Faith Leaders Condemn Upcoming Aryan Nations Gathering at Hayden Lake
We read with great dismay that the Aryan Freedom Network, a white supremacist group, is having a gathering on March 12 at Hayden Lake and has said that part of their purpose is to identify, “things we can do to make our communities a little better.”
That a poster for this event includes a swastika and the words “keep Idaho white” shows clearly that their vision for “a little better” is one that is in opposition to both the American ideals expressed in our Declaration of Independence and enshrined in our Constitution, and totally against the values of Christianity. While this is not a “Christian nation” and we fully celebrate religious freedom for all, as leaders of Christian communities that include north Idaho, we stand united in opposition to this blatant white supremacy and urge everyone to stand united against such activities.
To state the obvious, the very notion of white supremacy depends upon the narrative of anti-blackness and all people of color. As Christians, we cannot support anything that denies the fundamental nature of the Beloved Community Christ calls us into, a Beloved Community that knows all as beloved of God and siblings to each other.
We reject all forms of white supremacy and pledge to continue to actively speak and work against the structures that enable the quiet tolerance for such practices. We pledge to actively work for that day when all are seen, valued, honored and respected as children of God.
Gretchen Rehberg, Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Spokane
Kristen Kuempel, Bishop, Northwest Intermountain Synod of the ELCA
Sheryl Kinder-Pyle, Executive Presbyter, Presbytery of the Inland Northwest, PCUSA
Daniel Miranda, District Superintendent, Inland Missional District, UMC
Sandy Messick, Regional Minister and President, Northern Lights Region, Disciples of Christ
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