General secretary signs letter to new administration calling for defense of dignity of all people




Church of the Brethren general secretary David Steele is one of the American faith leaders who have sign a letter to president-elect Donald Trump calling on the incoming administration to robustly defend the dignity of all people. The letter also was copied to the members of the 115th Congress.

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The letter was created with leadership from the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT). “In advance of confirmation hearings on executive branch nominations, national faith leaders sent a letter to President-elect Trump sharing their hopes and prayers that he would advance American values and defend all people from torture, genocide, and other assaults on human dignity,” said an NRCAT release about the letter.

“While we represent a diversity of faith traditions,” the letter said, in part, “we stand together in a shared belief in the God-given dignity of each person and the conviction that America should reject the forces that divide people and should protect those who are at risk of torture, rape, genocide, and other violations of human dignity. Our faith traditions teach us that standing up for the vulnerable and those in need is at integral to the well-being of our shared community.”

In addition to Steele, signers represented a number of Christian denominations including Mennonite Church USA, United Methodist Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Episcopal Church, Presbyterian Church, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), United Church of Christ, Christian Reformed Church in North America, Quaker groups, various Baptist denominations, and Roman Catholic bodies, as well as Jewish, Sikh, and Muslim leaders, among others. The National Council of Churches also signed the letter.

The full text of the letter follows:

January 10, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump
Trump Tower
735 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10022

cc: Members of the 115th Congress

Dear President-elect Trump,

As representatives of many different faith communities, we are writing to convey our hope and prayers that you will robustly defend the dignity of all people and strive to advance democracy, human rights, and rule of law both here at home and around the world.

We live in an era when fear and anger have eroded the common concern for human life and human dignity. Too often lines are drawn between people of different ethnicities, religions, and cultures, and some use those lines in an attempt to justify killing, torture, and other immoral acts of brutality.

While we represent a diversity of faith traditions, we stand together in a shared belief in the God-given dignity of each person and the conviction that America should reject the forces that divide people and should protect those who are at risk of torture, rape, genocide, and other violations of human dignity. Our faith traditions teach us that standing up for the vulnerable and those in need is at integral to the well-being of our shared community. We believe that our country should champion democracy and rule of law both here and abroad.

As you begin your presidency, we pray that you will stand to protect American values like democracy, freedom of religion, and rule of law, and that you will defend people from torture, genocide, and other assaults on human dignity.

Please know that our prayers are with you. As you shoulder the burdens of the presidency, you can always reach out to any of us for counsel and prayer.

-- Find the NRCAT release and the full text of the letter, along with signatures, at www.nrcat.org/about-us/nrcat-press-releases/1178-faith-leaders-pray-that-president-trump-will-robustly-defend-the-dignity-of-all-people .

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