Washington, DC: Christian Clergy and Lay People Carry Out Righteous Protest Against “Immoral” Trump-Republican Tax Bill

November 30, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us



From A Reader:

The Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, DC, echoed Thursday morning, Nov 30, with the voices of dozens of Christian clergy and lay people as they called out the senators within who were right then deliberating on a tax bill that the protesters denounced as immoral.

The action was tagged #2000Verses, and the protesters read aloud a few of the 2000 bible verses that, in their view, illustrate god’s “special concern for those in poverty.” They continued to read as the Capitol police surrounded them and gave them three warnings over a bullhorn to “cease and desist.” Rather than cease, however, one protester shouted out a “final warning” to the senators that “your souls are in danger!” Another minister read a bible verse that said, “And now you are a city full of murderers.” The police moved in and arrested twelve of them as they continued to read out loud, tied their hands behind their backs with zip ties, and led them out of the building. One of the clergy shouted as she was led away, “Oh God, you are great above all kings...all authorities in heaven and on earth...greater than all senators, all governors...” This was an outspoken act of conscience that was meant as a call to others to also act on theirs.

A statement on the Sojourners website explained their reasons for the action. “The tax bill being voted on this week in the Senate will blow up the deficit in order to cut taxes for the wealthiest while cutting programs for the poor and vulnerable. That moral choice is immoral and contrary to the priority of the poor in our Scriptures. So we are calling Christians to act. This comes after endless meetings and calls with our members of Congress, countless statements, press releases, sermons, and lobbying and praying for and with the most vulnerable. It is now time for nonviolent, faith-based, civil disobedience for those called and for all of us to present what God says in our Scriptures about the poor to every member of the Senate who is about to vote for a bill that would devastate low-income people and families.”

While the protesters did not utter Trump’s name or call out this regime as fascist, online supporters referenced Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran pastor who led the Confessing Church, an underground faith-based movement of resistance to the Nazi regime, and who remains widely influential today. He was eventually captured and executed by the Nazis. Supporters also commented that, instead of worrying about a fictitious “war on Christmas,” Christians should “act on their responsibility to the poor.”

Today’s action stepped outside the boundaries of politics as usual, of relying solely on lobbying, signing petitions, and even praying. It was meant as a clarion call to others to engage in civil disobedience based on their faith. “Christ was arrested, put on trial, and condemned—for refusing to sell out his faith,” read the headline of an article posted on Sojourners Facebook page hours after the arrests. There could be little doubt about who these protesters viewed as the sell-outs. “Christ, Not America, First,” read another caption on their Facebook page the evening of the action.

This is a welcome development in the breadth and militancy of faith-based opposition to the escalating fascist nightmares that are constricting dissent and threatening millions of lives, an example that needs to be upheld and spread, grow more determined, and deepen in its rejection of this fascist regime.



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