Statement on Alt-Right, White Supremacy and Neo-Nazis in America Today
The Board of Directors and the Clergy Caucus of Vermont Interfaith Action release the following statement regarding recent hate-filled events in our country. As a member of the Clergy Caucus, Bishop Thomas Ely joins VIA in this statement.
Vermont Interfaith Action stands in solidarity with concerned people across America who are deeply troubled by the increasingly vocal hate groups spouting racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and insular nationalism. We are pained and outraged by the statements of the president of this great nation that evoke these hateful views and support dangerous, threatening, violent alt-right and Neo-Nazi groups. We are committed to work with our neighbors and friends across lines of race, religion, ethnicity and national origin to fight hate with love, and to strengthen networks of religious communities working for justice and equality.
In gratitude for the gift of democracy for which our forbearers devoted their lives, we will devote our efforts toward campaigns of relationship-building, listening, and understanding with compassion. We seek to respond to those who feel disenfranchised and angry with empathy and problem-solving. We are resolved to repair the tears in the fabric of our union to restore the delicately designed and beautiful quilt that is America.
America’s Civil War and World War II were responses to terrible spasms of hate — after heartbreaking losses of millions of lives through these wars, goodness and righteousness ultimately prevailed. Each time, those victories inspired good and compassionate people to believe, if not to hope, that love was triumphing over hate in the public square. Recent events in Charlottesville and across America have revealed that we are not yet there.
As people of faith, we will never lose hope. Still, we know that we have much work to do together. We are resolved to pour our energies into this effort, together, as a united interfaith community.
–Original draft by Rabbi Amy Joy Small, Ohavi Zedek