Editor’s note: Members of the Wilton Clergy are working to put together an online interfaith prayer service that will be open to the public, and notification will be announced when details have been set.
To the Editor:
Along with the rest of the world, we watched the horrors of violence unfold last Wednesday at our nation’s Capitol building in Washington, DC. We were angered by the symbols of hate displayed promoting Anti-Semitism, Racism and White Supremacy. We also honor our country’s sacred tradition of separating church and state, not putting any one religion over another.
The actions we witnessed are not consistent with any of our faith traditions. Rather, we believe that love for our fellow human beings, compassion for those who suffer, and the promotion of peace are common foundations that bind our faith communities together.
While we support every person’s right to protest, we do not support violence. We pray for the families of those who died and pray for the peaceful transfer of power during the coming week. We will not be deterred by fear. We believe that love is stronger than hate and that we are stronger together than we are apart.
Rev. Shannon White, Pastor, Wilton Presbyterian Church
Father Reginald Norman, Pastor, Our Lady of Fatima Church
Cantor Harriet Dunkerley, Temple B’nai Chaim
Rev. Caroline Smith, Wilton Baptist Church
Rev. Dr. Anne Coffman, Wilton Congregational Church
Dr. Golnar Raissi, Muslim Community Group
Rev. Marissa Rohrbach, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Wilton
Where was their concern and condemnation when businesses, homes and government buildings were burning earlier this year?
With due respect, you and others continue to draw a false equivalency between BLM protests and the insurrection attempt on January 6th. The BLM protests were not riots, and the false narrative that there was rampant pillaging and violence is tiresome. The BLM protest this summer involved people from many different constituencies gathered with the goal of peacefully protesting racism in this country, and the vast majority of the over 9,000 protests across the country were peaceful. Unfortunately, some violence and property destruction did occur, which was condemned by local clergy as well as by many democratic leaders. BLM protests were fairly spontaneous events, and the overwhelming majority of participants did not come armed or intent on violence. They came to peacefully protest the unjustified killings of black men. This differs greatly from what happened in DC. Last Wednesday’s events were not a protest, but a violent, illegal occupation of the US Capitol with the goal of VIOLENTLY overthrowing our government, an attempted coup d’etat. It was a violent insurrection by white supremacist groups incited by, and applauded by, the President of the United States, certain members of Congress and members of some state government leadership. This mayhem was planned, not spontaneous. As reporting has developed over the last week, it is clear the insurrectionists came with the intent to prevent the certification by Congress of Biden’s election by destroying our sacred Capitol and committing general mayhem; they came armed with tactical gear and tools for murder and kidnapping. (Ironic when one considers that for the Women’s March in 2017 we couldn’t carry our purses-no bags, nothing that could be used as a weapon, etc-a bunch of ladies in pink hats couldn’t carry anything but these people were allowed to invade DC with weapons, tactical gear, bags, etc but I digress). There is no comparison between 9,000 overwhelmingly peaceful protests to protest the killing of black men, and an insurrection over 5 hours that resulted in one police officer being beaten to death and an unknown number of police officers injured (At last count 58 DC police officers and an unknown number of Capitol Officers)
Thank you to all the members of the clergy for speaking up. We must unite in denouncing violence.
For the record, they did speak up this summer, and encouraged peaceful protest, and open discussion. They organized a gathering after the death of George Floyd, which was attended by clergy, local political figures, and members of law enforcement.
Wilton Clergy DID speak up. See articles below.
Wilton Event Against Racism Draws Hundreds, at Planned Ceremony and Unplanned March Blocking Rt. 7
Wilton Clergy, Police & Town Officials to Hold ‘Walk for Peace and an End to Racism’
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