Dean Hollerith and Bishop Budde: Hate Has No Home Here
December 14, 2020
Following a violent rally in Washington, D.C., the Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, dean of Washington National Cathedral, and the Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, issued the following statement:
The racist and religious overtones surrounding the effort to discredit the presidential election were on ugly display in downtown Washington on Saturday night, just blocks from the White House.
After a pro-Trump rally that aimed to overturn the will of the people in the presidential election, demonstrators and members of the Proud Boys ripped down Black Lives Matter banners outside two historically Black congregations, Asbury United Methodist Church and Metropolitan AME Church. In a chilling scene, one was set on fire as crowds chanted profanities.
We reject the version of Christianity that seeks to provide a mantle of spiritual authority to the poison of White nationalism. Religious leaders who bless these rallies, or lend their voice to the effort to subvert democracy, make a mockery of our faith. What we are witnessing is nothing less than idolatry–the worship of someone other than God as though he were God.
The blatant racism of this lost cause is alarming. The senior pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church was right to call the burning of her church’s banner a new version of cross burnings. White hoods have given way to black-and-gold militarism. Such hatred grieves the very heart of God, and we cannot turn a blind eye to such displays of white supremacy.
We believe that Black Lives Matter because Black lives matter to God. The Proud Boys and their hatred are not welcome here.
For us at Washington National Cathedral and throughout the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, this is the season of Advent, in which we wait in expectation for the birth of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. This we know: God’s Kingdom is built with open hearts, not clenched fists. Its streets are paved with the living stones of love and justice. Racism and hatred have no place in God’s Kingdom, and we will grant them no home in our city.
About Washington National Cathedral
Grounded in the reconciling love of Jesus Christ, Washington National Cathedral is a house of prayer for all people, conceived by our founders to serve as a great church for national purposes.
About the Episcopal Diocese of Washington
The Diocese of Washington comprises 38,000 people in 87 congregations in the District of Columbia and four Maryland Counties (Montgomery, Prince George’s, Charles and St. Mary’s). Our mission, as a diocese, is to engage a changing world with an enduring faith in Jesus Christ so that more people may know God’s love.