[Episcopal Diocese of Alabama]
August 17, 2017
I hope you all know I’m not one to burden you with my opinions every time there’s a story in the news; I hope you know I really don’t want to use my position to talk about politics. But at some point I think I’m failing in my responsibility as a bishop in God’s holy Church if I bury my head in the sand in this difficult moment for our nation, if I don’t try to call us back to the values we share as Christians, as Americans, as decent people.
I don’t want to talk about the President, the liberals or the conservatives – I want to talk about the Good News of the love of God in Jesus Christ; I want to talk about us, and what I think we believe.
We believe that the Lord God, eternal Creator of all that is, reached out to His wayward children when we had strayed into selfish and cowardly sinfulness, reached out through the birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah to save not only the people among whom He was born, but the whole world: the Jews, the Gentiles, the Samaritans, the Romans, the poor, the rich, the lepers, the Pharisees and Saducees, the tax collectors, the prostitutes – all of them, all of us.
We believe that Jesus is still reaching out to the children of God, of all political assumptions and opinions, no matter what color we are or language we speak or who we love.
Bigotry, hatred, violence, racism, antisemitism, and the idea that I or we are superior to her or him or them because of the immutable qualities of our births are contrary to Christian faith and teachings. They are not American values; they are not how decent people think or behave.
Some of you reading these words will be disappointed that I didn’t go far enough; others will be distressed that I went too far. Some of you are more conservative than I am, and others more progressive. We disagree. And still you are all my brothers and sisters, because we are all children of our Father in heaven.
That’s the Good News of Jesus; that’s what we believe. Even in the darkest and most difficult moments, you and I have the Light of Christ to shine, and the love of God to share. Amen – so be it.
(the Rt. Rev. John McKee Sloan)