A230 Deploring the Sin of Scapegoating in Politics

Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 79th General Convention proclaims that the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement repudiates all political appeals and language rooted in the sin of scapegoating groups of human beings on the basis of race, language, culture, belief, economic and physical condition, immigration status, gender identification, and sexual orientation; and be it further

Resolved, That General Convention observes that such attacks have escalated alarmingly in the current political climate, including, but not limited to, the scapegoating of people of African descent in our cities—blamed for crime; non-white immigrants and asylum seekers from the Southern Hemisphere—blamed for stealing jobs; visitors and U.S. citizens from Arab Muslim countries—blamed for terrorism; indigenous peoples—blamed for a wide range of social ills and for thwarting energy independence; women and LGBTQ+ people—blamed for the de-masculinization and disintegration of society and families; the economically disadvantaged—blamed for being a burden on the wealthy and comfortable; the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated—condemned as irredeemable; and persons with disabilities—ridiculed, as in Jesus’s time, as outcasts. We recognize also that the sin of scapegoating occurs in virtually every nation in which the Episcopal Church ministers; and be it further

Resolved, That General Convention repudiates the acts of violence that inevitably result from the rhetoric and tactics of political scapegoating; and be it further

Resolved, That General Convention finds group scapegoating to be abhorrent to the heart of Christ and the soul of democracy. It offends against the rootedness of the best ideals of our government in the ethics respecting the dignity of individuals to which Christianity and all great faiths are pledged. It degrades politics by basing appeals for votes on fear and hate instead of hope and love. It invites comparisons to the darkest moments in human history, when race-based, clan-based, and other forms of scapegoating unleashed acts of genocide; and be it further

Resolved, That General Convention commends the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies to such consultations as they deem fit with The Episcopal Church’s ecumenical and interfaith partners (including the National Council of Churches’ A.C.T. Now to End Racism initiative) with a goal of uniting people of faith and like mind and spirit behind a consolidated, comprehensive, and coordinated witness against an ungodly practice that pollutes and strains our common life.

Explanation

The historical proclamation that “all [people] are created equal” is formed from the same substance as the core Christian doctrine, proclaimed in the baptismal covenant, that God commands God’s people to respect the dignity of every human being. This universal human imperative, toward which all faith traditions strive equally, helped form the basis of systems of democratic government which proclaim, without by any means always respecting, the dignity of all people.

It is therefore the responsibility of the Church, vanguard of the Jesus Movement, to repudiate the statements and actions of leaders or political movements choosing to engender resentment and fear of any group of human beings on the basis of race, language, culture, belief, immigration status, gender, gender identification, or sexual orientation.


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