We the Council Members of the Church of the Good Shepherd, United Church of Christ in Albuquerque, New Mexico, hereby state our concern about the growth of racism and intolerance toward the Muslim community. Recent rhetoric by Donald Trump and other presidential candidates has exploited the fears and ignorance of many of our citizens, including those in Albuquerque. Mr. Trump has suggested that our nation issue special identification cards for Muslim-Americans, that there be a national registry of Muslims, that mosques be closed and Muslims be prohibited from entering the United States. Such measures are unconstitutional and morally reprehensible. While many public officials and news commentators have spoken out against these ideas, it is imperative that we, as a faith community also make our opinions known.
We are reminded of the words of German pastor and theologian, Martin Neimoller who wrote of a previous era of intolerance:
“First they came for the socialists and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Finally, they came for me and there was no one left to speak out.”
We support Muslims and people of God everywhere who reject terrorism and work instead for peace. We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in faith who are Islamic and pledge to do all in our power to protect them from discriminatory laws, acts of violence, intimidation and social isolation. We call upon all in Albuquerque and New Mexico to do the same.
Church of the Good Shepherd, United Church of Christ
Albuquerque, New Mexico
December 14, 2015