The January 6th, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol was not only a wake-up call about the ongoing need to protect democracy but also a sobering reflection on the alarming re-emergence of “christian” nationalism and white supremacy in the United States. The religious symbolism on display in the insurrection including prayers to Jesus by rioters in the U.S. Senate was, sadly, not some anomaly. Learn more HERE.
A recent survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Ins3tute found that about 29% of Americans (roughly 61 million adults) are either adherents or sympathizers of “christian” nationalism agreeing for example with the statement: “The U.S. government should declare America a Christian nation.” More disturbingly, 17% of Americans (more than 35 million adults) agree with this statement: “The United States is a white Christian nation, and I am willing to fight to keep it that way.” As a multi-faith, multi-racial organization, MICAH is taking a leadership role in the Milwaukee area to challenge these ugly realities particularly as we approach the 2024 Presidential elections and as Milwaukee prepares to host the Republican National Convention.
On August 3, 2023, the MICAH Religious Leaders Caucus launched the We All Belong Campaign to Protect Democracy, Reject “christian” nationalism, and Build the Beloved Community. About 100 religious leaders from MICAH and non-MICAH congregations gathered at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a statue on the north side of Milwaukee for a rally and press conference followed by a march to Mt. Zion Baptist Church where essential information about the Campaign and its goals was shared. The rally had good media coverage including a Wisconsin Public Radio interview with Dr. Shaw (President of MICAH) and Bishop Paul Erickson (Greater Milwaukee Synod-Evangelical Lutheran Church in America). The multi-faith reality of MICAH was evident on August 3 in the range of faith traditions represented: Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, and Unitarian.
On October 5 and 12, We All Belong Campaign Training for congregational leaders was attended by scores of clergy and lay leaders who will lead small group discussions in their congregations on 1) the definition and prevalence of “christian” nationalism, 2) a theological response, and 3) the connection between “christian” nationalism and white supremacy. A training focusing on the Beloved Community will be offered early next year. Leaders are volunteering to serve on the key teams of the Campaign: Education, Media, Voter Engagement, and Rapid Acton. Volunteers will be commissioned at the MICAH Public meeting on October 26. The Campaign will roll out with educational events, public actions, and intense efforts for voter engagement, voter registration, and voter turnout in the fall of 2024.
The We All Belong Campaign started with area religious leaders partaking in leadership training and making a commitment to volunteer. Thousands will be asked to sign this statement over the course of the campaign and you can join them!
Attend the campaign kick-off at MICAH’s Annual Public Meeting on Thursday, October 26. Doors open at 6 pm; Program begins at 6:30 pm. It will be held at Wauwatosa Ave United Methodist Church, 1600 Underwood Ave, Wauwatosa.
Visit Barb Pfarr in the Community Room after Sunday’s service. You can express your interest in supporting the campaign and she can answer your questions.