West Side clergy call out Franklin Graham

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Chicago ministers have joined clergy from across the country in calling out Rev. Franklin Graham for not condemning the actions of the Proud Boys against historical black churches.

Clergy said Graham is long overdue to speak out against the incidents; the most recent happened in Washington, D.C., earlier this month, when the Proud Boys destroyed Black Lives Matter banners at two historical black churches.

Faith leaders will gather in Washington, D.C., next month during the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. weekend to tout the urgency of their message of healing and reconciliation. Their action will happen as the nation gets ready to inaugurate Joe Biden, the 46th president, on Jan. 20.

Rev. Ira Acree, of Greater St. John Bible Church, said he and a growing contingency of faith leaders have been organizing since Thanksgiving a movement that is calling upon clergy to commit to calling the country to healing and reconciliation.

"While we plan to come to come to Washington for the inauguration … it will not be to participate in a celebration but to engage in invocation. We believe that it will take responsible and courageous people of faith to save the soul of America," Acree said in a statement.

"It is imperative that we begin to hold faith leaders accountable when they act recklessly. That's also why we are calling upon Rev. Franklin Graham to condemn the recent deplorable actions of the Proud Boys against the historical black churches. Since he's been so adamant and vocal about religious freedom, why won't he exercise his freedom and express some righteous indignation regarding the despicable acts committed by these cowards?" Acree said.

Rev. Marshall Hatch, senior pastor of the New Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church, said, "Franklin Graham must repent or be repudiated for his support of racism and white supremacy. The immorality of his support for hate groups like the Proud Boys is a disgrace to his father's (Billy Graham) memory."

Faith leaders have started a petition to join interfaith leaders in a covenant of faith for healing and reconciliation. You can access the petition at: https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/covenant-for-healing-and-reconciliation. 

CONTACT: igorst3@hotmail.com

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