No place in the world for the bigotry on display in Charlottesville

To the Editor:

By the time you read these words it will have been over a week since the violence, perpetrated because of white supremacists that espouse a racist ideology, took place in Charlottesville, Va. That event has brought all of us into a deeper discussion and reflection of racism, violence, free speech, and the groups that promote hate and bigotry.

We wish to express to you that we condemn the actions and belief of hate groups that organize in order to create fear and promote discrimination in any form. Racism – a mix of power, privilege, and prejudice – is a sin and a violation of God’s intention for humanity.

To remain silent is, in this moment, to be complicit. Though we may have different histories, doctrines, and styles of worship, we stand together in acknowledging the intrinsic value and personal worth of all human beings. There is no room in our traditions or worshipping communities for the hateful language and provocative actions we witnessed in Charlottesville. We want all people in the Caledonia and surrounding community, especially those whose lives are vulnerable to the violent words and actions of hate groups, to hear us say we welcome you and want you to be our neighbors and friends. Let us stand together committed to forming our lives in this community, daily, through practices of hospitality and not hate, in acts of compassion and not callousness, and as witnesses to the promise of peace and not the pathology of violence.

Rev. Debbie King Quale, Caledonia United Methodist Church

Rev. Steven E. Meyer, Immanuel Lutheran Church