During discussions behind closed-doors, U.S. President Donald Trump was said to have made disparaging remarks about Africa, Haiti and El Salvador. Many theologians and church leaders, including Methodists, denounced the remarks as patently discriminatory, racist and inexcusable coming from a government leader.
From the African Methodist Episcopal Church Council of Bishops
Since its inauguration, the AME Church has consistently opposed the racist rhetoric and social policies of the Trump Administration. We have issued formal statements, published editorials, encouraged our members to engage with ecumenical partners, and visit public officials to advocate for all of God’s people.
When the Trump Administration announced that the temporary protective status (TPS) granted to Haiti, El Salvador and Nicaragua would be revoked in 2019, we urged our church leaders, members, and friends to organize against this racist immigration policy. While it took the US President 15 hours to deny his alleged “s**thole remarks”, there is no denial of his previous statements maligning Mexicans as “rapists”, Haitians carrying “AIDS”, Nigerians living in “huts”. We continue to abhor and be alarmed by the bigoted rhetoric of a US President that is only outdone by his immigration policies which can be construed as a war on people of color.
Recognizing that the President claims he did not use profanity, US Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), asserts that the President made the “vile” and “hateful” remarks.
The Council of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Social Action Commission of our Church demand not only a public apology but inclusive and “just” social and immigration policies. We stand with the public summoning of US diplomats by the countries which were slandered by the President.
Because, in 1787 and 1816, our founders chose to proudly affirm the important role of Africa in world history and culture we are horrified that the President of the United States continues to denigrate people of African, Asian and Latin American descent throughout the world. We would remind this President that it was enslaved Africans, poor Chinese people, and oppressed Latinos whose genius built the wealth of the United States. We would remind him that immigrants from the maligned countries come with a high level of education and a work ethic can only make the US greater.
Sadly, a statement from our church about the racist roots of Trumpism, that endangers democracy as we know it in the United States, is not enough. We stand with our ecumenical and interfaith partners in supporting the National Council of Churches campaign to end racism and the launch of that initiative on April 4, 2018. We will continue to speak out and hold the United States government accountable as our faith commands us to: “There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers ” Proverbs 6:16-19.
Making people aware of the “bronzing” of America and Trump’s attempt to use white supremacist policies to make America white again is not enough. We support the AME V-Alert Call To Action urging us to organize for Voter Education, Mobilization and Registration (Operation EMR) in our communities and churches. It is urgent to make changes in our local, state and national elections in 2018 and 2020.
The Council of Bishops [African Methodist Episcopal Church]
Clement W. Fugh, President
Vashti M. McKenzie President of the General Board
Frank M. Reid III, Chair of the Commission on Social Action
McKinley Young, Senior Bishop
Source: Email press release
From the United Methodist Council of Bishops
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Bishop Bruce R. Ough, president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, issued a statement today on behalf of the Council concerning remarks reported to have been made by President Donald Trump regarding immigrants. The statement follows:
We are appalled by the offensive, disgusting words attributed to President Donald Trump who is said to have referred to immigrants from African countries and Haiti, and the countries themselves, in an insulting and derogative manner. According to various media accounts, President Trump made the remarks during a White House discussion with lawmakers on immigration.
As reported, President Trump’s words are not only offensive and harmful, they are racist.
We call upon all Christians, especially United Methodists, to condemn this characterization and further call for President Trump to apologize.
As United Methodists, we cherish our brothers and sisters from all parts of the world and we believe that God loves all creation regardless of where they live or where they come from. As leaders of our global United Methodist Church, we are sickened by such uncouth language from the leader of a nation that was founded by immigrants and serves as a beacon to the world’s “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
Thousands of our clergy, laity and other highly skilled, productive citizens are from places President Trump has defamed with his comments. The fact that he also insists the United States should consider more immigrants from Europe and Asia demonstrates the racist character of his comments. This is a direct contradiction of God’s love for all people. Further, these comments on the eve of celebrating Martin Luther King Day belies Dr. King’s witness and the United States’ ongoing battle against racism.
We just celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ, whose parents during his infancy, had to flee to Africa to escape from the wrath of King Herod. Millions of immigrants across the globe are running away from such despicable and life-threatening events. Hence, we have the Christian duty to be supportive of them as they flee political, cultural and social dangers in their native homes.
We will not stand by and allow our brothers and sisters to be maligned in such a crude manner. We call on all United Methodists, all people of faith, and the political leadership of the United States to speak up and speak against such demeaning and racist comments.
Christ reminds us that it is by love that they will know that we are Christians. Let’s demonstrate that love for all of God’s people by saying no to racism; no to discrimination and no to bigotry.
Bishop Bruce R. Ough
President – Council of Bishops
Media Contact: Rev. Dr. Maidstone Mulenga
Director of Communications
Council of Bishops – The United Methodist Church
firstname.lastname@example.org – 202-748-5172
From Dion Forster (Methodist Church of Southern Africa)
Following the disparaging remarks of U.S. President Donald Trump, Rev. Dion Forster of The Methodist Church of Southern Africa released this Vlog (video blog) musing about the different ways in which people value one another. He shares some ideas on how we might approach the dignity of the human person that is not linked to inadequate sources like geography, nationality, race, wealth, ability etc.