A Statement of Grief

After many days, we, as a coalition of faithful leaders, break our collective silence. The past week has revealed the deep divisions within our country and profound pain, uncertainty, and grief many are feeling.

We needed a time to address our respective congregational struggles. Many of us serve houses of faith that have members affiliated with both parties. We are responding to the tension created by the fact that a segment of our community is mourning and fearful while another segment is hopeful and optimistic. We recognize the privilege of living in a democracy and affirm the rights of all to vote their conscience. What we oppose is any public official who uses their position to promote violence, hatred, or expression of ill will towards another. We are devastated by the racial divisions we have witnessed and the harsh rhetoric of hatred we have heard.

We live in a country where we are blessed with the freedom to choose our leaders. Donald Trump is the president-elect. Our task now is to provide space for the varied ways some will express their pain and others will express their optimism. We will continue to hold on to hope, and to work for justice. We must work harder and smarter and with conviction to be the best human beings and the best country we can be.

We are deeply grieved by the news that the KKK is planning a celebration parade in North Carolina on December 3rd. It is reminiscent of days gone by when many brothers and sisters lost their lives fighting for justice. We will respond and, in doing so, are not protesting the President-elect Donald Trump but we are protesting the foundation of hatred and bigotry on which the KKK stands and their claims of fulfilling God's will through their work. We will not stand idly by and allow them to speak for any house of faith and promote anti-gay sentiments, anti-multicultural sentiments, separatism, or supremacy. Our unity gives us the strength to work for change. We will continue to fight for fair housing, equal protections and justice for LGBTQ people, educational equity, the environment, and love. We invite you to stand with us and to fight with us for equality, equity, opportunity, freedom, and peace.

We are further grieved by the news that on Monday one of our transgender sisters, Ralayzia Taylor, was attacked by hatchet-armed hate mongers, who used gay slurs. There were three people arrested in connection with this crime, and we fully support justice being served. We cannot tolerate this hatred and are outraged by any crime against humanity. We stand with Ralayzia today.

Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice