By Egan Millard
Episcopal News Service
Drawing on the words of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry implored Americans to choose community over chaos in a message to The Episcopal Church as the United States reels from the Jan. 6 mob attack on the Capitol, incited by President Donald Trump and led by his supporters.
“This past Wednesday, … a monument to democracy, the Capitol of the United States of America was desecrated and violated with violence by vandals. Lives were lost. A nation was wounded. Democracy itself was threatened,” Curry said in a message to the church on Jan. 8.
Curry connected the current situation with past crises like the Civil War, the civil rights struggle of the late 1960s and the apartheid regime in South Africa, as well as more recent ones like the violent white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, and last year’s murder of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minnesota.
“In the moment of a national crisis, a moment of great danger … a people must decide, ‘Who shall we be?’” Curry said, offering a stark choice between further chaos and beloved community.
“I want to submit that the way of love that leads to beloved community is the only way of hope for humanity. Consider the alternative. The alternative is chaos, not community. The alternative is the abyss of anarchy, of chaos, of hatred, of bigotry, of violence, and that alternative is unthinkable. We have seen nightmarish visions of that alternative.”
Echoing the presiding bishop’s condemnation of the coup attempt, bishops and other leaders across The Episcopal Church have spoken out forcefully against the terrorist assault and the lies about election fraud that sparked it.