Local Church Urges Other Congregations to Join Them in Jan. 6 Public Witness Against Christian Nationalism

Local Church Urges Other Congregations to Join Them in Jan. 6 Public Witness Against Christian Nationalism

The First Congregational Church of Williamstown, MA, is planning a public witness against Christian Nationalism on Jan. 6, 2022, from Noon to 1:00 PM and they are encouraging other congregations to join them.

In a letter to other churches, Williamstown UCC leaders write:

"We write you to join us in a public witness against Christian Nationalism on January 6, 2022, from Noon to 1:00 pm.

"The Jan. 6 insurrection shocked us when it exposed how religious faith was being exploited to fuel anti-democratic violence. Over the past year, our congregation has studied the upsurge of Christian Nationalism in evangelical and mainline churches, and we have decided that at 12 noon on Jan. 6, 2022, we will hold a one-hour public protest to denounce this linkage of faith with the anti-democratic forces that continue to foster division, white supremacy, and authoritarianism in our country right now," the leaders of the church wrote in a public letter. "Even before Jan. 6, 2021, our church had grown concerned with the misuse of religious language and symbolism to advocate for political extremism. Employing the cross or figures of Christ to justify threats or to condone coercion contradicts our conviction that Christ is the Prince of Peace and our guide toward reconciliation with each other. By unanimous vote, we added our church’s name to the national statement, 'Christians Against Christian Nationalism,' and we are planning further steps to highlight the dangers in giving religious blessing to authoritarian or autocratic social movements.

"We are writing to invite your congregation to gather in front of your own sanctuary on Jan. 6, 2022, in testimony to a fundamental truth: religious faith unites and should not divide us, and -- at least in the United States of America -- there are no religious grounds for pushing others to the sideline because of race, gender, or personal creed. Our plan is to advertise our protest in as many local media outlets as possible; to provide materials and slogans for sign-making in our sanctuary the hour before the event; and to stand out in front of our church on the main thoroughfare through our town, from noon to 1 p.m. Will you do the same?

"If your church elects to join in this public testimony, please let us know so that we can widen the circle of support to include everyone who stands up against this growing alliance between Christianity and anti-democratic forces that undermine freedom of religion."

With hope and in faith,

Betsy Burris
Sherwood Guernsey
David Langston
Bridget Spann, Community Outreach Organizer (organizer@firstchurchwilliamstown.org)
First Congregational Church UCC, Williamstown, MA

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