
wars producing more wars --
must be broken,
or we shall be plunged
into the dark abyss of annihilation.
- The Strength to Love, 1963
In the shadow our President’s words have cast, I call on all people of faith and goodwill to denounce them. Let us instead recommit ourselves to nonviolence — in our hearts, our minds, our actions — and the work of reconciliation that restores the Beloved Community. May we all redouble our efforts to speak with love and with respect for the dignity of all people.
Savior Christ, grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and, that we may reverently use our freedom, help us to employ it in the maintenance of justice in our communities and among the nations. Give us the courage to stand against all that divides, degrades, and dominates any and all of your children, to the glory of your Name.