TO THE EDITOR: On Jan. 6, 2021, our nation suffered an attack as insurgents breached the Capitol.
As religious leaders, we are deeply grieved and angered by this injury to the norms of democracy and the fear experienced by all those who felt themselves at risk of harm. We also mourn the loss of life as a consequence of the chaos.
We unequivocally condemn the violence of Jan. 6. We condemn the actions of those who allowed themselves to be led by anger and fear fueled by lies and conspiracy theories. We denounce leadership which creates divisions and hatred.
While we may disagree with particular policies and actions of government, we acknowledge this Congress and the incoming president and vice president as duly elected.
In the coming days and weeks, we pray for peace and pledge ourselves to doing what we may to promote truth and justice in this nation for all its people.
We continue to pray for the families of those who lost loved ones because of the violence on Jan. 6. On this week when a new president and vice president is inaugurated, we pray for our divided nation. We pray for those who are so hurt and afraid that they would resort to this kind of violence. We stand with and pray for those who work tirelessly for justice and peace. We pray for those who speak truth to power. We pray for the day when people with competing ideals will sit together in harmony at the table of democracy and fellowship.
At the dawn of this new administration on Jan. 20, with all of its hopes and possibilities, we implore people of faith to fervently pray for peace and unity in our nation, and may those prayers, actualized in our civility and kindness toward one another, bring healing to our nation.
REV. PHILIP RICHARDS
REV. GREGORY HUTH
RABBI DAVID KOMINSKY
REV. TIMOTHY J. LUOMA
REV. SALLY CHASE WHITE
REV. REBEKAH L SOLAR
REV. MARTHA E CONNOR
REV. CHRYSALIS BECK
REV. PEGGI ELLER
REV. NICOLINE GUERRIER
REV. DAVID OUSLEY
REV. PAUL HELLER
TO THE EDITOR: I am supporting the For the People Act.
There are many urgent crises that are critical for the White House to address at the start of the next term. The integrity of our nation’s democracy needs to be among the first priorities.
We’ve seen rampant corruption and a disregard for ethics, accountability, oversight, and rule of law that continue to plague our government. For far too long, many Americans across the country have seen their franchise limited by a rise in pernicious voter suppression.
This election, voters made it clear that they want to have their voices and powers restored by advancing bold change in our democratic systems.
The Biden-Harris administration and our next Congress, including U.S. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and Representative Stefanik, must support the passage of H.R. 1, the For the People Act, a once-in-a-generation democracy reform package to clean up our political system, get big money out of politics, hold elected officials accountable for corruption, expand and protect voting rights, and create a democracy that is representative of all Americans’ voices and values.
Congress must provide $4 billion in emergency funding for elections.
SISTER HELEN HERMANN
TO THE EDITOR: On Jan. 4, Representative Stefanik released a video in which she stated, “I am committed to restoring the faith of the American people in our election – that they are free, fair, secure and according to the U.S. Constitution.”
The video was flagged for her false statements about election fraud. She knew that local, state and federal election officials had examined the election results and found them to be accurate with no irregularities. She knew that all the claims of fraud had been thrown out by the courts all the way to the Supreme Court for lack of evidence.
How did she think challenging electors by repeating the lies and false claims of election fraud was going to restore faith? If she had really wanted to restore faith she would have taken an honest, mature approach and promoted the truth saying something like, “I know that for many the election did not turn out the way you wanted, but that happens in a democracy. The results have been determined to be fair and accurate.”
So why did Stefanik do what she did? She is, as always, looking out for herself and her own political standing, not what is best for NY-21 or our country.
Then she acted surprised and condemned the violence that ensued. Really? What did she think was going to happen? A D.C. police officer even died protecting her.
I am embarrassed to have Stefanik represent me. Even Stefanik’s alma mater, Harvard, in their paper, The Crimson, has condemned her actions saying her actions were a “knowing betrayal of democracy, an attempted coup.
"(She) should not peddle unfounded conspiracy theories designed to undermine faith in our election, and Stefanik represents the worst in what we could be.”