An Interfaith Statement on the Proliferation of Hate Organizations ad Propaganda in York County, PA

An Interfaith Statement on the Proliferation of Hate Organizations and Propaganda in York County, Pennsylvania

 August 15, 2018

We, the undersigned religious leaders of York County, Pennsylvania, together resolve our shared concern for our community as we have learned about hate-spewing propaganda distributed locally by one of the several hate groups who have a presence in our area.

We share a unified message, without equivocation, that discrimination of any kind is an outrage to our religious communities in faith and in practice. We believe with fervent hope that religious communities, especially when working together, can be a significant force in the work of untangling this bigotry and hatred of others in our lifetime.

To these ends, we wish to pronounce a broad and bold claim about race in York County: Racism is not only something to be discussed when hate-mongers distribute literature onto parked car windows. Racism is an ugly part of the story and scaffolding of York County’s history and culture. Racism occurs around us constantly and must be continually addressed by leaders in positions of authority. While, for example, it is easy to offer a shared rejection of propaganda distributed at a local mall, it requires far greater courage to publicly root out the use of old stereotypes, clichés, and loaded images about Jews, Catholics, Asians, Mexicans, and the LGBTQ community invoked in this hate-filled diatribe.

We acknowledge that speaking truth to power about the nature of privilege, racial shaming, and systemic discrimination that happens daily in our community is challenging and often met with resistance from members within many of our own ministries.

We call upon ourselves as religious leaders to rise to the challenge to speak, preach, and act from the true and holy centers of our faiths, to speak openly against hate as an acceptable value in York County. This requires of us an ongoing and impassioned effort of cooperation and fortification, growing our networks of peacemaking until our message of love, acceptance, and righteousness is spread to every inch and shouted from every rooftop in our hometown.

While we may speak from unique religious perspectives, we are strengthened by those differences. We are made stronger when we stand together and speak with one voice. And with this voice, we affirm, together, our love for our community, our concern for all its citizens, and our pride in what we have thus far accomplished, despite the reality that there is so much more yet to be done.

Finally, we speak with the hope that we will not simply commission our children to build a better tomorrow, but that we — as communities and as individuals of faith — will set examples of making peace, eliminating bigotry, and continuing collaboration between the faith groups we each represent and our peers and colleagues who serve with us.

The Rev. Dr. Christopher D. Rodkey
St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Dallastown, PA

Rabbi Jeffrey R. Astrachan
Temple Beth Israel, York, PA

Rabiya Khan
Solidarity Society of South Central PA

Meet A Muslim American (MAMA)

The Rev. David D. Tietje
St. John’s United Church of Christ, Red Lion, PA

The Rev. Laura Haupt
Luther Memorial Lutheran Church, York, PA

The Rev. Dr. Gabriele Parks
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of York, PA

With the undersigned representatives and leaders of our faith communities:

Rev. Danielle Neff
Mt. Zion United Church of Christ, York, PA

The Rev. Joel Folkemer
Union Evangelical Lutheran Church, York, PA

Rev. Eva O’Diam
Dover United Church of Christ, Dover, PA

The Rev. Benjamin S. Erzkus
Zion Lutheran Church, York, PA

The Rev. Robert L. Driesen
Bishop Emeritus, Upper Susquehanna Synod, ELCA

The Rev. Kevin T. Shively
St. Matthew Lutheran Church, York, PA

The Rev. Thomas E. McKee
Synod Secretary/Assistant to the Bishop

Lower Susquehanna Synod, ELCA

The Rev. Courtney A. Erzkus
Grace Lutheran Church, Red Lion, PA

The Rev. Timothy Seitz-Brown
Spring Grove, Pennsylvania

The Rev. Laura C. Bair
Starview United Church of Christ, Mt. Wolf, PA

The Rev. Brian A. Biery
Christ Lutheran Church, Shrewsbury, PA

The Rev. Edward J. Robbins
Saint John (Sadlers) Lutheran, Stewartstown, PA

The Rev. Kathleen A. Kuehl
United Lutheran Ministries of South East York

Arthur Grahe
United Church of Christ, retired

Rev. Dr. Richard F. Pulling
Emmanuel United Church of Christ, Red Lion, PA

Rev. Curt Weber
Pastor Emeritus, St. John’s Blymire’s United Church of Christ

The Rev. Beth Schlegel
St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, York, PA

The Rev. Katie Brantner
St. Paul Lutheran Church, Glen Rock, PA

Rev. Patricia Dodds
Penn Central Conference, United Church of Christ

Byron & Beth Borger
Hearts & Minds Bookstore

The Rev. João Teixeira
Wisdom’s Table at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ

The Rev. Robert E. Brown
United Church of Christ, retired

The Rev. Joan M. Maruskin
United Methodist Church, retired

The Rev. David K. Martin
St. Paul’s UCC, Spring Grove (Stoverstown)

Rev. Keith C. Fair
St. Matthew Lutheran Church, York, PA

Vicar Carla Christopher
Union Lutheran Church, York, PA

Robert Rundle
SpiriTrust Lutheran®, York, PA

Dr. Todd Allen

Rev. Lou Ann Jones
Designated Pastor, St. John’s Blymire’s U.C.C., Dallastown

Rev. Aaron J. Anderson