As a community of faith, we stand firmly and morally opposed to the dangerous and divisive voices that President-elect Trump is elevating into positions of great power. White supremacy has no place in the West Wing or any other rung of leadership.
We object not only to one individual, but to a clear pattern that Mr. Trump is building a cabinet founded on bigotry and a racial ideology that degrades religious minorities, immigrants and people of color.
Senator Jeff Sessions has a long history of bigoted comments towards people of color and civil rights organizations, including the NAACP and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. In 1984 Sen. Sessions tried to prosecute three Alabama civil rights workers for their voter registration work. This politically motivated case not only failed, but also led to Congress rejecting him as unfit for judicial office. It is an outrage for Sessions to oversee the civil rights division of the Department of Justice.
Steve Bannon, formerly led the far-right website Breitbart News, which has ceaselessly promoted racist, sexist, anti-Semitic and homophobic rhetoric that degrades the human dignity of millions of Americans.
While we respect Michael Flynn’s military service, he has called Islam ‘a Cancer’ and used social media to stoke fears of Jews and Muslims. National security experts know that such divisive fear-fueled rhetoric only leads to senseless hate crimes here in America, and needlessly puts at risk our men and women in uniform.
As proud Americans committed to defending the Bill of Rights and freedom of religion, we oppose putting in powerful positions these individuals who have stoked truly dangerous bigotry. All of our faith traditions teach us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. After a painful and contentious election, the future of our nation rests in our ability to unite and work collaboratively for the common good of all people. But we cannot coalesce around these ambassadors of hatred, bigotry and intimidation. We are a country founded on the principle that all people are created equal. As the future of our nation is shaped by its new president, we must cling strongly to those values that make our nation great -- liberty, justice and freedom for all. In the coming days, our prayer is that you call on President-elect Trump to reject these white supremacists and appoint advisers who understand that forging a more tolerant, united and inclusive America is the best way forward. We urge you not to remain silent at such a time as this for through your silence you suggest agreement.