We religious, civic and elected leaders of Clinton were shocked, dismayed and saddened to hear of the racially motivated vandalism that recently took place at Free in Jesus Bethel AME church. We offer our support to Rev. Jerry Drake and congregation members.
We decry the growing intolerance, racism, bigotry, and in some cases criminal activity based on hate in our country. We like to think Clinton is immune to this, but it is not. What took place at this house of worship does not signify who we, as residents of Clinton, want to be.
One of the strengths of the city of Clinton is our diverse community. Inclusiveness and respect for diversity are values that are embodied by the “Hate Has No Home Here” campaign. This means that we strive to treat others with dignity and respect and demonstrate compassion to all people.
Groups like the Sisters of St. Francis; the Franciscan Peace Center; the YWCA of Clinton, Iowa; the Human Rights Commission; the “Hate Has No Home Here” campaign, places of worship, and others, have been involved in seeking areas to engage the community to promote tolerance and to stop hate and would welcome input on this and other topics that promote understanding and inclusiveness.
Let us join together to be vigilant to identify racism and intolerance wherever they lie, whether it be within ourselves, our families, our neighborhoods or city and work to eliminate them. Let us all pledge to commit ourselves to uphold a core value of inclusiveness and respect for diversity by resolving to be welcoming, compassionate, and inclusive to all people, to promote love and to stop hate, to stand up for human rights, and to work diligently to ensure that every member of our community feels accepted and safe.
State Sen. Rita Hart
State Rep. Norlin Mommsen
State Rep. Mary Wolfe
Sister Janice Cebula, President, Sisters of St. Francis, Clinton
Laura Anderson, Lori Freudenberg and Sister Nancy Miller, Franciscan Peace Center
Britt Vickstrom, Interim Pastor, Immanuel Lutheran Church
The Rev. Raisin Horn, Rector, Christ Episcopal Church
Pastor Mark S. Luepke, Zion Lutheran Church
The Congregation Council of Zion Lutheran Church
Rev. Jealaine Marple, Elvira Zion Lutheran Church
Elizabeth Heard, Director of Pastoral Care, The Alverno Health Care Facility
Rev. Clark Olson-Smith, Pastor, St. Paul Lutheran Church
Rev. Kolleen Klemmedson, First United Presbyterian Church
Laura Meyer, Council Chair, Community Congregational Church UCC
Pastor Robert Barrick, First United Methodist Church
Rev. Ken Kuntz, Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace Catholic Church
Shannon Sander-Welzien, Executive Director, YWCA Clinton
YWCA Racial Justice Committee
Maureen Miller, President/CEO, Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce