Statement from the AME Church on the US Federal Government Shutdown
The servant leadership of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and its Social Action Commission is appalled at US Federal Government shut-down. The unwillingness of the Senate and the President to fully reopen the government and negotiate on immigration reform is hurting government workers and making America unsafe.
We must raise the question, “Is immigration reform rooted in making America safe for all, or is it a facade for the politics and policies of white supremacy? ”
There is no debating the fact that the Senate passed a bill that would have provided money for border security and kept the government open and working.
There is no debating that the President supported the bill. Then, far right reactionary commentators began to stir up the fires of fear, hate, and racial hatred. Fearful of losing his “Make America Great (White) Again” base the President reneged on his word and shut down parts of the Federal Government. This action not only hurt eight hundred thousand government workers and their families but also makes endangers Americans.
When American taxpayers are told that their tax refunds may be late, that hurts.
When people are told that the TSA agents, who are paid to keep air travel safe for all, are not being paid, that’s not safe.
When children, the elderly, families and those who count on federal food programs for food security are told that the money to fund those programs will soon run out, that hurts.
When government workers and their families are told by a billionaire President that people are not being paid to support the shut down because they agree with the wall, that’s hurtful, untrue and unsafe for our democracy.
The House will send the Republican-controlled Senate many bills that will put the government back to work while leaving the door to authentic immigrant reform and “national security” open. We are asking all our churches, ministries and organizations to join with our ecumenical partners and other voices for justice and healing as well as engaging in tangible actions and advocacy to end the shutdown and hold this presidential administration accountable for its egregious actions.
Bishop Reginald T. Jackson, President of the Council of Bishops
Bishop McKinley Young, Senior Bishop
Bishop Gregory G.M. Ingram, President of the General Board
Bishop Frank M. Reid III, Chair, Social Action Commission