Christ.  Scholarship.  Service.

Statement from Huntington University Faculty and Staff Concerning the January 6 Attack on the Capitol

On January 6, 2021, when the United States Capitol Building was overrun by protestors and violent rioters, many used Christian symbols to justify their cause. Christian popular music filled the air and a large wooden cross was erected, even as rioters broke police barricades, physically battered journalists, assaulted and murdered police officers, and ultimately occupied the Capitol Building. Anti-Semitic, racist, and white nationalist symbols intermingled with “Jesus 2020” flags and signs proclaiming “Jesus Saves.” One occupier shouted, “Here we are, in the name of Jesus!” Bibles were held aloft and the Christian flag was illegally carried into the Senate chambers, even as a gallows was built on the Capitol grounds and armed rioters shouted, “Hang Mike Pence!”

We, the faculty and staff of Huntington University, are committed to embodying in word and deed the life-giving message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We believe that God is active in the world through us to bring hope, healing, and life, and to stand for truth, justice, and mercy in ways that bear witness to God. The symbols of our faith — such as the Cross, the words of the Bible, and the Christian flag — do not point toward death, destruction, and dehumanization but the restoration of life with God and human flourishing on earth.

Therefore, we stand against the use of Christian symbols to justify anti-democratic violence, insurrection, racism, Anti-Semitism, and white nationalism, all of which bear no resemblance to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and God’s Kingdom that Jesus inaugurated on earth. We do not hesitate in doing so, for Christianity’s history is littered with moments in which the Gospel was idolatrously co-opted for the sake of power, prestige, and the subjugation of the weak. We urgently say “No!” and denounce the blatant perversion of Christian symbols at the Capitol riots as well as the injustices, violence, and destruction committed in God’s name.

We also stand for our calling, hope, and identity as followers of the Prince of Peace, Jesus the Christ. Therefore, we wholeheartedly recommit ourselves to our Christian faith and the moral commitments entailed with being disciples of Jesus. Our commitment entails our inner lives and our public actions, so we repent of passivity or inaction if difficult truths should have been spoken or acted upon and we commit ourselves to engaging matters at the intersection of justice and love with conviction and compassion. We also commit to standing together as equal members of our community — regardless of our political affiliation, religion, or ethnicity — actively engaging each other while resisting slander, libel, or demeaning name-calling.

We pray that God will bless Huntington University, making it a community where courageous conversations foster lives of just mercy and sacrificial love.

“O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)

 

The Huntington University faculty and staff listed below have chosen to publicly endorse this statement.

Rev. Arthur L. Wilson, VP for Spiritual Formation
Chynna M. Presley
Connie Bonner
Joye Ford
Dr. Andrew J. Hoffman
Kent Eilers
Norris Friesen
Bryan Ringo
Mary Ruthi
Jess Hatcher
Jamie H Sanfilippo
Gerald D Smith
Chief Keirsh A. Cochran, M.P.A.
Russ Degitz
Will May
Jean Cole
Brian Farrell
Caitlyn Wright
Mandy Kellums Baraka
Jack Heller, Associate Prof of English
Jason Boothman
Marcy Hawkins
Lauren Frischman
Steve Pozezanac
Kevin D. Miller
Joe Pretorius
Jennifer Muriithi
Susanne Watson
Jerry Davis
Jeanne Sowers
Lynette Fager
Paul Nalliah
Peg DeBolt
Amanda Morris-Campbell
Matt Webb
Ruth E. Nalliah
Nathan Hawkins
Peter Schownir
Kelsey Herber
Dwight Brautigam
Todd Martin
Raquel Kauffman
Cathy Trout
Courtney Schnacke Sasse
George Killian
Carla MacDonald
Melanie Park
Lisa Montany
Tedla Woldeyohannes
Lori Ingle
Jeff Del Nero
Rebekah Benjamin
Brian Jaworski
Randy L Neuman
Brandi Felton
Shoshannah Leigh Hernandez
Michelle Bolton
Aaron Baker
Jessica O. Baggerman
Nancy Richison
Francis Jones
Nancy J. Barnes
Molly Jo Rose
Eric Geders
Heather St. Peters
Ann McPherren
Jeffrey L Lehman
Joshua Ringer
Stephen Weingart
Becky Kersey
Adrianna Holst
Bryan Ballinger
Jeffrey Webb
Phil Wilson
Jonathan Krull
Claudia Tomlinson
Steven Vance
Natalie Porter
Ron Coffey
Autumn DeMott
Noelle Thomas
Evan Clark
Rachel Hart
Liz Bolinger
Angela N. Troyer
Josh Addessi
Cynthia Steury
Andrew D. Rivera
William Hasker
Jay LeBlanc
Jane Bitting
Janelle Taylor
Tanner Babb
Kay Schwob
Cate Simmons
Sam Essig
Quintin Graves
Josue Monroy
Lissa Miller
Bruce Evans
Thomas E. Bergler
Jeff Berggren
Brett Boxell
Nate Perry
Sylvia Reed
Mark A. Vincenti
Adam Karal Sahli
Jeffrey Parsons
Curtis Wood
Kory Alford
Samantha J. Sutorius
Pamela Johnson