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Ohio Faith Leaders Condemn Pastor’s Jan. 6 Violence on the Capitol


Friday, October 7, 2022


Austin Schuler, aschuler@faithinpubliclife.org, 540-280-3393

Rev. Dan Clark, dclark@faithinpubliclife.org, 614-648-3663

Ohio Faith Leaders Condemn Pastor’s Jan. 6 Violence on the Capitol 

Rev. Dan Clark “As we prepare for midterm elections, we must be intentional in ensuring Christian nationalists don’t obstruct our election results.”

Columbus, OH – Pastor Bill Dunfee of New Beginnings Ministries in Warsaw, Ohio, has been arrested and charged with committing violence on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol, interfering with a law enforcement officer during a civil disorder and obstructing an official proceeding, according to the Washington Post

Below are statements from faith leaders across Ohio condemning the pastor’s violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, 2021, and calling on Governor DeWine and Secretary of State LaRose to prevent election obstruction in the November midterm elections.

Rev. Dan Clark, Faith in Public Life, Newark, OH:

“Every Ohioan deserves to live in a multifaith, multiracial, multigenerational democracy. But the sinful behavior of Pastor Bill Dunfee of New Beginnings Ministries in Warsaw is an unholy threat to the neighbors Jesus commands him to love. He needs to be held accountable for his attack on our democracy. As we prepare for midterm elections, we must be intentional in ensuring Christian nationalists don’t obstruct our election results. Governor DeWine and Secretary of State LaRose need to do more to ensure free and fair elections. I pray that next month’s election will be peaceful and that the people’s voice will be heard.”

Imran Malik, Safe Alliances of Interfaith Leaders (SAIL), Dublin, OH: 

“Our faiths are supposed to make us humble, tolerant and accommodating toward our fellow humans. The core essence of all faiths teaches us service to others. It is sad to see that some faith leaders manipulate their scriptures to benefit their own political agendas and motives. Hatred is heavy, fear mongering is tarnishing and taxing and we all need to stand against it. We should all be using our rich faith traditions and practices to build bridges instead of creating divides.”

Rev. Dr. Tim Ahrens, First Congregational Church, Columbus, OH:

“Christian scripture never supports anarchy and hate. Christian faith and scripture never support a nationalist agenda or turning Trump or any one person into some sort of deity. That is idolatry and speaks from a heart of false prophecy. Our faith and scripture support equality, dignity and love of God and neighbor. It is time to end hate and division that spread in the name of God and Jesus.”

Rev. Andy Call, Church of the Saviour, United Methodist, Cleveland, OH:

“I am both saddened and outraged at the news of a Christian pastor having been directly involved with the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. So called “Christian” nationalism is not only a dangerous ideology, it is antithetical to the Gospel. I am dismayed that some who consider themselves followers of Jesus continue to perpetrate misinformation about the election and about our faith, but I’m also encouraged by the increasing number of Christians of conviction who are standing up and saying, ‘Enough!’ The Gospel is a message of hope and liberation, not a weapon to be wielded in pursuit of a heretical ideology.”

Rev. Keith McDevitt, Grace United Church of Christ, Lancaster, OH:

“The rhetoric and actions of white Christian nationalists are making it more difficult and dangerous for faiths deeply rooted in love and justice. I have witnessed first-hand how this ideology is incapable of healing both individuals and their communities. As a white Christian faith leader, it is imperative for me to take Christ’s solidarity with the least of these seriously and to be resilient in rhetoric and actions that heal, stand with and confront injustice as we continue to see it unfold all over Ohio.”

Rev. Alissia Thompson, The United Church of Granville, Granville, OH: 

“White Christian nationalism is, and continues to be, a dangerous ideology that remains antithetical to the Gospels and to our democracy. It must be named and eradicated. All of the people of Ohio deserve free and fair elections that are representative of our diverse races, faiths, and values. This is the essence of a republic.”

Dr. Tarunjit Singh Butalia, Religions for Peace USA, Dublin, OH: 

“As faith leaders we must not weaponize our faith based on our political biases. Instead we must work with public officials to ensure free and fair elections so everyone can exercise their right to vote in elections. The vote of every individual is sacred in the eyes of God.”

Faith in Public Life is a national movement of clergy and faith leaders united in the prophetic pursuit of justice, equality and the common good. Together, with a network of over 50,000 leaders, they are leading the fight to advance just policies at the state and federal level that affirm our values and the human dignity of all.

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