Once again we find ourselves shocked and deeply grieved by overtly racist violence in our country. Unlike the racially motivated murders at the Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, the events in Charlottesville, VA, this past weekend weren’t just the actions of a lone perpetrator. They reveal the presence and intent of a movement characterized by overtly racist language and symbols. Thinly disguised behind titles like the “alt-right,” these groups perpetuate the rhetoric of white supremacy promulgated by the likes of the Ku Klux Klan and the Nazi party of Hitler’s Germany. Their beliefs and actions have nothing in common with biblical truth and Christian orthodoxy.
We cannot remain silent in the face of this evil. Nor can we condone the unwillingness of those in power to condemn the actions of these groups while continuing to court their favor for political purposes. That only emboldens and empowers them. We lament that the integrity of our gospel witness is brought into question by the refusal of evangelical leaders to call those in authority to account for their silence.
To those communities—African-American, Latino, Asian, Jewish and others—whose very humanity is questioned by these groups, we commit ourselves to join with you in speaking truth against the evil of racism and in rebuking those who are complicit in it by their silence.
May the Lord have mercy on us.
President, Denver Seminary