An Open Letter On Anti-Asian Racism & Christian Nationalism
Subsequent to publishing this letter, I came across more (publicly available) information about various politicians' ties to various churches. Because several signatories have already signed onto the letter, I decided to start a new page rather than alter the letter's text. The spirit of its demands requires repentance and accountability from the politicians whose racism I have belatedly documented below.
This page will include evidence and analysis that further corroborates the letter's thesis and demands, as well as a log of updates to other pages on the site.
10.30.21: Something I've been meaning to do for a while! Updates regarding responses from Marsha Blackburn's, Tucker Carlson's, Paul Gosar's, Mike Pompeo's, and Tate Reeves' respective churches.
10.16.21: Added new entry on Eric Metaxas.
9.19.21: Added new entry on MS Gov. Tate Reeves.
08.18.21: Added new entries on Josh Hawley and Tucker Carlson.
07.26.21: Added new entries on Rep. Lauren Boebert and Sen. Rand Paul.
07.05.21: Update on Rep. Madison Cawthorn.
04.20.21: Added new entry on Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene.
04.05.21: Added new entry on former AR Gov. Mike Huckabee.
01.23.21: Added updates for Sens. Cotton, Cruz, and Hawley.
01.21.21: Added update to Canadian MP Derek Sloan and new entry on Rep. Madison Cawthorn.
01.18.21: Added video explainer on pastoral accountability to "Videos."
01.04.21: Began subpage on non-American politicians, starting with Canadian MP Derek Sloan.
12.23.20: Included update on former Sen. McSally.
10.30.21. Dr. Christina Edmondson, Scholar-in-residence at Christ Presbyterian Church Koinonia campus, relayed to me that she spoke with Pastor Scott Sauls and Dr. Paul Lim (another CPC scholar in residence) this past week. The discussion touched on the importance of anti-racist discipleship, the significance of how a church represents itself in relationship to its most prominent members, and issues related to the open letter. Dr. Edmondson indicated that she serves with a small team at CPC that organizes to institute formal processes of discipleship intervention. I'm under the impression that this team would be formulating a plan that establishes clear protocol for spiritual formation and accountability as regards racially just conduct.
I'm very glad that CPC leadership has recognized the importance of taking this step. I'm also aware that its continued silence concerning Sen. Blackburn's racism is not necessarily motivated by a desire to defend her rhetoric, as has been the case with other churches of Christian nationalists. However, I felt obligated to write the pastors to reiterate a core principle of the open letter: intent does not mitigate impact. As the team determines how to proceed, I will continue to emphasize, on behalf of the letter's hundreds of signatories, the paramount importance of CPC leadership confronting a demagogue whose words have produced material harm, not to mention the damage caused by remaining silent about the church's relationship to this extremely powerful person. If internal procedures make it difficult or impossible to issue a statement at this time, I consider it my moral responsibility to point out the cost of the delay that those procedures have produced.
I closed my email to the pastors by reminding them that they are free agents to heed or ignore this message as they wish. I have absolutely no power in any organization beyond conveying the pain, frustration, and call for justice that characterizes hundreds of people. I urged them to heed those within its ranks who insist on gradualism giving way to urgency. We'll see what they have to say.
Rep. Paul Gosar
10.30.21. I've spoken to Rev. Kevin Grimditch, assistant to the Phoenix Diocese's presiding bishop Thomas Olmsted. Fr. Grimditch reported to me that he's relayed the open letter to the diocese's Racial Reconciliation Commission; unfortunately, he also indicated that this Commission has no public presence because it doesn't wish to take recommendations at this time. I impressed on him the urgency of dealing with Gosar's conduct, and he promised me that he would broach the topic with them again. He also indicated that he would try to find Gosar's exact parish, which I haven't been able to determine. I'm waiting to hear from him.
10.30.21. I actually spoke to Pompeo's pastor, Michael Goolsby, back in July. Pastor Goolsby repeated his denial that Pompeo is anti-Asian, despite my reference to his repeated uses of "Wuhan Virus." Then he hung up the phone. Sadly, this non-response is all too characteristic of the stonewalling that so many religious institutions have offered in response to this open letter. The response of Pompeo's church is especially egregious in light of the fact that their denomination, Eastminster Presbyterian, also includes Eric Metaxas and Josh Hawley as members or attendees. I will update the public with next steps concerning demanding accountability from the denomination as a whole.