(BRANDON HANSEN/Chewelah Independent)
Local clergy call White Supremacy a sin…
After it was reported in the Spokesman-Review that the Spokane Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation were looking into rumors of a Neo-Nazi group holding a camp in Stevens County, several Chewelah religious leaders have come out in condemnation of hate by sending a letter to the editor to The Independent.
In a letter penned by Seth Rumage, pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Jess Peacock, paster of Chewelah United Church of Christ, retired pastor Sherry Vokum and Father Steve Booth, the pastor of Saint Mary of the Rosary, the local group of clergy denounced the rise of militant neo-Nazi groups.
“While the article was intent on reporting this story as rumor, this narrative is becoming all-too-common in the political climate of our day,” the letter read. “The rise of militant neo-Nazi, white supremacist, hate groups and individuals is troubling and dangerous. These ideologies and the actions they lead to are a threat to all of us, no matter the color of our skin, nationality of origin or faith of our upbringing.”
Rumors surfaced on the internet that a neo-Nazi group “The Base” had purchased land between Colville and Chewelah and were going to hold a camp there. The Chewelah Independent and several Spokane media sources have not been able to verify this claim, however. Vice News has done an article on the group, discussing the group’s chat room logs of terror tactics, gunsmithing, data mining, interrogation tactics, counter-surveillance techniques, bomb making, chemical weapons creation and guerrilla warfare.”
In Vice’s article, however, Chewelah and Colville were not mentioned. The source of the controversy originally reported on by the Spokesman-Review appears to be an ANTIFA-ran Twitter account.
The clergy said they stand together, despite coming from different denominations, in condemning all forms of hate in the local community and the world.
“White Supremacy is a sin,” the letter to the editor said. “Militant action and terrorism meant to harass and endanger vulnerable populations is a sin. These sins are in direct opposition to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the love God calls us to share with our neighbor.”
The clergy said that all who engage in the actions or ideologies of white supremacy are called to repent of their sin and turn in love toward their neighbor and toward God.
“We commit to leading this holy work in our communities of worship, through confession, repentance and education,” the letter said.
This letter is in the Aug. 22 edition of the Chewelah Independent.