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Pastors from Across Ohio Condemn Michael Flynn’s Visit to Canton this Weekend


Thursday, February 17, 2022


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

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

Pastors from Across Ohio Condemn Michael Flynn’s Visit to Canton this Weekend

Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, “The ‘Reawaken America’ rallies held in churches perpetuate offensive, racist and dangerous ideologies whose only connections to authentic Christianity are purely coincidental.”

Canton, OH – The Reawaken America Tour, featuring General Michael Flynn, will be stopping in Canton, Ohio this Friday, February 18th and Saturday, February 19th at Trinity Gospel Temple. 

Below are statements from faith leaders in Canton, Cleveland, Newark, Columbus, Delaware and Worthington condemning the tour and its spread of Christian Nationalism.  

Rev. Lynn Bozich Shetzer, Presbyterian Church, USA, North Canton, OH:

“A call for white Christian supremacy in our nation is antithetical to the gospel of Jesus Christ that not only proclaims but demonstrates the love and justice of God for all people. The anti-vaccine message proclaimed by Flynn and his associates is dangerous, deadly and false.  There is nothing Christian or even patriotic about it. As a person of faith who is trying to follow Jesus, I must speak out in protest.”

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

“Our society will flourish when we open our arms wide to the dignity of all people and live together in a multiracial multi-faith democracy. But the extreme views of the Reawaken America tour misappropriate my Christian faith and spread dangerous information about who’s in and who’s out. We need to stand up and stand together to resist this hijacking of our democracy.”

Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, General Minister and President, United Church of Christ, Cleveland, OH: 

“For my 33 years of ordained ministry, I have practiced a Christian faith that calls me to ensure that every person will be treated as a loved and respected child of God. The “Reawaken America” rallies held in churches perpetuate offensive, racist and dangerous ideologies whose only connections to authentic Christianity are purely coincidental. The only thing they intend to reawaken America to is a legacy of white supremacy and Christian nationalism that many people of good faith have been trying for centuries to eradicate in the hopes of achieving racial equity.”

Rev. Dr. Susan Smith, Author of With Liberty and Justice for Some: the Bible, the Constitution, and Racism in America, Columbus, OH:

“What is called Christian Nationalism is a political ideology that has nothing to do with the principles taught by Jesus the Christ. Putting the word ‘Christian’ in front of an ideology that espouses hatred and bigotry is an insult to the hard work of being a follower of Christ. The late Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, as he fought apartheid, ‘God is not a Christian!’ because so many Christians practiced a religion of bigotry. Clearly, the nationalists who call themselves ‘Christian’ and ‘patriotic’ are neither; one cannot say one loves one’s God or one’s country and, at the same time, work against their very principles and teachings.”

Rev. David Long-Higgins, Conference Minister, Heartland Conference, United Church of Christ, Delaware, OH:

“As a Christian, I believe all God’s children should share in God’s abundance and joy without fear, regardless of faith tradition, race or ethnicity. Any language that diminishes ‘the other’ is counter to this vision. Further, our founders recognized the danger when one religion prevails to the exclusion of all others. Any narrative that suggests otherwise must be vigorously challenged so we may continue to grow and thrive.”

Rev. Joan VanBecelaere, Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio, Worthington, OH: 

“As a retired clergy person who has spent her professional career working to promote the worth and dignity of all people and protect the democratic process in our society, I am appalled by the ‘Reawaken America’ rally being held here in Ohio. These rallies promote racist and dangerous ideologies that have no legitimate place in our multicultural, multiethnic society. As a grandchild of immigrants, I know our country is enriched and strengthened by our diversity. But these rallies serve only to spread white supremacy and articulate a truly offensive form of ‘Chrstian’ nationalism that bears no relation to the teachings of Jesus nor the teaching of the prophets of the Hebrew Bible. These false white supremacy ideologies weaken our nation and attack the long hoped for future of America as a Beloved Community.”

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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