Two Episcopal Churches Vandalized With Racist Messages

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Content Warning: racist, antisemitic, and homophobic language used in vandalism.

Episcopal churches in Maryland and Indiana were vandalized with pro-Trump, racist messages last night. In Silver Spring, Maryland, the Church of Our Savior, Hillandale found “Trump nation whites only” scrawled in rough black letters on a brick wall in their memorial garden and on the back of the banner advertising their Spanish-language services. The banner was also slashed. St. David’s Church in Bean Blossom, Indiana was spray painted with a swastika and the phrases “fag church” and “heil Trump.”

Church of Our Savior, Hillandale is one of the most diverse churches in the Diocese of Washington, and is in a predominantly Latinx neighborhood. The hateful message came as a huge shock, but the community pulled together this afternoon for the regular Spanish-language mass, which was reportedly “jam packed” according to the Facebook page of the Diocese of Washington. With Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde, attendees wrote messages of love on the sidewalk in chalk and covered the vandalism with signs saying “love wins.”

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Messages of love and solidarity written in chalk on the sidewalk outside of the Church of Our Savior, Hillandale.

At St. David’s in Bean Blossom, they have left the messages up in hopes of fostering dialogue. “We are disappointed that our safe haven has been vandalized but will not let the actions of a few damper our love of Christ and the world. We will continue to live out our beliefs and acceptance of all people and respecting the dignity of every human being,” reads the statement on their Facebook page. Bean Blossom is a small community south of Indianapolis, in Brown County.

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Vandalism on the walls of St. David’s Church in Bean Blossom, Indiana.
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Ann Fontaine
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Ann Fontaine

Update: http://www.wbiw.com/local/archive/2017/05/organist-at-brown-county-church-arrested-for-vandalizing-st-davids-episcopal-church.php

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Paul Woodrum
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May all this piety give us comfort when the white shirts with their made-in-China red ties come to get us.

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Kevin loprz
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Kevin loprz

I'm not a Christian. But to see this horrible act, I'm truly appaled but not surprised .

But you're absolutely correct to say they pointed a way to honesty, love and peace.

Go foward

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Mara Gottlieb
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Mara Gottlieb

Would you consider starting a GoFundMe account so people can help pay to have the churches repainted? That shouldn't be a cost the churches need to underwrite.

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Jim McGill
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Jim McGill

The small, dark part of me wants to shout, "Yes, yes, yes!!" to your comments. They are well-written and point clearly to the ones who have brought this about, along with (what I think are) their reasons for doing it. It all makes good sense. And it goes along with the "you broke it, you fix it" rule that generally obtains.

Unfortunately, though, about 6 seconds later, we have to come to the realization that:
a) the ones who caused this may not want to fix it. The worldview of someone who would actually want a person like DJT to be president may lead that person not to object, or maybe even perpetrate, the horrors described. And
b) they cannot possibly undo what has been done by themselves. This is a call, not to the guilty, but to us all. All of us are responsible, whether we participated in electing this hatred or not, whether we even think, even once in a while, a racist thought or not, ALL are responsible for making this society just and good. No one person or party or group of any kind can do it alone, no matter who they are or what their power is. The indictment is (like it or not) on us all, and the responsibility is on us all.

It is easy to point the finger. It is even true and accurate to do so. But to clean up the mess takes the whole country, whether we think it's fair, whether we think we deserve to have to do it, or whether we don't. Not to participate in the cleanup leads only to guilt and shame and an impossible task.

So spend the 6 seconds. Be mad. Be really angry. Point your finger. But when they are over, get busy teaching peace, teaching tolerance, teaching trust, teaching hope. It is likely that the hope you teach will be the only hope somebody has.

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James Fabian
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James Fabian

And, it is likely that statements such as "... someone who would actually want a person like DJT to be president..." and "participated in electing this hatred..." are sufficiently inflammatory as to perpetuate the hatred and intolerance that may reside in someone who agrees with such statements. So, yes, the responsibility is on all of us.

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