Bishop, council urge Trump to speak out against hate speech

by | Nov 19, 2016

Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde and Diocesan Council have written to President-elect Donald J. Trump urging him to speak out vigorously against hate speech and acts of violence. The letter comes in the wake of racist vandalism at Church of Our Saviour in the Hillandale neighborhood of Silver Spring, Maryland, and in the midst of a rising tide of hate crimes and racist and homophobic harassment nationwide.

Here is the letter:


November 17, 2016

 The Honorable Donald J. Trump

The President-Elect

1717 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC  20006

 Dear Mr. Trump:

We write on behalf of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and its 88 parishes in Washington and Maryland.

While we recognize you will not assume the Presidency until January 20, 2017, we believe it is imperative that you speak out forcefully now against the hate speech and acts of violence which have occurred since the election. 

Last Sunday, the priest at Our Saviour Episcopal Church in Hillandale, Maryland found graffiti declaring “Trump Nation Whites Only” on a sign advertising their Spanish-language Mass and on the wall of the parish’s memorial garden. We do not know who the vandals are or whether they were actual supporters of your presidency, but we do know this language should be unacceptable to all of us and particularly to you as it was done in your name.

While we do not assume a direct connection between the often divisive language of the campaign and this and other acts, we cannot fail to recognize that words matter. The present climate in our nation leaves those who are most vulnerable to hate crimes and language understandably scared. Instead of coming together as a nation after an intense campaign as we have done in the past, we are faced with those trying to permanently divide us.

It is for this reason we ask that you, as you take the steps necessary to assume the leadership of this great nation, denounce explicitly those who are using language or engaging in acts that could tear us asunder. There is no place for such violence in our land.

We will speak out as well and will stand with those with reason to fear for their safety and will defend their place in our society. It is imperative that we do so. Together we must work for our highest ideals:  “One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”


Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde and the

Diocesan Council of the Diocese of Washington

Mrs. JoAnn Appold

Mr. Paul Barkett

Mr. Paul F. Brewster                                                                           

The Rev. Cassandra Burton

Ms. Diane Clark

Canon Paul E. Cooney

The Rev. Canon. Rosemarie L. Duncan, D.Min.

Mr. Kurt A. Ellison

Mr. Herman Gloster

The Rev. Caron Gwynn

Mr. Thomas Hattaway

The Rev. James Isaacs

The Rev. Timothy A. Johnson

Mr. James Jones

Ms. Mary Kostel

The Rev. Luis León

Mr. Vincent Napoleon

Mr. Keith Roachford  

Ms. Deanne Samuels

Ms. Maureen Shea

The Rev. Cynthia Simpson

Dr. Kathleen Staudt

The Rev. David Wacaster

The Rev. Dr. Andrew Walter

Ms. Penelope Winder