General Secretary Calls to Bar President Trump from Public Office
Calls for Senate to convict, bar him from holding public office again.
Last week, when Congress certified the election results, they upheld the will of the people. Today, the U.S. House of Representatives again defended the sanctity of the democratic processes we hold so dear. I, as General Secretary, support the U.S. House of Representatives’ impeachment of the President Donald J. Trump and urge the Senate to convict and bar him from ever holding public office again.
The siege of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 was not only heartbreaking, sickening, and sad, it is part of a long history of violence in the United States. The mob attack on the Capitol is an affront to democracy, the people of the United States, and all faithful patriots and friends of this great democracy. This was a violation to people who have fought hard for citizenship and the right to vote, Black sisters and brothers, people of color, women and immigrants, and all others who shaped the discourse for national belonging. Congressional leaders, duly elected by the American people, were under attack without even knowing what was happening in the halls of Congress. It is hard to imagine the fear they must have experienced.
The president bears responsibility for inciting this mob riot. Words were weaponized into violence last week, but the seeds had been sown years before.
Since his election, the president has systematically worked to undermine the electoral process in the U.S. In 2016, upon losing the popular vote, he claimed that millions of votes were fraudulent. This past election, he has only increased such dangerous theories, falsely claiming that voting by mail during the COVID-19 pandemic was illegal. Since his defeat in the 2020 election, he has spent the two months trafficking lies that the election was stolen. Just minutes before the riot, he peddled these same lies, inciting the crowd to riot and attack the Capitol.
But he did not act alone. Elected officials –including some Members of Congress—served as enablers, working to overturn the will of the people from inside the halls of Congress. Reconciliation can only be achieved when we hold accountable all the elected leaders who questioned the election results and echoed the president’s dangerous rhetoric.
By invading the Capitol and interrupting Congress from exercising its Constitutional duty in certifying the election results, the mob sought to undermine fundamental principles of U.S. democracy — free and fair elections and the peaceful transfer of power. Additionally, the rioters carried signs that perverted Christianity. Our faith was misappropriated to support a white supremacist insurrection. That is not only an affront to our country’s values; that is sin.
The events last week were a visceral, horrible display of white supremacy. A man who has openly courted white supremacists lit the match that started this riot. The mostly white mob rioting at the Capitol last week earned his support and admiration, and deference from law enforcement. Compare the treatment the mob received to the treatment Black Lives Matter protesters received last year. That is what white privilege looks like.
Words have consequences. The president used his words to incite the mob to attack the Capitol, after weeks of spreading lies of a stolen election. He declined to take responsibility for his actions or condemn the rioters’ actions.
We, too, understand the power of words. The General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church has consistently condemned such actions that are racist and a violation of democratic processes.
Inciting a mob to insurrection cannot be tolerated. President Trump has clearly demonstrated that he is not fit to govern, nor able or eligible to hold elected office again.
If we are to heal as a nation we must heed the words of Micah 6:8, “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”
And from Luke 1:78, “the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”