UPM Executive Board with Dr. Larry Macon, President & Rev. Larry Harris, Chairman with Executive Board members who led the team in presenting the UPM Position Article on Trumpism.
Pastors from across the city gathered at United Pastors in Mission’s (UPM) meeting this week to decry both the violent language and behavior of Donald J. Trump.
They concluded that imperfect elections and flawed candidates often make for complicated and difficult choices for Christians and people of faith.
However, with much decry and sadness they agreed America is at one of its most historic moments for affirming the meaning of faith and integrity which now hangs in the balance.
The pastors spoke out with unity of one voice: “We believe that racism strikes at the heart of the gospel and sexism/gender oppression is a twin to it. We believe the candidacy of Donald J Trump has given voice to a movement that affirms racist and sexist elements in American culture - both explicit and implicit. We believe that racial and gender justice and reconciliation is at the core of the message of Jesus and abuse of people of color and women is never acceptable or other forms of discrimination and abuse. Jesus commands us to “love your neighbor as yourself.”
UPM wants to further alert the Greater Cleveland community of the fact that Mr. Trump is fueling white American nationalism with xenophobic appeals.
The week of Mr. Trump’s exposure of his indiscretions shows his mockery for women, gender bigotry and the disrespect for sanctity of marriage vows while worshiping wealth and shameful materialism and has taken the candidacy of the presidency to nearly unprecedented levels in America. To Christians this is unacceptable and should be, in particular, for Christian voters.
Dr. Larry Macon, Sr., President of UPM and Senior Pastor of Mt. Zion stated, “Regardless of Mr. Trump’s retraction and weak apology, he has spread racist “birther” falsehoods for five years trying to delegitimize and humiliate our first African-American president, characterizing him as “the other” and not a real American citizen. He uses fear to demonize and degrade immigrants, and people from different racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds - those whom Jesus calls “the strangers” in Matthew 25 are really “friends” and part of the human family.
United Pastors in Mission, a group of clergy with more than 100 members further wants the community to know, that they must speak out against Trump’s violent language and acts, especially when he has steadily refused to clearly and aggressively confront extremist voices and movements of white supremacy, some of whom now call him their “champion,” and has therefore helped to take the dangerous fringes of white nationalism in America to mainstream politics.
Lastly, this decry has nothing to do with our support for Trump’s political opponent, its just that we as Christian pastors will not tolerate the racial, religious, and gender bigotry that Donald Trump has consistently and deliberately fueled, no matter how else we choose to vote, or not vote for a candidate. We call for prayer, dignity of human lives, and repentance and a commitment to justice and the love ethics of Jesus Christ!